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    can anybody suggest a good allround anchor setup. boat will be mainly sailed in chichester harbour. w10114


    Anything but a grapnel will do. A grapnel is good for one thing only and that is dredging bicycles from the Amsterdam canals. Though some seem to claim you can stick it between two rocks for a safe mooring.

    A good anchor will bury itself in soft soil, in order to do that it has to be pulled perfectly horizontal, even the slightest angle can prevent it from burying itself. Having said that, it should be obvious that the anchor chain is far more important than the anchor itself. The weight of the chain ensures the anchor is pulled horizontally.

    I use an Aluminium (lightweight) fortress and 5 meters of chain followed by rope. This setup proves the weight of the anchor is not significant. A Fortress is rather expensive, a Brittany anchor is far more affordable but heavy. I have seen others use a plough anchor with great success but I find those a little hard to stow away. My fortress is nice and flat and when it sits in its cradle nothing sticks out that could hurt me or my crew.

    So here it is:
    – Use a chain or leaded rope.
    – Choose an anchor that digs in well. (Dry test it on a beach if need be).
    – Chose an anchor that is easy to stow away and does not hurt you or your crew.
    – Don’t even consider a grapnel unless you live in Amsterdam and want your bike back.


    Re’ “but I find those a little hard to stow away”. When we got ScallyWagg she had a 10lb plough CQR type anchor which sits in a really well made plywood cradle that fits beneath the ‘bridge’ that links the cb case and mast foot. Even the chain is tidied away in an integral bag. I’ll try and post some pictures/sizes if anyone interested. Regards, Mike.


    Hi Jez
    I sail at Chichester mainly and anchor off East Head for lunch more than anything else. I use a 2.5kg Danforth with 2 metres of chain with our Wayfarer. If I was going to sleep in the boat I then take a secondary anchor of a different type. My point is you don’t want a big anchor and chain and massive warp if all you are doing is lunch stops. But you do want one big enough for the sailing you do. (I took my info from Margaret Dye’s Dinghy Cruising book.)
    From experience 😳 beware of anchoring when the tide is ebbing hard at springs off East Head, drop the sails and keep the motor running until you are sure the anchor has dug in, there’s not much space when things go wrong….
    PS That incident was nothing to with appropriate anchor and so on, it was to do with poor deployment and plain ignorance of good practice, not appreciating the strength of the current, not allowing ourselves enough space down stream and putting out enough warp in the first place to start with. It wasn’t in a Wayfarer though. Hope you don’t mind me sharing that one but what looked like a perfect anchorage turned into a nightmare for a while.

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