When cleaning the waterline stain the other day, I noted once again, that s/y Dolphin Dance is leaning slightly towards her bow when floating. Obvious reason for this is her large bow anchor and windlass, which have probably been retro-fitted by one of her previous owners. She has been previously sailing in the Mediterranean, so the large bow anchor probably dates from those days. Our 20 kg CQR-anchor is pretty well oversized, and normally seen in 40-50ft boats. Together with Lofrans’ manual anchor windlass and 40 meters chain, they add quite a heavy weight on the bow, which is not good in terms of sailing performance. However, we have enjoyed good night sleeps when at anchor, knowing that it can blow pretty hard before this anchor starts to drag!
Since the current CQR is also a quite heavy anchor to handle, I have considered some lighter weight alternatives. We have some other requirements for the bow anchor as well: at the moment we do not have a bow ladder, so we are using the anchor as one. Therefore the anchor should have a roll-bar which can be used as a step. Secondly, we might be using the anchor as a gennaker bowsprit, since we do not have one either. So the gennaker furler could be attached to the anchor’s roll-bar – this idea needs still some refining however. Based on the holding power, price and the other requirements, I am mostly interested in Delta and Rocna anchors. According to the anchor sizing guides, 10 kg Delta or Rocna anchor should be enough for a 29 ft boat.
A Finnish boating magazine ”Vene” tested different anchors a couple of years ago. In this test the CQR was a clear winner in both mud and sand bottoms. They tested the anchors also when the direction of the pull was changed by 90 degrees. Also then the CQR scored the highest points. However, CQR is said to have problems with weed, but this type of bottom was not part of the test. Furthermore, the new generation anchor designs such as Rocna or Spade were not tested, but probably they would have changed the leaderboard. In the test group, Delta was second best in terms of holding power.
Price of a new 11 kg CQR is about 680 € in Finland.
P.S. We actually ordered the Delta anchor, but had to sent it back since it did not need our requirements for a bow anchor. Namely, the roll-bar which we use as a step, was smaller and placed higher than with the CQR. We also tried to find bow ladders, that would work with Delta, but could not find suitable one from local maritime stores. Thus, we decided to keep our trusty and chunky CQR.
Previously, I often had difficulty in estimating, how much anchor chain is already out. In the chain there are colour marks in 5 m intervals, but it seemed to be difficult remember those colour codes. Thus, I put cable-ties every 10 meters, i.e. one for 10m, two for 20m. Cable-ties should have been colourful though, but I only happened to have black ones onboard.