Join Date: Nov 2000
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Anchoring, chain diameter is a big difference?
On my old boat (27 foot Watkins about 9000 lbs) I used to get away with 5 to 1 often. I had a CQR knockoff (25lbs) with only 12 feet of chain (I know I know....not enough)......But it worked pretty well for me, I never dragged (well at least, not substantially.....Knock on wood!). I too put a "sentinal" on (20lb or so)& I have also often set out about 3 to 1 (15 feet high tide and 45-50 feet out). But as you say, that is also with relatively benign conditions or just an afternoon lunch hook. But the "sentinal" REALLY changes the equations when it comes to scope. They really do help and make a huge difference.
I have been out in some really nasty stuff where my little anchor set up did awesome and everyone around me was having major difficulties. If any one was in NY Harbor on the eve of July 3rd, 2000 (for the july 4th Op Sail America) They would have been witness to some major "draggings" (I have video tape of some of it). Obviuosly there were tons of boats and a powerful and fast moving front came through with high winds (40-50 knots?....didn''t have an ananometer on that boat). Well all sorts of boats were dragging. There were 2 trawlers to the east of me (we were just north of the Statue of Liberty between that and Ellis Island) and those 2 trawlers had all chain and substantial bruce anchors. I looked like they had a lot of scope out but still they started dragging (One guy was visiting another boat and had to get in his inflatable and "run his boat down" and jump on , just like a guy in a rodeo). ....It was so bad there were even 2 motorboats that couldn''t break off their raft in time and they "drag plowed" their boats into the bridge going to Ellis Island.....did some major damage from what I heard
I probably only had 4 to 1 and was concerned so I went to the bow of the boat to let out some more rode , I wasn''t thinking and the just the rode get away from me.....WHAT A MISTAKE !!...(live and learn). It took all I had to grab that rode spinning out of that hawspipe (I didn;t have a windlass) It was almost impossible but I was able to do it (after major rope burns to my hands)the rode was so taught it was like a steel cable. The sentinal was out of the water and was doing nothing ! So at that time I probably had out about 90 feet in 12 feet of water was (little more than 7 to 1 with relatively no chain) and let me tell you my "knockoff" CQR held like a champ !.....Maybe I was lucky and hooked something (Jimmy Hoffa?) But I have had pretty good experiences with that set up around here.
And not only that the setup I had (5 or 6 to 1 with the sentinal) did a great just setting and resetting. The second night there (and I have anchored in NY harbor a few times) we were north of Ellis Island and the currents can run 5-6 knots and of course they change every 6 1/2 hours. Well with my set up I have it did just fine with the major 180 tide changes that occured.
Now on my new boat (36 foot, approx 16,000 lbs) I decided to try the SPADE anchor (45lb). I have heard SO many good things about it. The jury is still out for me as I haven''t had any nasty times at anchor with the new anchor yet. But lots of cruisers are starting to really "talk up" this anchor. Even in Nigel Calder''s book on crusing he mentions it and says he''s going to purchase one soon and see .
Read more about it if you''d like here. http://www.spade-anchor.com/US/default_US.html
One bad thing is its not relatively cheap. But its gotta be cheaper that getting your boat hauled or fixed if it drags anchor and hits something.
(ps I have also seen too many times when a danforth was hard to set....especially the smaller/lighter ones........I want my anchor to go STRAIGHT to the bottom.
But really it all comes down to how well something works for you. Just because something might be unorthodox doesn''t matter. Just staying put does, if you find yourself having "anchoring moments". Then something has to change in what you are doing/using.