Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hooked on the Rocna

We recently researched replacement anchors and replaced our plow-style anchor with a Rocna. On a late summer overnight in the Chesapeake Bay (muddy bottom), we had a thunderstorm roll by with 25-30 kt winds. I would call those winds moderate and certainly not enough to cause a good anchor to drag. It was daylight, so I kept watch on some nearby shore objects and observed us dragging. I started the engines to take strain off the anchor and stay in deeper water.
I say "deeper water", which is definitely a relative term in the Chesapeake, where shallow water and muddy bottoms are the norm. If you've not run aground in the Chesapeake, you've not done much sailing/boating there. Fortunately, it is very forgiving, due to the muddy bottom.
We had found that the plow could often take several attempts to get it to set in places where our prior boat (a Westwind 38, which is for sale) would quickly set its 35lb CQR. The episode with the mild thunderstorm settled it; a new anchor was needed.
We had heard good things about the Rocna as well as some rumors of galvanizing or other problems. There was also the Manson and Spade anchors. After some research on the rumored problems, we found that there was some merit to them for a period of time when the manufacturing of the anchors was outsourced to China. It has since been changed to a Canadian company and the problems seem to have been eliminated.
The final key for us was when Gene on the Yahoo Leopard list reported that the Rocna 25 (55 lb) fit perfectly. Looking at the Rocna sizing charts, that's up one size from what they recommend for the Leopard 40 size/weight. That's just fine with us - it makes for more relaxed sleeping at anchor.
So the Rocna 25 is what we ordered from West Marine. Defender also carries this anchor at a slight discount from West Marine, so we invoked the Price Match to get the same price, delivered to our local store. An added benefit was that we purchased it during one of West Marine's discount sales.