11/10/2018 & Before 🍒
We went to the Ranger Tug/ Cutwater Rendezvous in Roche Harbor in September. There were several great seminars. One however caught my attention and that was the seminar about anchoring. Here is where I confess. I have an anchor addiction. I love anchors. I love reading about anchoring and I love the various hardware having to do with anchoring. Confession number two – as of this writing, I have never anchored a cruising boat – mine or anyone else’s, nor have I ever slept on a boat at anchor. I know these two confessions seem counter intuitive but let me explain how I got here. I was comfortable anchoring our runabout. It had a little Danforth anchor in the anchor locker and I had read enough to know about the basics of anchoring and it nearly always worked out well – Except for one 4th of July in Lake Union where it started to drag just as the fireworks started…I really don’t know what happened there. We were anchored, enjoying snacks and drinks for a couple hours with no issue. Then as it was getting dark, we started drifting close to other boats….. But that is another story…
More about my addiction – It began when we bought the Sea Ray. One of the things that boat did not have was a windlass and self-launching anchor. It did have a very ugly anchor locker hatch. So, my big plan was to install a windlass and bow sprit and a new anchor!!!! I did some research and decided on a Delta plow style anchor. Spent days building a nice mahogany bow sprit, created a new anchor locker hatch and, installed the windlass. Getting big wires to the front of the boat was the worst part. I installed deck switches and a helm switch. It was a thing of beauty and worked great. As far as I know. For the next two years, we never anchored. We docked. We found mooring balls, but we never took the time to go practice anchoring a big boat.
Now, as the story goes, time moved on. That boat was sold and we own Cerise. The anchor included from the factory was a Delta Claw 22 lb (10kg) anchor. You have never seen a boat with such a wimpy looking anchor on the bow. All the charts and websites said it would work. That is is big enough and that it is an acceptable style for cruising in the Pacific Northwest.
Cerise has a great windlass but I just didn't like the anchor. I should have been happy. But it looked wimpy and it is possible to find reviews that do not favor Claw style anchors, so I have a new anchor on the wish list in my brain. Remember the seminar at Roche Harbor? It was presented by a representative from Rocna Anchors. He wasn’t selling anchors at the seminar, but he mentioned how good his anchors were and Rocna anchors look beefy and sexy. And they have a great reputation. A lot of Ranger Tugs have upgraded to Rocna anchors.
Tracy and I talked about anchors at Roche.…….she gave the go ahead to buy a new anchor!! More studying! I learned that a 15kg (33 lb) Rocna anchor will fit on bow roller with no modification!!! I ordered my new Rocna. I was like a kid in a candy store when it showed up on our doorstep. It is 50% heavier than my claw anchor, but it looked 100% bigger.
This will not look wimpy on the bow. More reading and I had to have a Manson swivel – just had to- and on Saturday I installed my new anchor and swivel I also color coded my anchor rode with zip ties so I can tell exactly how much rode I have out. I also made a chart to keep at the helm to decode my colors as they go out. Then we put a spare anchor and rode under the bed – just in case. My anchor addiction is nearly satisfied.
Remember confession #2?? I have yet to drop the hook with my new boat or any bigger boat!! All summer we stayed at docks and mooring balls. My anchor installation happened in September. So we have only had the boat out a couple of times for day trips since the new anchor has been installed. I want to go practice anchoring to get a good process for Tracy and I to follow, and so we know how it feels when it sets in the bottom. I also want to get our collective confidence up so we will be able to sleep at anchor because that is what it is all about. We went out of town until the end of October, so as I write this, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting to go practice anchoring with my beautiful wife, my new boat and my new anchor!! . The San Juan’s have so many beautiful and fun anchorages I want to try
Appendix A –
As of November 10, 2018 we have set the hook with Cerise. It was a beautiful fall day so we took Cerise out to Skagit Bay, to the north side of Skagit Island and practiced setting and weighing the anchor a few times. With Tracy at the helm, and me on the bow using our newly discussed hand signals, we successfully set the anchor for the first time. We were impressed with how aggressively our new Rocna 15 grabbed the mud of Skagit Bay.
After another couple setting and retrievals, we feel that we have earned the “license to learn more.” We also figured out the anchor alarms on both the Garmin on board, and my Iphone. That was a confidence builder. On the way back to the slip we stopped on the south side of Hope Island, in glorious sunshine, set the anchor again and had lunch. It was a great day and a fun day. We felt successful in accomplishing our plan.
More pictures from this trip