Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
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Re: Let's talk about anchors some more
In my area (eastern NC), the bottom is typically sand or mud, and sometimes quite soft. We also get hurricanes from time to time, but are inland enough so that usually they have decreased to about 70-80 kts., sometimes with higher gusts. In hurricanes, you will always get a 180 degree change of direction. In each storm, there are lots of boats that have anchored out and drag. One trick that seems to be working in this area and for this bottom is connecting the anchor to a short (~6 ft.) cable, and then connecting the cable to the normal short length of chain (~6-20 ft.), and finally, a nylon rode. Apparently, when the wind force is on the boat, the anchor will be pulled out/through the sand/mud even though it seemed set when it was put out.
The thinner profile of the cable allows the anchor to bury itself deep, and then seems more capable of holding the boat. While I do not have that arangement myself (I choose to stay at the pier in a spiderweb of lines to keep the boat centered in the slip, while accommodating change in water down 5 ft., up ~9 ft.), I know of a Hunter 340 that experienced a severe dragging problem in one storm with just anchor/chain/nylon, but in two storms since then with the cable in the system, and anchored in the same location, did not drag. The owner had trouble recovering his anchor aftwards, and in one case, I think he had to get a diver to dig it out. He uses a realatively small Danforth anchor (which I personally consider way too small). The nylon rodes act as shock absorbers in the waves and wind gusts. An all chain rode does not. In hurricane force winds, that chain is most likely going to be lifted off the ground and tight towards the boat, and while chain will handle the waves and wind, it passes the shock/impact of those directly to the boat. Normally, on the boat, the anchor gear (rode) is attached a cleat. Having cleats pulled out in these storms is not unusual. Not pushing a concept here, just offering something a little different. And if I have to anchor out in one of the storms, it will include multiple anchors, including at least one of the new generation anchors (I have a Mantus on order -- selected that one because I can disassemble it and keep it below in a locker).
Last edited by NCC320; 08-11-2012 at 12:36 PM.