When an anchor that thousands of sailors rely on seems to have a dangerous flaw, we need to write about that…and we do. Also, some thoughts on the the Vulcan and the Mantus anchors.
In a previous two chapters we covered our favourite anchor and a second choice. In this chapter we move on to size and material—even tricker things to decide on. But not to worry, we make it simple.
In the last two chapters we have reviewed the SPADE and SARCA Excel anchors. So which of the two is best, and are there other anchors as good or better?
Everyone loves to tout the benefits of their favourite anchor, John included, but this article is about much more: how to cut through all the claims to the criteria that really matter when selecting an anchor.
When thinking about anchoring, it’s easy to just focus on gear, but good technique can contribute at least as much to getting securely anchored. These steps, based on 40 years of experience, make getting securely anchored easy and repeatable.
Colin’s in-depth, real-world test and review of the SARCA Excel anchor, based on a season of use in a cruising ground that is notoriously difficult to anchor in.
Good anchor rollers are hard to do, but really important. John uses that as a springboard to write about prioritization, the most important skill a cruiser needs to actually get out there.
There are two opposing views on chain catenary: those who believe that having a lot of chain on the bottom increases holding, and those who have observed an all chain rode being pulled bar straight in any winds above about 30 knots and therefore hold that catenary does nothing useful in anchoring. Who is right? Read on to find out, and also for John’s recommendation for the best chain grade to use.
Colin shares some techniques he was reminded of while spending the summer cruising the south coast of Newfoundland, a challenging place to anchor if ever there was one.
John explores a little-known selection criteria that every anchor buyer should know about.
In the last chapter, I specified the perfect offshore voyaging boat anchor roller and how existing rollers can be improved. But what happens if we need to scrap the piece of junk the builder saddled us with and start over?
Also, are there any benefits to having two rollers? And, if so, how should they be designed to work well together?
There are few pieces of gear on many voyaging boats that are as poorly designed as the anchor roller. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We sailors love to talk about anchor tests, and yes, they are useful, but never forget that they are all fundamentally flawed.
After we have bought our best bower (primary anchor) and kedge, what should our third anchor be? The logical answer will surprise you…as it did me.
The second most important anchor on our boats after the best bower is the kedge. What type should it be and how big? We make it simple.