Latest News: Forums Cruising Do we need two anchors?

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  • #4646


    I have read in quite a few places that a cruiser should carry x2 anchors. I have never had use of more than one. It is quite a heavy and awkward bit of kit to carry. Do other cruisers carry x2 and if so any tips on stowage?



    Are you sure you are sailing a wayfarer and not some big yacht?


    I suspect that deep in our hearts we think the Wayfarer is a yacht.

    Many have got all the same rigging, but we don’t have all those pesky toilets, beds, cookers and other completely unnecessary things. Who wants that stuff, when you can have your two anchors all the same?


    There are severeal reasons to carry two anchors on a larger boat.
    Your principle anchor may become fouled, forcing you to cut it free.
    You may wish to increase holding power by anchoring in ‘tandem’ with both anchors in a line on one rode.
    You may similarly set the two anchors in a ‘vee’ formation to reduce veering at anchor in gusty conditions.
    Two anchors reduce swinging room considerably if you set them to either side.
    Lastly, you can use an anchor over the stern to moor ‘fore and aft’, e.g. in a river or other narrow channel. This can also be useful if you are drying out, as the stern anchor can be used to haul off again.

    How much of this is applicable to a Wayfarer? I would say very little! Our boats are so small and shallow that we have very different options available, including beaching. I don’t personally carry even one anchor a lot of the time. I do carry one in stronger conditions, longer passages, and where there are exposed stretches of shoreline where I want to have at least a chance of holding myself off the rocks if something goes wrong.

    On the yacht, I carry four anchors, of different designs…

    Andrew Morrice

    We have two anchors- primarily because we’d read the same things and beleived it!!.
    Possibly it is overkill, but you can find uses for them.
    We used both on the Glenan islands (twice) to secure our line back to the main anchor (using the tripping the anchor off the foredeck method) as there was really nothing else suitable to tie off on on the beaches.
    This weekend we wanted to place the boat in a very specific nook in Small Pool Creek so as not to dry out but also to keep away from the channel. bow and stern anchors did the job beautifully, we were able to check our depth and knew we the boat would not move more than a few feet.
    yes, its 11kg in anchor and chain but: this is half the combined weight of motor, fuel and repair kits, less than our combined food and water, probably only twice the weight of bedding and clothes. Also the two of us weigh nearly 180kg in our sailing kit.
    Sturdy spinaker bags (speak to some racers who replace sails frequently) are good for stowing an anchor and chain. They’ve always behaved well in the their places against the foreward bulkhead either side of the tabernacle.

    Dave Barker

    We (and many people we sail with regularly) tend to carry two anchors – one larger than the other. The “baby anchor” (Cedric Clarke’s expression I believe) is handy as a so-called lunch hook, and is in our case usually either a 1kg or 2.5kg Bruce/claw type, kept in a square bucket under the thwart. As well as being light and quick to deploy for short-term use, it is useful (as has been mentioned) for reducing or eliminating swing in conjunction with the main anchor. If drying out on sand or mud it is undesirable to end up settling onto your own anchor in the night. Similarly it may be useful to be able to choose to point the bows into the wind and/or tide in order to get a good night’s sleep. The main anchor in our case is either a 2.5kg or 5kg Bruce/claw. The bigger of these is really a bit too big… In either case it is kept suspended under the foredeck, with the chain and rope on a drum cantilevered off one side of the back edge of the tabernacle.

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