Tired of "sleepless nights on the pick doing the 'slow crawl' with other anchors", Graham decided his yacht's existing ground tackle set-up of a 30 lb Manson plough, Danforth, and folding grapnel was inadequate, and went looking for a better solution.
After considering several other "new generation" types including the Spade and Manson Supreme, he selected a Rocna 15. Graham was wary of hype, and considered his options carefully. "In general I looked at the new generation 'spade' style anchors. My research was a result of knowing from hard won experience what I didn't want, discussion with other cruisers, and much time reading and researching on the web. Ultimately the design and construction of the Rocna easily won out – that is, there are no gimmicks, just plain, solid, dependable, no-mucking-about engineering that works."
Graham's yacht Smile is an Alan Wright designed Nova 28 (8.53m) fin keel sloop with a working displacement of just under 4 tonnes. He comments "[the Rocna] fits perfectly and locks in on my bow roller with no modification whatsoever." And in terms of performance, it's summed up in one word: "Awesome. As I indicated in my email [below], I am very impressed. It lives up to the advert (unusual in this day and age) . . . This is now my primary general purpose anchor and I am saving my pennies for another smaller one to replace my secondary/stern anchor."
"It compares more than favourably with the French Spade, the recent Manson 'Spade' and other spade-style anchors, even more so when you compare it with some of the other rubbish offered up as anchors."
Finally, a quote we nearly decided not to publish, as it almost seems too enthusiastic to be genuine. On advice for other boat owners considering a new anchor: "Get a Rocna or don't anchor near me."
Finaly, an unsolicited email sent to us.
Hi Peter and Craig – I have just returned to Wellington from a three week cruise to the Marlborough Sounds, D'Urville island, and Tasman Bay areas, and am pleased to report that the 15 kg Rocna anchor passed with flying colours, and its purchase has to be amongst the better sailing decisions I have made.
I anchored numerous times during this cruise in bottoms ranging from mud and sand, grass, shale, and shingle. Over this period I experienced unseasonable weather conditions, with the normally good weather being screwed up by cyclone Wati to the north. While winds in both Cook and Stephen's exceeded 50 knots for a day or so (decidedly not pleasant) they generally seemed to hover around 30-35 knots plus over the cruise. Not once did the Rocna let me down.
I remain very impressed both with the Rocna's initial bite when setting and with its awesome holding power, in particular its resistance to strong veering wind gusts and wili-wilies.
Every time I lifted the anchor it needed to be broken out under power either by motoring it out, or by using the winch (this was probably due to the ugly weather conditions digging the anchor in extra well). I guess I now need to get a good wash down pump as well, as it always seemed to bring up half the seabed with it!
You have no idea how much a single handed sailor like me appreciates a decent night's sleep. When I put the hook down, I now have the confidence of knowing I am well stuck to the seabed. Basically I can sum it up by saying, short of a good mooring block, if the Rocna won't hold, nothing will!
I would strongly recommend the Rocna to any sailor who likes to be well anchored.
My old 30 lb plough, while adequate most of the time, and during settled weather, just would not have cut it under these conditions. They should all be relegated to where they belong – on the farm. I am happy to answer any questions.
Thanks for a great product.