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It had been a rough night on the hook, a really rough night. The next day friends asked how we sleep when its so rough out there. I responded that I slept like a baby, I woke up every five minutes and cried. The truth is I have never slept better since switching to the one anchor I swore I would never use.
I don’t do reviews on any gear that I haven’t actually used for over a year so this is just a sneak peak but I feel the need to share a glass of Kool Aid with you. I’m hooked , I’m a convert, I love this anchor. I have seen all the usual anchoring antics this summer. Why is it that when I’m in a wide open one mile bay people feel the need to anchor right on top of my boat? I had to be the jerky guy who rows out calls a few greetings and then mentions that the prevailing wind will switch back from the South West by sunset. I pointed out that he would be right on top of me and did it as friendly as I could. He called back, Its OK I have chain, I was looking at his rode and saw only rope hanging off the bow. I asked what type of anchor he had and her couldn’t remember, I had made my point as courteously as I could. While rowing to shore I watched them pull the hook and all 10′ of chain, it didn’t take long as they only had about 40′ of rode out. I felt like a jerk for the rest of the night but had to protect the boat, both of our boats.
Then there was the guy who had 4 lines hanging off his bow at very short scope and was dragging, I couldn’t figure out what he had going till he started pulling it all up, drove in circles around the bay and re anchored in the exact same spot dropping a rock anchor in mud and a very small Danforth anchor. There was lots of yelling and screaming in the morning as they started to drag again, its been a very windy summer around here. Our first night hanging on the new Rocna was wonderful, it was blowing 30 knots gusting much higher, we had a good 3-4′ of chop and as always Sookie rode it out like a dream, her motion is wonderful and her fine bow slices through the chop while her relatively light displacement floats over it like a duck.
I’m no anchoring pro but our system is simple, before I took Serena on our first over-niter I tried to explain the anchoring process and explained that every boat in the anchorage would be watching us, she didn’t understand but now ever time a new boat comes into the anchorage I see her sneaking a peek at them and making comments on their technique. Very few of my friends understand why I put so much time and effort into maintaining little Sookie to yacht standards, she is my calling card and I have yet to go anywhere without running into readers of this blog so we do our best to set a good example of safe seamanship. Jay Fitzgerald said it best when he said 90% of seamanship happens less than 50′ from the dock and anchoring is the same way.
We very slowly cruise the anchorage looking for a little spot far from power boaters and their generators and voyaging sailors and their wind generators. When we find a perfect perch we drop the hook and that’s about it. I drift back to a 4 to 1 scope crack a beer and send Serena to shore to walk the dog. By letting the wind and tide set my hook I always know I have a good directional set and the anchor sets its self. I never leave the boat alone till I know I’m good and set and after about an hour I will give a little tug in reverse with my wimpy 6ph kicker. This system has wirked for over twenty years and I have rarely dragged. My theory is that is if a 4 to 1 scope wont hold you fast in 40 knots of wind you need a better or bigger anchor. I’m a cruising coward and do my best to avoid winds higher than that. I use a Rocna 10 and Sookie has a 7400lb displacement and a fair Amount of windage for such a small boat, one of my favorite things about the Rocna is that it is so easy to pull out, I took the windlass off the boat a year ago to add to our windward performance and if I can actually pull the boat to the anchor by had popping it out is a piece of cake, even after being set for several weeks, maybe my anchor is too large for the boat.
Before deciding to permanently hang the anchor off the Bob stay I consulted with Lin Pardey and after hearing that she did the same for over 40,000 miles I decided its was the best place to store the hook, its is easy to launch and retrieve and so far I have had no issues with it hanging there, even when its has been pretty bumpy out. At first I thought it was a horribly ugly anchor and ruined the lines of my boat but now I look at it like a pice of art and have decided to keep it as my primary hook. The only real problem I have with the Rocna is that it never seems to plow an inch after its set. With previous anchors I never worried about boats dragging down on me figuring if they were dragging back i would be too, now I know that once i’m set I’m set and when those guys start dragging which happens all the time it really freaks me out.
I never understand the mentality of buying a boat that costs anywhere for 50k to several million dollars and outfitting it with a crappy hook. I will never understand how there can be any boat in the world without a Rocna, its a very small price to pay for a good nights sleep. We pulled into the dock to recharge and had a huge new million plus dollar boat only feet from our transom, his dock lines were so chafed they appeared that they wouldn’t last the night, I moved the boat to a safer location next to a guy on a Catalina 27 who obviously could afford his boat, I could easily tell how much he cared about it because he had nice clean lines with chafing gear and a Rocna hanging off his bow. That night I shared a 50 dollar bottle of wine with him and toasted to his fine yacht, the second smallest at the dock, our two tiny toy boats surround by huge yachts all owned by the bank. I pity all those poor Yacht-rs and their big fancy toys that cost so much they cant even afford a hundred bucks for dock lines to keep them safe, I guess thats what their huge insurance policies are for.
I’m somehow getting wifi on the boat as I write this the cold wind is blowing but a hot cup of coffee has me warm and toasty, their are lots of things going through my mind but my ground tackle isn’t one of them, last night I was “Rocna”ed to sleep like I am every night.
FYI I am in no way shape or form affiliated with Rocna anchors, when I find something that is truly a life changer I simply feel the need to share it. Go ahead have a glass of Kool Aid, its on me.