Oooo! Ahhhh! [I can sense your enthusiasm from here...]
Those familiar with our future plans know we have intended to acquire a Spade anchor for our primary bower. [As previously mentioned on our Anchoring and Storm Tackle page from our Stuff we have and use [and do...] sidebar to the right >>... ]
Well, it happened. And we even stayed true to our word from our 2014 Prologue to this [then new] blog:
PS: Some of our posts are about products and/or services we opt to use [or jettison] in the moment. None of our choices are motivated by anything other than our objective reasoning [and occasionally rationalization and discount pricing...] at the moment of need [or desire...]
This type of post simply represents a synopsis of how and/or why we arrived at a decision to spend [what little remains of...] our money...
YMMVDuring a sale we couldn't ignore [free shipping and 25% off...] and not without some careful measuring, we bought a Spade S180; [99 lbs; galvanized steel]
A model S160 [77 lbs] would have been adequate for most of our circumstances, but upsizing one made sense in this case since the NW passage and Patagonia are on our bucket lists...
|Spade anchors come with a lifetime warranty...|
To put it in place, I nudged the bow over the dock using the dock lines, and dropped the other two anchors [into a dock cart] from their stowed position in the bow rollers, and disconnected their individual anchor rodes. I also took a moment to reverse the main bower chain since it had been used two seasons. [The secondary anchor chain is still new and unused...]
Next the Spade was connected to the primary bower chain [using forged shackles to meet or exceed chain specs.]
Then the SuperMax anchor [former best bower] was connected to the secondary anchor chain. [The windlass has 2 chain gypsies that can be independently or simultaneously operated.]
Lastly, the CQR [which had been our secondary anchor] was put back into the custom chocks amidship on deck.
|Initial configuration: SuperMax [80 lbs] on left in photo, CQR [60 lbs] on right.|
|New configuration: Spade S180 on left in photo; SuperMax on right.|
|CQR stowed into its custom cradle/chocks [made of Starboard attached to deck]|
With the repositioned anchors connected to their respective chains, we reeled-in the secondary anchor first [using the windlass] so the wider SuperMax would be stowed in place first [knowing that the Spade would overlap it a bit.]
Then we sucked-in all the primary anchor chain [360 ft] and to my great satisfaction the Spade parked itself beautifully on the bow roller- navigating itself around our bobstay along the way...
|Both anchors clear the bow [and bobstay...] with plenty of room to spare...|
Sweet! The net change of bow weight was +39 lbs, but the dependability, versatility and redundancy in our ground tackle is well worth it to us.
Side note [4-Jan-2017]: Since installing the new Spade anchor [5 days ago on 30-Dec-2016] we have been out twice. [Anchoring both times to dirty up the new anchor of course...] On the second outing we spent a couple of hours transiting with 20 kt winds gusting 30 in sloppy, confused seas. The additional weight was not discernible- perhaps it is even desirable given the boat weighs-in at 22 tons anyway. Time will tell...
Update Dec-2017: We have now anchored with the Spade over 100 times- several times in 40+ knots of sustained wind and 3-5 ft windwaves. It has yet to budge from its initial set point... [We always mark its set position and monitor with several anchor alarms... Blog post describing our methodology for sleeping well at anchor...]
Talk about sleeping pills on the bow... We can continue to choose to use one or [rarely, if ever...] both anchors, and rig with a bridle as always.
What next...? Hmmmm....