Latest News: Forums Cruising Anchor set-up recommendations Re: Re: Anchor set-up recommendations


I have been using an Aluminium Fortress anchor for the past ten years or so. It has 5 meters of 6mm chain and 25 meters of warp. The warp is 8 mm three strand nylon. This sort of nylon rope stretches up to 20% and damps the pitching of the boat quite well. Then there is an anchor drum mounted on an extended mast pivot pin. It allows me to set the anchor quickly. Getting the warp back on the drum is a nuisance but I never have an entangled warp when I need the anchor. After all, an anchor is a safety device that has to be at the ready at all times.

The anchor itself is stowed on the floorboard as far forward as possible as to allow the crew maximum space. The anchor lies in a cradle made of three small hardwood blocks. The pointy bits go inside two of these blocks. The third block locks the shank in place with the help of a bungee cord. The bungee allows me to unlock the anchor quickly from its cradle while it keeps the anchor firmly in place while sailing. The drum is locked with a small SS hook that goes in the chain. The hook is fixed to the aft side of the foredeck by a short piece of 3 mm rope. Setting the anchor involves unhooking the chain and lifting the anchor from its cradle by moving a bungee aside. This takes only a second or two, then the anchor is ready to go.

There is an Aluminium open fairlead at the bow where I put the anchor warp in if I intend to spend some time at anchor. The hands of such a fairlead must overlap enough to ensure the warp does not “jump” out in a chop. Note that that there are starboard and port style open fairleads. Using the wrong type on the wrong side allows the warp to escape. If you are not sure, lead some tensioned rope through the fairlead before fixing it and imagine what happens if the rope goes up. Is it held back by the hands? The opening is supposed to be more or less square to the direction of the rope so that you need to turn the warp 90 degrees to get it in or out.

A big Aluminium cleat on the side of the tabernacle has a number of uses. It is a firm spot to attach a towing line or the anchor warp but it is also used for anything else that needs a reliable, strong fixing point. And it is also a handy hook to stow my halyards.

Finally, I use black warp, its looks much better then a white one after it has been in the mud for a while 😉 .