Anchor Testing and the Effect of Vitamin D on COVID-19
CCA Safety Moment for January 2021
Chuck Hawley, San Francisco Station
In previous anchor tests in which I have been involved, anchors that performed “best” including the Fortress aluminum anchor, West Marine Performance, Spade and Rocna. Each of these tests compared different aspects of anchor performance, used different size anchors, and different means of creating tension on the anchors. Rode materials varied, scope varied, and the bottom conditions varied. And different anchors proved, at least for the duration of the test, that they were “best”.
So, back to our premise. Perhaps a meta-analysis of anchoring tests is the only way to get a sufficiently broad idea of what will work best for an individual. No single test proves very much, and all are compromised by the simplifying assumptions in the test protocol.
Perhaps, also, one should try to incorporate anchor tests, articles, videos, and strongly held opinions to select an anchor that’s the “right” anchor for one’s boat. This decision is rendered more difficult because no anchor is universally “best” just as no anchor wins all of the tests. There are, however, some guiding principles that help in the selection:
- Bigger anchors of the same type hold more than smaller anchors. If you’re unhappy with your anchor’s ultimate holding power, go up a size.
- A variety of anchor types, at least two, may allow for a better option.
- Incremental length and weight of rode makes any anchor perform better. Simply paying out more rode may stop an anchor from dragging (but don't count on it.)
- Anchors with a single penetrating point are generally better in bottoms with vegetation compared to anchors with a broader fluke.
- The experience of boaters with similar boats in similar areas is helpful. Anchors can be regional rockstars, as evidenced by the popularity of the Bugel anchor in the Med.
Finally, an overheard conversation between a relatively new boater and an “Old Salt” who worked at a chandlery is appropriate. The new boater asked “what size anchor do I need for my sailboat?”
The Old Salt replied, “Son, that depends on whether you want to eat well or sleep well.”