A small, stubby, old, dinky little 8 pound stockless. HEY! – Where did you think this post was going… get your minds out of the gutter!
We were given several bits of sailing advice by more than a few salts when we were planning our first weekend over-nighter on the anchor. “Bigger is Better” – we were also reminded that the anchor IS your emergency brake. We were planning to spend a few nights on the anchor and we didn’t want to be embarrassed by the lack of size and have our anchor drag… yeah, that’s no good. An 8 pound anchor is not adequate, it’s just too small.
So the search for a bigger and better anchor began. Thinking that 23-25 would be more than appropriate. A great deal was sitting at our local marine consignment shop, $60 for 25 lbs. Thank you… End of story… Nope, never that easy…
After lugging our new anchor to our beach and rowing the additional tonnage out to the mooring I was ready to put her to bed in the anchor locker…. it didn’t fit, it was too big! I tried to wiggle it in, but it just wouldn’t fit. The anchor locker is original to the boat, and there was no way we wanted to cut the fiberglass just to have a toe stubber on the bow, plus not too safe with a 2-year-old crawling on deck. My great deal was just too big! I made the walk of shame back to the boat store and downsized to a 18 pounder.
I had measured the dimensions of the anchor locker, and had measured the shaft of the new anchor as well…I knew this one was going to be tight. We were hoping there was just enough depth in the locker for the swing of the shaft and fluke to allow our smaller one to fit. This was started to go from amusing to frustrating, because it turned out that this one is just too long! again, seriously! too long by 2 inches!
If we went down again on the weight size we would not feel very confident sleeping at night if the winds grew. I’m not really sure where I was when the little light bulb appeared over my head, but it came it to me…”Lets cut the shaft!”
The shaft is the long end of the anchor that is attached to a section of chain, then line (rope) and then it is ultimately tied off on a cleat on the deck of the boat… this was serious decision to make. We consulted a few of our boaty friends and asked if anyone had known of this being done, it sounds like were pioneers… Our welder, Wheelock’s & Son Welding Company, chopped 2 inches off the shaft, and drilled a new hole for the chain for $20!!! cheap and easy, another boat project that turned into multiple boat projects.
When we started this venture of owning our own boat, we anticipated that we would learn. As we continue to move up the learning curve we are being presented with very worthwhile problem solving experiences. We’re learning that sailing teaches us to be flexible, how to solve problems, and most importantly how to roll with it. What situations have you found yourself in that require an “out-of’-the-box” solution? Would you have cut the shaft? What does sailing teach you?