|The newly installed winch on a plinth|
bolted and bonded to the massively
reinforced aft bulkhead, a transverse
beam, the deck and bolted through the
hull deck join and the toe rail.
This created a bit of a quandary, the recommended chain for a boat of Sancerre's size (and a good deal bigger) is normally 8mm although the 6-7mm capable winch I fitted is recommended for boats of moderate displacement up to 35 ft. At the time, a windlass capable of handling 8mm chain was considerably more expensive and bulky, with the introduction of anchor winches made of composites that gap has narrowed considerably but 8mm chain is also more expensive than 6mm and there are other considerations:
- 8mm chain is heavy, 28 metres weighing about the same as 50 metres of 6mm. The anchor and chain are as far forward as they can be (unless the anchor is stored on the stem roller which I would not contemplate on Sancerre) and on the A9m they are right under the deck, the very worst place to add weight, especially on a boat with relatively low initial buoyancy forward. I wanted 50 metres of chain, and have used it all quite often, but I would not be comfortable with the weight of that much 8mm chain and a heavy anchor in the chain locker. In use to make up for the lighter weight more chain can be let out if there is room to swing and / or it can be backed up with additional weight (aka a chum).
- There is not a lot of depth to the chain locker, as the chain comes in it will pile up and then jamb, this will happen quicker with 8mm than 6mm requiring more frequent (back aching) intervention to flake out a heavier chain.
- 8mm capable winches are bulkier, although less so now (2023) than a few years ago.
The yard wanted about £2k plus materials to build a platform across the back of the locker and that excluding fitting the winch and repainting the deck. So I did it myself to what I consider a much better albeit a more labour intensive design with the winch in the corner of the locker keeping the full length available to port for better access.
It was completed in about 5 long days including the electrics with foot switches and a wired remote in the cockpit (rarely used but sometimes very useful single handed going into in a crowded anchorage, it can't be used to raise the anchor as the chain needs flaking). Also included was a stainless plate under the chain run to protect the deck and a chain stopper which is much preferred to taking the chain to a cleat - the windlass should never be left to take the strain when at anchor.
The final cost of the work was less than £200 for some ply (with a lot left over for other jobs), epoxy, glass mat, consumables and some fixings. Details on the construction can be found on my page "Installing an anchor windlass on an Achilles 9m" (opens in a new window).
|With the locker closed and the anchor stowed the low profile |
gypsy only winch is nice and neat and there is not much for
ropes to catch on, although they occasionally do. The
chain stopper is just visible on the extreme left.
- A 10 Kg Lewmar Delta, an excellent anchor also certified as "high holding power" by Lloyds and is a third of the price of a Rocna or CQR. It is self launching so I put it onto the bow roller before entering the anchorage and can then lower it immediately when required and from the cockpit if necessary. This size is recommended for boats 9 - 12 metres and upwards of 7 tonnes, double the weight of Sancerre, a 6Kg (with 6mm chain?!) is recommended for boats up to 9.5m, but better safe than sorry, with anchors weight matters.
- Lewmar V700 electric powered all stainless, gypsy winch.
- 42 metres of 7mm premium quality grade 40 ISO766 chain that is 25% stronger (MBL 3,059 Kg, 1,631 proof tested) than grade 30 and which is both calibrated (checked for size) and proof tested at the factory - many cheap chains aren't.
- 40 metres of 12mm nylon (MBL 3,300 Kg) spliced to the chain.
Kedge / Alternate Anchors
- The original 11Kg CQR, recommended for boats up to c 12 metres.
- 5m of 8mm or 6mm chain.
- 80m of 14mm 8 plat nylon (BS 4,400Kg) (also used with the conventional drogue) and / or
- 100m of 12mm cable laid nylon (BS 3,300Kg).
|Tinker's Hole anchorage just off the Sound of Iona, |
a popular anchorage at the west end of Mull, it is
handy for Iona and Staffa (Fingle's cave).
Chart [detail] copyright Antares charts
- Have strong winds and tides.
- Be susceptible to serious squalls, gusts or Katabatic winds coming down or around mountains, sometimes with the direction switching 180 degrees (often due to "rotor" and "mountain wave" effects).
- Have Kelp or other weed.
- Have little or no room to swing.
- Have steep too shores.
|An Admiralty Pattern folding|
stock anchor by Osculati. It stows
easily but needs a couple of cable
ties to hold the articulated parts
- A shore anchor, preferably with its chain to protect the warp.
- As a kedge, especially on rock or broken ground, when a larger anchor is not needed.
- A "chum" or "Angel", explained below.
- For the dinghy if the small one with that is thought insufficient.
- As a grapple.
|A folding Grapnel anchor.|
So with all this gear I have an awful lot of flexibility from different combinations, the 80m warp has heavy duty stainless eyes spliced to each end and the 100m has one on one end so that with high load shackles kept handy, I can quickly use the anchors and warps in any combination.
- 10Kg / 22lb Lewmar Delta with 42m of premium 7mm grade 40 ISO chain + 40m 12mm nylon warp to a Lewmar V700 capstan.
- 11Kg / 24lb CQR (original to the boat).
- 10Kg / 22lb Admiralty pattern folding stock anchor. Stored in the bilge. Can also be used as a Chum (see below).
- 3.2Kg / 7lb Grapnel, primarily to be a drogue weight but also usable as a shore anchor, kedge or as a Chum.
- 5m of 8mm chain.
- 5m of 6mm chain (6mm because with the Grapnel it comes to the recommended end weight for the series drogue).
- 80m 14mm platted nylon (MBL 4,400 Kg) with stainless thimbles each end and stainless 6,000 Kg Jaw - Jaw swivel (for use with the drogue).
- 100m 12mm nylon warp (MBL 3,300 Kg) with a stainless thimble on one end and a large spliced loop the other (to go over a bollard or similar).
- Two 8mm trip lines with floats.(If necessary a third, using a fender as a float, could be made up very quickly from spare cordage).
- Reduce "snatch", especially in shallow water or in very rough conditions that can pull an anchor out and make life on board uncomfortable.
- Keep the pull on the anchor as near horizontal to the seabed as possible for maximum security.
|Anchor chain (top) with the Grapnel and chain below it acting as |
an anchor "Chum" the water here was quite shallow but due to
refraction and angle the camera makes the curve of the chain
look "flatter" than it really was.
- Mark the buoy(s) with the name of the boat, if all else fails and you have to abandon the anchor and chain if you come back to retrieve it you will know which one is yours and have registered your claim to it. Also...
It has been known for people to mistake a trip line buoy as a mooring pick up or even a mooring buoy and there is at least one documented incident of a large yacht mooring on one during the night to be discovered by the owner of the trip line in the morning. So mark your buoy "TRIP".
Make sure your trip line is strong enough, in
this case I was (just) able to winch up the
fouled anchor on the chain until I could get a
heavy line around it, you might not be
- A simple float is probably less likely to be disturbed than one with a grab handle, is cheaper and anyway can you reach the handle or get the boat hook through it? The boat hook to the line is usually the easiest thing to do.
- Some whipped markers along the line will help set it to an appropriate depth allowing for rise and fall of the tide, in shallow water doubling the line up will save loose line floating about and give you more to pull on if it has to be used.
- Use a sensible size line, remember if you have to use it you will be lifting 10Kg or more of anchor plus several metres of chain and the anchor may be well buried or under a cable, pot line or similar. 6mm should have adequate strength (Lyros Pre-stretched Polyester 3 strand has a breaking strain of 820Kg) but 8mm (BS 1,400 Kg) is easier to handle.
- Have a plan for the second anchor, if you need two out together you will want to know where both are, either have a second set or spare rope you can use with a fender. I have two sets, both about with 12m of line that is long enough for most situations (40 metres of chain / 4 (for scope) and a couple of metres extra) and some spare line so I can extend one or both if required.
Storage & Spare Cordage
Anchor Warning Systems
The better option is one of many free or very cheap apps that will run on an iPad or smart phone with GPS. I use AnchorPro and like several other Apps it records where the boat is at any given time and displays the history so you can see that has been happening. Alarm limits can be set in various ways and it includes the useful ability to specify an offset to the relative position of the anchor when set. It has a good loud alarm but of course does not include a depth warning so check the tide tables etc.
|Riding out bad weather for a couple of days in Broadford Bay (Isle of Skye) |
as recorded by AnchorPro on the iPhone. There was not much tide so
Sancerre was lying to the wind. The anchor symbol is where the anchor was
within a few yards. Once the boat had settled I had entered the bearing to
the anchor and the length of chain out, adjusted for the depth, The alarm circle
is therefore relative to where the anchor actually was rather than to where the
boat was then the alarm was set. As can be seen I had a lot of chain
out (c 50 metres), the water was only c 4m deep at low tide.
|A "Jimmy Green" standard |
|Stainless steel straps (with similar inside as backing plates)|
to attach the Jordan Series Drogue to Jordan's spec.
|The first section on my series drogue, in total there are|
100 cones on 2 lengths of nylon joined end to end.
Building your own takes a serious investment in time.
|The bagged series drogue with the Grapnel anchor |
and chain used as the required end weight, as
described above a carabiner attached to the free
end of the anchor turns it into a "Chum".
|A much degraded pic of Green Dragon|
in Scheveningen, rudder intact. She is the
same length as Sancerre but lighter and
much quicker, at least with a crew of five.