Monthly Archives: May 2011

  • A tale of two anchors

    Jac, a novice to all things boating, has been coming aboard Cilaos since summer 2009. Being a 'townie' fully equipped with handbags and hair straighteners, Jac had the vision of sailing a yacht in the gentle summer breeze whilst sunbathing on the deck with a chilled glass of chardonay - not a bad dream, and certainly one with which i could warm to myself. Hence Cilaos and i decided to do our utmost to make her dream come true - in Scotland! Cilaos is a year-round hardened cruiser with plenty of colourful anchoring stories to tell. She has had limited success anchoring on many an occassion using her standard delta type anchor. With broken confidence i was starting to lose sleep, spending a wee bit too much time on anchor-watch, when i should be sleeping. So with that in mind (and one eye on Jac's dream!) I decided to look around for a better anchor. I tried various types and used friends boats to try them out and I was very impressed with the Rocna type of anchors. Then the usual sailors techie discussions kicked-in and much debate was undertaken about anchor weight, holding power, shank thickness, tripping lines, roll-over bars and fastenings etc etc. When i discovered Rocna, i then spent some time watching the various demo's and video's on the internet which also drew me to read lots of other's reviews. I then made a quick cardboard template to check that one would fit without making any modifications to Cilaos bow roller/locker lid etc ...and so i was sold on Rocna. On paper, Cilaos was just slightly over weight for the Rocna 10 and under the Rocna 15 with one eye on my summer/winter sailing plans (and not forgetting Jac's dream) i bought them BOTH! (one can never have too many anchors!). During the winter period, we practiced with the 15, which was great, but i reckoned its weight alone for Cilaos was something of a mask for the Rocna's terrific holding power and its just on the weight limit for a single man-handling recovery with no windlass. Once spring had sprung (whenever that is) the Rocna 10 was put in place and off we went, primarily to compare it to the 15 but i was also hoping that would be 'it' for the rest of the summer season and that i would hopefully not have to keep swapping them too often throughout the sailing season. Success, our early attempts in the west coast Scotland gusty conditions were all achieved with 'first-time' deployments and immediate holding - superb! Then came the acid test. During the early May 'sunshine' i got the inevitable call from Jac - 'the weather is great, can we go out on Cilaos, i would like to top-up my tan'? ...and what better way to play some more with my Rocna, i pondered! <lol> Now, to put you in the picture, Jac is blissfully unaware of most aspects of 'sailing'. She does not know her beaufort from her beam, making her ideal company for our Scottish 'summer' weather sailing and she never complains about rough conditions. As Cilaos and i had already 'broke her in' on earlier trips with typical Loch Fyne F6/F7 breezes, Jac thought that was the norm and seemed to like the rollercoaster ride - she knew no fear! So we set off with 'sunshine' in the forecast and the usual variable F4-F6's we headed for a well known secluded bay with the Rocna 10. Entering the bay, others must have been thinking like us and one large yacht was already anchored and another was having multiple attempts in the gusty conditions. We picked our spot and gently pointed Cilaos into 22-25kn on the nose and deployed in 4/5m water. The Rocna dug-in immediately, we then settled back on a suitable amount of chain and lo-and-behold, the sun shone brightly. Now, we are not talking about summer sunshine here but in the lee of the spray-hood, we had a very warm and sheltered cockpit with direct sunshine above. Despite the wind occasionally gusting to 30kn, our late afternoon sunbathing session probably only averaged around 14-16kn in our sheltered location. Another two small yachts came and went after aborted anchoring attempts. ‘Why are they not staying, Jac asked? …they don’t have a Rocna I replied. So, finally after about 2yrs waiting and many rough trips under her belt, on the 1st May 2011 Jac finally managed to get the bikini on! We had nearly three hours of glorious sunshine ...'this is the life' i heard Jac say, as I watched the other yachts trying and failing to get decent holding in the gusty conditions. Thank-you Rocna, Cilaos is sorted, Jac is happy and i am now anchoring everywhere with confidence - and getting much better sleep! Cheers, Deek :o)
  • Why not treat yourself or someone you love to a day out racing at Cowes week?

    Windward Sailing have places on their two yachts, and since this includes overnight accomodation it is really a great offer. Live the excitement of world class inshore racing and follow up with the fantastic on-shore entertainment afterwards. Book now to avoid disappointment as places are limited.

  • New Admiralty Leisure Folios

    Paper charts are not dead! The UKHO have recently issued a new folio covering the East coast of Scotland and the Caledonian canal - SC5617 This addition means it is now possible to circumnavigate most of the UK using the Leisure folio range. Leisure folios are printed on heavyweight paper in A2 size and are packaged in a plastic wallet. SC5617 contains 21 charts making it a very cost effective solution. The expansion of the range is continuing with SC5616 the West coast of Scotland from Ardnamurchan to the Shiant Islands due to be released this month. Complete list of leisure folios

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