Join Date: Mar 2006
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Generally, the heavier the anchor, the better...
It is generally unwise to have four anchors of the same design on a boat, as different anchors have different strengths and weaknesses. For instance, having four fluke-type anchors means that you've got four relatively, lightweight anchors that don't handle shifting winds or currents well. Danforths tend to have great holding power, provided that the boat doesn't shift in relation to the anchor. They also hold best in sand and mud bottoms, and have some issues in kelp, grass and rocky bottoms.
I generally recommend that you carry a minimum of two anchors, and that one be a lighter anchor that can be handled in a dinghy and used for kedging off the boat, and things like that. On my boat, that anchor is a 13 lb. Danforth, with 10' 1/4" chain and 100' 1/2" nylon.
Your primary anchor should be larger, heavier and stronger. My primary anchor is a 33. lb. Rocna, on 30' G4 chain and 280' 5/8" nylon rode. This anchor is a bit oversized for my boat, but once it sets, I really don't worry very much about it.
Some people think that anchoring using two anchors is more secure than using a single larger anchor. I think that is a bad way of thinking. Two anchors are harder to set, harder to retrieve, increase the chance of fouling, and it is difficult to truly set both anchors properly. On a bad bottom—kelp or grass—a heavier anchor is much more likely to set properly, and having two lighter ones is going to be a much worse choice, as neither will probably set properly.
Sea anchors can be a problem unless you have specially designed points for attaching the sea anchor. Most large parachute type sea-anchors are capable of stopping the boat almost completely in the middle of the ocean. However, the shock loads on the attachment points are very, very high, and if not properly engineered, can tear the points from the boat.
BTW, I prefer a Jordan Series Drogue, as it generates far lower loads, and has been proven to be a very safe way to survive heavy weather. I think it is a better choice, as it was designed specifically to help prevent rogue waves and breaking waves from damaging the boat.
I hope this helps.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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