Okay, as stated in our previous post our delivery got prosponed to the end of March. But today we are happy to say: All missing parts arrived, the finish of Kiskadee is getting there, and all yellow tape/cardboard is protection for finished items. And most important, a reconfirmed schedule.
Jon and Will are the two experienced crewmembers and they join us on our maiden voyage and beyond, all the way to Vancouver. A crew of 4 is so much more relaxed then dual handed sailing for long stretches. They will arrive last week of march and join us in Nha Trang, the delivery and embarkment seaport.
Another aspect of getting finished, all live aboard stuff is bought. Respect to my wife who resisted the temptation to buy the whole hypermarket. Our favorites are:
Actually this story is more about the chain than anchors. And all obervations are infuenced by the weight of your yacht, deep or swallow anchoring, multi hull and a few other parameters.
Take our SW1260, supplied for a circumnavigation, she weighs, all in, about 26.500 lbs or 12.000 kg and is in most tables a 42´ heavy. Calculations and reference tables are done with 30 knots, 7 bft, wind.
5/16″ or 8mm PC/BBB/HT
3/8″ PC/BBB ~ 10 mm grade30 or 5/16″ G4 ~ 8mm grade43
2,1 kg 1,4 kg
Diameter of chain based on the 1/16¨ per 10´ or 9´ or 8´ length rule ( Light, Medium, Heavy)
Maxwell HRC8 Windlasses
The standard windlass is a Maxwell HRC8 which is able to handle 5/16″ BB, 5/16″ ISO G4, 8mm DIN 766, 8mm ISO 4565. For 10mm, 3/8¨ chain a H10-model is necessary.
Chain Length and Grade
Oké let’s start with the basics, old fashion is a 7 to 1 ratio on chain length to depth. With modern anchors, it’s 3 to 1 for calm and or swallow anchoring up to 5 to 1 for a rougher, deeper anchoring, is oké. So the upgrade from Seawind to 80 mtr is on a lower limit. I prefer 100 meters of chain.
I think that the standard chain Seawind offers is Grade L aka PC/BBB/grade30 and again on the lower limit. In my opinion grade43 should be the standard and I prefer grade70. See the table for strength and weight and prices. (In Holland, prices in Q1 2022)
grade (8 mm)
WLL in kg
BLL in kg
€/m (ex VAT)
7,77 – 9,83
9,87 – 20,50
50-60 (RVS 316)
37 – 40
30 (10 mm)
WLL = Working Load Limit, BLL = Breaking Load Limit
So my strategy is upgrading to the Seawind option of 80 mtr standard chain. It will last a year. Afterwards I would order 100 mtr (DIN 766, Ø 8 x 24 mm) chain grade 70 or 43. Far stronger and enough length for my sailing area, the Pacific. Buying a 8 mm higher grade chain is always less expensive than upgrading to a HCR10 Maxwell and 10 mm chain, grade 43.
Modern plow or scoop anchors (Excel, Delta, Spade, Mantus, Manson perform well compared to an older plow like CQR or a claw anchor like a Bruce or a Danforth anchor like a Fortress.
I would strongly advise to upgrade from the standard 45 lb CQR anchor to a 48 lb Sarca Excel No 5 galvanised anchor. The Excel anchor is well known for its good initial setting on a relatively short chain and its holding power. The big question is what is the right size anchor, I find this article on the UK site of Jim Green helpful.
Sarca weight (kg/lb)
Sarca Excel Supplier Recommendations
I am comfortable with the Sarca Excel #5 and find it a balanced solution with a Maxwell HCR8 windlass and a 8 mm chain, grade 43.
Buy an anchor swivel, always a pleasure to position the anchor on the bow roller. Most swivels attach directly to the anchor, using a bit of blue lock-tide. On 8 mm chain you use a 10 mm swivel. Almost all modern swivels like Mantus, Ultra, Lewmar are stainless steel and corrode your anchor and chain. Swivels are expensive. Rex Francis, designer of the Sarca Excel is not a fan of swivels because of lesser resetting of the anchor and lateral forces breaks swivels. Something to think about.
Buy the Anchor Bridle, it´s not an option. To release the tension of the chain from the windlass, you need an anchor bridle. I prefer nylon double braided because of its quality to stretch and flex.
Length indicators, 1 white tie wrap = 10 mtr of chain, 2 tie wraps etc. Or buy any fancy indicator.
Have a 8 and a 10 mm high quality Bow shackle with you. Always handy when something brakes. I also like a Kong Stainless Steel Universal Chain Lock
And I always carry a spare chain hook. A RVS hook will get bent and forged one breaks.
Commissioning in Vietnam, with a Seawind 1260 as a new yacht, is a bit complex. Getting familiar, repairing little mishaps on commission and departing the country in 3 to 5 days after accepting ownership, is tight.
We will try to charter an Seawind 1260 in the med or US to get familiar with the yacht and the B&G equipment. We are both experienced sailors and will do as much preparation as possible. Test driving our Seawind for 1 or 2 days, the basic on commission, is short. So we will prepare for detecting small failures while making a maiden voyage of 900 NM. We will talk to the support office of Seawind what is possible to extend the commission or other solutions.
Route and Crew
The maiden voyage is to the south of Taiwan. A backup plan, sailing to the Philippines, is necessary. We will avoid China, to much of a visa hassle. A second thought is the accompanying of 1 or 2 crew members. Which will make this first trip more comfortable. Lets see if a local delivery crew is available, again with the help of the support office of Seawind. (Skills, payment, Passport, Visa, Return flight) An alternative is asking around in our circle of friends, or even within the Seawind community.
Spare Parts & Tools
Oke, I have a list of tools put together by comparing other lists with two thoughts in mind. First downsize aka limit the total amount of weight. Second ship it to Vietnam of buy it locally?
Spare parts is a second list to work on. A big yes to service kits and lubricants. A maybe to some service kits. And an “I don’t know” to complete spare units. I hope the Seawind factory can provide me with some advice and getting this these items in Vietnam.
Well from crockery to bed linen, fresh food to cans and beans, yet a few more items to consider what to bring to Vietnam or buy locally.
My new B&G Zeus3 accepts both C-Map and Navionics charts, which one to choose? The top of the line, C-map Max-N+ (now REVEAL) or Navionics Platinum+, offers a lot of features of little interest to me. Pseudo 3D, relief images of the bottom, too colorful. (march 2022: C-Map renamed its product Max-N+ –> REVEAL
There is also a price argument. Navionics is more expensive, there is a price increase of 50% between Navionics+ and Platinum+ and a smaller covered area. For Navionics+ the coverage of “large” is UK + Ireland + Netherlands (€ 243 in 2020). You need 2 Platinum+ cards (UK + Ireland and NL for 2 * € 365), which is an increase of 300%. The subscription costs 50% of the purchase price annually.
C-Map is more affordable, the largest covered area is called Continental Charts or Extra Large. For example Northern Europe for € 233 and the Pacific side from Panama to Canada € 179. There product is renamed form Max-N to DISCOVER. The subscription costs 50% of the purchase price annually.
C-map is therefore the winner of this competition, but you have to look at your sailing area. For us: Vietnam to Japan, the crossing to Canada, hoping to Panama, Micronesia towards NZ and Australia, an unusual route that crosses both densely populated and sparsely populated areas.
And then it is clear that island hopping from the very south of Japan to Central Japan is not covers by a C-map Continental chart. Look for the Wide (Costal) equivalent or if absent buy a Navionics map. The same goes for Micronesia towards NZ.
Navionics and C-map provides maps for South Pacific toward NZ, but it is well known that they are not very accurate. Looking for alternatives there is one valid option, Satellite Charts or Overlays. If you are the owner of a Navico plotter, like B&G, then you can integrate them on your device, otherwise you an alternative like OpenCPN or Ovital or .., I still look to sailors forums for input on converted maps of that area. So there are a few ground rules for navigating ‘uncharted’ waters.
Always search for information before creating a route;
Zoom in or activate the correct number of detail layers on your chart plotter;
If possible, activate an alarm depth of ~ 5 to 10 meters, quickly respond with an opposite heading when sounding;
Put way-points 5 NM away from your destination, obstacle, reef barrier;
Never approach at night, go slow (I broke this rule a few times);
Use satellite imagery to aid in your navigation at that particular entrance.
OpenCPN with satellite images
New features on the top version of C-Map and Navionics are Aerial Photos. But not available in C-map Max-N + Continental charts and for Navionics Platinum + only in relation to SonarCharts, the community database. Guess what, you have to be online and the coverage of sparsely populated or economically uninteresting areas is low.
So satellite overlays is it. Satellite overlays can be done in a number of ways. It all started with:
Paul Higgins who wrote GE2KAP (Google Earth to KAP, Chart Image Files) started the Satellite Overlays movement. Known, works with old version of GE, Windows oriented, see http://gdayii.ca/index.php . Currently known as SAT2Chart.
SAS.Planet, a Windows standalone program to download images from different providers, also see my article on how to integrate SAS.Planet images on the B&G Zeus3.
Venture Farther, is a plug-in on top of OpenCPN, works with a database in which images are stored. A great feature from the same programmers is a tool for uploading your NMEA depth data from your course as a favor to other users. For more information Vfkaps Charts on OpenCPN or their own website at https://www.venturefarther.com/.