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Anchor a-where?


Draft – being published in Feb 2024 edition of PBO

Two little mistakes…

Having gifted my old Moody 36 with a new, not so sparkly, Rocna anchor last year, (I couldn’t afford the shinny stainless one), it occurred to me that it was still a sizeable investment. Especially as I had added a quality swivel and shackle both bonded with Loctite 2700 and monel seizing wire respectively. I purchased an ideal IFAM padlock on a wire to keep it secure at the berth. I re-tasked a drop-nose pin having substituted two of the deck plate countersunk machine screws for eye bolts. I was very happy with the set up. Secure in harbour and easily deployable in a hurry if the need arose at sea. I put the key on the same bunch as the liferaft padlock key so that it added to my unlocking regime before leaving the berth. What could go wrong? Well, nothing for long enough for me to become complacent.

Six months later, I was motorsailing a choppy west run against wind and wave out of the Solent bound for Weymouth. About two miles west of Hurst, I heard a rather nasty clunk sound. Which didn’t repeat itself. Did I hit a lump of floating wood? Then it did it again. A really heavy and worrying sound. Had I caught something around my keel or skeg? All seemed fine on deck, so I dived below and checked the boat end to end. No sound. Once back on deck, CLUNK/BANG. Now that was a very heavy sound. I resurveyed the deck and saw that my anchor was ‘missing’! The boat was pitching, so with two safety strops (via-ferrata style for the climbers amongst us), I made my way forward and hauled the anchor back on board from its mission to randomly dig chunks of gelcoat out of my starboard hull where it had been swinging with an undeserved vengeance. The drop-nose pin had somehow extracted itself. What a clever little thing. And I had left a half metre of loose chain in the anchor well from its last deployment.

On my return to Weymouth I realised that I needed to do no more than add an R-clip to the pin. See photo. Sorted. The previous ‘system’? Almost perfect.