Saturday, January 16, 2010

Anchor? We don't need no stinking anchor, or function follows form.

Okay, I already know this will not change any go fast boaters opinion about this subject, but I just don't get it. How would you safely anchor this boat in rough seas, if you needed to? 

I was at a local marina last week, and a very large go fast boat came into the basin,  Instead of the typical crew made up of scantly clad young ladies, and  swarmy looking guys wearing coins from the Atocha on gold chains, this boat incongruously had a normal looking family on board. Mom, dad, two daughters, and I would guess the grandparents. It was a cold, and very windy day, but the dad gracefully back the vessel into the slip, and a young girl tied off to a side cleat on the boat. She then jumped onto the dock, went forward of the windshield with a line, and carefully jumped from the dock onto the wet deck, and dropped to her hands and knees. She crawled forward to the bow, and attached the line to the bow cleat, and crawled back aft, carefully stood up and jumped  back on the dock with the line.

Here is the point of the story. There was no real access from the cockpit to the bow, no anchor locker, no handrails, and no real way to anchor this boat from the bow. Now imagine being caught off shore in a bad squall with no engines, what would you do, anchor from the stern? It might be possible in pitching seas to drag a thirty pound anchor along with the rode over the windscreen and crawl out on the wet slippery deck to the bow to do this, but it seems there should be a better and safer way.

By the way, stating the obvious, I would never anchor from the stern in rough seas. We just had a recent case where a center console fish boat got caught in a storm, and because it was anchored from the stern, it was swamped, and then rolled over. This resulted in three of the four passengers drowning.  It should be no surprise, that boats are designed to point into the waves. The pointy end always does a better job going into waves than the square end.

So I just don't see why a hatch couldn't be placed forward on the deck to allow someone to access the deck from inside the cabin, and from there be able to reach the anchor locker, where something other than a "Lunch Hook" could be stowed.

I know that safety and practicality get  in the way of beauty, and that these boats never get caught in bad weather, or break down. There are go fast boats out there that can be properly anchored, and I don't think they have a bad case of the uglies because there is an anchor locker on the bow, and a hatch to access it.

This is the last you will hear from me on this subject, and I hope Darwin is kind to those that own these un-anchorable boats.