Small Versus Large Anchors

The consensus among anchor makers (Fortress, Bruce, Manson, Mantus) is that holding power in soft bottoms increases in approximate proportion with anchor mass; exponents range from 0.92 to 1.0. While there are differences between models and manufacturers, a 35-pound Mantus should hold roughly 18 times more than a 2-pound Mantus, and a Fortress FX-16 should hold four times more than a Guardian G5.

Make Your Own Over-the-Boom Riding Sail

Delighted with the performance of the over-the-boom riding sail, we decided to make our own.

Wooden Anchor Chocks

Conventional commercially available anchor chocks, though convenient, can be nasty metal toe stubbers and not particularly attractive. In contrast, wooden chocks are easy to make, handsome, and relatively snag- and toe-proof.

PS Advisor: Mooring System Failure

My wife and I leave our boat moored in Bahia Coyote, Sea of Cortez, BCS Mexico. Our mooring is a system of anchors and chain that has worked well for us since 1987. Last year, I hired some friends to dive it. They replaced the chains and reported that everything else was in good shape. Days later, a neighbor noticed the boat drifting and rescued her. The cause: a swivel had failed. The swivel was in good shape, but the nut holding the halves together unscrewed. I don’t use jaw/eye swivels because cotter pin-related failures are too common, and I don’t use Chinese swivels because the U.S.-made ones are more reliable. Have you heard of this happening?

High-Tech Anchor Rode

My primary anchor is a big hunk of steel on an all-chain rode, handled by a windlass. Secure in all bottoms, idiot proof, easy to handle, and thus perfect for everyday use. But when the need arises to set a second anchor-either to restrict swing or to increase holding in horrible mud-the last thing I want is a heavy steel anchor connected to chain that I have to drag across deck.

A Tale of Two Anchors

We check out the Digger Anchor and Kingston QuickSet in the latest series of anchor tests.

What is Ideal Snubber Size?

Past articles and our recently published e-book on anchoring prompted a wide variety of questions from readers regarding anchor snubber length, material, and diameter. To answer these questions, PS contributor Drew Frye sought to create a simple formula for determining the correct sizing and material. The formula is not meant to be definitive, but part of ongoing work. Practical Sailor welcomes more input on this topic.

Rest Easy with a Riding Sail

Even when your anchor is well designed and ideally matched to your boat, there are four common factors that can cause an anchor to drag: poor bottom, short scope, insufficient shock absorption, and yawing. Each of these reduces the holding capacity of the anchor, and they are additive. That is to say that any one of them can ruin your day, solving only one or two of them does not ensure good holding, and the more problems you solve, the better youll sleep.

Sailboat Design Conference Part II

Take a cursory glance at a new 35-footer and you might easily conclude that, except for cosmetic changes, the boat is essentially unchanged from those that made their debut in 1995. But that is not the case. In contemporary designs, modifications to deck layouts, the design of creature comforts, and boathandling systems, all reflect the market's desire for easy use, as evinced by below-deck sheeting systems (X Yachts), electrically controlled stern platforms (C&C), and removable traveler systems (Etap), for instance.

Mooring Anchors for Sensitive Seabeds

Mooring anchors fall into two general categories: those that rely on sheer weight and mass to provide holding and the embedment types that penetrate the sea floor. There are also some hybrids that rely mostly on their weight, but also embed themselves in the sea floor over time. BoatUS projects and municipal tests on Sarasota Bay, Fla., support helical screws as the best option when it comes to choosing mooring tackle, particularly in sensitive areas. Practical Sailors evaluation of mooring anchor types includes the Helix screw, Manta Ray, Dor-Mor, Mushroom, and concrete blocks.

Caring For Your Marine Diesel Engine

Expecting calms for most of the passage, we set out in a flat calm with 70 gallons of fuel. Six hours later, around mid-day, the engine wailed, screeched, clanged, and died. Hardly a ripple stirred the Gulf of Panama.