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Anchoring considerations and anchor systems for strong winds on “Nusa” by Greg Binet

Foreword by Tony Grainger

Anchoring is a subject I have taken seriously since coming very close to losing my 33' trimaran while sheltering from gales in the lee of Preservation Island in Bass Strait. 

 

With bullets in excess of 50 knots coming over the island we lost our grip on the sand bed and were dragging toward an exposed reef on the western coast of Flinders Island.

 

Unable to make headway under the storm jib or OB motor we were incredibly lucky that a powerful fishing boat saw our predicament and came to the rescue.

Good anchoring practice is well documented in a wide range of publications but what about those unexpected situations that crop up? Greg and Lisa Binet have encountered some interesting anchoring challenges and recounts some of them here.

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A gentle reminder of something you don't want

General anchoring has been well covered in numerous publications. The following is a number of additional items we consider when anchoring as a long term cruiser in remote and unfamiliar waters. The strongest winds that we have encountered whilst cruising have been afternoon or evening thunderstorms (50/60 knots) that have rolled in 180 degrees from the original prevailing wind (often at night and quickly). Obviously these winds rotate the boat 180 degrees from the original anchored direction with this creating a number of items to consider when anchoring.

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Nusa's Anchoring Equipment

• 35kg Sarca anchor plus a second 35kg plough anchor. 

• Bridle 20mm x 8.5m long (width of vessel = length of bridle) 


• 80m of 10mm galvanized chain and 100m of 20mm rope on a reel in the anchor locker. An additional 12m of 13mm chain for the spare anchor. 

• A forward facing water proof camera located under the catwalk that transmits images directly to the chart plotter indicating chain angle when anchoring and weighing anchor. 


• A range finder to determine exact distances to other boats.


• A 150mm polystyrene float with 20m of 6mm nylon rope attached so in the event of having to dump the chain and run they can easily be located on returning after the storm.

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