Types of common anchors

Types of common anchors

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sunset at old marina

Setting the hook

So ever have one of those days .... you've been sailing all day and its time to set the hook (anchor) and catch a few winks before heading on to your destination, but it just wont catch?
heres a few tips on how to "set the hook"

1.  Make sure your using the right anchor for the bottom ,  I mostly cruise in FL and AL coastal waters where you have either sandy bottom or muck bottom.  now sand bottom is easy use any anchor really but a Danforth or a heavy plow with good solid chain will always stick and stay.  theres also an anchor out there called a Manson Supreme ..  Best anchor in the world for sandy / soft bottoms resets itself as soon as the wind switches no problem.  for rocky / hard bottoms you will want a good spike or circle prong anchor , something that will snag and stick even with wind switches . Contact your local marina/coast guard station for a better idea of the bottom around your area.

2.  Scope is EVERYTHING .. the more scope you have out the better the anchor can set and reset on wind switches .  If you have a 50 lb anchor out with 30 ft of scope in 10 ft waters you will drag.
My bow pulpit is about 5 1/2 ft off the water taking that into account in 10 ft of water I will have at least 100 to 150 ft of scope out (100 ft of chain the rest is poly twist over nylon core line).
Keep in mind your swing circle as well when letting out scope , a 150 ft scope will be a 300 ft swing circle.  also leave your self at least 50 ft of reset in case of wind switch.

3.  Use your engine to set the hook .   After you have your scope set and swing circle figured , back up on the anchor .  put it in reverse and slowly increase power with the bow into the prevailing wind  ( for power boaters please don't lay down the hammer your liable to break something )   this will set the anchor deep and hard in the direction you need it to hold.

4.  Set your anchor alarm .   You can download an app for your smart phone or use your onboard GPS to sound an alarm if you drift farther than the scope you have set out , this has saved me more times than I care to mention . 

There is a bit of an art to pulling up a well set anchor but if your using a good Danforth or roll type like a Manson Supreme all you really have to do is nudge them forward, a plow is a bit different you want to nudge her forward and then pull to the side to break the plow sides free .
All and all just be safe use plenty of scope and if your not sure ,  find a dock ! 

Old boat VS New boat

Ok let m start by saying I live aboard a 44 yr old sail boat, so I may be a bit biased on this subject .
First things first Price ... the old saying goes that the happiest day in a boat owners life are the day of purchase and the day of sale , Now with the economy the way it is at the moment smaller vessels are in the reach of the common man but the 30 foot range and longer is starting at 100k dollars .
Now who has that kinda cash to drop on a say catalina or beneatu .
Used vessels may not come with all the bells and whistles of a brand new boat ( or the new boat smell ) but the have a character and a history about them , some of them may have done crossings or been around the great loop , some have rode out hurricanes or seen weather that would make a salty old dog like me run for the nearest harbor.
I have been in the marine industry a long time and have seen the "cruising" sailboat go from a working mans escape to the rich mans toy and I don't like it .
My old girl has seen 6000 + nautical miles under her keel and she still sails like she has somewhere to go, I guess what  I am saying is buy an older boat fix her up and keep her floating and she will thank you .