Gear: Ground Tackle

Ground Tackle could just as easily been listed under the 'Safety Gear' category, as it critical to the safety of the boat and crew.  However, it is a big enough category to have it's own page.


Windlass

Windlass

Your Windlass is very important as it is the winch system that raises and lowers your anchor and chain, and lugging up 300 lbs. of chain and anchor by muscle power alone would be damn near impossible, certainly, undesirable.  We're not going to go into specific windlass models at this point, since we will likely be accepting whatever comes with the boat.  The only reason we might consider changing it out is if it is worn our and we want to go with a 48v windlass, where most boats use a 12v.  Since our boat is wired for both 12v and 48v, it would be advantageous to go to a 48 volt windlass as the power draw from these is heavy, and we could go with smaller diameter wire (less weight and less heat).  However, these are expensive devices, so, if the one comes with the boat is in good condition, other than servicing that windlass and possibly changing the gypsy (also called a 'wildcat') to accommodate new chain, if required.  So let's get started with chain...

Windlass

Chain

Chain
Like the windlass, if the chain is in great shape we might stick with what comes with the boat but we are more likely to replace it than the windlass.  The old chain would have to be in very good shape.  If we do chose to replace it, there are basically three types under our consideration:

1) High Test: This is a Grade 43 chain, called G4 or HT. It is a high-carbon steel link chain.  Right now, G4 is probably the most commonly used chain for windlass anchoring systems. It has twice the working load of BBB, so you may use a smaller size to get the same strength, which means less weight on the bow of your boat.  This is especially important on a Catamaran where weight is an issue, and if you are going to places, like the South Pacific, where you will need about 300' to handle some of the deep anchorages. That much chain can add a whole lot of weight! 

2) BBB: Also called Triple B, works well on a windlass gypsy, and was popular in times gone by.  However, it has really been replaced by G4 these days, so we won't be going with this old standby.

3) Grade 70: This is called G7 (or Transport Chain).  This chain is significantly stronger than G4, has very good hardness properties, and an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with a lot of windlasses.  We have also read that G7 is more brittle than G4, so it will not handle the kinds of violent tugging and yanking that can be experienced with an anchor system in heavy seas. G7 is more likely to snap than deform.   So, some makers of windlasses don't recommend G7.

Chain Conclusion:
We plan to go with 3/8" High Test G4 galvanized chain. This is recommended for boats up to 50' and 50,000 lbs, (we will be about 47' and around 30,000 lb., fully loaded). The price of G4 is something like $1.49 / foot.   We plan for 300', so that comes out to a price of $447.00.  It will weigh about 450.00 lbs.  

Chain

Anchors

Unlike the Windlass, and to a lessor degree, the chain, we will most likely change the anchor on any boat we purchase as it is unlikely it will come with that we want as far as the anchor.  

Now, which anchor.  OK, here is where people go crazy.  Everybody and their uncle has their opinion on which anchor is the best.  It's a minefield out there of strong opinions.  Right now, we are down to a few choices, as follows:

Anchor

Anchors

Our Choices in anchors

* Stainless Steel
* Heavy tip
* Can be dismantled and stored.
* Good for all seabed types
* Self-righting Bow Roller
* Lifetime warranty
* 105 lbs. (47.6 kg)
* Price $3072

Mantus

* Galvanized Steel
* Heavy tip
* Good for all seabed types
* Self-righting
* Lifetime warranty
* 121 lbs. (55 kg)
* Price $2032

Rocna Vulcan

* 316 Stainless Steel
* Self-righting weighted system
* Lead filled heavy tip
* Hollow shank
* Curved Tip
* Flat Underside for easy recovery
* Side Wing plates
* Non Chain - Foul Bar
* Good for all seabed types
* Lifetime warranty
* 100 lbs. (55 kg)
* Price $3420

Ultra Marine

* Galvanized Steel
* Tangle resistant.
* Low center of gravity self rights and keeps the toe hunting continuously.
* Full range of anchors have been tested for super high holding power certification.
* Unrivaled Holding Power.
* 110 lbs. (36 kg)
* Price $1412

Sarca Excel

* Galvanized Steel
* Formed from high quality steel plate and high end precision casting.
* Every part of the anchor system is hot-dipped galvanized for corrosion protection.
* Nose of the anchor is reinforced to guarantee a lifetime longevity.
* Designed to fit bowsprits and pulpits
* Lifetime warranty
* Anchor disassembles for easy storage.
* 125 lbs. (57 kg)
* Price $1737

M2

Anchor Conclusion

For S/V Lynx, we plan to buy two anchors.  The first is the primary anchor, for the bow.  The second will be a stern anchor, which will be stowed away most of the time.   Based on several reviews by sailors we trust, we considered the Ultra Marine for the bow anchor.  However, there are some other tests done by sailors not affiliated with any anchor brand that show the Excel as the top anchor in most seabeds... and the price is far lower.  So, for now, we are planning on going with a Sarca Excel No 9 as our primary anchor.  For the stern anchor, the Mantus M2 is a good contender and is also very highly rated.  When it comes to holding our expensive floating home, only the best will do.  These are our top two anchors, and better yet, at the price points of $1,412 and $1,737, they are also lower in price.  You can't beat the best holding and a good price!  We can even switch the primary anchor out in certain seabeds if one of our two anchors isn't doing well.  However, most of the time the M2 will be disassembled and stored while the Excel will be out as our primary hook.

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