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Old 01-30-2007, 03:57 AM   #1
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Hi

I have 1963 Columbia 29. I'm going to cruise her in Labrador/New Foundland this summer/fall and then Caribbean during the winter. I'm looking for some good anchors for her. She is 28'6", 8400lb displ.

I'm thinking about Fortress FX23 (15lb.) as a working anchor and 35lb. Delta as a storm anchor. This plus 2x 12' 5/16chain and 2x 200' 5/8nylon rope. I don't have windlass.

Do you think it's overkill? In old days 35lb. CQR plus 200' chain would be recommended. Are those new anchors really so good?

Piotrek
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:45 AM   #2
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I believe all the say about the Fortress when used under the right conditions.

With anchors it is horses for courses. Ideally you should have a specific anchor for each type of holding ground you will anchor in...but that would be in an ideal world. Anchors cost money, take up space and are heavy. IMHO the best solution is to have two or three different anchors. I use a CQR, a Fortress and an adapted Admiralty Pattern anchor which, judging by its size (but not holding power) was probably stolen off the Bismark. My boat is pretty much the same size as yours and I don't have a windlass either.

The Fortress and CQR I use on 30m all chain rodes with a snubber. The Bismark anchor I use only for short stops (and when I need to exercise). It has a 5 metre chain and 20m nylon rode.

The important issue is really that of chain. I know many people use only short lengths of chain or even no chain at all which makes for easier handling and less weight. But weight is the issue. When I was 'up' for my second mates ticket I was taught that the anchor secures the chain (in big ships we called it cable) but it is the weight of the cable that holds the ship. Typicaly a 14,000 ton cargo ship (when I took my ticket 30+ years ago) had two anchors (+ 1 reseve) which weighed about 110 cwt. each. She would carry about 7 shackles on each anchor. 1 shackle was 15 fathoms so, doing the maths, that means about 100 metres of cable.

Now to yachts. We cannot carry anywhere nearly as much cable as big ships; but we don't need to either. We anchor in shallower water but the principle is the same. More cable/chain gives you more holding power than just uping the size of the anchor.

In the end, you make your own decission. I would advise you check out the ROHCNA anchor. I have not used one but it looks good. Also, a Bruce is very good in sandy - muddy conditions. In rock or kelp no anchor is good but the old fishermans is probably best.

I think your combination of Fortress and Delta to be quite good. You are loking at two different anchors suitable for differnt sea beds. I would not worry so much about your anchors but consider more chain.

The bottom line is that we all have out favourites and that is the way it should be. If you can sleep well at night when at anchor with a rising wind then you have made the right choice.

Yours aye,

Stephen

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Old 01-30-2007, 06:23 PM   #3
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I agree with Stephen. His post is telling you about the importance of chain. Once anchored the boat is pulling on the weight of the chain rather then the anchor...if you have sufficient chain.

I use 2 delta's 35 lbs for my boat, a 10,000 catamaran. I have a lot more windage then you and I suspect you can easily use a lighter delta anchor. Primary anchor has 300 feet of chain. 2nd anchor has 150 feet of chain and 150 of rope. My fortress is my stern anchor, 12 feet of chain. I wouldn't use it as a primary anchor but it does dig in well in sand and mud. It's just too lightly built to hang on this and still be able to sleep at night. JMO
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:38 PM   #4
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Piotrek,

Big is better. The anchor-debate is almost as fierce as the 'guns on board" one. IMHO the basic-question is: what's a good night of sleep worth to you? Just use the biggest anchor you can handle. Why a storm anchor: that should be you main anchor! Strong winds don't always come with a warning, not to mention unexpected local conditions and squalls passing at night.

Anyway, most important, enjoy your trip!

Jan
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for good advice about chain. I'll better put something like 20-30' of chain.

Stephen, you said, that you don't have a windlass, but you use all chain so I guess that you have chain winch, stoper and bow roller.

My first thought was to use all chain, and manual windlass, but then I checked prices, and all this arrangement would cost me over $1000 plus anchors and chain. Also it would be hard to instal bow roller on my boat. So I decided to go for chain plus nylon rope, hang Fortres from bow rail and keep Delta in the cockpit locker or on the stern rail. 35lb Delta and Fortress23 are suggersted for 40-45' boat, so they are "storm size" for my boat.

Good to hear, that those are good working anchors. Thanks.

Spike_dawg, I've heard that Fortress is fragile anchor, thats why I'd like to have heavy Delta. On the other hand light weight is handy for short stops and maneuvers.

Jan, I could probably handle bigger anchor, but I'm affraid my budget would be hurt... I agree that it's always better to sleep with two anchors on the bottom (I like the bahamian style).

Thanks for all advice
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:27 AM   #6
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Piotrek,

No, I have no windlass or other anchor handling gear except a bow roller. On the other hand, I have a big, strong 17 year old son who pulls up an anchor and chain faster than I can with a windlass.

Seriously though, I can mamnage the whole process myself with a bit of care. I am thinking of adding a pawl to my bow roller that will stop the chain running out when I want to take a break when hauling it up.

Also, I don't believe in storm anchors. As Jan said, just put your heaviest ground tackle down unless you are just loking for a lunch-time stopover.

I am a firm believer in good ground tackle. It is the best insurance you wil ever buy.

Aye

Stephen

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Old 01-31-2007, 12:53 PM   #7
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I am a believer in as much chain as you can handle with a combination chain/rode setup. Chain holds that rode down and keeps the pull on the anchor flat along the bottom. Why not use 1/4" HT chain? Its as strong as the common 5/16" and lighter? That way you could use say 80ft of chain and the anchor would get a good bite. I would say minimum of 60ft of 5/16" chain.

I am just a coastal cruiser but anchor frequently as I don't like marinas and I'm cheap Primary anchor on my Ericson 38 (15000lbs) is a 35lb CQR, 60ft of 5/16" chain and 210' of 5/8" nylon rode. So far the CQR sticks like glue in this New England mud. Secondary anchor is 25lb or so Danforth with 40ft of chain, 150ft 1/2" rode. Never used it, yet.... I'm almost at the limit of what I can pull comfortably. No windlass, yet. I think a 45lb Bruce and 80ft of chain would be the limit of my back. RT
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:58 AM   #8
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Thanks for all advice. It's great to know, that you can operate a long chain without windlass. I'm seriously thinking about all chain, stopper and roller arrangement. The problem is with the bow setup on my boat. It looks like this:



I really don't feel like building roller platform, moving fairleads and so on.

I'll see how the rest of the work goes. If I'll have time I'll do it, if not, I'll go with chain plus rope.

Thank you for all your wisdom again.

Piotrek
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:28 AM   #9
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Nice picture...defined the problem quite well.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:18 AM   #10
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Yup, thats not the best setup for ground tackle. There are several shortcomings that are all going to lead to you being frustrated when it comes time to anchor. The main problem I see is a lack of bow roller and anchor storage. The access to chain locker is limited also. The good news is it appears that there is a chain locker! If it were me I would rebuild/install a bow roller, add nice heavy duty cleats and fairleads, move the hawse pipe back and enlarge it so chain can drop through, make sure the chain locker is adequate, etc.

Anchoring is a no-BS proposition. If your anchor doesn't hold then you may lose the boat and maybe your life. If the anchor is difficult to use then you will be less inclined to re-set it or move if weather dictates.

I am not familiar with the Columbia 29 but that is not a really big boat. It may not respond well to a lot of added weight in the bow so choose your modifications carefully. Given the setup you have there it would seem that the anchor&chain would have to be stored elsewhere and then carried up to the bow, attached to the rode and then deployed. This will get old fast. Its one thing to remove an anchor for a passage its another entirely to carry it forward every time you need it.

Another consideration is how deep is the water you will be regularly anchoring in? 200ft should be plenty for the Caribbean but check out Labrador/Newfoundland to make sure you have enough rode.

I'm just a coastal guy but my anchor is on a roller with a rode locker just behind it. I can pull the rode and flake it into the deck locker as I go. This is a workable setup and IMHO almost perfect for a boat with no windlass. The anchor can be deployed and hauled easily and that is what you are shooting for. Modifying you boat can be done and the results will be worth it since you will likely use the anchor daily. Good luck, RT
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:47 PM   #11
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As I was about to post a topic on anchor, I might as well tag along on that one. I have both CQR and Bruce ounted on chain and rope respectively. The CQR dragged more often than I can recall so I switched them, now Bruce on Chain. It seems to be working a lot better. Holdings were the same for both anchor mostly sand or mud o a conbination of both. Now to the point, although the Bruce is working OK, she is still a little too small only 20Kg for 25 tons displacement. So I am looking for something a bit bigger and different design. By talking to quite a few people, 2 design came up as the least troublesome, that is Spade and Buegel. By the way I also firmly believe that the length and size of chain is as important as the anchor itself, If I cannot have a minimum of 3 times the depth I look for another place or use the rope rode.

Any opinions out there on Spade and Buegel or something else.

Fair winds
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:28 PM   #12
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You might look at the Rocna anchor. It will be my next anchor. Very similar to a delta in design but with a roll bar. Voted the best in a test by sailing magazine and very popular in the South Pacific (made in New Zealand). http://www.rocna.com/home.php?region=na

Similar to the Bugel anchor..delta like design with a bar.

You can also make this yourself if you are handy. I saw it on a website some time ago but can't locate it now.

Spade anchor is also very good, but very expensive, a delta is similar performing and better cost. JMO

West Marine test.

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Old 02-01-2007, 07:39 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info on the Rocna, looks good. However the Spade sold by West Marine is significntly cheaper. As you pointed out the spade is already expensive compared to most other design. So it is a bit of a surprise to see Rocna trying to enter the market at high price. Perhaps I missed something in the process.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:40 PM   #14
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They are VERY cheap here in NZ. Perhaps some place else might have them at an affordable price? WM is very expensive and I never shop there unless I have to. Funny deal though the WM price isn't too bad on the spade

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/store...23690&ref=81902

Defender usually beats their prices and their spade ON CLEARANCE

http://www.defender.com/product2.jsp?path=...35401&id=108334

WOW! Wonder what it was normally priced at?
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