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A real cruising boat can most readily be identified by the anchors she carries.  Cruising boats spend most of their time at anchor and nothing contributes more to a good night's sleep than knowing your boat is going to stay where you parked it.  Cruisers like big anchors and stout chain and lots of both.  Anchors are the number one item of safety gear we carry and we have spent many worry free nights with the winds howling at 50 knots or more.   Island Packet realizes the importance of good anchors and the boats come with one of the best bow arrangements on the market.  We think it is essential to have at least one and preferably two anchors ready to go at all times.  The anchors should be at least 1 size larger than the tables suggest as a cruising boat will certainly find itself in strong winds from time to time.  The primary anchor should  have all chain rode of at least 200'-250'.  Our primary anchor is attached to a 15' snubber line with a chain claw.  The claw grabs the chain at the shoulders of a link rather than mid link like a chain hook.   The second anchor should be of a different style and should have at least 50' of chain and the rest may be nylon.  Heavy anchors are a lot of work and we think a powered windlass is essential to handle them.  There have been many times when after dropping the hook we feel we are not holding really well or are a bit closer than we planned to a dangerous rock or another boat.    If we had to raise the chain by hand we would probably stay in the unsafe spot but with a windlass it is no problem to quickly and effortlessly re-anchor.  Our windlass is a vertical Simpson Lawrence with both a rope and chain gypsy.  There is also a chain stopper  to take the load of the chain so it does not pull on the windlass at anchor.  This also makes it easy to remove the primary chain from the gypsy and use the windlass to pull up either the rope or chain from the second anchor.

In our previous work with Sailing Quarterly Video Magazine we participated in several scientific anchor tests with tug boats pulling anchors and strain gauges recording the tensions.  We filmed anchors with underwater cameras while divers measured the distances anchors took to set and re-set after a wind shift.  Our anchor selections are based upon scientific results.  

If you wish to see video footage of various anchors at work click here to be taken to a link to order the videotape Outfitting the Ideal Cruising Sailboat.

Anchor tackle


Primary- Delta 55 lb with 250' 5/16' hi tensile chain.  We recently added 150' 5/8" nylon for the  South Pacific.  We always use a 15' snubber line of 5/8" nylon with a chain claw with this anchor


Secondary- Fortress FX-37 with 50' 5/16' hi tensile chain and 250' 5/8" nylon


Both the primary and secondary anchors are stowed on the bow ready to go at   all times.  Both have markers every 25'. 


Both anchors and the anchor roller were modified to use 1/2" retaining pins


Windlass- Simpson Lawrence Anchorman 1200


Spare anchor- Fortress FX-23 with 150' 1/2" nylon


Storm anchor- Luke 70 lb. 3 piece fisherman style


Dinghy anchor- 10 lb folding style with 6' chain and 50' nylon

Click on photos to see
blow-up of bow detail
and captions

Click the back button to return

For more information on anchoring:

Click here for hurricane anchoring techniques

Click here for sea anchor bridle and rolly anchorage technique


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Webmaster- Rob Dubin                             copyright 2003 Rob  Dubin               Page Last updated 10/27/2003