Our Rocna held, chain broke (+40kt wind, +3m waves, tierra del fuego)

May, 2017

Experience:

 After about 20 hours anchored in +40kt wind and +3m waves (from time to time breaking over the front of the boat) my 15kg Rocna was still in the same spot where I put it, but the rope attached to the chain, the chain itself and the anchor winch broke in one big bang. The chain was standard 8mm, not the extra strong version. Rope was protected with a plastic tube but possibly still chafed through before chain broke. Chain after bow roller directly on anchor winch, no chain stopper. Boat a steel yawl which according to plans should weigh 6,5t, fully loaded probably more like 8-9t.

 Advise:

 - use the strong version of chain

 - use more than one rope to secure the

 chain, check chafing very often

 - use chain stopper (or even better

 something with a spring), don't attach chain directly to  anchor winch

 

 Background:

 Because of engine and sail troubles, I was anchored in a bay called 'Puerto Espagnol', just before the Beagle Channel, coming from the Atlantic. The wind changed at night to SE, the only direction in which the bay offers no protection. Because of that still unsolved engine and sail troubles -and because of fatigue- I decided to stay put, hoping (unfortunately without the latest weather reports) that the bad conditions would last only a short time, as usual in the region. But no, the wind remained SE for more than 1 day. After the bang when chain etc broke and the boat started drifting, I went outside, saw what happened and tried to get the spare anchor. But too late, boat ended up on the beach. Long story in between but at the moment  I'm in Ushuaia with the banged-up boat, which was towed from the beach by a passing Antarctica-charter-boat, repairing as well as I can. And trying to get me a new Rocna! With proper chain this time.

Alex Van Cauwenbergh