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Old 04-22-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2008
Home Port: Stockton, MO
Vessel Name: Ceilidh
Posts: 160

Many points of literature advise readers to "walk the docks" and see what anchors are carried on the bows of cruising boats... Good advice, but I am currently far from those docks and the cruisers whose opinions I want display their anchors on the sea bottom more than on the bow. I understand that no one anchor does it all and bottom structure plays a large roll but answers may address that as folks see fit. I would also like some input as to anchor size relative to the standard usage charts: Do most seasoned cruisers use anchors larger than recommended as their primary anchor. Include, if you are so inclined just how many anchors you carry onboard?

Our current inventory on our 8 ton, 32.5' sloop includes a 35# CQR, a 26# Danforth (for the muddy bottom where we currently stay). I want to add to this and we are leaning toward a 45# Delta but haven't made any final decisions. I would also like to upgrade the Danforth with an equivalent, or larger Fortress. Our current rode inventory is a meager 125' of 1/2" Braid connected to 125' of 1/4" HT Chain, and 250' of 1/2" Nylon with 60' of 1/4" HT Chain. I would feel better if I could add 300' of 1/4" HT Chain without being too bow heavy, but I don't know if the boat will handle that. The HT costs more, but it helps to keep the weight down. I have no experience with Bruce style anchors (or the Delta), but have heard that the Delta resets well and the Bruce does not.

Good ground tackle is necessary for me to feel secure in a marine enviroment... Please share your opinions freely!

David & Brenda

s/v Friendship

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Old 04-22-2008, 08:44 PM   #2
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I have had nothing, but good fortune with my Bruce, and my Delta. The Buegel,spelling?, and Mason got some good reports from world cruisers that sounded good.

I don't think walking the docks will give you your answer. That is just like asking for an opinion with no experience on the subject. The anchor can't talk to you, but the cruiser can!

If I find need for a 4th anchor I would be split on the Buegel, and Mason from what I have read.

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Old 04-23-2008, 12:45 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067

The Old Idiom "Horses for Courses" could be comparable with an idiom for cruising "Anchors for ground" (or Bottom)

Among the various types of anchors :-

The CQR or plough : An average anchor for average conditions.

The Danforth or fluke : Good for soft sand.

The Delta : A plough without a hinge.

The Bruce : doesn't like weed, my experience good, until it picked up a boulder which could not be removed until we got to a marina.

The Bügel : Like a Delta with sharp point and a roll bar - gets through weed - sets well.

The Rocna : Like a Bügel with larger flukes

The Manson : The supreme model similar to the Rocna.

So it looks like some anchors work better than others, depending on the ground.

Choice must also take into account the factor of weight vs holding power.
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:26 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I have a 55# Delta and a 45# Bruce on my Durbeck 46. I am in NW Florida and have sand or silt bottom. The Bruce is used most of the time. I find it needs a fair amount of chain (42’) to give it a good angle to bite in hard sand. I have not had any trouble with it breaking out and resetting. As tide and wind shift, I find that it will pull to a side and dig in deeper. I have had it drag in silt in a average summertime thunderstorm. I do not use it in that type bottom. We have a lot of areas with grass bottoms. I find the Bruce sets faster than a Danforth in grass. The Danforth had a tendency to skip along the grass.

I love my Delta. The problem is that I have a manual anchor windless and am getting old and slow…, according to my wife. I have 36’ of chain on it and it sets fast and if the boat changes direction, corkscrews itself deeper into the bottom. In fact, if I had a problem, it would be getting the thing broke out. It goes through the silt and grass and digs in quickly. Knock on wood, but I have had no problems with it holding even in a thunder storm with a boat tied along side. That my two cents on the topic.

If I recall, either "Cruising World" of "Sail" magazine did a couple articles on the subject a year of so ago. You may be able to look up the articles.
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:53 PM   #5
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Posts: 38

I've recently had two occasion of anchoring a 8m lightweight catamaran in winds up to 40kts both times on lee shores, and can only report that the approx. 4-5 kg aluminium Fortress anchor with maybe 10m of chain and 20m of rope did a superb job and gets my full vote!

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Old 05-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2007
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As other people have said before, there is no right answer. Saying that though, I would suspect that a lot of anchors would work just fine.

I saw one particular trimaran on the east coast of the US, trying to anchor on three separate occasions. He would find a good spot to anchor, drop his anchor (I don't remember what it was now, but it was adequate) and then launch his boat backward at full speed. After dropping and dragging the anchor around for half an hour, he would then go and take a mooring ball or a berth at the nearest marina. The problem was the nut behind the wheel, not the anchor. I would suspect there is a chance that a guy like that would then get on a forum like this and tell everyone how bad his particular anchor was.

As a contrast to that, I have seen a lot of people say that CQR's don't work. I used a 45 pound as my primary anchor on my Freedom 39 all the way up and down the east coast of the US (including the infamous soupy bottom in Back Creek in Annapolis) which is mostly muddy, the Bahamas in sand, and the Dominican Republic mud at Luperon. I used two anchors when I was at Redshanks in the Bahamas, and the wind would always swing when a front went through, and I would end up on my smaller 35 pound CQR with no problem. I do carry a 40 pound Danforth as well, which I have put out as a backup at times, but never needed.

I have spoken to many other cruisers who have been very happy with their Bruce, Buegel, Delta and others who have sworn by their anchor, which leads me to believe that most of the good quality anchors available will suffice in most conditions.

I think that it is quite likely that some of the new generation anchors may well work better than the old style, but they have to be set right in the first place.

After saying that I am happy with my CQR, I would still like a larger anchor for storm conditions, and would like to move up to something in the 65 to 80 pound range, because I believe size does count. Anyway, that is my two cents worth.


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Old 05-04-2008, 11:49 PM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I'm not the most expereinced person to be commenting. I have a plough and a danforth anchor. The plough is much better, except in sand, where both are about equally as good. My boat is 40' long and weighs about 7.5 tons, give or take. I use 45lb anchor(s).
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:24 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2004
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The factor of weight is important from another point of view and that is the ability of the crew to lift the anchor Plus weight of chain in the event that the windlass packs up for some reason. That is why it is useful to have a length of line with a least 2 chain hooks attached which can go onto a free genoa winch.

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Old 05-05-2008, 07:13 PM   #9
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I have found that people setting the anchors is prime. Having enough chain will hold your boat until the wind blows hard. I have seen this many times. Also putting out 2 anchors and the 2nd not on the windless will/can give problems.

I have a SuperMax 18 pound. It holds my 4000 pound boat quite well and resets easilly and qucikly.

It is wise to check conditions and how much chain is used and how much on the bottom and winds on recommendations of anchors. I have seen all anchors drag including my SuperMax.
Cruising Bahamas
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:59 AM   #10
Join Date: May 2008
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I am using a Rocna 20 as my primary anchor, having used most of the usual suspects over the years, and after my CQR clone let me drag several times generally at the most inoportune moments I bought the Rocna, it does everything I have asked of it in fact it holds so well and sets so quickly I have had to rethink my anchoring technique. I agree that they are expensive and if I were to buy another "new wave" type anchor it would be the Manson Supreme, which by design is very similar to the Rocna but is priced more reasonably. 2nd hand I would consider a Buegel. The only other one I would have would be a small alluminium Fortress as a kedging anchor.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:08 PM   #11
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Oh, dear, this thread brings to mind many stories. I hope they don't bore you.

Simpson Bay, St. Maarten. We sailed over there to attend their weekly wiener roast/new guest get-together/cocktail party as freeloading invitees of two guests and the time-share salesman hoping to make some money off us (silly man, but he learned quickly enough). It was blowing the usual 15+ knots, and Simpson Bay has a pervasive swell, which combined with the strong wind gusts that swoop through the anchorage makes the boat bounce back hard on its anchor rode, so when we set our anchor we wanted to be sure that it was set well. As usual, after the anchor was dropped we just gently drift back pushed by the wind until the anchor digs in and stops us. A little reverse throttle to test, and our gentle backing said it was set, so Peter let out more scope until we had our usual 7:1 at least, and I then backed down hard on the anchor and rode. The anchor didn't budge. Yay, let's party! So we hopped into the dinghy and ran in to the beach and grabbed drink and food and let our hosts explain we were "cruisers" in an attempt to apologize for our less than designer-clad appearance. We hadn't even finished our first drink when a friend of ours yelled "Watermelon's dragging!" We hopped into our dinghy and zoomed out to Watermelon, and it took less than a minute for us to tie up the dinghy and start the engine. Back then we did not have an electric windlass, and so retrieving anchor and rode was a slow process. Finally Peter signaled to me that the anchor was up, and he instructed me to motor around the bay for a bit. ???? Not his usual behavior, so I stepped forward to see what was going on. There on the bow was our CQR with an enormous Sunbrella Blue sail cover hanging from its tip.

Lots of bareboat charters, and I guess one of them lost their sail cover, to be found by us. Good thing we hadn't gone very far from the boat because that anchor was not ever going to reset itself, and the next stop for the 'Melon was going to be the rocks dumped by the resort to create a small breakwater to shelter the beach.

I have lots more stories like this! such fun, dragging anchor.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
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