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post #2 of Old 01-01-2005
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Stern anchor suggestions

W&L, your question is of interest to me since I''m puzzling this out for our 11 ton Pearson 424 WHOOSH right now, before heading down to the Med. I don''t have THE answer for us (or for you), but here are some thoughts I''ve been mulling:

1. First are the generic anchoring issues: E.g. your anchor choice would work fine for the silty bottoms in harbors found along Europe''s southern coastline but not so well on the rocky bottoms in e.g. some Greek, Croatian and Med islands (in which case you might want to switch to the 35# CQR). And you don''t mention your intended use(s): The whole anchor/rode system is challenged a lot less if used as a kedge to keep the boat''s head into a swell than if it''s the only thing the boat''s back end is hanging off of when a big beam wind blows into the harbor. And then, there''s the issue of windage - as some boat''s have much more than their displacement might suggest (solar panels, weather cloths, big bimini, dink on davits or, in our case, our dodger & ketch rig). Perhaps our intended uses differ a great deal but, for us, I''m hoping that a Fortress FT37 will be sufficient...even tho'' I''ve got a FT55 bagged up at the bottom of a locker as a storm anchor, and I''ll haul that out if the 37 isn''t up to the job. Your Danforth is the approximate equivalent of a FT55 and would seem to be more than sufficient, presuming a suitable bottom.
2. I''ve intentionally sought out a lot of anecdotal reports from Med boats on their anchor/rode combinations and I think a fair generalization is that, if the anchor is larger (not necessarily heavier but with a large fluke area), then the length of chain rode can be shorter and/or lighter. I''m going to start with 50'' of 5/16" HT chain because it''s the spare bag of chain we happen to have...and will join this to 5/8" 3-strand nylon, also because I''ve got a fresh length of that aboard. I''ll add that we have used this size chain & line thru-out the Caribbean and now N Europe and, for our boat, they seem appropriate...and I will appreciate the lesser weight but comparable strength of the HT chain when handling it.
3. The geometry of handling the stern anchor is, I think, the hardest part of the puzzle to solve. Especially with a lengthy run of chain, one simply can''t get away with cantilevering one''s body over the stern pulpit and attempting to be the windlass and roller. I keep hearing that it''s especially important to protect the transom, caprail, and coaming over which the whole affair is retrieved - especially when there''s a strong beam wind and/or the anchor is buried deeply. I plan on using a piece of nylon line, running thru our stern roller and led to a sheet winch with a rolling hitch around the chain, if I need lots of muscle to break out the anchor...but I think this is going to be a s-l-o-w process with abundant entertainment for the crews on the other boats.

Comments? I''d surely welcome them while still concocting our plans and before modifying the anchor handling gear back aft.

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