Staying Put: Ground Tackle for a Hurricane

THIS ARTICLE IS SERIOUSLY DATED. It was written before any of the “new generation” anchors — Spade, Manson, Rocna, Mantus and others — were commonly in use. I’m not taking it down as there is still good information in it, but realize that there are many better anchors now on the market.

In preparing for Hurricane Marty in the Sea of Cortez (2003), we read everything we could get our hands on as to what had — and hadn’t — worked for other cruisers. “Staying Put” was my attempt to add to the body of knowledge, paying it forward for all the help we’d gotten from cruisers before us who took the time to tell of their experiences.

Tucked into a secure hurricane hole, with only a half-mile of fetch, the photo shows how boats were still tossed about during Marty and tested their entire ground tackle systems.

Since I wrote this, other anchors have been invented or marketed, so the fact that a particular anchor isn’t listed doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that none of the boats had it.

The biggest thing that I can say from the experience is that we learned to think of our ground tackle as a system where all the pieces had to work together — it’s not just a question of having the “right anchor.”

Cruising World edited this substantially to fit the space limits of a magazine and published it in June 2005 as the cover story titled “Lessons from the Storm: How cruising sailors weathered the blow from Mexico’s Hurricane Marty.”

I also prepared supplemental information with detailed information about each boat, which was not included in Cruising World, due to space limitations. See the supplemental information.

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