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A question for the live aboards... How many anchors do you have ..

I bought the boat with two bruce anchors  (25lb & 20lb)  and have just added two plough anchors (25lb & 20 lb ) plus an amount of appropriate chain. Overkill or a wise move??  Its  a fair bit of   extra weight to put on board . do you think my insurance company will love me for this? I do live in a cyclone prone area and this is my first season on this type of boat..do any of you have particular ways of setting your ground tackle once the wind is over 40 knts .. please share your ideas

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Except for this one winter ashore so that Nev could have two knee surgeries one after the other, we have lived aboard various boats for twenty five years and on this boat well over 40,000 miles.  On our Tiki 46 we have four anchors and each one has 200 feet of 5/16 high test (grade 40) chain plus over 200 feet of nylon.  The anchor we use every day is 88 pounds plough on the bow sprit and beside it on the same bow sprit is a 66 pound plough.  We have two Fortress (Danforth type) alloy anchors - 57 and 37 down below ready to reassemble as needed.

We admit to having, and needing at our age, the very nice Ideal electric windlass which uses its own battery separated from all other electrics on the boat.  We have a generator to charge that battery and we first start the generator and then lift the anchor.  Wharrams told us to do things this way and eventually we did and we do agree with them.  Yes, we have a back up generator in case the first one fails and both are very small and about the size of a bread box.  Nev has a smart charger that regulates the strength of charge and tapers off as the battery reaches full charge so it is efficent and quick too.  We can use the smart charger for the house batteries or for the windlass battery or (rarely) for both banks at the same time.  The house batteries normally are charged by solar panels.

One can talk anchors for decades with experienced cruisers and never get the same answer.  This way works for us and you will be getting lots more advice.  We put a high value on sleeping at night and not dragging and we pay for it with the cost and weight of these four anchors.  We must be in migration with the seasons during hurricane months here on the US east coast and we also have horrific tornado and spring storms on migration so we are at anchor in some pretty rough conditions. 

I will be interested to hear what others have to say on this.  As I mentioned, there will be lots of different ideas and we can all learn from them.  We do pour a bit of wine on our anchors from time to time.  Don't know if it helps, but they seem to hold well and that's what counts.

This seems to be one area where everybody has their own opinion so probably you will get lots of conflicting advice.

You have I think a Tangaroa ? This boat is larger than mine [Pahi 31] but I would not be happy on a 25lb anchor. My everyday anchor is 40lb with chain + rope and I see no reason to go smaller. I can handle 40 + chain + rope without a windlass. So what do you save ? The smaller anchor is not all that much cheaper. I advise as large an anchor as you can handle in reasonable comfort ? I would be happier with two GOOD anchors than four I did not trust ?

I find that in a blow I need at least as good an anchor as a mono. The mono sits quietly in the water pulling steadily on its anchor. My boat wanders and snatches at the anchor much more. I think that in a blow any cat probably does the same. Also if there is any swell the cat "surges" more than a heavy mono. All this can break out the anchor.

Some good news. I came across a comparison test for anchors [you tube] but what was really interesting was that the tests were carried out on rope / chain combo. and this rode set all the anchors and held up to the point where the anchors failed / broke. So confirmation that this works.

Our boat sits quietly at anchor but that is likely because we usually anchor in rather shallow water and so there us usually all chain down since we have 200 feet of it before we come to the nylon back up rode.   I agree that our boats need the same size anchors for similar length of monohulls.  Any of our anchors would be rated as properly sized stand alone storm anchors.

It all depends how big (heavy) your boat is and where you usually anchor (anchor ground). To save weight (if the boat is light and small)  I'd use for 3 anchors max. 20 meters of chain and then 100 meters rope. The main anchor with chain suficiant to the depts and places you usually anchor but with at least 50 meters chain plus rope. 

40 knts wind is not dramatic if you have fair anchor ground, but the waves can be! 

I use in Thailand for my Tiki 32.5 ft. 2 manson surpreme with 45 lbs (1 spare) with 40 meters chain plus rope, 1 manson plough with 40 lbs with 15 meters chain plus rope and a light anchor for the dinghy and when going bow to the beach. 

Steve - Lots of good advice here. I am not a liveaboard but in 20 years I have never used a marina either. I did sail a friend's 35ft tri with a 25lb anchor. We often dragged. I started bringing my own anchor out with me !

The comparision with monos I added because I have seen mag. articles on anchoring where they say that cats can use lighter [based on weight] and I do not believe this and I am very happy to see Ann agree.  

I have never needed to lie to two anchors we have lots of deep inlets with excellent holding in heavy mud despite the coast itself being very exposed. The old advice was to set your second anchor to anticipate a wind-shift in the second half of a storm. So if S/W veering N/W set the second N of the first so the rodes are 60 / 90 deg to each other. I have never had to do this as so far I always manage to find good shelter.

I would expect your boat to sail in 40kn of wind. Mine will. I imagine any Wharram can.


Yes.  In a big blow Peace IV sails at anchor but she does so very slowly and gently so there is no snatch on the set anchor.  We have anchored in winds over 60 knots many times in Peace IV.  She does not drag with our set up now.  WE also have Monson Supreme anchors.  Some folks are having a piece of rebar welded to the point of plough anchors to help them cut through heavy grass or crusy anchorages.  We have both heavy grass and thick crusts in our favorite anchorage in Bahamas so we tried that and it works fine.  It is not costly to have the rebar welded on.  We traded a bottle of cocoanut rum for the favor.  Then had a party with the guy and finished the same bottle! 

we use:

first anchor: 40 pounds rokna suprime, 45 meter 10mm chain and 25mm rope

second anchor: 40 pounds CQR, 20 meter 8mm chain and 25mm rope

third anchor: 40 pund CQR with only 25mm rope

and last a 12 kilo danforth with only rope.

we use everytime at least 35m of chain. eveen we anchor on 2m of water.

more than 5 m of water under the keel, we use all the chain (45meter) never less.

we anchor often in 20m an more. we drop all the chain on the ground and use then 20-25 meter of rope.

the rope will not touch the bottom.

remember: the chain in the locker will not save you. only the chain on the ground....

the anchor is holding only 30% of the load, the chain does the rest....

cheers hans

I found the comparison I mentioned but am having trouble posting a direct link. The article is called Anchors Aweigh in the Gear section at http://powerandmotoryacht.com . What surprised me was how good the results were with only 20ft. of chain and 5:1 scope. This is less chain or scope than I or most of us would be happy with.  

I use 15m [50ft] 10mm [3/8]chain and a long scope [uncrowded anchorages].


We also use 100 feet of chain every time we anchor and more if there is a blow expected.   So do all our long distance cruising friends.  Now that we have the 80+ pound anchor we tend to use it alone unless a strong wind shift is expected.  Then we put the big guy where we expect the wind to come from and use the 60 pound anchor to hang on until then so we start out like this  \  and end up like this  / but have gone from the smaller to the larger anchor.  If there is a blow, we get away from all the other boats especially if they are not long distance cruisers because they are more likely to drag.  During a blow we keep anchor watch mostly for the other boats and we run up our outboards hourly so they will be warm and ready just in case.  Head mounted flashlights are plentiful on Peace IV for just these kinds of nights.  Then you have a "storm's over"" celebration on the beach after.  We also never allow the nylon to touch the ground.  The more chain, the less sailing or "hunting"  around at anchor.  A weight let down the chain will also reduce the sailing but it is not so much needed on a Wharram as it is on some monohulls. 

Having never tried a Rocna anchor I may change my mind, but a plough or a bBuce type anchor of maximum manageable weight, including chain, is first choice for a bower anchor. Enough chain to keep the anchor set is as important as the anchor it'self, without carrying unnecessary weight, so three strand rode completes the tackle.......weight of rope happily allows an axess to be carried. Then a Danforth type anchor is needed for use on a sandy bottom, and a fisherman type (with ample flukes) is great for holding on rock or coral. Spares of any above mentioned tackle is a luxury, as well as a weight penalty.

Three strand rope works out ok if you have a long "fall" into the rode locker, but on our Wharrams, that is not usually the case.  So Nev and I selected multiplait nylon rode to back up our anchor chains.  Multiplait resists what is called hockling where the three strand seems destined to do this twisting that gets ever tighter until small knobby knots appear and make the line weaker and more difficult to deploy because of inevitable tangles.  Multiplait is more costly but anchoring is hard enough without tangled rode.  It is also more stretchy which helps prevent snatching. 

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