Bringing the anchor home is not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes small adventures get in the way.

I had hemmed and hawed over how much chain to order for Sundowner. Chain is both heavy and expensive. The weight in the bow is not good for sailing and the weight off the wallet is not good for cruising but the strength of the stuff cannot be overlooked. So it was that I decided to order half a barrel (200ft) of Acco galvanized 3/8″ BBB anchor chain (which fit our windlass). This little parcel comes in a barrel that weights near to 400lbs. As such it must be shipped to a “freight” facility and not to your home.

So after it arrived Dani and I drove out to get it but there was standing water on the road in. I drove slowly through it and we got the chain in the truck via a fork lift and left. The drive out was not as uneventful. Dani had fussed about the water and potholes and whatever else the condition of the road may be. Well she got her wish when the truck took a nose dive into the puddle. Water came up over the windshield and I punched it… The tires caught on something and the truck hurtled out of the water on the road and came to a screeching stop with steam coming out from underneath on all sides. We both stared at each other in amazement. The old truck, the work horse had somehow pulled through and seemingly without damage. All for a barrel of chain.

Our anchor, Jefe, has been sitting in our kitchen for months. It was eager to meet this new chain and return home to the boat. And this was its weekend. We loaded everything up and made our way to the boat to offload. It took two dock carts with the chain split between them to haul it down the pier to the boat.
Moving 3/8

I wasn’t sure the little carts could handle the load but they made their way dutifully down the pier and returned a second time to haul the anchor and rope road as well. We have an additional 150ft of 5/8″ three strand nylon for anchoring and an additional 300ft of rode to spare but it will not be hooked up. Of course the three strand went into the anchor locker first.
Anchor rode going down the deck pipe

I tied a bowline in the bitter end and then secured this to the anchor locker bulk head.
Anchor tie off inside the boat

Next we hauled the chain on board the boat. Handful by steady handful we piled it on deck and worked it from the dock onto the boat. I had thought of marking the length before taking it aboard but I have not yet found a system of marking it off that I like, so new and naked it came aboard.
3/8
3/8

To attach the rope rode to the chain I used a pair of anchor shackles. These are 7/16″ alloy steel shackles that fit the 3/8″ BBB chain. They have a WLL of 2 and 5/8 tons. That is a lot of strength and they actually exceed the WLL of the chain itself.
Attaching the rode to the 3/8

And from there it was time to just feed it all down into the anchor locker, handful by gentle handful. It forms a veritable mountain in the anchor locker.
3/8

The very end of the chain was fed through the anchor roller and I attached it to the anchor which was waiting patiently on the dock. I attached it using two shackles. One shackle with a pin through the anchor shank and one shackle with a pin through the chain. All shackles were moused with SS seizing wire.

From there it was just a matter of using the windlass to pull the anchor back up into its home.  This moment came with a bit of trepidation from us as so much has changed on the front of the boat since we had this anchor rigged last time.  We have a new bowsprit with new anchor rollers.  The position of the rollers is further back than the old ones.  Would it fit?
60 lb Manson Boss anchor on the bow

As it turns out, the new arrangement actually fit far better than the last one.  The anchor rollers are bigger and allow the shank of the anchor to come up higher, so the big fluke of the anchor is much more snug under our bowsprit.  Welcome back home Jefe. The windlass also performed well and the anchor flukes just slid by the bobstay without hassle. What a relief!
60 lb Manson Boss anchor on the bow another angle
60 lb Manson Boss anchor on the bow on the full boat angle
60 lb Manson Boss anchor snug under the bow sprit

So what does adding a little over 400lbs of weight to the bow do?  It lowers the bow approx 3-4″ and it raises the stern a couple of inches.
Before:
Water line before the addition of the 3/8
After:
Water line lowered inches after the addition of the 3/8

And the final chore of the day was measuring the how the spinnaker pole will fit. Glenn (SV QUEST) generously donated an old spinnaker pole from his Easterly 30 to our voyage and we intend to use it when the winds are right for it. It seems to be just about right for Sundowner.
Testing the size and position of the spinnaker pole

It feels good to have a boat ready to anchor out again. I didn’t get to the propane install this weekend as promised but its still on the list. Sometimes when UPS calls and says its time to pick up your chain, you just have to adjust plans.