West Marine Issues Rocna Spec Notice

In the wake of questions about the tensile strength of steel used in the shafts of Rocna anchors, West Marine has issued “product specification notices” to customers who have purchased Rocna anchors since 2010 and recently posted the notice on its website (www.westmarine.com). West Marine is one of world’s largest distributors of the Rocna, a plow-style anchor sold in 34 different countries. The Rocna (www.rocna.com) earned a Recommended rating in our 2008 tests of heavyweight anchors, finishing behind the Manson Ray and the Manson Supreme (November 2008).

Windlass Test

Maxwell’s Freedom 500 speeds past all competitors in an under-$1,000 powerwinch pull-off. The Lewmar Horizon 600 is the top horizontal windlass.

Fenders and Lines for Seawalls

To the lubber, tying-up to a bulkhead seems like the simplest of all docking situations. Perhaps with floating docks this is true. You just throw in a few fenders and tie a few lines. Simple. But in the world of tidal bulkheads with pilings or rough concrete facings, it is often a hammer and anvil situation, with the wind and waves hammer incessantly as the anvil moves up and down with the tide, causing fenders to slip out of position.

Where Credit Is Due: September 2013

Alpenglow I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to (and recommendation of) the folks at Alpenglow Lights (www.alpenglowlights.com). We have many of their fixtures and have contacted the company on numerous occasions for new sales, upgrades, and technical questions. Without fail, they have exceeded our expectations, from offering to perform upgrades at minimal cost, to telling us secret workarounds that enabled us to use locally sourced parts and supplies to re-invigorate their excellent lighting units.

Mailport: anchoring etiquette, stern-tied boats, and wind generators

I really appreciated the article Anchoring in Crowded Harbors (see Practical Sailor, June 2019). The difficult and critical part is always estimating distances, and the guides you gave (two-to-three mast heights, using fractions of a nautical mile, etc.) can be difficult to do accurately in a crowded harbor with the sun setting, with some of that information available only at the helm, and multiple boats moving to anchor. As a bow hunter, I am…

PS Advisor

Bruce vs. Claw. Keel Depth.

Anchor Rode Report

In our continuous research of ground tackle, we noticed that large oil rigs are often anchored into place with a spider web of stranded wire-or in some cases, Dyneema, a low-stretch, high-strength synthetic fiber. We wondered whether Dyneema or a wire cable might have some application in recreational sailboat anchoring, and we launched field tests to find out. These tests also looked at how changing the diameter of your anchor chain affects anchor performance.

Anchors for Muck, for Under 200 Bucks

In soft mud, the low-priced Lewmar Claw stands out in short- and long-scope testing

Changing Views on Chain Hooks

There are a number of ways to attach a snubber to an anchor chain. A gripping hitch, a soft-shackle, or a chain hook are the most common. Of the three, Practical Sailor has a strong preference for a camel hitch or similar gripping knot, but for the many who seek a faster, simpler way to attach a snubber, here is a look at chain hooks.

Rodes Tested from Shore and Catamaran

Our test anchors included a small, 11-pound Spade anchor, which we set using a chain winch off a beach in Pittwater, Australia. We set the anchors using two different rodes: 30 feet of 5/32-inch stainless wire strop that we fabricated using old lifelines and 33 feet of quarter-inch, short-link BBB chain. We extended each rode with 5/16-inch chain and aimed for length-to-depth ratio of a 5-to-1.

The Ins and Outs of Aftermarket Bowsprits for Light-air Sails

A salty Kiwi named Ross Norgrove once said that the most important tool for the owner of a wooden yawl adorned with a bowsprit is a sharp ax. To some degree, his witty comment holds true for contemporary sailors contemplating a mini-bowsprit.