A general note on anchors in South Australian waters

As in all anchorages around Australia, you are bound to see all manner of anchors in use in SA waters – from the ubiquitous Danforth and CQR (or their copies), to the Bruce, Delta, Spade, SARCA and so on. Of course, if you want to get a heated discussion going, just throw in a comment about the performance, or otherwise, of a certain sort of anchor. However, unlike along the eastern coast (not counting Tasmania), the one anchor that you are mostly likely to see (and get agreement about), at the very least as a back up secured ready to use on the bow, is the fisherman’s or Admiralty anchor.


South Australia has a lot of anchorages where the fisherman’s anchor is the anchor of preference for experienced cruisers, anchorages where there is weed and/or a thin layer of sand over a limestone substrate. In these conditions, many anchors fail to perform, their mouths choked with weed or simply dragging through the sand, unable to penetrate sufficiently to produce the required holding power.


The fisherman’s can be a pain with it’s unburied fluke sticking up ready to catch the rode as the tide swings, but when it’s blowing the crabs out of the sand on a (cold, wet and) windy night, most of us here in SA will have a fisherman’s at the end of the chain, albeit maybe in tandem with our usual anchor.


Of course the rode is also of great importance. If the rode is not all chain it is suggested that a minimum of 20m of chain, of an appropriate weight for the vessel, be used before the rope.