Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
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Don't believe everything you read in the papers . . . . . .
A properly sized anchor will hold you when things are normal or even slightly abnormal. An oversized anchor will do it better but will be a PITA in other ways. Any prudent cruiser will have AT LEAST two anchors on a vessel. Some carry a lot more (I try to have 4 when I'm sailing long distance).
When the situation calls for more than the "properly sized" anchor will deliver (strong wind coupled to tidal surge and once for me, a flowing river) then two anchors are better.
Dual anchors in a V formation work for some but wouldn't be my choice for a range of reasons. Tandem anchoring is IMHO far better.
One thing I will agree with is a decent length of chain between the anchors and one boat length ain't enough. I have done this more than once and I let the first anchor out on 25 metres of chain, let out the rode until the second anchor is not quite ready to dig. Then I pull back, dig the front anchor. Then I motor forward and let the second anchor hit the bottom and pull back while the rest of the rode goes out.
Remember too, if you need two anchors, the reality is you also need a lot more rode out than you ordinarily would use.
So in short, if you reckon you're going to need some extra comfort to sleep well, there is nothing wrong with using two anchors. Yes, they're a bit of work when the tide changes direction but tandem anchors hold very strongly.
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"Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
Arthur C. Clarke