Sunday, July 19, 2009

Washdown Complete!

The saltwater washdown is now installed and fully functioning. We're amazed that it went in without a single real hitch. Of course, we're not tempting fate, so we keep checking the staterooms where the hose runs through for leaks. This is not to say it was easy. It was the most complex addition we've undertaken on the boat so far. But for several days of effort we now have a way to save about 25 gallons or more of fresh water each time we anchor. Our plan is to anchor most nights on this cruise, so that's significant.

In light of our anchoring plans, Jeff decided to upgrade our anchor. Currently, we have four anchors: a Bruce, a CQR, a Fortress, and a Danforth. The Bruce is the anchor we use from Maine to Charleston. It works well in the soft, muddy bottoms from the Penobscot Bay to the Chesapeake. Unfortunately, the first time we anchored in the Bahamas we discovered (at 3 AM) that it is poor in hard sand bottoms. So we started switching to the Fortress and then back again to the Bruce - kind of a pain. The CQR was our backup anchor which we've never used and the Danforth is our stern anchor.

While we've only dragged anchor twice in 15,000 miles of cruising, Jeff has always worried that our Bruce, at 66 pounds, and our Fortress FX55 were a bit undersized. For the sake of many good night's sleep, we decided to get a heavier anchor that would also eliminate the need to switch mid-cruise. After much research, Jeff settled on the Rocna 55 (55 kg or 121 lbs). Unfortunately, the manufacturer had no experience with mounting a large Rocna on a newer model DeFever, so we were a bit concerned it would be too big for our bow roller. After some testing with cardboard templates, we decided to give it a try.

So off we went late last week to West Marine in Southwest Harbor (an hour and a half drive) on my 50th birthday - Jeff was smart enough not to put a ribbon on it and say, "Happy Birthday, honey!" - to meet the delivery truck. The next day we left to drive to Mystic, CT to talk at the MTOA NE Rendevous (great people, great fun) so we will have to wait until later this week for our first anchor fit test. Our hope is that eventually we can get rid of the CQR and maybe the Bruce to gain some needed space in the lazarette. Any one need a gently used anchor?

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