Rigging Modern Anchors

by Drew Frye (Seaworthy Publications, 2018; 147 pages, $24.95 print, $9.95 digital)

Review by Robin Urquhart

This is a guide to everything you could possibly want to know about anchors and anchoring. Rigging Modern Anchors includes elegant illustrations and informative graphics and tables. Frye presents facts and withholds from giving personal opinions on anchor types. It’s unlikely you will need any other book on anchoring.

The title is slightly misleading as Frye covers all anchor types; he doesn’t limit the scope to the current generation of anchors. CQR, plow, and Danforth anchors are represented throughout the book, though before the last page, a reader is pretty much convinced of the superiority of the new generation of anchors in most conditions.

What I liked most was that Frye anchored this book (pun intended) in reality. Rather than relying solely on manufacturer data or engineering calculations based on unknown variables, Frye actually tested these anchors from aboard a variety of boats in a variety of conditions. He clearly relates techniques for best rigging various anchors and for managing a boat (the anchor platform) to ensure the anchor has the best chance at setting properly and holding.

I highly recommend this book to anybody in the market for an anchor, anticipating going on an extended cruise, or who has not had good success dropping the hook and staying put. Rigging Modern Anchors should be required reading for anybody who sells anchors or works in a chandlery. If I’d had Frye’s book ahead of our casting off on a 13,000-nm trip across the Pacific, I’d have turned to Frye’s instructive text numerous times, and probably would have been better off.

Robin Urquhart ’s master’s degree in building engineering has been severely tested since he and his partner, Fiona McGlynn, headed south from Vancouver, and then west from Mexico, on MonArk, their good old 1979 Dufour 35. Check out their free online magazine at www.waterbornemag.com, where the editorial focus is on younger sailors who share a passion for good old boats.


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