Stern anchoring and Fortress FX-16 & FX-7 anchors

Currently anchored in Zihuatanejo - middle of February 2015


Our Fortress FX-7 when it first was brought down by Ken 
and Nancy on s\v Gitane (they drove back, snow birds)


Fortress  FX-16 and Fortress FX-7 sitting on our cockpit grate on the foredeck this last summer.


We have found that the small Fortress stern anchor we were using (FX-7) did not have the correct chain.

Fortress FX-16 ready for drilling.

We have a stern anchor setup for our FX-16 with 5\16 chain, spliced to 6 plait line. The chain is about two sizes too big for the FX-7. We put out about 60’ of scope and we dragged overnight. There were boats stern anchored on each side of us. We up-anchor and put the FX-16 back on the rode and used it.

Buoy hole drilled in Fortress FX-16 anchor.

 To set the stern anchor we have set the bow anchor with all our rode out, about 285’ and then with the boat powered in reverse we drop the stern anchor and put the boat in neutral. As we get pulled forward we let out stern scope. This seems to work OK but there are a couple problems with it.

1.      We do not back down well to where we want to be. Ours is an old Islander Freeport and to back down in a straight line takes, well you just about cannot, not with any wind or sea state. So to get the boat pointed where you want it to be while anchored bow and stern you really need to use the dinghy to drop the stern anchor where you want it.

Drilling hole in winter clothes :)

Hole drilled in Fortress FX-16 and clip for buoy line shown. 
This will also fit the Fortress FX-7.

2.       We have 285’ of rode but only 10’ of chain on it at this time. We ae upgrading this to 60’ of chain this summer but for now we have only 10’. So to set and hold we need 7.1 scope at the bow. This leaves us with about 60’ scope on the stern anchor. With the mis-match rode set up on the stern the FX-7 does not hold well.

We anchored at La RopaBeach in Zihuatanejo where you need a stern anchor. The water is cleaner and it is quieter, but a long dinghy ride.

So we used the FX-16 this last time and we had some winds in the 25 knot range and rolling seas coming into the anchorage. The winds were on our beam putting a lot of strain on our ground tackle. The tackle held fine though and with boats on both side of us this was good. Then we had to retrieve the stern anchor (FX-16). This was not easy. We tried to make an anchor lift with a buoy and clip but it would not work. I also tried pulling it out with the dinghy and by hand but no go. The stern anchor was in by a resort's swim ropes and near shore. This made it a bit difficult using the boat to pull the Fortress  FX-16 out of the bottom. Debbie and I did fine though. We always put a buoy on our stern anchor. Let’s folks know not to drop their hook there and that we are stern anchored.

To up that FX-16 we had to un-tie the stern rode from the boat and put a buoy on it also and drop it in the bay. Then we upped the bow anchor and came around and picked up the buoy with the stern rode on it. Then hauled it in and tied it off tight when on top of the Fortress FX-16 Fortress anchor. Then we pulled it out as you would to unset an anchor. This was rather close to the surf line and swim floats.

So to fix or just make it easier, Debbie suggested we will flip the stern rode around and buy some 3\16 chain for the Fortress FX-7 and then we can use it. With 90-100’ of scope on it the FX-7 would work great we think. Also we should be able to pull it out with the dinghy and either re-set it if the swell changes of just to up-anchor. So with 60’ of new chain added to the 285’ of 8 plait anchor rode we should be able to pull in on the stern rode while letting out the bow rode and retrieve it that way.

So there are the solutions.
To make the buoy on the stern anchor easier to set up we are drilling holes in the mud flukes of the Fortress anchors so we can just clip it on. We currently tie it around the top of the anchor.

Then we anchored at Princapal anchorage, Madera beach where you do not need a stern anchor. We used our other rode for here as it is more of a crowded anchorage. We used 60' 3\8 BBB chain with 100' 3 strand rode (what is left of our old rode after cutting away bad chain). This way we can short scope it 5:1 and we do not swing in such a wide radius.

Stern rode drying out on the life line.

The buoy yellow floating line is there also.

Bow - 8 plait line drying out.

Acapulco Marina La Marina

Anchored in Zihuatanejo , Madera beach, Mexico (in the Princapal anchorage)

Another marine we dinghed around while in Acapulco  checking it out (1/12/2015).

Acapulco La Marina Marina

This is the center of the marina - a lighthouse-type building 
and it appears there is a pool with chairs around on the grounds 
below (difficult to see from the dinghy.)

Not sure what this is/was - the lettering 
is not readable.  Perhaps it is/was a type 
of clubhouse for the fisherman collectivo.

This is the dinghy-view!  Nice beach in front of the hotel.

Aerial view...picture taken off the internet.

Spectra Watermaker Ventura 200T Deluxe - Cylinder cracked, again!

Mid-February 2015 - Anchored at La Ropa Beach in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

We decided to check out what was causing the leak in the Spectra Watermaker Ventura 200T Deluxe Watermaker so we pulled the unit out from under the settee.  Initially, we thought it might just be the o-rings at the check-valve ports - one of the more common places.  

Debbie with all the tools of her "trade" - 
watermaker apart and cylinder in hand!

Spectra Watermaker Ventura 200T Deluxe

This is the piston inside the cylinder...the check valves on the left side.

This is the other side, showing the piston seal.

Here are the check valve o-rings 
which get replaced.  (The brass fittings are where 
the allen-head bolts screw into 
to hold the cylinder onto the center block.) 

This picture shows the center block 
cylinder o-ring, which also get replaced.

At least Debbie keeps her sense of humor 
during these tough projects...art out of the o-rings!


The photos that follow show the inside of the cylinders (there are two).  They are ceramic. The cylinder on the left is good and the cylinder on the right appears to have a crack.  We have been in touch with tech support at Spectra and have arranged to have a new cylinder shipped to a cruiser-friend's mom's house for when she gets there and comes back next week.  Hopefully, this will fix the leak and the water maker can go back to making water efficiently.  We can still make water in it's current condition, it's just not very efficient due to the leak.












Re-located the Spectra Ventura 200T Water maker

Anchored in Zihuatanejo February 2015.

October 2014 - Paradise Village Marina, Banderas Bay Mexico

This is back in July of 2104 during the summer - Re-located the Spectra Ventura 200T Water maker

To get to the Spectra water maker and the back flush without too much hassle we installed a small hatch in the top wood of the settee for access. Where the water maker is located underneath where the double bed is. The top folds out to make the settee into a bed. This means there are two tops on top of the compartment where the water maker is. To make it a simple "reach in" we needed a second hatch.

OK we got great progress done on our relocating and plumbing fixes for our Spectra water maker. In fact we are about ready for the testing. Now the water maker should be much easier to service and run much quieter.

 Debbie also removed one of the cylinders from the Clark pump and put in a new seal. We had a leak in that area and Debbie guessed it was the cause. Debbie is the water girl and takes care of the Spectra water maker and knows it well.

We removed this Shurflo pump assembly with filter to under the settee.

We are removing the accumulator tank and other gear plus 
wiring and plumbing for re-location.

Pre-filter being moved.

Shurflo pump assembly with filter.

The locker by the settee is going to house the need to get to gear 
for changing filters and cleaning sea strainer etc.

Hard at work.

In this cabinet we now have the sea strainer and the pre-filter 
for the Spectra Ventura 200T water maker

These white fittings that came with the Spectra Ventura 200T Water maker are total junk. Please do yourself a favor and replace them with quality 5\8 fittings before you do the install.

New location for Shurflo pump etc.

We also installed a light as shown. 

                        The locker by the settee is now housing the filters and sea strainer etc.



Re-located the through hull and valve for the Spectra Ventura 200T Water maker 
here so it is now over ten feet closer to the Spectra Ventura 200T Water maker and Shurflo pump and is 3\4" hose to sea strainer instead of 1\2".

The leaks we had we fixed during the re-install. 

Acapulco "Club de Yates de Acapulco" - Acapulco Yacht Club Marina


Acapulco Yacht Club Marina

This mooring field is at the entrance to the Yacht Club.

A sleek-looking silver-gray power boat moored in the marina basin! 
There are places to anchor in the marina basin but it is 40+ feet deep.

Marina basin where there are a lot of mooring balls.

"Club de Yates de Acapulco" - Acapulco Yacht Club Marina


Some of the condo buildings around the Acapulco Yacht Club Marina area.


More med ties.


Empty mooring for a med tied boat.


Large and small.

A small basin which leads to the little bridge below.
You can see the large cement blocks on the bottom
 that hold the mooring balls for the bow ties up.

By the Acapulco Yacht Club Marina main club house area.

Some smaller boats in the marina.

Some smaller boats in the marina. Found it interesting 
that there were two similar power-cats!

Not so small.

Starboard SUP like the one I have - only ours is inflatable.


Boat yard facilities.


There is a nice fuel dock at the Acapulco Yacht Club Marina but they want to only fuel up Acapulco Yacht Club Marina boats. It has a small turn around area for a basin but we heard of larger boats fueling no problem, can we say bow thrusters?

Acapulco Yacht Club Marina is probably the most expensive marina in Acapulco also.
 We had friends on s\v Elizabeth Jean (Eric and Eulalie) were charged $3.00 USD a foot. Yikes!!