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For anchoring, we relied initially on the standard 20kg CQR anchor, backed up by a 15kg Fisherman as a kedge (which we have not used). The Fisherman was inherited from our previous boat, and is still known as the Holy Island anchor. Only a Fisherman can get through the kelp there. If I needed to use it, it would probably be used in tandem with the CQR. As a reserve, we now also have a 20kg Bruce, and 6 metres of 3/8” chain.

We carry 200ft of 12mm anchorplait, plus a Swedish Ankroliner which has 50 metres of tape equivalent to 12mm anchorplait. This reel is mounted on the pushpit, and is therefore readily accessible for use. In practice, its main use is to provide long quay lines when we are rafted out.

When we picked up a buoy, we used to go alongside it, and pass a rope through first. We now have a fancy gadget (Bosco) that will hook onto the buoy, and can be unhooked remotely by pulling line that is threaded through the core of the rope part. That releases the hook. We would then lift the buoy to deck level with the electric winch before threading a permanent line or chain through the eye, Such devices become increasingly important as we become more geriatric!

Once secure to the buoy, I use a short length of chain shackled between rope strops to minimise chafe.

Even the Bosco will not cope with the ghastly French marina pontoon fingers that do not have any cleats, only a 30+mm bar round the end. Or even a plastic pickup buoy with a thick handle. These are too big for the Bosco, so our friend Terry Eagle designed a device to cope with this, and I persuaded him to make me one. As Dairne has difficulty in stepping down onto these finger piers, we now have a means of attaching ourselves without even getting off the boat.

Finally, John, who we met in Brittany gave me a ‘grappling hook’, or ‘crook’, that can be thrown over a pontoon finger, or any other relatively fixed object such as a cleat. It gives a temporary hold while something better can be organised, but does not have the strength to withstand a lot of weight. Nevertheless, very simple, and is the deice most used.

Latterly, we have acquired a ‘threadthrough’ device (such as the Jolly Hooker’) for passing a rope through an eye. This seems to be very successful and has largely supplanted the Bosco

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