Mailport: March 2013

Beefy Gozzard BOWSpade FanKobra SourceBow Design Small Anchors TestDIY DecksRe-DeckingCorrosion Cleaner PS Cover the AC?Multi-Season PaintClarifications


In your article on bow design trends (PS, January 2013), you feature a picture of a Gozzard to illustrate the downside of a long bowsprit while anchoring or in a dismasting.

Photos courtesy of Ron BrunoRoger NeileyFred AllardBilly ShulerBob Parker

Anchoring hasn’t been an issue with my Gozzard. I simply run the nylon snubber alongside the chain over the bow roller. If large waves become an issue, I can run the snubber directly to the bow cleats, but that hasn’t been necessary in 10 years and 4,000 miles. Of course, with a 6-foot bowsprit, theres little chance of marring the topsides while hoisting the anchor.

Mailport: March 2013

The Gozzard bowsprit, like the rest of the boat, is overbuilt. Alternatively, the robust bobstay fitting on the stem is designed with a hole to allow the snubber or mooring bridle to be attached directly to the strongest part of the boat at water level, while effectively increasing scope. This anchoring method removes any stress on the rollers, and chafing issues. Since the Gozzard is a cutter, the staysail stay will maintain the rigs integrity in the unlikely event of forestay failure.

Ron Bruno
Arion, Gozzard 44 MkII
Rock Hall, Md.

PS recommends confirming that the bobstay fitting is designed for extreme side loads before using it to moor.

Your February 2013 article on anchors supported my over-the-top enthusiasm for the Spade anchor. We used it for the last nine years from Maine to the Caribbean, and it never let us down.

We have an Outbound 46 with a 41-pound, aluminum Spade A140. This is overkill for our boat, but at only 41 pounds, it makes a lot of sense. It is rated for a 65-foot boat weighing 44,000 pounds. The Rocna 40 is rated for a 66-foot boat weighing 39,600 pounds, and it weighs 88 pounds. The price difference is only a few hundred dollars. For me, it was not a difficult decision, especially if I have to work it from a dinghy or stow it away, and I certainly am happy to keep extra weight off the bow.

Ted Wasserman
Spree, Outbound 46
Marion, Mass.

I noticed you found the Kobra anchor to be effective, and recommended it as a Budget Buy in the small anchor tests (PS, February 2013). Can you give me the model and a good U.S. source? Also, have you run re-setting tests with the Danforth?

Pete Crawford
Pearson 27
Cape Lookout, N.C.

The Kobra anchor, manufactured by Plastimo Marine, is distributed in the U.S. by Navimo USA ( Navimo was recently bought out by Lalizas and will be changing its name to Lalizas USA.

We last reported on reset tests on the Danforth in the Jan. 15, 2001 issue, and those findings are still valid-the design has not changed. We will be doing the test again-mostly to look at the new anchors, but we also will include the Danforth again.

We encourage subscribers to read all of our anchor test reports before making a buying decision.

Photos courtesy of Ron BrunoRoger NeileyFred AllardBilly ShulerBob Parker

Your article on bow shapes and appendages (PS, January 2013) was very interesting. The design of my Saga 43s bow has been proven, through 12 years of West Coast cruising, to be a most satisfactory design. Bob Perry drew a near plumb bow on the Saga 43 but added a robust sprit that easily holds two anchors and provides an outboard attachment for the genoa tack (solent stay attaches at the stem). The primary anchor is self-launching and when retrieved is held far enough forward that it doesn’t clip the hull.

Roger Neiley
Saga 43 No. 27

Your recent small anchor reset test report (PS, February 2013) represented a very narrow slice of the anchoring spectrum and seemed to have a bias toward the new generation of plow-type anchors. Secondly, the exclusion of the CQR because you couldnt set it was a red flag. And third, the lack of Danforth-style anchors, including Fortress, was another miss.

Photos courtesy of Ron BrunoRoger NeileyFred AllardBilly ShulerBob Parker

Setting anchors using infinite scope is a recipe for filtering out some designs, but then discarding results that were widely outside of the norm smells unscientific. Im disappointed because I have been looking for objective evidence that it is time to replace my primary CQR. Ive seen the marketing hype and have read anecdotal testimony on sailing blogs, but a solid scientific basis for dumping my CQR for a Manson or Rocna (or whatever) hasn’t surfaced. Why any plow-type anchor would be markedly superior to any other over the range of conditions experienced by a knowledgeable cruising sailor escapes me. Sure, we can pick scenarios where one variant or another has an edge, but the reality is that the typical sailor carries a single primary anchor with the hope it will work in all non-storm conditions. The prudent sailor carries an additional anchor or two-possibly different designs for those times when a single anchor wont do.

In my experience, setting an anchor may be best achieved starting with limited scope, then continuing the set with increasing scope as you bury the anchor while backing down. Im not surprised that your CQR dragged over a hard bottom when pulled with infinite scope. What you don’t emphasize is that anchoring technique matters.

There are so many variables that anchor testing is of very limited value if you arent grading the anchors over the range of anchoring conditions that the cruiser may encounter. Performance specifics can vary with anchor and bottom types. On softer bottoms, Danforth types can be very effective, but weeds can be problematic for them and for lightweight Fortresses. In that regard, the fisherman type has its place in weedy or rocky bottoms, but typically would be substantially heavier than an all-purpose anchor for a given boat size.

Maybe your article has served its purpose by reinforcing the need to prepare for a wind shift if you know its coming. Deploying a second anchor may be the more prudent solution than trusting any single anchor to keep its grip on the bottom.

Bottom line: Im keeping my CQR and will continue to carry two additional Danforth-style anchors for coastal cruising.

Fred Allard
SeaScape, Clearwater 35
Mystic, Conn.

During our 39 years in this business, weve tested anchors this and that way, and the topic has always been one of the most controversial, for many of the reasons you mention. As stated in the conclusion to the article, our reset test should not be considered a definitive comparison of anchor performance, but another point of data to consider. PS encourages readers to weigh these results along with those of our previous reports before selecting a primary anchor.

Search CQR or anchor test on our website, and you can see how it and other anchors have performed in different bottoms. The CQR has earned praise from several of our contributors based on years of experience anchoring in various conditions and bottoms. For more on the CQR, see the following PS articles:

Offshore Log, February 2003; Ocean Tested, February 2007; Editorial, December 2010; and The Great Anchor Debate in Mailport, March 2011. For an peek at the challenges of anchor testing, see the May 2012 editorial. And stay tuned for more exciting, and no doubt controversial, anchor reports coming up.

I saw your reply to a subscriber who asked about rolling/tipping the deck of their fairly large sailboat. We did ours-all 47 feet of it-with Interlux Perfection (two part). While Im not sure we would do this again, it really did turn out well.

Bill and Jan Streep
Merlin, Macintosh 47
Port Aransas / San Antonio, Texas

For those interested, check out the Streeps post about the project on the Interlux forum, which includes details on their process and the tools and equipment that worked for them. Look for Macintosh 47 Deck project pics on

I have acquired a 1964 22-foot Pearson Ensign (Hull No. 638). When I got it, the deck gelcoat had been sanded down to the fiberglass. The guy who I got it from also gave me some Alwgrip fairing compound to use on it, but the experts at West Marine told me that I should gelcoat it with West Marine gelcoat. Do you guys have a different approach? Im a do-it-yourselfer, and any guidance you could give me would be appreciated.

Photos courtesy of Ron BrunoRoger NeileyFred AllardBilly ShulerBob Parker

Billy Shuler
1964 Pearson Ensign
Terrell, Texas

Basically, you are using the fairing compound or gelcoat just as an autobody shop would use fairing compound-to fill holes, dents, etc.-to create a smooth hull for painting. If the boat is in really rough shape, it can get pretty expensive using an epoxy fairing compound like Awl Fair on a hull that size, but using an epoxy would probably be ideal.

The other option is to use a polyester fairing compound like Bondo. Gelcoat is also polyester, and probably the cheapest, but we would get it from a wholesale fiberglass supplier in gallons, if you can. Weve had success using commercial polyester gelcoat on decks before.

This is a very big project that will involve a lot of sanding and fairing to get the right finish. Unless you are very interested in learning DIY sailboat refinishing, you could probably buy a re-finished Ensign in pretty good shape for the hours youll spend on this one.

Check out Don Caseys Sailboat Refinishing and This Old Boat for specific guidance, and talk with the folks at Interlux (makers of Awl Fair) to see what they recommend. (Both books are available from the online PS bookstore.)

Photos courtesy of Ron BrunoRoger NeileyFred AllardBilly ShulerBob Parker

I want to share a product that I havent seen tested in PS. Its called Zep Corex. The barrel bolts and other door hardware on Amapola had become very corroded. My plan to replace them took a turn when I totaled the cost of new hardware. So, I poured about a quarter-cup of Corex into a plastic bowl along with the corroded hardware. I used a small brush to coat the hardware then let it sit overnight. I was amazed at the results. My door hardware looks almost new again.

Bob Parker
Amapola, trawler
Punta Gorda, Fla.

In your Jan. 29, 2013 blog post, you asked whether PS should cover the Americas Cup. While I think races like the Cup help garner interest in sailing (Wowwie, Daddy! Can you make our boat go that fast?!), the newbie lubbers are not likely to pick up an issue of Practical Sailor to learn more about the sport.

Just last night, one of my co-workers, clueless of my undying geek-dom, asked, What are you reading now? The boredom hit her as hard as a rogue wave as I enthusiastically rambled about how the bureaucratic EPA had ordered an ill-considered regulation requiring carbon fuel-vent filters on new boats (Can you believe it?) instead of the obviously superior silica gel (PS, January 2013)! With every word, I could see her spreaders getting closer to the water, until finally she was sitting turtled.

My point is this: There is a reason we pay more for Practical Sailor than for the more glitz and glamour sailing publications. We are practical sailors looking for practical articles that will save us headaches, and maybe even save lives, while at sea. The new toys are interesting for sure, but when Im hove to, waiting out the worst seas Ive ever seen, my only thought of the 72-foot beasts in the Cup will be that Im glad Im not on one of them!

Nathaniel Montague
Relative Wind,
Catalina 27

I read every Practical Sailor antifouling paint review with great interest as my boat summers in the Mianus River, a particularly prolific tributary to the Long Island Sound. Youve listed Interlux VC Offshore as a good multi-season paint. What happens to the antifouling properties of this multi-season paint on a boat that is stored out of the water five months of the year? You might consider removing your samples from the water for five months and then re-submerging them for season to get a more accurate read on which paints really are multi-season for much of the North East.

Tom Petersen
Le Cordon Bleu, C&C 35 Mk III
Riverside, Conn.

That would be an interesting element to include in our tests. The multi-season label can be ambiguous. To most makers, this just means it should last through more than one long summer of sailing; it does not mean you can haul it out and expect it to work as well the next season.

Most hard paints are not the best choices for those who plan to haul out, and VC Offshore is no exception. According to Interlux, it needs to be repainted after a winter haulout in order to maintain its effectiveness.

Generally, ablative copolymer paints, like Interluxs Micron Extra, can be hauled and re-launched without worries. Some paints can be reactivated after haulout with light sanding or brisk scrubbing with a 3M pad shortly before launch to expose fresh copper. For more tips on selecting bottom paint, visit

The distributor for Manson Supreme anchors is now Schaefer Marine (, 508/995-9511). (PS, February 2013).

Because of an editing mistake, the Lehr propane outboard review (PS, February 2013) incorrectly stated that propane has no odor, so leaks are difficult to detect. Propane in fact has a very distinct odor so that it can be easily detected.

Where Credit is Due
Darrell Nicholson is Director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division and the editor of Practical Sailor. A lifelong thalassophile, he grew up sailing everything from El Toro dinghies to classic Morgans on Miami's Biscayne Bay. In the early 90s, he left a newspaper job to sail an old gaff-rigged ketch across the Pacific and has been writing about boats and the sea ever since. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida.


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