Anchoring & Mooring

Storm Mooring

I have written in the past about our distrust of moorings and how we generally prefer to be on our own anchor when the winds blow hard. However, there is one exception to that rule: our own mooring at our Base Camp. We just had it checked and took some photographs of the process, which [...]

Taking The Strain

During our time in the Rias of Galicia we’ve enjoyed many comfortable nights at anchor. But as is the case in any area surrounded by hills we’ve had plenty of wind at times, rolling down off those same hills, or funnelling down the valleys. We had one memorable night where despite the fact that we [...]

Question: We're about to build a shoreline system. We have two reels from Easyroll that can take about 150 m of 12 mm line each. I've seen the system used by Polaris, and it looks very solid, but my concern is, obviously, the cost of using Dyneema [Spectra]. As far as I can see the [...]

On 28th December last year a beautiful Saga 40—an English design not to be confused with this boat—was lost when she went ashore at Sint Eustatius in the eastern Caribbean when a mooring provided for yachts by the local marine park, STENAPA, failed in what looks from the photograph to be benign conditions. As might [...]

A few months ago we published a photo essay about Polaris, the custom Hutting 54 especially designed and built for cruising remote places, owned by our friends Michael and Martina. Since then several people have asked about the line reels shown in the photographs. I passed these questions on to Michael and got the following [...]

A Question Of Scale—Anchor Size

This summer will remain in my memory as one for strong winds and great sailing. By the time we reached Scotland in early July we had just about seen the last of the light winds that we had enjoyed in West Cork, and a more mixed regime had set in. No matter—these were ideal conditions [...]

Mooring Gear—Staying Put

What does the word “harbour” mean to you? A safe haven, perhaps, sheltered from all sides? Well, in some of the less frequented parts of the world it can mean something quite different. Many “harbours”, such as Hugh Town on St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly, are far from safe in all conditions, being [...]

SPADE Anchor

We think this anchor is the next best thing to sliced bread! We like the SPADE so much, we have a 120lb as our bower anchor and a 66lb as our secondary anchor. The SPADE has replaced the Luke as our primary high latitude anchor because it is the only stockless anchor I know that [...]

Anchoring In The Modern World

When Colin bought his new Ovni 435, he brought 30 years of anchoring experience in difficult conditions to bear on his gear selection decisions and in this chapter he shares that process.

Question: The Jordan Series Drogue website is fascinating and leads to an interesting question. Faced with anchoring/mooring Morgan’s Cloud for a hurricane, would you be inclined to go stern-to? Jordan makes a fairly compelling argument...although I imagine Morgan’s Cloud is relatively stable as compared to the latest cruiser/racer hull forms. Answer: I think Jordan makes [...]

Anchor Angst

The other day I was idly paging through the posts on a cruising forum about anchoring and marveling at the level of energy and emotion, not to mention the sheer volume of posts, that this subject seems to elicit. I have to say that my first uncharitable thought was "Don't these people have lives?" But [...]

Q&A: Breaking Load Of Anchor Chain

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. Answer: Some thoughts that may help you choose [...]

Q&A: Rocna Versus SPADE?

Question: Do you have any opinion on the Rocna anchor versus the SPADE? Answer: I have no personal experience with a Rocna to compare against our SPADE, which we have used literally hundreds of times from the Bahamas to Greenland and a lot of places in between. In all of that time the SPADE has [...]