Proper ground tackle for long island sound and new england - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-01-2007
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Proper ground tackle for long island sound and new england

Was going to take a few weeks and go sailing on my boat i got last year, was hoping to hit ports such as shelter island and the area, block island, new port, niantic, cutty hunk, upper cape and boston. Was wondering what would be considered the best or at least good ground tackle for the areas. I have a 37 morgan (9 tons) I have on board, a 45 cqr, a 35 cqr and a 55 fortress aluminum anchor and about 12 ft of chain and 500 feet of line. Just bought a sentinel and will be using a 20 to 30 lbs weight off of that.
Is this sufficient? I hope to be anchoring a lot and going into land and exploring areas with the dinghy so i want to be sure the boat will be safe and secure. I dont want to be worring about it all the time.
What do you experienced crusiers recommend and why?
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Old 05-01-2007
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Jason it depends on what type of weather you expect the system to be able to handle; a CQR is hardly the best type, but it will probably not give you much in the way of setting problems around the area. However, it is a touch small for your boat in terms of holding power, particularly in softer stuff.

I must also pick up on your mention of the sentinel; do not be under the illusion that this in any way will help your anchor. Kellets do not increase the ultimate holding power of any anchor; they are not something to be used in the context of performance, particularly a weight of only up to 30lb.

We have cruised through the area, and frankly I would not be happy with that set-up overnight, let alone leaving the boat. I would upgrade the anchor to a new generation design of similar size, up the chain to at least 50', and put the sentinel somewhere out of the way for the rare occasion I might want it. The existing tackle would make an acceptable 2nd anchor system.

I would keep the Fortress as a kedge or stern anchor, but not the 35 CQR.

Probably not what you wanted to hear but there you have it.
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Old 05-01-2007
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I don't see the point in having both the 35 lb and 45 lb CQR anchors. I'd also agree that a kellet really doesn't do much when it comes to ultimate holding power, and that what you've got seems a bit undersized for a boat your size. I'd also have to agree that 12' of chain is a bit light on chain. I carry 30' of chain and have long felt that the minimum was at least the length of your boat in chain—even more so in a monohull, which generally has significantly more draft than a multihull.

In New England, the anchorages aren't generally all that deep, and 500' of nylon rode is pretty much overkill. Unless you're going up as far north as the Bay of Fundy, which has a tidal range of 30' or so, you really should get more chain and less rope.

Personally, I'd switch out the two CQRs for a single 45 lb. Buegel, Rocna, Spade or Manson Supreme with 40' of chain.
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I am kind of supprised at your mention of the 45 cqr being too small, actually up till now i have been told to take it off and put on the 35 lb cqr and that would be sufficient. i have all three anchors because the boat came with them. so i keep them on just in case. Same thing with the 500 ft of line. Came with the boat so i am not gonna cut it off since it is in great shape. I was considering more chain though. If i had to buy just one anchor what would it be and what size
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45lb is a good size, just not with a CQR, not in soft ground. Anyone telling you a 35lb CQR is adequate as a primary anchor on your boat in that area is rather optimistic, frankly. You will find that most on this site, particularly the long term cruisers, will agree with the "your anchor can't be too big" philosophy.
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Ok this is some good information. The weight is good but my anchor style is bad for the area, is what i am getting from this. Well may be the best course of action is to discuss bottem types in these areas. Anybody familiar with the areas i have mentioned before and their bottems? Then we can pick the best anchor for the combination of areas.
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Craig the other thing i should mention is that i dont have a windlass, i haul this up by hand and 45lbs and 12 feet of chain is almost all i want to do by hand. i am not a small guy so i can handle a little more but that factor should be considered.
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Jason-

I have a much lighter displacement boat—a 28' trimaran—and I'm using a 15kg Ronca as my primary anchor. I bought mine on the recommendation of a Kiwi friend and have been very happy with it.

One major problem I see with a lot of people is that the ground tackle on their boats is sized for fair weather only... not for the worst of what you may experience when out cruising.

I sail in Buzzards Bay and have sailed in much of New England. it is one reason I decided to go with a Rocna, rather than an older design for my primary anchor.

Given the size of your boat, you really do want to have a windlass, even a manual one like the one I just finished installing. Without it, resetting the anchor can become a nightmare, especially if it drags in the middle of the night. You can see the way I setup the new ground tackle handling system on this thread.

I am always amazed at the people I see that will spend $1000 on a new GPS Chartplotter, but can't be bothered to spend the same amount of money on proper ground tackle and handling equipment. In many ways, if you are a cruiser, your safety often rests on the ability of your ground tackle to hold the boat, and your ability to recover it and reset it quickly.

One of my favorite quotes about anchors is "I generally size my anchor so that people are laughing about how big it is.. then at least I know I'm in the ballpark" or something to that effect.

The anchorages up around here have grass, mud, and rocky bottoms for the most part. Very few are nice sandy bottoms. Block Island has grassy bottoms, the areas off of Narragansett Bay are rocky or muddy bottoms, the areas off of much of Buzzards Bay are rock, rocky or muddy bottoms. Some areas along Cape Cod are sandy, but not as many as you'd think. The areas off of Cuttyhunk Island are rocky, as are much of the coastline of Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 05-01-2007 at 07:11 AM.
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I would consider adding a Bruce anchor in replacement of your smaller CQR. The Bruce seems to do well in many situations and can give you holding where the CQR may fail. Having the CQR, a Bruce and the Fortress, you have three separate holding systems that should cover all your bases.

I firmly agree with the 10' of chain being totally inadequate. In my old Pearson 33, I had 90' of 3/8 high tinsel chain followed by 250' of rode. This worked very well for us as in many cases, we were anchored with chain only, paying out 60 to 90 feet in anchorages of up to 20' of water depth. When the winds really piped up, we then let out as much rode to provide the scope we needed.

Our greatest test was anchored in Solomons' MD when a micro burst hit the anchorage. I had my 90' of chain out and added about another 100 of line. Our boat was bounced around when the winds hit 70 knots, but we held and MANY other vessels around us broke loose.

I would modify your current rode to have 30' of chain with the rope rode behind it and then purchase an new rode of 90' of chain followed by 200 to 250 nylon.

If you talk to many sailors about strong anchor gear, you will quickly learn they believe in it more than insuring their vessels.

Also, with the size anchors you have, a windlass may be prudent not for your back but for safety in the event you need to quickly reset. My Pearson did not have one but she displaced only 11,000 pounds and her anchors were smaller. I have a 44# CQR and have pulled it up by hand but now use the Simpson Lawrence manual windlass to get it up.
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Old 05-01-2007
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Jason -- non withstanding some of the new anchor designs are better than old what you have [45 CQR] will work just fine. Also given Craig from Rocna's statements everywhere that anything other than a Rocna is not good -- if you want a new one buy a Spade. The 35 is OK for settled weather but for example in Block Island when it blows it might be a tad light.

The only change I would suggest is a longer section of chain on your primary anchor assuming it is one of the CQRs. At a minimum I would get 50 ft and you should be good to go. Yes I know it is heavy. For weight savings I would suggest using 5/16th G4 chain.

The chain you have is fine for the Fortress which like less chain -- FWIW the 55 is a really big anchor for that boat -- I have one as a storm anchor on my 47.

It's all about technique -- make sure you lightly set the anchor first then slowly slowly increase power in reverse till it's holding.
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