I splurged and bought a Rocna 6 anchor a while back. I felt the cost of the anchor was justified by its awsome reputation of holding in some serious conditions. Since I will be taking this little boat to the Florida Keys soon and hopefully the Bahamas in the future I wanted something that I could depend on. In such a small 17' boat your anchor could very well save your life someday.
The only downside to the Rocna anchor that I have found so far is that it is awkward to stow. It is one solid piece so there is no folding it or taking it apart to stow it. There isn't much room on a 17' boat to put it anyhow and I wanted it to be somewhere that I could access easily in an emergency. There is not enough room to store in any of the cockpit lockers so it had to go into the cabin. After playing with the anchor in different positions down below I finally decided that it had to go under the cockpit right inside the companionway. I only have about 12" of vertical clearance under there and the anchor is pretty much that high at some point no matter how it lays so I had to get creative.
My first idea was to use a milk crate to store it and it's rode in. I knew I had to have the anchor sitting down in the crate some so I began cutting away at it with my jig saw so that the anchor would "rest" on top of the rode in the bottom. I finally realized that I never would get the anchor down low enough to clear the opening since it was sitting on top of the rode. I needed a larger container that the rode could be spread out more in.
My next thought was to build my own box. After playing with the anchor in it's designated area trying to figure out the best way it should "lay" I think I had it figured out. So off to my woodworking shop I go....
I made the box 22" long, 14" wide and 10 1/2" tall. I put an piece of plywood at an angle in the bottom to hold the anchor on it's side and not let it fall on top of the rode. What this really did was it kept the rode out of a small area of the box so that the anchor could sit all the way down on the bottom of the box, putting my anchor as low as it could go. I put a notch in one side of the box so the shank of the anchor had a place to rest and it made the anchor sit level to the box.
With this setup, there is plenty of room in the box for the 20' of chain and 100' of line, with more room to spare for extra rode in the future.
I plan on cutting holes in the bottom of the final box to allow for water to drain out when the wet rode is put back in the box. Also I will cut holes in the side of the box to reduce the weight of the box, but not enough holes to sacrifice the structural properties of the box. Some hand holes will be added to each side of the box so that it can be handled easily.
I was going to build the final box out of some composite material but after some thought I figured I could save some money and build it out of plywood. With several coats of poly it will be waterproof enough and if it ever does rot I can simply build another out of some more scraps.
I will posting the final box soon so check back!