Category Archives: Minerva

Happy to be anchored inside the relative protection of Minerva!

Our Silent Ally – A Review of the Spade Anchor – From Minerva Atoll

There are some pieces of gear that work so well that after a while you begin to take them for granted. Such is the case with our Spade Anchor. But every so often, we are reminded just how well it works.

After sailing north five days out of New Zealand, we sought protection from the wind and seas at a mid-ocean circular reef system named Minerva.  For the past 24 hours we have been riding out the reinforced SE trade winds tucked behind a thin strip of coral that breaks most of the brunt of the 3+ meter swell that is punishing the outer reef.  We are anchored in 13 meters, sand, with 50 meters of chain out.  At the end of our chain, buried deep in the sand, lies our trusty ally, and perhaps most important piece of gear in times such as these, our beloved Spade Anchor.  While our catamaran (a Voyage 430) dances and pulls at her gear in the 25 knot winds, and the breaking wind waves bounce her around while tearing past her hulls, we take solace in the fact that the Spade Anchor has not moved since we set it a day ago.  We love our anchor and we aren’t shy about it!  Without the best anchor, you would be constantly worried about dragging across the lagoon and would not get the much-needed rest that we were able to get last night.

For the past couple months there have been a few memorable occasions where the conditions have deteriorated, and the wind starts howling in the rigging.  There’s always a tinge of apprehension about the ground tackle holding us in place; but to our relief, our anchor stays firmly set and silently protects us from the conditions.  Did we mention how much we love this anchor??

So, just what is a Spade Anchor?  Spade Anchor was designed by a French company and the anchor is built in Tunisia.  The anchor is a concave scoop shape with a sharp tip.  The construction is of galvanized steel. The anchor is unique in that it has molten lead poured into the tip; this allows the anchor to keep burying deep into the substrate, always falls correctly, and will stay set if pulled 180 degrees.  The absence of a roll bar is an advantage so that when the anchor is pulled hard and starts to disappear below the substrate, the Spade can keep on digging in without the resistance of the roll bar pulling the tip upwards.  The other advantage is that it’s less likely to foul (or pickup) whatever is down there such as grass, seaweed, lines, etc.

I really enjoy diving on the anchor after a strong blow.  I follow the chain to the anchor but all I see is the chain buried into the sand; no anchor in sight!  I smile because I know the spade is set deep and won’t be coming out until we are ready to move on.

We loved our Spade Anchor on our last boat; we love our Spade Anchor aboard now; and we will have another one on our next. In full disclosure, we are sponsored by Spade Anchor, but even if the Company didn’t sponsor us, we still would have bought the anchor. It’s simply the best anchor we’ve ever used and we trust it.




Happy to be anchored inside the relative protection of Minerva!
Happy to be anchored inside the relative protection of Minerva!
Happy to have our trusty Spade anchor set well and holding strong!
Happy to have our trusty Spade anchor set well and holding strong!
...and the wind waves go flying past!
…and the wind waves go flying past!
...even when the winds pipe up above 30 knots!
…even when the winds pipe up above 30 knots!

More Information on the Spade Anchor at the link below: