Saturday, August 18, 2012

Where it all ends I can't fathom my friends, if I knew I might toss out my anchor...

One of the most important pieces of safety equipment on any cruising boat is the ground tackle. The anchors need to not only be large/heavy enough to hold your boat, but the right type to secure your boat in the type of bottom you are anchoring in. There are many different types of anchors available, some of which hold well in sand, while others do better on a mud or a soil based bottoms. The rode...what secures the anchor to the boat needs to be strong as well, and an all chain rode adds weight and holding power to your system. All of the reading that I have done seems to point to the fact that if you anchor a lot at some point you will drag. (anchor doesn't hold) Nobody wants to be faced with a moving boat at 2:00 a.m., or having to be on anchor watch, unless there are high winds which may make it necessary. I have anchored boats before...never a sail boat, never in sand, and not  with the added effect of tides. This should be a great learning experience. My understanding is that you can put your hand or foot on the rode and if you feel movement or vibration you are dragging.

 This is an example of a fisherman's anchor. It is huge and on display in Lorain Ohio in front of the marina.

 This is a picture of Serenity's anchors. The one on the left is a 35 pound CQR and the one on the right is a 44 pound Bruce. They were both just galvanized before I purchased the boat. The Bruce has 200 feet of 5/16 inch Acco chain, and the CQR has 100 feet of Acco chain with 120 feet of 5/8 inch nylon rode. Serenity also has a Lewmar bi-directional windlass to make anchoring easier on the crew.

Both anchors are currently on the bowsprit. I am not sure I will keep both there. It adds a lot of weight to the front. My plan is to use both and see which one holds the best. I would think that the Bruce would do well in sand or soil...the CQR should do well in sand. You can see the windlass in this picture as well.

This is a large anchor obviously lost...we do not want this to happen. The anchor needs to be secured with strong shackles and we need to avoid anchoring in rocks! Anchors can also be used to maintain position in wind or current if there is an emergency. There certainly is a lot to learn to be able to cruise safely. There is no substitute for experience and cruising will provide that.

Update: Shirley and Rachael continue their "Susan G Komen Three Day  for the Cure" walk today after accomplishing 21.8 miles yesterday! 

                                                 Thanks to all who sponsored her walk.

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