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: http://dinghycruising.org.uk/pages/safety
Messing About with ‘Pike’ – Part 2
Messing About with ‘Pike’ – Part 1