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Old 28-04-2015, 09:31   #1
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Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought


I have an Alberg30 (9000lbs displacement, more fully loaded for cruising) in the Chesapeake Bay and currently just have a fortress knock off that came with the boat. I only anchored out one night last year and the wind shifted and I dragged narrowly avoiding a sea wall. It's now a lunch hook as maybe it should always have been :-) I need to upgrade!

I'm on a tight budget so a windlass/chain locker and all chain is out as an option. Purchasing a new generation galvanised anchor isn't out though. I've read a lot of the old threads and think I have a solid plan but I'd love confirmation I'm on the right track or know to make a change before it's too late and I've purchased already.

While I'm in the Chesapeake now, it's a heavy blue water boat and I have long term plans to cross the Atlantic and maybe beyond. Maybe one day near coral. Anyway, here's the main decision:

1) Rocna 10 - 22# or
2) Rocna 15 - 33#

I'm not planning on keeping it on the bow (cannot afford bow roller hardware/installation, maybe long term) but rather in the cockpit locker where the current anchor is. The 10 looks to be a similar size, will def fit the locker, and while it's heavier, it feels comfortable/manageable. The 15 feels heavy and awkward and while I can lift and carry it, I have a bad back and would rather avoid it unless the 10 just isn't going to cut it. According to the chart on the Rocna site, the 10 is right in the middle of boat size range. The 15, 30ft boats are the smallest listed.

The boat came with 500ft of rode in good condition and I'd like to use that but I realize the benefits a short piece of chain makes and am willing to purchase some. Here are the two options I am weighing:

1) 15ft of G4 1/4"
2) 30ft of G4 1/4"

15 feet will be easier to carry forward and back and will get me to the rope rode in shallow, steep/short scope conditions but I read 30ft is often advised.

So in conclusion, I would like to go ahead with option 1 on both anchor and chain length but worry that I will regret not going for option 2 on one or both issues. I've read the "go big" comments a lot :-) I'm sure there are also other issues I haven't considered that opens up suggestions for a 3rd option.

Anyway, advice please everyone. I promise I'll let you know what I ended up doing.


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Old 28-04-2015, 09:38   #2
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

Have you looked at the Mantus? Used to be a bit cheaper than the rocna, with the same holding power. With the money you save you can get 50' of chain.
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Old 28-04-2015, 09:50   #3
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

Yes, I looked at the other new generation anchors but Rocna has everyone beat in Annapolis right now. Rocna 10 is $250!
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Old 28-04-2015, 09:59   #4
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

Anchoring 101 Anchors & TEST Results of New Generation Anchors EXCELLENT & Important

Anchor Selection 101 includes good discussions of various system selections and pictures of new generation anchors on bowsprits both short and extended Roll bar anchors on bow roller Rocna Flix

Why NEW GEN Anchors are Better:

Anchors & TEST Results of New Generation Anchors EXCELLENT & Important

Anchor System Sizing Tables (Reply #6) & Why Swivels are a bad idea Ground Tackle & Anchor System Sizing TABLES & Swivels
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:08   #5
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

Hi Paul, your Rocna sizing does seem to make the #10 acceptable for your boat (great boat btw ), but I would always go for larger if I can manage it. Look at the other "new gen" anchors like Mantus, Spade or Manson. Rocna is great, but you might find a better fit with one of the others.

I would also go with at least 30' of chain, if not more. I know the Chesapeake is pretty shallow with mostly soft bottoms, but you can never go wrong with more chain, especially if you're on the lighter/smaller side with your anchor.

And I know you've stated you have financial limitations regarding installing a roller/holder. All I can say is, I did what you plan to do for years. Our previous boat came with no roller, or way to store the anchor on the bow. We hauled a 25# CQR out from the sail locker every damn time. Let me tell you, it wore thin quickly. I was never happier when I finally installed a proper roller/storage area at the bow. Pricy, yes. But the cost is well worth it if you plan to anchor a fair bit.

My personal approach to anchoring is to get the biggest new-gen anchor I and my boat can reasonably manage, and to use as much chain as possible. I am a frugal (i.e poor) sailor, but I never look for savings in my anchoring system.

For the record, our bower is a #55 Rocna with 250' of 3/8" chain. This has held our 37 foot, 30,000# boat through blows up to 50 knots. I sleep well.
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:40   #6
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

If you had the proper (7:1 for line) anchor line out, your anchor should have held (unless it was too small for the vessel weight). With an aluminum anchor, the weight of leader (steel) chain helps keep the shank down so any strain keeps the anchor digging in. If anchoring in rocky areas, the chain keeps your line from wear.
Your anchor is also a piece of safety equipment for a time when you may need to control your movement. I would buy the bigger anchor. Also check marine stores that have used equipment.
At 7:1 you should have had 70' of line for every 10' of depth. Many people mark their line or chain so they know how many feet are out. And check the state of the tide. I have anchored in places that have a 45' tide.
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:52   #7
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

I luv my Mantus... just sayen. And the 25lb Manuts should be pretty affordable.
hopefully I will keep this updated....
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Old 28-04-2015, 11:08   #8
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

25 lbs should be fine for your boat, but I'd be concerned with 1/4" chain and appropriate shackle. Go with the most chain you can handle. Maybe go to 5/16 HT allowing for a larger shackle, plus it will give more weight. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 28-04-2015, 11:49   #9
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

We have used a ratio of 5:1 (chain) minimum laid out for HWS and not had a problem, personally I would not have rode only even if it is weighted - just my thoughts, you may be fine with a 7:1 or 10:1 but the physics say big anchor and loads of chain.
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Old 28-04-2015, 11:55   #10
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

My boat is a bit bigger and heavier than yours but I agree with the others that having as much chain as possible as well as at least two anchors would be money well spent.

My boat displaces roughly 24K lbs. The primary rode is 200 ft 5/16" chain with another 100 ft of 8 braight rode for backing. This is attached to 45# CQR. My secondary rode is 60 ft of 5/16" chain with 200 ft of 8 braight which is attached to a Fortress FX-23 anchor.

Overkill? Probably. I seem to recall a story about some early sailor, might have been Hal Roth. He claimed that he had the proper size anchor when everyone laughed at him.

Do try to stay away from "knockoffs". They may look like the original but generally don't perform as well. My Fortress is genuine and has held me safe in 30 kt winds for a week. Which brings up another point. It makes no sense to have two of same type of anchors IMHO. In the case of the Fortress holding, I tried 6 times to get the CQR to grab without success, the Fortress grabbed the first time.

All this gear, even scaled back to match your boat size, can be pricey and I know your budget is tight. But there are options. I bought my 45# CQR used from someone on CF that lived relatively nearby. A friend bought his windlass from someone here. If you live near a place that can hot galvanize chain, it may be possible to get some used chain at a bargain and have it refinished.

I've rambled long enough. I don't think that you will find many cruisers that don't consider their ground tackle one of the most important system on their boats.

You live in a primo cruising ground for many sailors. I would be surprised if you can't find everything you need used but in prime shape.

Good luck and have fun, I hope this gives you food for thought along with what the other posters have sent


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Old 28-04-2015, 12:02   #11
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

Paul the most efficient in terms of weight verses holding power is for as much mass as possible to be put into the anchor.

However, to cover your future plans an all chain rode for coral, (or almost all chain) rode is necessary for chafe protection.

There are no easy answers, A 15kg anchor and a long length of 6mm chain is hard work, but is quite manageable up to 20m depth for me with no anchor winch. YMMV, and you need to find your limits. Try and determine this on pitching foredeck. A chain stopper is great help.

The difference between a 10 and 15kg anchor is not great, but the peace of mind and reduction in the risk of dragging is very significant.

The irony is those without an anchor winch perhaps need a bigger anchor, because if your anchor drags, it is hard and slow work retreving the anchor, especially if you drag into deep water. 50m of 6mm chain (1/4 inch ) weighs over 40kg ((80lb). In coral waters you will need this sort of length of chain. An extra 5kg of anchor weight is not very significant.

Chain needs to replaced or re-galvanised anyway so there is nothing wrong using a small length of chain where you are at present if chafe is not a concern

Without an anchor winch you need to be particularly careful to reduce the chance of dragging as much as possible. A large anchor helps.
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Old 28-04-2015, 12:53   #12
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

Noelx has brought up a couple of points that I neglected. First, if your rode is essentials all chain, a chain stopper is highly recommended. All manufacturers of windlass's will tell you they are not to hold the boat. The second point is that if you have all chain rode or if you expect to be in depths where all you have out is chain, you will need a snubber.

Think of it as shock absorber. With chain there is no stretch so each passing wave or swell will raise the bow until it comes to screeching halt. Not only unpleasant to all onboard but quite likely to jerk your anchor off the bottom. So with my setup I have roughly 25ft of 1/2"nylon three strand that I spliced to a chain hook. I use the 1/2" line because it has more stretch. Once I've let out the amount of chain I want I attach the hook to chain and tie off the end to a cleat. I then let out a bit of additional chain until my snubber line is taut and the chain is a bit slack. That's it but you will be much more comfortable than with chain alone. It takes about 15 min to make one at a cost of less than $10 including the hook. Of course like anything around boats you can spend more, but this works for me.


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Old 28-04-2015, 14:02   #13
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

You should be able to find an anchor roller on Ebay at a reasonable price, bought mine there. When you are anchoring 24/7, an easy way to store and deploy the anchor is almost as necessary as having an anchor. If you haven't figured it out already, with an anchor roller, you can use the cockpit winches for a windlass.

A 25 pound anchor new gen. anchor should be fine. If you are really cash strapped, would go for a 35 pound CQR. You could find one for around a 100 dollars if you religiously watch Craig's List or ebay. Anchored 24/7 for more than a year including a tropical cyclone in SoPac and never dragged with our CQR. A lot of people are down on the CQR but think it is mostly because of using a too small anchor for their displacement.

I'm an all chain advocate but if you are going with a rope/chain rode, 15' of chain should do you fine. 7-1 scope is the key to rope/chain anchoring. Schlepping a longer length of chain from bow to stern will be a big problem. You should be able to carry anchor and rode in one trip with 15' of chain. Longer length of chain may mean two trips back and forth.
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Old 28-04-2015, 15:48   #14
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

If this is an anchor for coastal cruising in the short to medium term the lighter anchor will be OK. Longer chain would be my preference but you can probably get away with the shorter.

Save up for a lot more anchoring gear before you head offshore, anchoring gear is life insurance and boat insurance all rolled into one.

Once you start going off shore you'll want the heavier anchor. When you start dealing with significant coral you need to go all chain.

Actually if I were going offshore I would want the bigger main anchor (Bruce, Delta, CQR or New Gen), the smaller anchor you are about to buy as a backup, the biggest Fortress I could handle as a hurricane anchor and soft mud anchor and a fisherman for rocks and weeds. I would have 2-100' sections of 1/4"HT/G40, several 30' sections of chain and the 500' of nylon you already have. If you never get the point where you can afford a windlass, at least get a chain stopper when you get the longer lengths of chain. It will make retrieval much easier, and you will want with the windlass to take the live load off the windlass.

I learned to cruise on club keel boats with outboards of dubious reliability which didn't back down well even when they worked right. The anchoring technique I used was to launch from the cockpit. The bitter end would go under the cockpit lifeline then run forward outside of everything, thru the bow chock and back to the mast where I tie a bowline. This bowline doesn't carry any anchor load, it's so I don't have an oops. I then cleat the anchor line off with slack between the mast and bow. To set the anchor I motor or sail down wind dropping the anchor from the cockpit at the spot I want. As I continue on I drag on the line running out to make sure the anchor is setting. As the rode is going overboard I turn the boat slowly towards the side the anchor is going over. When the rode comes tight I want it to be trailing 30-45 degrees from dead astern, this pulls the boat in a moderately tight turn which puts a large load on the anchor to set it but keeps there from being a big spike load that might break it back out.

I prefer to launch off the port side so I can use winches on that side to help set the anchor before the roundout at the end. This still works on the starboard side but the lead from the winch is tighter to the pushpit. Generally would flake the rode right into the cockpit locker opposite from the side I launched so the lid wasn't dragging the rode before it got to the winch.
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Old 28-04-2015, 16:00   #15
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Re: Ground Tackle Purchase Plan - Opinions Sought

I think either size is OK. I would go bigger if you really have cruising aspirations. But I would definitely put the anchor on a roller. If I had to buy the smaller anchor to allow the roller I would.
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