Reply To: Anchors: Value of membership

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Brad Cargill

My Sarca Excel (9.5 Kg) fit on my stock 26M bowroller. I have used it twice. The last time I was surprised by a 75 kph wind storm that came early and suddenly. That’s 39 knots The wind was from the west and I was in a v-shaped west facing bay. There was about a 2 mile fetch for the waves, which ended up being 3 to 4 feet high and breaking. The anchor was in mud and did drag slowly thru the mud over a 3 hour period. The anchor rode broke. I was fortunate to power up and escape being beached.
Lessons learned:
1. Expect the worse possible scenario and anchor for it.
2: rig a snubber or bridle to take the pressure off the rode and distribute the load. Maybe rig a line back to a winch from the rode. or set a second anchor.
3: It is impossible to go onto the fore deck in those conditions.
4: It would be impossible to hand pull the anchor against wind like that.
5: Anchor further from shore. I had 100 feet out in 12 feet of water with 35 feet of chain.
6: Figure out some way to stop sailing back and forth. An anchor sails is not effective against the forces involved and may have actually increased to load
7: These anchors will slowly drag under strain like that. I dragged at least 60 feet, until I was 25 meters from shore. If the rode had not broke I would have had to cut loose at some point. The storm lasted all day.

I lost the anchor, but was able to go back over two weekends and successfully drag for it. I used a big treble hook and a lead weight on a wire leader attached to a 1/2 inch rope and was able to snag the rope part of the rode. The anchor was fully dug in to half way up the shank. It was really tough to break it loose with my dinghy.


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