A cruiser’s number-one sleep aid is good ground tackle — or being far offshore in good weather. A good anchor helps you sleep well at night, but it’s not just the anchor. It’s the shackle, the swivel, the chain, the weather, the exposure, the bottom conditions and so much more. We were sleeping comfortably aboard a boat in a slip in Sausalito during Sunday the 18th’s unusual September southerly storm. On our side of the Sausalito Yacht Harbor breakwater, it was a bit windy and rolly — outside the breakwater, it was a completely different experience. Being confident in your anchoring gear and your hold on the bottom can make all the difference.
We walked the docks on a calmer morning to see who had what hanging off their bow. It was interesting to compare the many ways boats are designed and the variety of approaches different people take to finding a good night’s sleep while at anchor.
There are a lot of approaches with the single goal of keeping the boat and crew safe. The Bruce, Danforth, plow/CQR and fixed Delta-style anchors were all on display in the harbor. There’s no perfect answer for all boats in all situations, and as these photos attest, people continue to make many different choices. The debates on proper ground tackle happen in Sausalito and harbors around the world. What’s your anchor of choice for a good night’s sleep?
ED – This was written early in the week, prior to the arrival of Hurricane Ian. Clearly Sunday on Richardson Bay was problematic, but an event like Hurricane Ian is on a completely different scale.