Solution for Foul-Weather Anchoring
Hurricane Mooring System’s bridle plate aims to reduce snags.
In our July 2005 issue, we reviewed an innovative Mooring Bridle Plate from Colligo Engineering and Design, a company located in Mesa, Ariz. Now the folks at Colligo Marine have come up with a new product, one designed to help boaters lay out their storm anchoring system when prepping for the big blow.
The Hurricane Anchor System provides an easy, secure method of attaching three anchors to your vessel, utilizing two or three mooring bridles (depending on whether you purchase the mono- or multihull model) while reducing the possibility of rode fouling by allowing the boat to swivel at anchor.
The Hurricane Anchor System comprises two 1/2-inch-thick, steel bridle plates joined by a 3/4-inch swivel and containing five (or six depending on the model) 5/8-inch shackles, all of which are hot-dipped galvanized to resist corrosion.
Weighing in at roughly 17 pounds, the Hurricane Anchor System is certainly a beefy system. Per the manufacturer, it has a minimum breaking strength of more than 30,000 pounds. Safe working load of the bridle plates is 12,000 pounds, shackles 6,500 pounds, and swivel 8,000 pounds. The weak link is the shackle, but its minimum safe working load still meets the 6,400-pound minimum that the American Boat and Yacht Council recommends using when sizing deck strong points and ground tackle for permanently mooring a 35-foot boat. Going by ABYC estimates for ground tackle loads in a 60-knot wind, you could use the system on a boat up to 50 feet LOA, but you’d have a much smaller safety factor. Colligo recommends its Hurricane Anchor System bridle for monohulls and multihulls up to 60 feet.
The system’s monohull version has two mooring-line attachment points and sells for $199. The multihull version has three attachment points and sells for $215. There’s also an option to upgrade the standard screw-pin shackles (which require mousing with Monel or stainless steel wire; Monel is preferred) to safety shackles utilizing nuts and cotter pins for an additional $30.
The Anchor System guidelines provided by the manufacturer are straightforward and easy to follow. A few key recommendations include reiteration that the system is designed for&emdash;and should only be deployed with&emdash;three anchors; all chain rodes should be used between anchors and bridle plates (to prevent the possibility of chafe); and each of the three chain rodes should be of slightly different length, this to reduce the likelihood of fouling should the anchors drag and align together.
One way to deaden at least some of the worry associated with preparing for a storm is an anchoring system with built-in redundancy, something
Practical Sailorlikes to see with any anchoring or mooring system. Three properly sized anchors and rodes attached via multiple mooring bridles should go a long way toward easing some of those pre-storm anchoring jitters.
Nothing is more important to heavy weather anchoring than preparation. From scoping out your hurricane hole months before you need it, to making sure that those cleats really are large enough to accommodate three oversized mooring bridles, the time to plan is now, not when a hurricane is bearing down on you.
As suggested in the Hurricane Anchoring System guidelines, practice deploying your anchoring system beforehand, which not only allows you to correct issues you may have missed (such as deck chocks that are too small to accept larger storm rodes and chafing gear) but also familiarizes you with the system’s deployment, making it easier during the real thing. Then you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with having a plan and knowing you’re ready to put it into action.
We plan to test the Hurricane Anchor System in our workshop and then put it to work on one of our test boats through hurricane season. Stay tuned for any news we have to report.