View Full Version : Best anchor for the Med
Having spent the last few weeks an anchor because of expensive and overcrowded marinas in Italy I am wondering if I am using the best anchor for the job. I have a 20kg CQR for my 14m boat and can only say that it is not giving me a lot of confidence. I have even taken to swimming down to it (using scuba gear) and trying to help plant it better.
I would be interested to hear what other readers are using. Typically the bottom is hard sand or mud which is difficult to dig into.
We've a 25 kg Delta which works fine most days holding 10mm chain and our 46'er. I prefer them over CQR's as I find they set - and reset on the swing - a bit quicker.
Works fine 98% of the time on hand sand / mud - but I gain confidence on tricky bottoms by laying as much as 6/8 times depth as scope in chain - when I feel it will be needed.
See the post below on Rocna Anchor.
General opinion I think is to use anything other than a CQR. I never ever saw my CQR dig in properly, and used to resort to diving down to help set it.
We swear by our CQR but have 30kgs on a 12m boat, suggest you would do better if you upgrade the size. When the bottom is too hard however we change to the Danforth, sets faster but I would rather have the CQR and lots of chain out in a blow. We always try and dive or at least snorkel to check that whatever we use has set well.
I think that the chapter on anchoring in Hal Roth's book 'After 50,000 miles' is the best info I have read on this vast subject!
If it is hard sand or mud then it all depends on getting the flukes into the ground. That means they must be sharp and heavy. What do the locals use? I have modified my anchoring technique in Spain, in weed, as a result of problems and looking at what the locals do, and I am much more comfortable. FWIW, our Bruce is brilliant in sand and mud but even a 30kg Bruce might not get into a hard surface. Wander round the boatyards, marinas and chandleries and see what locals actually seem to use.
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I have a 20kg CQR for my 14m boat and can only say that it is not giving me a lot of confidence. I have even taken to swimming down to it (using scuba gear) and trying to help plant it better.
[/ QUOTE ]http://www.rocna.com/images/remote/testing_plow_dragging.jpg
The Buegel is popular in the Med and available cheaply, but is a little primitive, and might give you problems if you need to use it in soft mud.
Read this (http://www.rocna.com/boat_anchors/new_gen_boat_anchors.html).
Do some research of your own. Basically you need something a little more modern. Delta, Buegel, Spade, Rocna.
The SPADE anchor, is the only anchor wich has been developed in the Med, especially for the difficult bottoms of the Med.(weed over hard sand)
The first prototype has been manufactured in Bodrum (ischmeler), the second one in aluminum in Marmaris.. and they are still manufactured on the Med shore...
SEE HERE ! (http://www.spade-anchor.com/Site%20anglais/US/default_US.html)
After my 30kg Bruce with 30m chain (x6 depth) had dragged in a F5 gusting 6 on weed in San Antonio, Ibiza, I found that I could lie happily to my 15kg Danforth with no chain - just warp - in the same wind conditions. So I have bought a 1.8m length of chain and a couple of shackles so that I can shackle the Danforth just behind the Bruce in such a way that the Danforth hits the bottom first and the Bruce acts (in the worst case) like a chum or has an additive effect with the Danforth. It really does work well and is fairly easy to set up. Quite a few locals who regularly leave their boats at anchor unattended for weeks use two anchors of different types on the same rode. I'm not saying that the Bruce/Danforth combination is necessarily the best combination (though it does make sense when you look at the designs of them, which are entirely different) but I happened to have those to hand. Consider using your existing bower and kedge like this before spending a lot of money on a new anchor etc.
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I can shackle the Danforth just behind the Bruce in such a way that the Danforth hits the bottom first and the Bruce acts (in the worst case) like a chum or has an additive effect with the Danforth. It really does work well and is fairly easy to set up.
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The technique you are describing is very well known as “tandem set anchoring”
Unfortunately my own experience and the results of the tests I have done with this method are quite negative, as are the results of the test done by Jean Louis
GOLDSCHMID (former technical manager of Nautical Center of Glénans) published in N° 114 of Glénans news letter (August 83) (“badly” translated from French)
<< The Tandem set technique it is a very good technique with Fisherman anchors and I personally made some experiment at time when the Glénans’s boats only had this type of anchors on board.
On the other hand,. I began one day to have doubts while seeing tandem set anchored boats dragging.
I thus carried out a series of measurements of traction with a motor boat. Almost all the tests gave the same results: one needed 200 rpm less to drag 2 tandem set anchors (CQR or Fluke anchors) than only one of these anchors alone. I thus checked what occurred, with small anchor on the dry maërl beach of “PEN MARYSE” in the Archipelago of Glénans, pulling by hand.
First problem with the CQR:, it doesn’t have any fixation hole to attach the second anchor (that should have been a sufficient reason for not using this technique), I thus tested the bar, the trip line hole, the elbow of the shank. On these 3 points. the effect is the same one: the articulation plays badly, the plow cannot dig in. Remain the extremity of the shank, but it is not better. Almost each time, the chain comes to obstruct the plow The whole system does hold only on the most distant anchor. If this one is smaller, it holds less than only the large anchor one. I noted too that an anchor holds very badly in the furrow of another.
With the “Fluke” anchors: this is again the same problem of devoted fixation, and it does not have there anything which can be used except sometimes the trip line rings which are usually not strong enough. However, from time to time y obtained results comparable with the holding of only one anchor.
I thus concluded from it, that I had sufficiently poisoned my life by re-installed useless scrap heap to definitively give up the tandem set technique.
Spade, Brittany, Danforth, Bugel are the most commonly seen anchors in the live-aboard marinas in Greece, where the most common bottom is hard sand. Most of these will also dig deep in very soft mud (Levkas - which a CQR will just pull through).
Perhaps I did not explain clearly how I do it, and it does seem to work well...
I attach a 1.8m length of chain to my Danforth (my kedge) and shackle that to the main anchor chain, not the anchor, about 10cm behind the anchor connector. The Danforth then drops about 2m below the main anchor while I position the boat for anchoring - the 1.8m is simply to avoid the Danforth touching the bottom before letting the anchors go and the 10cm is to prevent conflict with the main anchor. The danger is that the Danforth's chain could fall under the main anchor and foul it but if you think the thing through you will see that it is not highly probable, and has not apparently happened in practice - I have often looked at the arrangement by swimming over with mask and snorkel, and it looks good.
I would not consider the technique of tandem anchors you describe for the reason you give. Safer to put an anchor chum down, I imagine.
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