Q&A: Breaking Load Of Anchor Chain

Our latest thinking on chain starts with this chapter.

Question: Do you have views on breaking load of main anchor chain compared to weight of boat? Our new boat is 40’ long and weighs something like 12 metric tons (26,000lbs) and a ‘standard’ 10mm (about 3/8”) galvanized chain has a breaking load of approximately 6 tons.

The Ethics Of Cairn Building

We just got an e-mail from our friend Louis Nielsen. Louis has lived for over 20 years, mostly alone, in a remote cabin on the west coast of Spitsbergen. He is one of the last, perhaps the very last, people to make a living as a trapper in the Svalbard archipelago, some 500 miles north of the northernmost point of Norway.

The Truth Is Out About Old Style Anchors

There is an interesting comparison test of anchors in the October 2007 issue of SAIL magazine. All the usual anchor suspects are put through their paces but what stands out is the very poor performance of traditional anchors, particularly the CQR, against more modern designs like the Rocna and SPADE.

Q&A: What Size Anchor Should We Buy?

Question: My wife and I have recently sold our 40ft Cambria and purchased an Able Apogee 50 for extended cruising. We were very happy with our 20kg SPADE anchor on our 40 footer and would like to purchase a SPADE for the new boat. At 50 feet and with an unloaded weight of 35,000lbs, we feel like the 30kg SPADE would be on the light side but the 55kg anchor would be overkill. Having used both sizes on your boat, we would greatly appreciate your advice. Despite having a hefty windlass, we are concerned that the 55kg model will be too difficult to manage.

Webb Chiles—Adventurer And Artist

I stumbled across Webb Chiles’ site today. For those who don’t know of him, Chiles is a single-handed multiple-circumnavigator, consummate seaman, writer of good prose and even poetry, and probably a little nuts—but then, in my experience, many of the most interesting people fall into the last category.

Q&A: Which Ensign?

Question: I liked the beautiful twilight photo of your boat in Hare Bay, Newfoundland in this month’s Cruising World, and I showed it to a friend who’s been reading a manual on marine flag etiquette. He asked me what flag you’re flying on the backstay…and if the boat is an American registered boat from the US east coast, why the flag looks like a British naval ensign instead of an American flag.

I suggested maybe the boat is registered in Bermuda and so the flag on the backstay is a Bermuda ensign. He bet me a beer…could you help us by explaining the flag?

QA&: Is A Macgregor 26M Suitable For A Trans-Atlantic?

Question: I am a 46 year old professional in fairly good health and in good shape. I am wanting to reverse the steps of my great-great-grandfather, sailing from Belfast, Maine to Bantry Bay, Ireland. I plan to leave June 3rd, 2011. The boat I want to take is a Macgregor 26M. Is this solid enough?

Q&A: Used Colin Archer Design Sailboat

Question: We have reached a stage now where we want to be cruising very soon (world in 4 to 5 years, local waters well before that), and so we are looking at boats to do this. In two weeks or so we will travel interstate to see this boat: She is a Colin Archer design, 43′ in steel built by a Dutch yard, about 25 years old, appears in very good nick, also very strong (16mm keel, 6mm below WL, 5mm above, 4mm topsides). Safe, too: watertight doors, good helm and fitout etc. (The name and colour are a bit of an issue…) We would have her surveyed of course. But it is her design which I would ask your impressions of, because we would want to take our boat to South Chile and the Horn, and bring her home again.

As a heavy displacement boat she will be slow, maybe 7 knots at best, and I accept this, because her seaworthiness is the most important. But I thought you might have had your ear to the ground about cruising design for a bit longer than I, and am wondering if you could offer your thoughts about her as a boat to go most places.

Q&A: How Did You Construct Your Bow Rollers?

We now have a full in depth chapter on designing and building a perfect anchor roller.

Question: I just read your anchoring article in Offshore magazine—a subject really close to our hearts, and went to your website hoping to see how you constructed/designed your bow roller. We have a pretty similar collection of large/heavy anchors, though we do still have a CQR as a secondary (soon to be replaced by a Rocna or SPADE). Our bow roller currently only accommodates one anchor, and we would prefer to have both our Fortress, which is our primary for NE US coastal cruising, and a plow type permanently ready to deploy. If you have any pictures or specs for what you did to accommodate your two anchors, I would very much appreciate seeing them. I have been wandering around boat yards for the past three years since we moved up to our current boat looking for inspiration.