Rocna anchoring solution

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.

Rocna PBO anchor comparison

Rocna PBO anchor comparison

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 Crosby G-209 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.

8 thoughts on “Rocna anchoring solution

  1. Frans van der Wel

    Mark, very interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing. At Aemilia, we don’t anchor a lot currently, but since the English East & Southcoast is on our shortlist of places to visit, we have to think about improving our anchor equipment. 40 metres of chain sounds like a lot to me. Where do you store all this onboard Triola? Do you have an anchor locker made? Do you have an anchor winch on Triola? I am curious how you have organized these issues. Thanks agian, Frans

  2. Mark Post author

    Hello Frans, Thanks for posting on my site, its always nice to know someone is actually reading some of this! 40 meters is a lot, and it is certainly the maximum I would carry in the fore-peak (where I store it), weighing in at 56kg! Its amazing when anchoring at night how often you require the whole lot of chain out if you want to get to a comfortable 4 or 5:1 ratio at high water when the tidal fall is 5 to 6 meters. The Rocna is lighter than my old CQR, which helps offset some of the extra weight I carry now in chain.

    I have no anchor winch, although I don’t find it too much hard work getting it all back on board, making sure I keep my back straight and only lifting with my legs – it does all have a nasty habit of bunching up under the pipe hole, leading to me have to dive into the forecabin halfway through pulling the chain up to clear it!

    Our East coast is a beautiful place, let me know before you come and I’ll send over the pilotage resources I have and also let you know the real gems worth visiting and where to avoid! Great website by the way, glad to see someone else who is as madly fond of their Albin Ballad as me.

  3. Cameron Hunt


    Great to read about Triola and your website is fantastic.

    I agree entirely on your anchoring thoughts. We had a 25lb CQR which was rubbish in even easy situations so before replacing it I read a lot of reviews, blogs, rants etc on the subject to try to understand the real performance of the different types. I came to the conclusion that the modern concave shape is most effective all round, so we settled on a Manson Supreme 16kg, with 30m of 8mm chain and 40m of 8strand line. The Manson is very similar to the Rocna but much cheaper, and we have been delighted with its performance, if not its weight. We were lucky enough to spend a few months cruising round UK and Scotland, and spent a lot of time anchoring in the Outer Hebrides area, always setting first time and never dragging once. This gave us huge confidence and we now happily sleep in situations where others decline and which would not have been possible for us before.

    A rope snubber is crucial for avoiding the grumbling noise of the chain, and takes the strain off the bow roller (which is showing signs of objecting to the uncompromising way that the anchor sets). Except of course if you have all the rope out.

    I also have the problem with it all piling up beneath the pipe and have to run a few times around to pull it down. If we have space between the two of us we can usually abandon the helm for a moment and do a push-pull job to get it out of the way. I think that Nicholas on Moments of Clarity installed an opening anchor locker which would help. He may still have some photos.

    The anchor is a bit large for easy stowage but I usually use a soft rope to lash it in place and it will happily be dipped into waves all day without moving. I am occasionally jealous of modern boats with self-launching rollers and electric windlasses but I tell myself that crouching over the foredeck after hauling it up by hand and messing about with bits of string is character building.

    Kind regards,

    Cracklin Rosie – Ballad No 73

  4. Marius Draeger

    Nice write-up Mark! I am a little late to the party here, but I am also currently thinking about changing the anchoring solution on our Albin Ballad “Cyclooctatetraene”. We are currently using mostly rode (3 strand nylon) and a Danforth anchor.

    Anyhow, the reason why I felt like reaching out is that I saw your mounted anchor roller! Is there any chance you have a couple pictures that show this piece of equipment in it’s full glory? Or potentially even a measurement of how long the rollers are? Our ballad came without anchor rollers and we are always anchoring off an anchor chock that is on the side of the foredeck, which obviously causes the topsides to get quite banged up when weighing the anchor…

    All the best,


    1. Erwin van der Wal

      Hi Mark, Great website. I have a ballad too and am about to replace my rusty mast truss in the next few months. Your information helps me a lot! Question, I saw you made a stainless steel truss but did not use it, do you still have it? Could I buy it from you? Regards Erwin van der Wal, SY Malou The Netherlands

      1. Mark Post author

        Hello Erwin,

        Apologies, I have only just seen this comment! I only mocked it up in mdf I’m afraid and didn’t get it made in stainless. How did the process go? Its a filthy job cutting all that polyester resin out. Once it is done though, it is all done!


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