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Advice on Buying a Pre-Owned Anchor

Since defects are usually obvious, anchors is one category of gear in which “what you see is what you get.” Certainly, there are counterfeits and home-welded one-offs that you’ll want to avoid, but the fakes and do-it-yourself anchors are usually easy to distinguish. Before you buy a used anchor, you should have a very clear picture of the size, type, and brand of anchor will best suit your needs. Depending on the specific anchor you seek, you can save 30 to 50-percent on cost by purchasing a pre-owned anchor instead of a new one.

The Curse of the Mystery Mooring Chain

We’d like to say mooring chains like the one pictured above are a rare occurrence, but they are not—especially when you get off the beaten track and find yourself in unregulated mooring fields where the law of the jungle prevails. We’ve seen moorings like this in even “high-end” clubs, and for anyone who is familiar with our dozens of anchor chain tests over the years, this may come as no surprise.

Plug that Chain-pipe

I was always amazed at how much water could seep through the chain-pipe and into Toscas anchor locker when a sea was up, or we were punching into a headsea-although punching would hardly describe the ungainly motion of a gaff-rigged ketch to weather. Wallowing? Submarining? Regardless, the chain-pipe was like a water main in those conditions …

Excel Anchor Offers Case Study in Design

At first glance, the Sarca Excel is a Delta clone with a few added creases in the sheet metal, explaining the public perception that...

Anchor Trip-line Tricks

An anchor trip line is a stout line connected from the after end of the anchor fluke to a marker buoy so that the anchor can later be retrieved. The length of the line is adjusted to be straight up and down at high tide level so that the float marks the approximate position of […]
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Bad Holding Ground Primer

Modern anchors of the recommended size that are set and rigged properly offer plenty of holding power in good sand or mud. Except for a horrible storm in an exposed location, you won’t hear about dragging unless the bottom is poor. In bad holding ground, however, all the holding figures you see quoted go out […]
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Hitches to Grip Anchor Chain

When researching Changing Views on Chain Hooks (see PS, March 2016 online), we were surprised to discover that some chain hooks greatly reduced the breaking strength of a chain. Unless the hook itself broke, we assumed its effect on chain strength would be very minor.

Stopping Anchor Chain Twist

When an anchored boat spins, the anchor chain twists, and the anchor can come up backward. One solution is an anchor swivel, but failures with some poor designs are a concern-a lovely stainless swivel on one of our test boats had an interior crack that became visible only when disassembled. And as we found in our most recent test, many swivels arent very effective at reducing twist due to the inherent friction in the swivel.(see How Well Do Swivels Reduce Twist, Practical Sailor March 2016 online).

Anchor Chain and Shackles

If I use 3/8-inch Acco G43 proof-coil chain, why is the same-size galvanized shackle so much weaker? West Marine shows the Acco G43 chain rated at 5,400 pounds maximum working load (MWL), but the similarly sized shackle is rated at only 2,000 pounds MWL. It seems as though whatever size chain I select, the shackle is the weak link. How can I use a larger shackle on smaller chain?

Anchor Chain Advice

I sail an Areodyne 38 in New England, primarily on weekends and a two-week annual cruise. I use 25 feet of 5/8-inch chain with 200 feet of oversized braided rode and a 35-pound Bruce anchor. In 12 years of cruising this boat, the setup has dragged only once, yet I’m still unable to relax at anchor. I’m considering going to all-chain. Also, because my boat is pretty light with a fin keel and bulb, the rode wraps around the bulb when the current is stronger than the wind, requiring diving to free the mess. This is manageable in July, not so fun in October. Can you recommend a type, size, and length of chain given my criteria? My boat weighs in at 10,000 pounds, and I am the windlass.