We ventured out into Galveston Bay last night to anchor and watch a fireworks show. Simple enough. We’ve done it before.
Weather: clear and hot
Seas: calmish with slight swell
Wind: less than 10 knots
The plan was to sail around for a while and then head over to our chosen anchor spot, drop the hook, and then relax before the show started. Everything went as planned. We sailed and made it to our spot at pretty much exactly the time we had wanted. I went to the bow, situated the anchor for deployment, released the windlass clutch, away she went (more on this in a moment), and I went to the cockpit to back down on her. Every other time we have anchored, the preceding procedure was followed and we backed down on the anchor and it held firm . . . without question.
We had a 22 kg CQR knock off. It came with the boat. It didn’t fit the anchor roller real well and wasn’t ideal to deploy or store, but it worked. No sense in replacing something that was clearly working.
This time when I backed down it was clear that we did not set. I backed down a little harder thinking it would help the anchor dig in. After half a minute of doing this, I realized that there was clearly a problem. I went to the foredeck and began hauling the anchor in but . . . something was amiss: it was too easy to haul in. The anchor shaft appeared out of the water and then it was clear what the problem was. The anchor head was gone. Where the CQR articulates, the top section had cracked and what we had as an anchor was simply the shaft.
Good to have this happen on a calm night in a protected away with friends around.
We purchased a Mantus 45 pound anchor as a replacement. It fits our bow roller much better and was very easy to assemble.
Can’t wait to give it a try. It’s already an improvement in deployment and retrieval. I’m sure that it will set and hold well.