What is the best anchor for an Aloha 34, and how is it best deployed?
As is often the case, there is no one correct answer. Owners have had a variety of anchors, and methods of handling. If your sailing is more or less a weekend activity with a week or two of holiday cruising, all with the occasional night at anchor you can probably do well enough with 15 to 20 feet of heavy chain and 150 feet of nylon rode attached to a "Bruce" or "plow" type of anchor. Extensive cruising with many nights at anchor, a minimum of 50 feet of chain; preferably 100 feet with 150 feet of nylon rode. In this case the chain can be 5/16 inch.
Enchantment's comments - For our trip to the Bahamas we used a 33# Bruce with 65' of BBB chain as our primary anchor. Our secondary was a Plow with 50' of BBB chain and our third [which we never used] was a Danforth with 30' of lighter chain. If you wish to go to lighter chain increase the length to have the same weight overall. We did not use all chain because of the effect on the trim of the Aloha as we have a 14" anchor platform on the bow. The length of chain on the Bruce was chosen based on the "normal" depth we expected to be anchoring in to result in a 5:1 scope with the chain off the deck. That way we didn't use a chain snubber and still kept our anchor circle to a minimum.
Anchor Type: Many experts recommend a variety of anchors to meet the variety of conditions experienced when anchoring. One study, pulling anchors at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees concluded that the Bruce reset 90% of the time; the Plow/CQR reset 60% and the Danforth reset 20%; however, the Danforth type have the greatest holding in a straight pull [no rotating at anchor]. Key to successful anchoring is the scope used and the weight/length of the chain providing the shock absorption in the waves. Another study concluded that insufficient scope was the most significant single cause to an anchor dragging.
Always set the anchor with a pull back!
Category: Hull & Deck Systems