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Two days of the charter boat show are now behind us and we are left with only one half day remaining. Michael, Rebecca and I are all looking forward to having this behind us so that we can enjoy some sailing time together. Based on the broker comments we have heard, we are doing well and I expect we’ll be busy this season. Fingers are crossed as that’s what we’re hoping for.

You may think that we have been spending all of our time recently on cosmetic issues for the boat show. While that has definitely been our focus the last few days, we took advantage of our time on the dock to look after a much more tangible boat improvement, upgrading our ground tackle.

One Love came with what I assume is the standard 150′ of chain for an anchor rode. Although it also had a bit of line spliced to the end of that, the rope really only served to show whoever was deploying the anchor that you were about to run out of rode. One hundred and fifty feet may seem like a lot but in reality, when anchoring in anything greater than 20′, we really can’t deploy enough chain to get the scope that we’d like. We had twice here in the Virgins run all of the chain out of the locker! As, in my opinion, proper ground tackle is one of the most important safety systems on a boat, this issue had to be addressed. And so we did.

We arrived to the dock at Yacht Haven Grand on Sunday at 10:00 AM and at noon hour we were paid a visit by Buzz, a local marine supplier we were introduced to by our friends Keith and Jaime. Buzz’s focus is ground tackle and he had just the stuff that we needed: 3/8″ Acco G4 chain. He was also not adverse to doing a delivery on a Sunday!

Not our chain. Just an image I grabbed from the net
because I didn’t feel like running out to the chain locker to snap a photo.

Swapping out the chain was a relatively simple task with one person on the dock feeding it out of a barrel and another at the windlass paying it into the locker. The old chain I had moved to the compartment just beside the primary locker and although we may sell it, for the moment I’m holding onto it. Our primary rode is now 300′ of brand new chain. Some may think that that is a lot of weight on a boat but it is a price I’m willing to pay. We are fortunate in that the chain locker on a Leopard 4600 is center of the boat, aft of the trampoline, almost right under the mast. This center position is much better from a trim point of view than having the chain stuffed into one of the bows. Now anchoring at the back of some of the Virgin Island mooring fields won’t be such a bit of drama.


  1. Thank goodness that chain in the picture is not yours. It looks very poor quality and damaged!

    Good luck with the last day – and then the party with the other boats πŸ™‚


  2. Good move! We upgraded to 10mm (just slightly larger than 3/8″) back in 2007 in France. Got 100 meters of it. Couldn’t take the boat in to get it, so had to put it on the dinghy — almost sunk it! Our chain locker is about the same place as yours. It is SO nice to have all that length — and weight — to hold our boat in big breezes.

  3. Apologies for a second comment. But that photo is light weight hollow link as used at exhibitions for visual effect. It might just as well be plastic.


  4. Despite my joke the other day about having to carry all that chain to the boat, it sounds like a good improvement to me. So, what do you think of the anchor locker (and anchor) location behind the trampoline on the Leopards? We are considering a Leopard and I was wondering if that configuration is of any concern or what your few anchoring experiences with it have been like.

    Good luck with the rest of the show…I’m sure you guys will be busy this season.


  5. Mike,

    Some people who use an all chain rode add a line to the end of the chain so that in an emergency they can cut the line to jettison the ground tackle. Although I personally carry a hacksaw in case I can’t retrieve the ground tackle in any kind of emergency there wouldn’t be time to saw so having a piece of line between the boat and chain could be safety critical.

  6. Now…will you share some of those anchor spots? Us occasional charter folks could save some mooring fees if we had better insight into anchoring in the BVI.

    (‘course I know, that’s like asking a fisherman where he’s catching fish and expecting a precise answer!)

  7. It’s amazing some times when I see a boat at anchor with almost no rode out– I’ll bet you see that mostly on the bare boat charters down there…

  8. I had 200 feet of 3/8 BBB galvanised chain on my Alberg 30 Fullnbye when we were in the Bahamas, as you say it was a bit weighty but we seemed to manage it ok. I had no rope lead just the anchor shackled to the chain, but I did have some light line tied to the bitter end of the chain and made fast to a cleat in the chain locker so that I could cut and run in a dire emergency and come back for the chain later!

  9. I’m curious, Mike.

    Now that you’ve worked with ground tackle and windlass at the rear of the trampoline as well as at the front of the bows, which is easier to deploy, retrieve, and work with.

    I remember reading one naval architect who frowned on having the ground tackle under the trampoline because he said it made the anchor inaccessible if there is an issue, but it does seem to have its advantages in weight distribution and in some points of accessibility. I personally would rather deploy and retrieve an anchor from the mast base than from the bow if I needed to anchor in 3′ waves at a fishing spot 100 miles off the west coast of Florida. I imagine the pitching would be a lot less and you could work more comfortably without as much risk of sudden sea-sickness onset.

    Is it easier to attach /remove the bridle on ZTC or on One Love?
    Do you run into any issues with accessing the anchor?
    Do you do things differently in any significant way?



    • It is definitely easier to deal with the anchor and bridle from the bow, both deploying and retrieving. That said, you gotta do what ya gotta do. I certainly wouldn’t discount or purchase a boat for that issue alone. We have learned to work with Leopard the way it is designed.

  10. Excellent! We have 80 meters (about 260 feet) and don’t begrudge the weight… well worth it for the insurance! Have a great time on your last show day!

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