Hyvässä slöörissä · sailing dinghy cruising

Merisirrin ankkuri

The following practice is followed when anchoring:

  1. The anchor itself is a lightweight Danforth type anchor of 2 kg (5 lbs). In the Finnish waters Bruce style anchor would be a more trustworthy option but as Danforth anchors take less space and can be lighter, I prefer them in Merisirri as the primary anchor.

  2. The anchor chain is relatively heavy and sturdy, its length is 3 meters. This ensures that pulling force is more horizontal rather than diagonal. Some small craft owners don’t use chain at all because they fear it would damage their boats’ beautiful surfaces. Naturally anchor has to be heavier in such cases.

  3. The anchor line is around 40 meters long.

  4. There is a shockcord (of 400 to 500 mm) attached between the anchor line and the attachment point on the bow. The remaining anchor line is led back into the boat in case the shockcord should fail. This arrangement takes the sharp impulses caused by waves and gusts, that for its part is helpful in case of a lightweight anchor. In sheltered anchorages this step is skipped.

  5. The boat has a bronze bow eye for the anchor line. In more crowded anchorages it would be beneficial to place the eye assymterically on the starboard side to allow starting sailing on the starboard tack. This would both make the first tack more predictable and be “strategically” more better from perspective of COLREGS rules.

  6. As walking on the Scamp foredeck isn’t possible always there is a helper line attached to the anchor line. The helper line is used to guide the anchor to the cockpit.

The principles above are based on Ralph Robert’s, Roger Barnes’ and Howard Rice’s comments on anchoring sailing dinghies. They all are very experienced and respected experts in small craft matters.

Anchoring practice
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See also: Building Merisirri