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Worlds best anchor??? That’s only part of the equation.  I was nearly thrown from my bunk when a 50 knot gust hut the boat this morning.  Warm and toasty, I pulled the blanket up to my nose and contemplated anchors. Anchoring , religion, and politics are three subjects gentlemen never discuss. You can search the world high and low and while there is no shortage of opinion on anchors and anchoring techniques, finding someone to put their 2 cents in print is virtually impossible.  If you are looking for science, graphs and theoretical charts, move along little dogie   If you are looking for 26 years of practical experience on literally hundred of different boats in as many situations, pour yourself a glass of scotch and lets take a small peek into the anchor locker of s/v The`

Worlds best anchor

The Delta anchor is without a doubt one of the best primary anchors in existence today.

Like many of us I am easily swayed by the Jones’s, you have to have the all new… or the new super anchor version 5, or yes I carry 7 anchors and wouldn’t be caught dead with anything less.  The only reason to carry more than the minimum required anchors “3” is because the 7 you posses don’t actually work.  There is no such thing as a storm anchor, your primary anchor  is your storm anchor.  Situations may arise where more than one anchor is necessary, but it is in the very unlikely event that you may find yourself in the direct path of a hurricane, or similar force winds.

Worlds worst anchor

Pictured here is a 15lb CQR, quite possibly the worlds most useless anchor on a Newport 28. “I’m speaking specifically about the 15lb not all CQR’s”

Today I carry only two anchors due to budget restrictions but a third, a Guardian G-23 by Fortress is on my wish list. If I was in a hurricane prone area I would carry my primary Delta 22 rated as the same holding power as a CQR 45, and 2 Guardian G-23 anchors so I could anchor Bohemian style, all three anchors 120 degrees apart on a bridle system.

boat brakes

I keep my Guardian G-ll on her stern roller and ready to drop as boat brakes.

My stern anchor is a Guardian G-11 rated for a heavy displacement boat up to 23′ because my primary use is only to keep my boat into the wind it is more than adequate for its purpose, I also use it as a lunch hook, or boat brakes .  I have been using stern anchors without chain for 20 years and never had one fail.

3 strand anchor rode

In the old days sailors liked to carry a full chain anchor rode.  These days we have much higher quality chain and rope, and a much better understanding of the forces placed upon them.  Modern high quality 3 strand rope is 2-3 times as strong and the equivalently sized chain chain at less that a quarter the price, and a fraction of the weight.  The most important feature of 3 strand is the fact that it is an incredibly good shock absorber.  We carry 250′ total anchor rode, thirty feet of it chain.  That gives us 5 to 1 scope in 50′ of water, we rarely anchor in more than 30′.  In the old days when anchors were little more than a heavy weight trailed by 300′  of chain dragging along the bottom scopes of 7 to 1 and 10 to 1 were common.  With a good anchor like the Delta 5 to 1 is enough, if you need more holding power its time to start thinking about a setting second anchor and tucking the boat up for the big one.

rope to chain splice

Back splicing rope to chain is the strongest attachment and can easily be done in a few minutes.

Having a great anchor and proper rode is only the start of it, Shackles are always the weakest link, the fewer the better, don’t forget to mouse them.  If you can’t deploy it in seconds the whole set up is worthless.  Below are a few examples of what I found on a single finger of my gangway.

no anchor

This one is the best, no anchor or roller, i’m guessing this boat has never been used outside the bay.

Anchor too small

This 15lb anchor is way too small for this boat and the shackle isn’t moused.

bad anchor set up

The Danforth style anchor is the worst anchor you can use as a primary her in the San Jaun’s where the norm is to set on one hook.  If your neighbors set on one so do you.  This anchor is a disaster waiting to happen, its just set on the bow and not retained in any way.

the weakest link anchor

Three links to hold the anchor? I can’t even imagine what this guy is thinking but in two years I have never seen him on his boat so i guess it doesn’t matter.

dumb anchor set ups

Stern roller on the bow, if this boat uses rope rode and I’m betting it does this is a terrible set up and destined to fail if the boat ever leaves the dock.

dumbass anchor set up

This one is my absolute favorite, this guy will never drag his anchor, its locked to the bowsprite.  I see this guy leave the marina all the time with his anchor still locked.

Ninety percent of the boats on my dock had inappropriate anchors or set ups and most had no seizing on the shackle.  These are the guys who will be anchored right on top of you when the wind starts to blow.

This is just a snippet from my new book How To Shit In A Bucket, A guide to pocket cruisers.

A fool and his rode are soon parted.

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