My wife and I purchased a 2008 production year Seawind 1160
(38' x 21') catamaran
in 2013. It was equipped with the factory standard CQR
45 pound anchor. We surveyed various members of the owners group and learned that many had abandoned that anchor due to issues with dragging in difficult wind
and wave conditions. I'm sure the CQR was considered a fine anchor in its time. . .
Anyway, we looked at a variety of new generation anchors, including Rocna
, Manson Supreme, Spade and Ultra. Fitting a "roll bar" equipped anchor proved to be an expensive and heavy proposition, as the standard anchor roller configuration on the Seawind
would have required a good bit of modification to accommodate the roll bar. After 28 years in the aircraft industry, I'm no fan of "useless load", so adding weight to the bow simply to accommodate the roll bar didn't make sense.
The Spade anchor had such a curve to the shank that it would have created another opportunity to trip or stump my toe at the bow of the boat
, or even to snag a sheet during a sail change.
The Ultra was bloody expensive, but I think would have fit without modification.
We contacted Andrew Crawford at Seawind
(Factor on this forum) for his thoughts. Andrew has vast racing
and cruising experience and owns a Seawind 1000 - and we've had more than one beer
with him; he has high "street cred" with us.
Andrew noted the reputation that the Sarca Excel line of anchors has gained in Australia
, and that it would fit very nicely and securely on the Seawind bow roller without any modification. He also pointed out that with its convex design, the anchor isn't laden with mud or other debris upon retrieval.
I contacted Rex and Joy Francis, manufacturers of the anchor to learn more. They were kind enough to direct me to additional information resources, including the folks that tested the anchor. We discussed the anchor as part of a system, how much chain our boat
carried, the windlass
, swivels; all the integrated components of the anchor system.
Traditionally cruisers seem to ignore the anchor manufacturer's recommendations of anchor and upsize to at least the next largest/heaviest available. Catamarans are weight sensitive - and anchor test and evaluation methods have improved a lot.
Ultimately we put our trust in the engineers and sailors who developed and use the equipment
. We purchased and paid air freight for a galvanized steel
Sarca Excel #5 as well as an alloy version of the same. The steel
anchor is our primary anchoring device, currently integrated with a galvanized steel swivel and 53 meters of 8mm galvanized steel chain, and a Muir Cougar 1200 windlass
. The alloy anchor is an exceptionally strong design and is quick to assemble. It lives very nicely in a bow locker. We always use the factory supplied bridle
We departed Ensenada, Mexico
in late November and have anchored in mud and sand along the Pacific coast of Baja California
, Cabo San Lucas, and various anchorages
on the East side of Baja
as we made our way up to La Paz
. We have about three weeks of experience anchored in La Paz
- including several absolutely crazy days doing the "La Paz Waltz", where strong winds combat even stronger tidal currents and cause boats of various displacements, keel
designs and windage to do 360's and charge at one another. It's unnerving to say the least, and we saw several boats move and reset their anchors on one of the craziest days.
Our Sarca Excel #5 never budged. We were at 4:1 scope
, but generally prefer more scope in wide open anchorages
- because "why not"?
The Sarca Excel anchor recovers to the bow roller virtually spotless even in muddy bottom conditions. It fits beautifully, doesn't create a trip or line snagging hazard on our bow, and as time goes on we have continue to develop confidence in our decision to go with a #5. There is a lot of evidence out there to suggest this is an exceptional anchoring device, and that body of evidence continues to grow.
We believe the cheapest insurance
any boater can purchase
is high quality, high performance ground tackle. If you are on a tight budget
, look somewhere else to save some money
Folks in Australia
and New Zealand
commonly operate in conditions that might be considered rare in many parts
of the world. They are a great proving ground for what works, and what fails. Oddly enough we've ended up with a Takacat 3.1 m hypalon dinghy
and Beach Master dinghy
wheels - both from New Zealand
. We did our research
, and simply couldn't find comparable equipment
You won't be disappointed with the Sarca Excel anchor, and you will be delighted with the service
and level of professionalism you experience with the company. Selecting an anchor is a huge decision with a lot of variables - good luck.