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Simon Currin
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18 days ago
Simon Currin
Administrator
Posts: 742
It's always entertaining when someone poses an anchoring question. I just lifted this thread from the OCC Forum. All very topical as earlier this month we were rafted up with Peter Smith in Nuuk who invented both the Rocna and the Vulcan.
Hello
We are in the market for a new main bow anchor and would like to ask the OCC comunity if anyone has any experience in the Vulcan anchor (made by Rocna). Pros and Cons?
We currently have a 20 kg Delta which we are very pleased with but it has been a bit beaten up.

Whoa!! The start of an anchoring thread!!! Lookout for LOTs of opinions!


Personally like both the Spade and the Rocna - but don't know the Vul

We have been using the Vulcan for 2 years now, picked it because no roll bar interface issue with our bow sprit. Deploys real nice and sets very quickly. Have had no holding issues with it in two years of use, including switching currents. If you an


Further, we find setting and holding performance same as the Rocna.



Just deployed my rocna for first time. Set instantly. Brilliant. My old 20kg Bruce would drag all over the bay before sort of setting.
The rocna chart said I needed the 33kg version but this is massive and over sized. I got the 25kg instead and it’s a beast. Best insurance money I’ve spent. In my humble opinion


Had you considered getting another Delta but bugger?Our 40kg is very good

Yes I have. Our 20 kg Delta on 37 feet boat has never let us down when set. But it struggles to set or not at all in very soft mud. There I figured the Vulcan would be better?

Or a bigger Delta

Rocna 33 has never let us down even in quite challenging conditions. Only issue is the amount of mud it brings up!

My concern about the concave anchors is just that and that they have reported problems on resetting after a wind shift due to the collection of material on the surface. See reports on Morganscloude.

I understand that the Vulcan is the same as the Rocna apart from the the omission of the roll bar. Apparently the roll bar was omitted to it easier to stow on motor boats.


I have a Rocna 20 kg on a Tradewind 35 and it just works, only trouble I've had is among heavy weed growth in NW Spain.
Manage

I vote for the Knox-anchor. We have the 27 kg and never have had any problems with setting.http://www.knoxanchors.co

Well the split fluke is a no no for me. That's a chain catcher in wind shifts. Like a Danforth. I've seen it happen and it's a nightmare.


I don't like Danforths either but this is a very different design.

Good experience with using a Rocna Vulcan in the Chesapeake Bay's sand and soft mud. One size less than recommended, but sets well and holds fast--including through shifts of direction.

Good info. The Chesapeake is mostly soft muddy bottom I understand and that's where our Delta is not doing well.

How big is your boat? What area do you cruise? If you are usually in rock, or kelp, or sand, etc, different anchors would be better.

We cruise worldwide. Our boat is 37 feet.
www.syseawind.blogspot.se
www.facebook.com/syseawind
Manage



SYSEAWIND.BLOGSPOT.COM

s/y SEA WIND

I tend to prefer proven anchors. The Manson and Rocna seem to be popular. I still have my Genuine CQR, but, I will be getting a Manson or Rocna, I think. I was disappointed in the galvanize quality on a Manson here in the marina. I need to aske them about that.

Why change? I have delta also .Have sailed anchored more than most worldwide

Good question. I'm not so sure I will.

We love our Rocna 51. Drop it and forget it (almost). Manson supreme are also good. (Get one a size larger than the website recommends. Bigger is better.)

Been let down twice by the Delta so changed to Manson Supreme - brilliant. Had to modify bowsprit to accommodate the roll bar but all good. Thank you for starting an anchor thread - ages since I've been on one .....


The Rocna 33 sits comfortably on the bow of our Island Packet


For your boat maybe better a Rocna 33 ? ! Regards





I don't like the roll bar and reported problems with resetting in sudden wind shifts.

True

Interesting thread. We have had great service from our Delta and have chosen this again on new boat. We also vote for using a chum weight.

Suggest reading Eric Hiscock ' Come aboard '. Very good description of anchors and setting of them which is still contemporary.

The best book I have read on anchoring is this one. Written by a man who designed anchoring systems for science buoys. Ask your local library if they can get it for you through Interlibrary Loan.

https://www.goodreads.com/.../2340300.Oceanography_and...
Manage





GOODREADS.COM
Oceanography and Seamanship


It is a great book. His theory on optimal rides has proven well in practice. We sat through a cat 4 hurricane and a cat 2 one using his theory
I bought the book in the 70’s. Unless it has been updated Roxana etc are absent



FYI There are some good anchoring discussions on the OCC Forum - and unlike Facebook, they're archivable for future reference...

Just changed from a 30 kg Bruce to a 33 kg Vulcan. Holding is great in both, but Vulcan sets more easily, and penetrates harder bottoms.

The Vulcan is made by Rocna. Its shank shape was developed to more easily fit on power boats. We have tested it alongside the Rocna and Ultra and found its performance to be equivalent to those newer generation anchors. We still like the Ultra best, but its expense is a factor.


Actually shank shape was designed to contribute to roll into optimal setting position, that coupled with weighted shoe result in proper orientation without a roll bar. The upside is that the shank shape means it self deploys easier.


Just a general comment regarding this anchor thing. How quick it sets, one or two anchor lengths, doesn't matter as long as it sets properly. Holding power is important and should match your boat size. A good size CQR holds well enough while set. In my opinion the most important criteria is how well it handels a sudden 180 wind shift. That's what gives you peace of mind. Knowing your anchors weaknesses is important. The only Delta weaknesses in my experience is in soft mud.


Delta is a plow. All plow anchors have have the same weakness that in surge conditions they will actually plow through the bottom. Conversly 3rd gen concave anchors will attempt to dig in deeper.


Well it's a common missconception that a plow anchor is the same as a farmers plow. Which only has one side to turn the ground upside down. A Delta or a CQR is more like chisel that digs down the harder you pull. Sometimes my Delta is so deep down I have to run over it to get it back on board.


Well in Marsh and Blackpoint have seen furrows after a blow from CQR and Deltas. So my comment based on my eyeball.



What is Marsh and Blackpoint? Sorry for my lack of English vocabulary.


our experiance with our CQR was not great. Various places in Chesapeake, ICW and Bahamas we had periodic issues with setting, and dragging. We never had a good sleep. Once we traded for a Rocna saw a noticable difference in both settinSee more



Both are popular anchorages in the Bahamas.


How quickly the anchor sets is very important if you are in a crowded anchorage ... and frequently one is in a crowded anchorage.
edited by simoncurrin on 8/3/2018

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Simon Currin
S/V Shimshal simon@medex.org.uk
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Dick
Posts: 268


7/17/2018
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi David,
Thanks for the field report and I concur with your conclusions.
While reading your report, I remembered another reason (I do not think this came up before) to shy away from chums (sentinels/kellets) as a regular thing and that is the occasional midnight fire drill where I want to get the anchor up and secure with speed and simplicity. Now, this did not happen so often in Northern Europe, but I do remember them (with no fondness) in the tropics where squalls were more common and un-predictable and being able to be up and underway with a minimum of fuss was important.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy, Baddeck, Nova Scotia

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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David Tyler
Posts: 189


7/17/2018
David Tyler
Posts: 189
I've now been using the cast iron kettlebell as a chum for three months full-time cruising in my 23ft Weaverbird, anchoring mostly, with time alongside pontoons at a minimum, and with the chum deployed nearly every time that I anchor.
  • Yes, it's getting a little rusty around the handle, but not at all bad, and a coat of rust treatment in the winter will fix it.
  • Weight in air = 8kg, weight in seawater = 7kg, by digital balance. The weight of a lead equivalent in seawater would be ~ 7.5kg, so hardly worth worrying about.
  • It helps in two ways, with a short chain + nylon rode: keeping the rode from fouling the keels and rudder, as hoped, and slowing the tendency to sail around at anchor, but not eliminating it.
  • When the wind blows, it does very little to improve the angle of rode to seabed, even though it's a similar weight to my anchor (9kg Vulcan). The average OCC ocean cruising boat, deploying a 20kg Vulcan, say, is also going to need a 20kg chum to do any good, and that will be quite a tussle to lift over the stemhead. I think I agree with the anchor gurus, the better place to add the extra weight is in the anchor itself, when using an all-chain rode, and the chum is only really of use to keep a nylon rode clear of the keel(s) and rudder.


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David Tyler "Weaverbird" weaverbird22@gmail.com
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Dick
Posts: 268


2/19/2018
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi David,
As I said in the previous post, I was writing for other readers. You have made your decision and that is fine. I in no way wished to keep poking at you and am very sorry that it was taken in that manner. Were we to have been having a private dialogue, I would not have pursued any further communication on the subject, but we were having a public discussion.
I consider the Forum as a place to communicate and pursue “best practices” and learn from others in the process. Sometimes that entails an awkward back and forth. I admire your creativity to see the possibilities in a piece of equipment from another recreation which will likely serve a new function in our sport as a kellet and save considerable money as well.
I wrote initially to answer your question as to a problem you were having and support your use of a kellet as a solution. I chose to share some of what I had learned over the years in using kellets in hopes it might accelerate your (and others) learning curve. I also chose to flag some of what I saw as limitations of an iron ball over lead. I believe a lead kellet to be “best practices” (and suggested a way of obtaining lead at reasonably price) but absolutely understand that one can choose alternatives that work for them.
My only other consideration when writing for the Forum is whether there are any safety issues in deviating from best practices and there are certainly none embedded in our discussion.
I wish you very good luck.
My best, Dick

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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David Tyler
Posts: 189


2/19/2018
David Tyler
Posts: 189
Hi Dick,

With equal respect, I have to disagree with your comments. Has the galvanising never been abraded from your steel anchor and chain? The answer must be yes, if you've used them at all. Show me a boat with a rust-free anchor, and I'll show you a boat that doesn't get anchored very much. And what have you done about it? The answer must be to have done some maintenance. So what's new? We all know that boats need maintenance. My cast iron keels will need painting in the future, but at the moment they're not so bad that I can't live with them.

In the case of this kettlebell, I think that it may be powder coating rather than soft paint, as it seems quite thick. If it were to wear off in places, I should think nothing of applying a dab of Hammerite, or other rust remover or treatment. Really, I don't think that you're in a position to comment on this particular device without having held it in your hand, and I can't understand why you've made an issue of this.

Certainly, when my sailing season begins in April or May, I'll report back.

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David Tyler "Weaverbird" weaverbird22@gmail.com
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Dick
Posts: 268


2/18/2018
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi David,
I very much hope that your kellet will work out for you as hoped for.
As I write with the idea that others may read our words, I will say that I, respectfully, disagree that a painted iron ball used in an anchoring system will be anything but a maintenance/storage-messy problem just down the line. The fact that it is neoprene covered just means that salt water will infiltrate the cover and percolate where it can’t be seen or gotten to. For an illustration of what I mean, just look at the owners of iron keel vessels every spring and the work they must do to keep rust and deterioration away and to ensure adhesion to the paint. Lead solves all issues and adds density as a bonus.
In any case, time will tell and it is not a big deal either way and certainly not a safety issue. Please give us a field report on down the line.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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David Tyler
Posts: 189


2/13/2018
David Tyler
Posts: 189
The kettlebell was delivered today, and as I thought, it's going to be perfect as a chum/buddy/sentinel/kellet (how did so many names arise?). The handle is smooth and easy to grip to lift over the stemhead, as I'd expect for an item that is intended to be swung around (its origin as a cannonball with added handle is very apparent). It's well painted, so rust will not be an issue. The neoprene casing is thick, solid and tough, and will stand being thrown into the chain locker. I think probably the best thing to attach it to the rode is a http://www.gsproducts.co.uk/stainless-steel-winch-hook/ , lashed on.
edited by David Tyler on 2/13/2018

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David Tyler "Weaverbird" weaverbird22@gmail.com
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Dick
Posts: 268


2/10/2018
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi David,
I believe your chum (sentinel/kellet) will solve (or at least make less likely and easier to resolve) the problem you refer to. I have all chain on the bower, but a stern anchor or a second anchor off the bow often can get into mischief in just the way you describe and a kellet has always made a difference.
For what it is worth (in other words “no scientific evidence” just an observation) I try to position the kellet just longer than the distance along the rode as the water is deep. In that way if the rode goes slack, the kellet sinks to the bottom and keeps the rode fixed in place until the wind/current stretches it out again. I always also have the kellet adjustable/retrievable from the deck. I have a slick “slide” I found in a fire sale decades ago, but a snatch block works just as well. In a mid-night fire drill with the boat bouncing around, you do not want a heavy weight needing anything fancy or difficult to separate from the rode
You might check the actual immersion weight of the chum you are referring to as iron is also less dense than lead. Also, iron will rust quickly and the expansion will get inside the neoprene cover and (I suspect) you will have a messy gross difficult-to-store, piece of gear in short order. My larger kellet is a handful of lead dive weights with a long ss eyebolt passed through the weight’s belt slot. It is surprising how often these end up in marine flee markets where they can be bought inexpensively.
Let us know how things work out.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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David Tyler
Posts: 189


2/10/2018
David Tyler
Posts: 189
When I anchor Weaverbird in a tideway, at the turn of the tide the anchor rode (short chain plus 12mm nylon) has an annoying habit of getting caught around one of the bilge keels. This means that she lies athwart the tide, and puts a great deal more load on the anchor.
So, I thought, I need a chum. But looking around the UK online chandlers, all I could find was a Buddy at Jimmy Green, a snip at £158.40 !!!
So, I thought, there has to be something cheaper than that, surely.
So I looked at weight training apparatus, and found that there is such a thing as a kettlebell, which looks darned near perfect for the job. It comes in many different weights, and I think I'm going to get one at 8Kg. This one is cast iron, with a neoprene casing as well, which may be kinder to the boat. There are also models made of cement, which are probably not worth considering as the density of cement is not so much greater than seawater.
Initial thought on deployment is that I'll lead the nylon rode through the loop permanently, and secure a 3 metre line to the loop, with a soft eye that I can drop onto a foredeck cleat.

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David Tyler "Weaverbird" weaverbird22@gmail.com
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Dick
Posts: 268


10/1/2016
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi David, Agreed. For those of us who anchor regularly and sometimes in marginal conditions, these anchors are a very impressive leap in vessel and personnel safety even with a few rarely encountered glitches (now becoming more predictable). Steve 's experiments are fascinating and may prove the way to go. Early days yet, but I am sure there are those out there getting the drill bits out: and hopefully reporting to the various streams of info.
My best, Dick

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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David Tyler
Posts: 189


10/1/2016
David Tyler
Posts: 189
Dick,
Even after this one failure, I have to say that the Rocna is whole lot more reliable than the Delta I used to use, and I 'm with you and Alex that the modern generation of scoop anchors represents a great leap forward in anchor design. There 's just this one flaw to address, and I was very interested in Steve 's and the Sarca designer 's findings that the addition of perforations to the fluke will cause the clod of mud to be shrugged off. Now I 'm wondering if I should bring the anchor ashore and put it under the drill...

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David Tyler "Weaverbird" weaverbird22@gmail.com
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Dick
Posts: 268


10/1/2016
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi David, Thanks for your report and sorry you had a re-set problem. Those on the Attainable Adventures web site who have Rocna 's report the intention of raising anchor and cleaning their anchor to ensure a good stick after a wind shift. Please see the web site (20$/year, but very valuable for a wealth of issues and info from seasoned cruisers) for discussions/comments from Rocna owners. And, yes, Steve deserves a big round of applause for his creative evaluation of anchors.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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David Tyler
Posts: 189


10/1/2016
David Tyler
Posts: 189
I can add another report: A couple of weeks ago, I dragged my Rocna anchor, in light winds but at the turn of the tide (in the Irish Sea, noted for its big tides). The bottom was sticky mud, and I 'm used to my Rocna coming up with a big clod of such sea bottom attached. I 'd never have thought of this as the reason for the unreliable reset, and I 'm very grateful for having it explained and demonstrated so well by Steve, SV Panope.

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David Tyler "Weaverbird" weaverbird22@gmail.com
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Dick
Posts: 268


9/30/2016
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi Simon,
Thanks for your report. I am sorry you had a re-set problem, although it sounds isolated and under extreme conditions. Still unsettling though.
There appears to be some conjecture at this early-days attempt at understanding, that the scoop aspects of the new generation anchors accumulates seabed which unbalances the anchor so as to make it more difficult for the tip to penetrate when re-setting in a significant wind shift. Those of us with new gen anchors are aware of how much seabed comes up with the anchor when weighed and how stuck this seabed becomes (and how much work it is to clean). When the anchor goes down clean, these anchors are a marvel.
The Spade anchor seems to be less compromised by this tendency, probably as it has a far higher weight in the tip in the form of a lead insert and therefore is less susceptible to the unbalancing caused by a build-up of mud weight.
My best to all, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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Simon Currin
Administrator
Posts: 742


9/30/2016
Simon Currin
Administrator
Posts: 742
I thought I had posted it here but it must have been somewhere else. I can report that we encountered this same re-setting problem with our Manson Sumpreme this summer in extreme conditions. The point being that the issue is not confined to the Rocna but, as one would expect, common to other scoop designs.
Simon

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Simon Currin
S/V Shimshal simon@medex.org.uk
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Dick
Posts: 268


9/30/2016
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi Alex,
My take on your comments pertaining to the individual who is primary on the ACC site, OCC member John Harries, is that any relationship with Spade anchors plays no part in the concerns he writes about. I have followed his writings for years and have never found his judgments to be influenced in the way you describe and I find the implication of personal bias and implied vendetta (“driven” rather than he is responding to accumulated data) uncomfortable to hear, especially as it reflects on me as having brought it to the membership’s attention.
The anecdotal concerns were brought to a head by the Panope video I cited and he referred to. Alex, have you read the thread I referred to on ACC where these concerns are addressed and responded to by a large number of experienced cruisers and where first hand reports of re-setting failures by Rocna are described? Or looked at the videos compiled over the years by the Panope site? You did not report doing so in your recent comments I would be interested in your take as you are quite experienced in this area and far better read on the various tests conducted. Most tests I am familiar with have so many limitations as to make them almost useless (or misleading): the Panope videos being the exception as they show the anchors in action.
I report this to the membership as a warning that is documented in places I trust: not to start a disagreement. Everyone should evaluate all the data available in their choice of anchors. I agree with you as I also believe that cruisers should have one of the new generation anchors. They are just far superior. A Rocna, even with this emerging proclivity, is still far better anchor than a CQR or Delta or Bruce. But there is accumulating evidence that, for some new generation anchors, that re-setting is compromised in just the way that Steve/Panope has documented so well on his videos of anchors and their actual behavior on the seabed as well as the ACC site.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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Alex_Blackwell
Posts: 43


9/30/2016
Alex_Blackwell
Posts: 43
Dick
If I am not mistaken, that thread is being driven by an individual, who is by his own admission sponsored by a different scoop type anchor manufacturer.
Whereas some of the things he professes are valid, others are pure conjecture.

The bottom line is that the Rocna, Ultra, Spade, Supreme, Mantus, and the other scoop type anchors, with and without roll bars, have been proven time and time again in properly conducted impartial tests, to set, hold and veer exceptionally well. Our own experience with them has borne this out. Yes, we have received free anchors from several manufacturers to take out cruising, and yes we have found slight variations in their performance, but we cannot state that this is not a result of how we deploy them. And no, we have not been sponsored by any manufacturer.

In our opinion, every serious cruiser would be advised to carry a scoop type anchor as their primary (bower).

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Capt. Alex Blackwell
Regional Rear Commodore, Ireland
http://Coastalboating.net
Happy Hooking – the Art of Anchoring A “must have” for all boaters
http://www.whiteseahorse.ie/Anchoring
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Dick
Posts: 268


9/30/2016
Dick
Posts: 268
Please see the Rocna discussion (in this forum) for a warning about accumulating evidence that Rocna anchors have trouble re-setting in a significant wind shift.
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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Dick
Posts: 268


1/4/2016
Dick
Posts: 268
Hi Daria and Alex,
I just bumped into your aforementioned article and very much enjoyed hearing some of the history of anchors, their evolution over time and the cast of characters that spent time (and probably lots of it) evolving them.
Thanks, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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mina
Posts: 12


3/16/2013
mina
Posts: 12
Before going to the Deep South, I exchanged my 60lb (27kg) CQR for an oversized 40kg Rocna (this for a 20 ton 49 ft yacht). It changed my life. With the CQR I had to re-lay about 1 in 4 times and, except in settled and windless conditions, I didn 't sleep too well having had the CQR drag on several occasions (and by most standards I use a lot of scope when room allows).
I must have layed the Rocna over 200 times and have only had to re-lay on about 3 occasions. I have anchored in kelp, on rock and in soft, soft mud. Even in winds in excess of 55 knots (www.blog.mailasail.com/mina2/277) it has not dragged once (yet).

There are drawbacks however:
1. You have to motor back on to it to set it GENTLY. The Rocna digs in so quickly and abruptly that otherwise you are in danger of pulling the windlass out of the deck.
2. You need a really powerful windlass to bring it up as it often reappears with an additional 40kg of mud attached to it (for which the best solution is an ordinary gardeners dutch hoe on a stick, which is also the best tool, if sharpened, for slicing kelp off the anchor chain).

Tim Barker, S/Y Mina2
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