Ask SAIL: New Boat, New Anchor

I recently purchased a Beneteau Oceanis 41 and keep it on a lake just outside Dallas that has mainly a mud bottom.
Author:
Publish date:

Robert Weisberg, Frisco, Texas asks:

I recently purchased a Beneteau Oceanis 41 and keep it on a lake just outside Dallas that has mainly a mud bottom. I have a 35lb Delta anchor (which, according to the manufacturer’s website, should be appropriate for sailboats from 44 to 52 feet), 20ft of 3/8in chain and 130ft of additional rope rode. I usually anchor in 8 to 12 feet of water and put out 7:1 scope (measured from where rode enters water, not from the stem of boat). Since buying this boat two months ago, I have dragged anchor on numerous occasions. I had a Catalina 350 before this and never dragged. I have owned boats for 40 years and have done more than 45 bareboat charters on catamarans up to 46 feet and monohulls up to 52 feet and have never had an issue with dragging. I am always very careful to back down to be sure the anchor is holding firmly. It’s hard for me to believe I need a larger anchor, as this one already seems oversized.

anchor-thb

DON CASEY REPLIES

As a rule, given adequate scope, if your anchor still drags, you need a bigger anchor. Not more scope. Not more chain (although that can help). Not a different anchor, unless you are matching the anchor to a single specific bottom type. You need a bigger anchor. Period.

DonCasey

Tables published by anchor manufacturers are typically wildly optimistic and are based mostly on the need to claim more holding power than competitors. Consider the potential difference in windage between a flush-deck 40-footer and one with high freeboard, a 30-inch stack-pack, a big dodger or cockpit enclosure, a loaded radar arch and an inflatable dinghy hoisted in davits. Doubling windage increases the load on an anchor approximately fourfold, without regard to boat length. Claiming that the same anchor is suitable for both boats is ludicrous. The minimum anchor weight for today’s high-profile sailboats should not be less than 1.5 pounds per foot of boat length, which makes your 35-pound Delta seriously undersized.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more