Spade Anchor

This is ground control to Major Tom…” Thats all an anchor is, right? Ground control, real estate management, a nanny and a bedtime story with a warm glass of milk and a cookie all rolled into one. I seem to be one of the few left in the world that believe a small anchor and proper technique is far superior to ruining the sailing characteristics of your boat by adding an oversized anchor and just praying it holds.

I tried just about every anchor imaginable on Sookie. I ended up with a Rocna because that’s what fit best. That anchor never once failed me. It’s been my experience that any anchor will work 98% of the time. It’s that small remaining fraction that keeps me up at night. I have no idea what anchor(s) came with Ooku but I’m putting my money on a Spade with high hopes it will fit snugly on the Roller. The Spade 80 at 33lbs is where my brain is sitting. One of the reasons I’ve chosen such a small boat is that in a pinch I can pull the anchor by hand. I also don’t need an electric windlass. I’ll get into power management once I have something to generate electricity but this boat is simple and staying that way.

I haven’t had a chance to inspect or measure her chain but from the first 10’ I did see a replacement is in order. I remember getting the funniest text one night. It read “why isn’t my chain attached?”. It was a dark and stormy night. While I was a bit concerned, I didn’t put too much thought into it. Many hours later I learned my friend tried to set the anchor on his new boat. The chain was attached to nothing and was a total loss. The best lessons are always the hardest learned.

For me, at least, great ground tackle is my best insurance policy. At some point, I assume I’ll have to rebuild her little bronze windlass. I’ve done this before and it’s a really fun and easy project. I may even move it to the bowsprit where it belongs. Having said that I don’t make any changes on a new boat for at least a year. It’s far too easy to get carried away. Often, the things that bother me the most in the beginning bother me the least in the end. Boats are simple creatures. If you don’t like what you see, slowly step backwards until they shine.

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