Anchoring Mooring

Other Methods to Control Yaw

Yawing is the result of imbalance between windage (you want it aft) and underwater resistance (you want it forward). If the center of windage is forward of the center of lateral resistance, the bow falls off and the boat sails off in an arc around the anchor, until forced to tack and return, the cycle […]

Drogues to Dampen Yaw

A leading cause of anchor dragging is yawing so vigorously that either the soil around the anchor is liquefied, or the anchor simply capsizes. We studied this phenomenon in a report last year (see “Yawing and Anchor Holding,” PS February 2020). The anchor may reset, but it may be either clogged with mud or moving […]

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.

Mud Anchoring Wisdom

For as long as I can remember, and  probably for generations, it has been Chesapeake Bay lore that the longer an anchor soaks the...

Tips on Anchoring In Mud

Perhaps this seems like going back to school, but procedure can be critical in soft mud, and I’ll wager most old cruising hands from...

Bottomless Lockers Be Gone

Storage is a challenge on small boats, and my new-to-me Corsair Marine F-24 trimaran was particularly Spartan this regard. The skinny hulls provided minimum volume and the race-focused designer intentionally omitted proper lockers. A performance-oriented boat such as this must be kept light if she is to sail to her potential. But even day sailers and racers attract a certain amount of necessary clutter, sure as honey attracts flies. Something had to be done, and yet, as a new owner its tough to know what will best suit your needs and what the boat needs. Its even harder to cut the first hole. This project was 100 percent non-invasive.

New Goyer Guard vs. Firehose

One of the quickest ways to lose your floating investment is to chafe through a dock line or mooring pendant, sending your boat smashing into the neighboring slip or a rock jetty. It has been a while since we tested chafe gear (see PS October 2012), so when a new product came across our radar, we jumped on the chance to test it.

Anchor Rodes for Smaller Sailboats

The usual advice for anyone seeking all-rope anchor rode is usually to just get some three-strand nylon anchor. The makes sense. Three-strand nylon is inexpensive, wears best, and is easy to splice. But one size, or even one type of rope, does not necessarily fit all situations.

Controlling Motion: Two Case Studies

Securing a small boat between pilings in a wrong-sized slip is a common challenge. The dock line angles from the dolphins (outlying pilings) are too narrow for a beam wind, allowing the boat to dance around, increasing forces, chafe, and even making it difficult to stand in the cockpit. During a recent winter near-gale we measured dockline forces on several smaller boats that reached four times higher than the static wind load. If the recommended size dockline was used, the rope would be operating beyond its working load limit in real storms and could fail. Increasing the line diameter would result in more jerking and chafe.

Reducing the Nylon Rode Sling-shot Effect

Again we speak heresy! Practical Sailor has published at least four articles explaining why stretchy nylon bridles and snubbers are vital. But if the rode is nylon instead of chain, this no longer applies. The rode provides all the impact absorption we need, perhaps more than we need. By analogy, a bridle should function like an anti-sway bar on an automobile, keeping the boat centered.