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Old 13-11-2016, 05:16   #1
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Sarca "Excels"

We have been living aboard & cruising the east coast of Queensland on our Lagoon 380 cat since October 2015.

Today we had the most amazing experience.

Anchored on the southern end of Peel Island at Horseshoe Bay, just south of Brisbane. We have been watching forecasted thunderstorms passing both north & south of us for the past 4 days. Great lightning shows, a little rain & some wind up to 20 knots as they passed some distance away. Nothing to worry about.

Today we watched another thunderstorm pass just to the north again. Well that's another one gone! Then saw another small thunder cloud coming from the north west.

There were probably 20 to 30 other boats anchored in the bay being a nice Sunday afternoon. About 6 boats within close proximity to us, but none appeared to be directly upwind of us at the time.

Then all hell broke loose!

Wind, rain & hail pelted down. I saw 60 knots on our Raymarine wind gauge, but it could have been more as we were now in a white out of horizontal rain, steep chop & dragging boats all round. Evidently the wind was recorded at the Brisbane Airport of over 157km/hr.

Here are a few photos of a boat dragging past close to us, with its dinghy flailing around in vertical circles hanging off its painter, outboard & all. Thinking that the outboard wiil need a bit of maintenance now.

Fortunately, the storm was short lived, maybe 30 minutes. It appears that all other boats close to us had dragged between 200 to 500 metres. Fortunately the wind was northerly & we were all on the southern side of the island, so no danger of a lee shore, just other boats!!!!!

As you can see from the Anchor Alert screen shot we have not moved at all. We use a #6 30kg Sarca Excel on all 20mm chain. I had 50 metres out in 6 metres of water (including height above water).

I should have taken video, but in the turmoil I didn't think about it.

Thank you AnchorRite & Rex for a great anchor & Aussie company. Needless to say we love our Sarca Excel.











Dave
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Old 13-11-2016, 20:21   #2
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Good post, Dave. It was a stormy afternoon indeed, but thunderstorms like those are just a fairly common fact of life around here. Well done that you came through unscathed. IME, Peel island on a weekend will usually display a wide variety of poor anchoring skills and equipment. With the big wind shifts associated with these storms, its hard to avoid being downwind from others (as you noted) and this can be uncomfortable at best, reaching dangerous all too often! And just consider the mayhem if it had blown from the S instead (and it often does).

Cheers,

Jim

PS Our peak gust here in MBTBC was 61 knots, but we had long periods of ~35. Not a killer storm, but enough to get your attention/1
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Old 13-11-2016, 21:32   #3
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

A good demo of the holding of these anchors (and made in Australia). I also have a Sarca Excel, #4. Just chuck it over board and it sets itself (well, so far good)

Do you back down to set your excel? And, do you really have 20mm chain?
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Old 13-11-2016, 21:42   #4
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Thanks for the report, gspeak. Can you tell us what the bottom consists of in that locaton?

Steve
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Old 13-11-2016, 22:22   #5
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Quote:
Originally Posted by gspeak View Post
We use a #6 30kg Sarca Excel on all 20mm chain. I had 50 metres out in 6 metres of water (including height above water).
I have the same anchor and very pleased with it ..... but as Ourh says, do you really have 20mm chain??

I haven't been caught out in conditions that severe, but have been pretty impressed with mine. Once set it has never dragged.
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Old 13-11-2016, 23:12   #6
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Jim Cate said:
Quote:
And just consider the mayhem if it had blown from the S instead (and it often does).
Unfortunately Jim we did have a southerly change come through when we were anchored in the same place at the end of last year. Woke a sleeping young bloke up as he dragged by towards the beach with much use of our very bright LED torch.

Ourh Said:
Quote:
Do you back down to set your excel? And, do you really have 20mm chain?
Yes we always back down on the anchor to set. We're living on the hook 99% of the time so a good nights sleep is very important to us.

I thought everybody used 20mm chain .. joking! Just a typo on my part we have 10mm short link Grade L chain which we bought from Atlas Chains in Brisbane at the beginning of the year, before heading back north for the winter.

Steve said:
Quote:
Can you tell us what the bottom consists of in that locaton?
Steve it appears to be good firm sand to me. But as Jim said, this is a very popular bay in the summer northerlies so the bottom would get a good turning over by the hundreds of boats that use it. In the southerlies we anchor round the northern side which is no where near as popular being devoid of a beach & is shallow muddy bottom & mangrove lined. Still good holding for us.

Wanderlust said:
Quote:
I haven't been caught out in conditions that severe, but have been pretty impressed with mine. Once set it has never dragged.
We love our Excel, however, I won't say that we haven't ever dragged with it. However, the few times we have there always were plausible reasons for it. eg. in the Duck Pond at Mooloolaba .. soft, silty, thin mud in places & no room for long scopes (a notorious anchorage); Pioneer Bay outside Abel Point Marina in a sudden southerly storm again very patchy soft holding in places; inside the mouth of the Susan River (Mary River), Great Sandy Straits . another tight anchorage with very strong tidal currents & soft bottom . wind against tide had us going round & round the pick.

IMO just more reason to take every care when setting the anchor & learning from the many different situations we encounter.

Dave
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Old 14-11-2016, 07:04   #7
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

I gave mine a good workout at Curlew Island. I chose to shelter there from an extended 25-30 knot SE blow. That sounds easy, but it turns out Curlew can produce some unsettling conditions. I had been there before and found it fine, but this time the wind must have been from a slightly different direction.

Holding is good in sand. But the tide runs down the bay, swell comes over the protecting sandbank at high tide, and the high hills with valleys produce strong bullets at times.

So, at times, the wind would fade to nothing, and the tide would drift the boat the other way, over and past the anchor, and it would start to swing around. Then a wind bullet would hit, driving the boat backwards (usually sideways). This backwards dance would end with a resounding bang as the bridle on one side took the snatch load, then smartly swinging the boat around for the other side to take a turn.

The shock loads were strong enough that I was troubled about something breaking, so I ran the engines in reverse to maintain tension on the rode. In daylight, I reduced scope to less than 3:1 at high tide. This reduced the distance for momentum build up, resulting in substantially less shock loads.

In the 4 days I was there, my anchor alarm showed the anchor had not budged.

My bridle is 16mm nylon, and extends 5 metres from the bow. I know a longer length of nylon would have reduced the shock loads but all I had was too light.
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Old 14-11-2016, 21:43   #8
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Thanks gs for this, we all like good endings. Folks in North America are not familiar with the Excel as yet, we are going to change that.
That #6 is big for your boat and I will be the last person to argue your reasoning, obviously it works well for you. Any thoughts regarding that decision or anything realted to your system?
Not trying to highlight or degrade any others gear but.. did you happen to hear why and what decided to drag?
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Old 15-11-2016, 04:15   #9
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundtackle View Post
That #6 is big for your boat and I will be the last person to argue your reasoning, obviously it works well for you. Any thoughts regarding that decision or anything realted to your system?
Not trying to highlight or degrade any others gear but.. did you happen to hear why and what decided to drag?
ce
The decision for the size of Excel was reached by discussion with Rex at Anchorite. We discussed the size of catamaran, but more importantly the fact that we were going to be full time live aboard cruisers. Rex thought it would be prudent to go the #6 because of the extra weight we would be carrying & for our peace of mind & performance. I've been so glad that I went with his advice.

He sweetened the deal by offering Boat Show price for the anchor & paying 50% of the freight. Not a small offer considering the shipping was from Victoria to Far North Queensland over 3,000 kms.

There were so many boats that dragged the other day, but most of the local boats seem to take off after the storm passed. I didn't feel like dinghing around to find out why they dragged. I doubt they would have been in any mood to talk about it either.

The fact that it appeared everybody escaped relatively unscathed after 60 knot winds, hail & rain was blessing enough. That is equivalent to a category 2 cyclone winds here.

Just today we noticed that our "clears" to the front of our bimini has holes punched through it by the hail being blown at 150+km/hr. Bugger …. another repair job!

I use a longer than normal bridle made from 18mm silver rope spliced around stainless eyes & use a Mantus Hook to attach to the chain. Each arm of the bridle is slightly longer than the beam of the boat at 7 metres.

Its very important that a suitably sized, tested & rated bow shackle is used on the anchor. It must be large enough & attached with the "bow" through the anchor itself to allow it to swivel cleanly in all directions. We then use another shackle to again allow easy swinging movement, which is then attached to a large stainless swivel. All the shackles & swivels must be arranged in such a way so that the chain can pull around the anchor without binding. This is described in the brochure that comes with the anchor.

I also use a stainless chain hook with dyneema rope to secure the chain to the cleat on the top of our Lofrans Tigress winch in the case of a bridle failure & also when stowing the anchor to secure the anchor tight against the roller & to ensure no accidental lowering of the anchor when under way.


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Old 16-11-2016, 23:05   #10
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

gspeak, ya probably not the best time to ask how their day went.. We could send some Anchor Right and Ground Tackle buisness cards for next time, sprinkle them around in the dark. haha.
I'd love to see an actual pic of your entire setup. There are others including myself that would like that.
Thanks for taking the time to share,
ce
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Old 20-11-2016, 13:57   #11
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundtackle View Post
gspeak, ya probably not the best time to ask how their day went.. We could send some Anchor Right and Ground Tackle buisness cards for next time, sprinkle them around in the dark. haha.
I'd love to see an actual pic of your entire setup. There are others including myself that would like that.
Thanks for taking the time to share,
ce
Here you go groundtackle.
PS All looks a bit grubby, but like I said, we have been living mostly on the hook for the past 13 months. We're in the process now of giving Seabreeze a good tidy up here in Newport Marina, Qld.









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Old 20-11-2016, 21:46   #12
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

gspeak, thats exactly what I wanted to see, it's all being used and should look like that..
I like the short chain hook off the windlass, simple, quick and adjustable.
The EXCEL galv appears to be generally holding up. I see some dings and a dull appearance, nothing abynormal for that many nights.
Thanks and I need to go Aus very soon, never been.
ce
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Old 20-11-2016, 23:10   #13
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundtackle View Post
gspeak, thats exactly what I wanted to see, it's all being used and should look like that..
I like the short chain hook off the windlass, simple, quick and adjustable.
The EXCEL galv appears to be generally holding up. I see some dings and a dull appearance, nothing abynormal for that many nights.
Thanks and I need to go Aus very soon, never been.
ce
Actually groundtackle, the Excel is 4 years old, we used it for the first 3 years around our home town in Far North Queensland, sheltering from cyclones & cruising the Great Barrier Reef & islands. Its only the last 13 months since we have been permanent live aboard cruising. So yeah it has held up well considering the amount of work it has done.

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Old 20-11-2016, 23:25   #14
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

G'day Folks. This is a genuine, no b/s, no stirring, no trolling enquiry.
6 years ago whilst anchored near Birkenhead Point (Drummoyne) I met a couple who'd bought their Shoinning 60 footer (abt) around from Perth via Darwin.
We got to talking anchors and as my boat was fairlly new to me I had a rave about my just purchased Lewmar Delta. Story goes that they also once loved their delta until one day in Darwin harbout the delta pulled and no amount of chain caused it to bite. They had 100met of 1/2" chain.
They warned me to be mindful of deltas in mud.
Sure enough, two weeks later my large new delta with 50m of heavy chain and 50 of nylon out pulled for half a mile ( in 30kts) in Sydneys Hen & Chicken bay and in only 10' of water. What stopped me from cleaning up the nearby waterfront mansions was....a mooring. I hooked just happened to accidentally grapple.

I've been really interested in this Sarca Excel thread because clearly they MUST work.

What am I missing?

Why does an Excel hold where a delta will not.

I have a kiwi anchor front and stern which have only pulled once... in kelp off Tollgate Islands at the entrance to Batemans Bay.

Heading for Tas in Jan and suspect that the roll bars on my kiwi products could prevent them dropping down thru kelp. If convinced I'd take the 25 pounder off the stern and put the 35 manson onto the stern and then put a monster Excel onto the bow.

Anyone care enough to tell me why an Excel is sufficiently great that I might buy (yet another) pick and how the Excels work where deltas don't?? Because I've held both but no more than that. No up-close comparisons.

If this post were a troll (if I understand the meaning) or a stir then surely it would have been clear by now.

Crossing Bass St in a Triton 721 is bit of a leap for this 70 year old and kelp is a concern for me. (75 met 5/16 pwb chain, 35 lb supreme, muiir windlass. Fwiw)

Grateful for all advice should any be forthcoming.
Cheers Brian Metcalfe.
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Old 21-11-2016, 00:28   #15
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Re: Sarca "Excels"

Brian, everyone loves their anchor... until someday it meets a bottom it does not like, or conditions too severe to cope in a decent bottom.

We've been using a Manson supreme (60 lb) for a decade or so, including many trips to and around Tassie. It has worked just fine for us. Dragged slowly in soft mud in Port Davey in~60 knots, but has held elsewhere in similar conditions, harder bottom. Kelp? IMO one should never anchor in kelp. Kelp grows with its anchors on rock, and we all know that bottoms littered with rock should be avoided if possible. Other forms of weed should be avoided too, if possible, but if you will peruse Nolex's thread on photos of anchors setting, you will see that most roll bar anchors will work to some degree in weed. Apparently weight helps here, to force the tip down below the roots of the weed and into the soil, and so does a sharp tip. The Mantus and the Excel seem to be better than the Supreme and the Rocna in weed... maybe. But again, hunting out a sand patch (our procedure in weedy areas) is better than hoping for penetration no matter what anchor you may use. Most of the anchorages we have visited in Tassie have not been weed ridden. Some up in the Furneaux group are, but we've made out OK there with some care in spot selection.

for a boat of your size, a 35 lb Supreme is already large. While there is nothing wrong with your buying a larger Excel or other anchor, I see no need for it myself.

Jim
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