Being at anchor is one of the most pleasant and satisfying parts of boating. You can drop the hook to get away from the crowds, avoid pricey marinas, shelter from a blow or just stop in a pretty creek to enjoy some lunch.
It can also be (as I have found) rather a stressful element of boating. With my rusty old CQR anchor and a measly 30 meters of chain, I could never truly relax at anchor. You would frequently find me bounding out of my berth in just my boxers in the middle of the night and leaping on deck, concerned we might be dragging up a bank somewhere or drifting off downriver.This is no way to get a restful nights sleep (or in a lot of cases, any sleep at all!).
So I started to research into the art of anchoring to get some sort of peace of mind from gaining a better understanding. After reading many reviews and many (many) posts on YBWs forums, I settled on the Rocna as a anchor.
The chaps at Rocna (now in Canadian hands I understand) were more than happy to help with rafts of advice. The gear I settled on after the many emails going back and forth was as follows:
- A Rocna 10kg anchor (lighter than my old CQR).
- 40 meters of Grade 40 chain (sourced from the lovely people at Bradney Chain).
- 50 meters of 14mm polyester 3 plait anchor rope to extend the chain if more scope is required. This was sourced from Timko ropes at a very keen price.
- 10 meters of 10mm polyester 3 plait rope to act as a snubber if the rode is all chain.
- Two high breaking strain shackles (a normal shackle of a diameter to fit through G40 chain will have less than a quarter of its breaking load making it a potential weak link). These were sourced from Technilift, again, very helpful.
The breaking strain throughout the rode and shackles is 4 tonnes, so plenty! The suggestion for using this kit is below:
- The bottom is more important than the anchor, rode or boat! If there the bottom does not have good holding, now matter how good your gear is, you will still drag.
- If anchoring for lunch, a scope of 3:1 is sufficient.
- If anchoring overnight, a scope of 5:1 is preferable.
- If anchoring and a blow is expected, 7:1 is better.
- If the rode is all chain, let out all your required scope and let the anchor set. Once the anchor is set, bring back in 10 meters of chain, tie on the end of the 10mm snubbing line, and let the 10 meters back out, leaving the chain slack and taking the load on the snubber. This will make the boat sit better at anchor and will cut down on snatching loads.
And that’s it! This year, for the first time since I purchased Triola, I slept soundly at anchor even when the wind started to howl through the rigging.