Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Snake oil for the modern cruiser... anchor wars and a lesson from Eric Clapton

I've had more than a few emails requesting that I do more anchor reviews and I guess I should address that issue...


First, there is already too much talk about anchors in print and on the web plus anything that I'd add to the equation would simply piss most people off. Trust me, you don't want to hear my views on new anchor designs...

That said, I will point out that at some point in time if you anchor you will drag as it is all part of the gig and whatever new anchor is the "hip" thing will not prevent it. You may, of course, get better at anchoring and this will make the act of dragging less likely, but at some point in time you WILL drag. Again, it is just part of the gig and you will have to learn to live with it.

Of course, if you do drag all the time you might want to pay attention to how others anchor (well those who do not drag all the time) as more than likely they are doing it better than you... Do not, however, run out and buy whatever anchor they are using as successful anchoring is 99% technique and only 1% technology.

Don't believe me? We all know that the CQR is a pretty funky and ill-advised anchor yet hundreds of boats still use it successfully day in and day out, in dead calm and raging storm, without apparent problem... So they must be on to something, and just maybe, you should pay attention next time a cruiser with a CQR anchors near you on just how they go about it.

Do I think the CQR is a good anchor? No, but it can be used well. Maybe a musical example will make it clearer. Eric Clapton can still rock the house with a crappy Walmart guitar but don't expect a crappy guitar player to become an Eric Clapton simply because he has access to a Fender custom shop Strat!

Sadly, these days we seem obsessed with technology and everyone feels they have to have the newest/hippest/shiniest bit of gear whether it is an anchor or a chart plotter as a panacea for all that ails. When in reality, the answer lies somewhere closer to simply having a better understanding of how to do stuff!