Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ground Tackle (nothing to do with football)

I recently read something to the effect of, "you can tell an experienced sailor apart from a novice by the size of his ground tackle." Ground tackle, in case you are not familiar, is a catch all term for anchors, rode, and other accoutrements such as a windlass and snubber.

First up is the anchor. This is a vital piece of equipment for safety-- and for a good night's sleep.

When we chartered a Jeanneau 34 in the Grenadines last May, I became vaguely obsessive-compulsive about dragging anchor, which basically means you are moving all over the mooring ground. I would wake up every hour or so and stick my head out of the forward V-berth hatch, convinced we were about to drift into some rocks or another boat.

So, for our trip to Mexico, we decided to go with a Delta Plow for our main working anchor. This clever design has a weighted tip that quickly digs into the bottom and re-sets itself should you swing. We went one size up for the recommended boat length, and got one made for 40-50 ft. vessels (our Islander is 36 ft.)

Will this be enough to help me sleep through the night? I'll report back, hopefully well-rested, in a couple months.

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