Thursday, September 03, 2015

Messing About with ‘Pike’ – Part 3

The weather hasn’t been brilliant lately, and there’s hardly been a day when it hasn’t rained, but that hasn’t stopped me messing about with ‘Pike’.

In anticipation of eventually having a sun-filled day when the tide is right and I have time to spare, I’m preparing ‘Pike’ for a second sail. During the first sail I was conscious that I did not have a suitable anchor. The one I had was far too small. The Dinghy Cruising Association recommends equipping a cruising dinghy with an anchor weighing no less than 5 kilos, irrespective of type, along with at least 2 metres of chain between it and 30 metres of 8 millimetre, non-floating cable. (Safety Recommendations 3.3)* That is a good rule of thumb.

It’s all very well having such an anchor with its chain and cable, but all the bits and pieces must be secured in a way that the anchor can be deployed at a moment’s notice. If the dinghy were to capsize, the anchor must not become a hazard in the recovery process. Being able to deploy it at a moment’s notice could be crucial for keeping out of trouble. I recollect such an occasion when the tide was taking my Torbay Class 11 Racer towards the swing bridge at Teignmouth and there wasn’t enough room for the mast to pass under without hitting it. The anchor proved its worth, and all was well.

Another factor regarding anchor stowage is to make sure it does not damage the boat. Anchors are awkward things, because they have pointed bits and protuberances that are capable of inflicting injury; therefore it is best to stow them where they present the least hazard.

Bearing in mind these requirements I have made provision for ‘Pike’s’ anchor and tackle to be kept in a sturdy plastic bowl. The whole lot is retained by a rope that passes through fittings screwed to the hull. To deploy the anchor, all I have to do is undo the rope from a cleat and lower the anchor over the bow.

I feel happier about sailing ‘Pike’, now that she is equipped with a 5 kilogram Bruce anchor, with 2 metres of 8mm chain and 30 metres of 10mm nylon rope.

*DCA Safety Recommendations:


Messing About with ‘Pike’ – Part 2

Messing About with ‘Pike’ – Part 1


Patrick Hay said...

Hi Bill. I bought a very similar anchor, chain and warp on eBay for my 16 ft cruising dinghy. Not a bad piece of kit for the price. But I was intensely annoyed, on removing the ties from the rope, to find it had been coiled so badly that it immediately formed dozens of tight sharp kinks along its entire length. It took me quite a long time to remove all the twists that had been put in by the person who handled it for packing and then to re-coil it properly so that it would run out smoothly when needed.

Thankfully, I wasn't hurtling towards the bridge at Teignmouth at the time!

Unknown said...

Patric Hays anchor rode sounds like my old mainsheet!!

William Serjeant said...


When I acquired 'Minnow' she had a very long nylon anchor cable that was badly kinked. It took a long time to sort it out. Flaking an anchor cable into a container eliminates kinks and it is free to run out. Hence I have flaked 'Pike's' cable into a plastic bowl with the chain and anchor on top.


William Serjeant said...


Three-stranded rope that is tensioned between blocks often twists. I can't remember if 'Minnow's' old sheet was three-stranded.

There is less chance of a rope twisting if it is plaited or braided.

Flaking a sheet is better than coiling it, because a flaked rope can run freely.


Stephen Mundane said...

Once again I learn something new -- thanks Bill.