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Thread: Which anchor?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ammersee, Bavaria
    Posts
    4,834

    Default Re: Which anchor?

    99% of all nights at anchor, by all boats in the world, pass without incident. Anchor manufacturers need to hype their new designs because an anchor can last a lifetime - which means few repeat sales, but to be profitable they have to persuade people to "upgrade". Boats have been anchoring for centuries using all sorts of anchors and my firm belief is that if you understand your anchor and know your cruising ground, take a little care with weather forecasts, choice of anchor spot, and then set it properly with the correct scope - you'll be pretty much OK. Storm or hurricane preperations are a completely different story and having "the best" modern anchor as your main anchor won't be the deciding factor at the end of the day.

    While it is interesting to see which combination of anchor and sea bottom is ultimately "best", there are so many other factors involved when it comes to avoiding problems, not least the number, density, and ability of the boats around you. Almost every time I have had a problem at anchor in the last decade it's been due to other boats - in crowded anchorages, when the wind gets up or a thunder storm sweeps through - I've bailed out a number of times when boats start hitting each other or drifting and I always have a plan B - be it another bay nearby or a marina. I usually end up in anchorages with charter boats, who get whichever anchor the charter company chooses (cheapest) and often the skippers and crew only sail for 2 weeks a year and simply don't understand how to position their boat relative to others or what scope they actually need - they anchor on top of each other and then use short scopes to compensate.

    When I bought my boat, it had a galvanised M-Anchor (ex-charter boat) ... it had a bent shank where they had drilled a hole so a pin on the bow roller could hold it fast. I immediately replaced it with an original but unused bruce I found on E-Bay for €18 (still had the original stickers on it) ... I didn't drill a hole through the shank, and it's been fine for the last 9 years - including when I got it stuck in a rock crevice off Unije and after trying everything to dislodge it, had to dive to retrieve it - fortunately it was undamaged.

    I have the luxury of not having to sit out hurricanes at anchor and I have a plethora of safe bolt-holes, harbours and marinas if it gets really nasty. For me, anchor discussions are interesting but academic, a new anchor is so far down my list of priorities it doesn't even figure. I would imagine there are many others out there in a similar situation.

    That's not to say don't keep up the good work - if I lost my bruce for any reason, I'd probably buy a modern anchor to replace it.
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,269

    Default Re: Which anchor?

    A post from the silent majority - very likely to produce a rash of disagreement (with little substance to suppot their rants)

    One of the common assertions is that a bigger anchor will work in a marginal seabed. I'd be interested in any evidence. I am actually sure there is evidence - but not so sure that one size bigger will offer any detectable difference.

    Now, I don't expect any evidence - I thought I'd raise the idea of the proponents adding some substance.

    If we talk about weed - then a Fishermans or Luke would be better than a bigger anchor (one size bigger?). If we talk about soupy mud then a Fortress, or Danforth would be a better option (and to support the contention a bigger Fortress might be best - which is precisely why we carry a big Fortress). If we talk about very hard seabeds, how many actually anchor in hard seabeds that defeat a Rocna, Spade et al and would a bigger one (rather than an anchor with a sharp toe) be better.

    Anchors are a compromise.

    Just because 'you' use a big anchor, just because you say 'every live aboard cruiser' (really?) use an anchor one size bigger - does not prove you, or they, need it.

    A large number, a decent sized minority group, of the population in Sydney drive a big 4x4, Merc, BMW, Range Rover, Toyota, Ford - that does not prove they or you need one. They may say they are safer - I bet few of them have accidents anyway.

    We already have one proponent repeatably saying a big anchor can be used at short scope, with no quotable foundation - surprise me - give any evidence that a big anchor is better in a marginal seabed (and define what a marginal seabed might be).

    Jonathan
    Last edited by Neeves; 14-08-19 at 09:27.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    falmouth
    Posts
    16,881

    Default Re: Which anchor?

    Quote Originally Posted by doug748 View Post
    I know.

    But a serious question, I am in the throes of getting a new anchor. It's down to two:

    Manson Supreme 11kg at c £230. I like it's robustness and price.

    Rocna 10kg at c £290. Perhaps has the edge on reputation (if we ignore the contretemps about construction a while back).

    Which would you have? Both will fit the bow roller and locker.
    Had both and both held well. Of the two I prefered the Rocna . That said both were too heavy for my old body, and leaning over the puspit to locate them in the roller having dragged them from the locker was risky. So I swapped for a Fortress and have never regretted doing so.
    this post is a personal opinion, and you should not base your actions on it.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,269

    Default Re: Which anchor?

    Quote Originally Posted by birdseye View Post
    So I swapped for a Fortress and have never regretted doing so.
    That might invoke a few reactions.

    Some of our American cousins are also happy with a Fortress, you are in good company.

    My only note of caution is:

    I found the anchor size recommended for our cat was a bit big and we could not set it sufficiently deeply that the stock lay on the seabed, or better, was buried. We have gone one size down and can bury or almost bury the stock in sand (for thin mud we went one size up) and the recommended sized model collects dust with the other anchors, excess to needs. If the stock is clear of the seabed and there is a change of tide (or wind) the chain might get under the stock and trip the anchor. This might be one of the oft quoted weakness of Fortress, that it trips easily - and it might simply be due to anchors being used that are simply too big to set deeply.

    We have not regretted downsizing, from a FX23 to a FX16 (set at 30 degrees). We often use the Fortress (the FX16) deployed from a dinghy when setting up a 'V' anchor (as it reduces veering).

    Jonathan

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