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Old 05-13-2010, 10:24 AM   #41
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Can't believe you guys droolin over all that Foo Foo. Give me:

1. * *A new engine


2. * *New fuel tanks


3. * *New paint


4. * *new steering


5. * *Leaks fixed


Eric Henning
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:30 AM   #42
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Hell, I'd kill for #5!
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:32 AM   #43
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Darrell, to the best of my recollection, the cam bracket for the autopilot belt is thru-bolted to the base of the side-wall.* It was a former-former owner who actually did the installation .* He didn't use a hole saw but rather just whacked out a corner of the wall for the drive motor with a sabersaw.. I made a cover-plate out of a spare piece of starboard to clean* up the looks a little.
I did have to get back in there to tighten things up when I put the thing back on (the last owner didn't use it at all) -- and it's a tight fit under the fwd lazarette, so pick a cool day and find a small guy to crawl down in there if you can.*

Yes, I do use the cam lever to engage the drive.* You should experiment with placing the bracket to make sure the belt can be adjusted right, and with enough play to get the belt off and on without removing the wheel.* I did order a new belt for mine off the internet, polybelt or some such, as I recall.* If you need to get a longer/shorter belt for your particular installation, I think there are many available.

I will be on the boat in the next couple of days and will try to remeber to get a few more detailed pics which might help.

good luck, Al
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:50 AM   #44
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The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Quote:
Fotoman wrote:

It could be fun to list the 5 most useful improvements you did on your boat.
These improvements have been made over the almost 12 years we've owned the boat.* Some, like the stove and first horizontal aluminum propane bottle, were made within a week or two of acquiring the boat.* The others have been made as they became necessary.* For example, we installed a new Bruce anchor the day after we got the boat but it took us some eight years of bad experiences with it before we finally said enough's enough and went in search of a replacement.

So my list is:

1.* Replaced totally worthless Bruce anchor with an anchor that works.

2.* Replaced failing 1980s Raytheon radar with a new Furuno NavNet VX2 radar/plotter.

3.* Installed new Lofrans Tigres anchor windlass.

4.* Built and installed full-length and bulkhead-width bookshelves in fore and aft cabins.

5.* Replaced (a couple of weeks ago) boat's stock dual-8D battery system with a new battery system that occupies the same two boxes but doubles our house power capacity.

6. (Bonus I) Replaced pinholing stainless steel aft holding tank with a new plastic tank (anyone who contemplates making a holding tank out of stainless steel-- or any kind of metal--- should be shot).

7.* (Bonus II)* Intalled 24' primary VHF antenna, vastly improving our radio reception and broadcast coverage in our island-strewn waters.


Wife's Favorite Five

1.* Replaced totally worthless Bruce anchor with an anchor that works.

2.* Replaced original Magic Chef stove/oven with a new Force 10.

3.* Installed a new aluminum horizontal propane tank to replace original BBQ-style tank (mounted on its side--- very bad idea) in the flying bridge propane locker, and then a few years later added a second aluminum horizontal tank in the locker.

4.* Purchased and mounted and extremely stable Livingston dinghy on the swimstep to augment the fun but tippy sailing dinghy that came with the boat.* (When the day comes that we can take longer cruises farther north we will acquire and tow a 10' Bullfrog in place of the swimstep-mounted Livingston, but for now the Livingston serves us well as a utility boat).

5.* Figured out (after ten years) that a 100' boom fall would let us deploy and recover the Livingston with one hand as opposed to using a short line, two people, and brute force to lower and raise it.

6. (Bonus) Bought a new Makita heat gun that lets her do a much better and faster job of stripping varnish.



-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 13th of May 2010 08:04:07 PM
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:11 PM   #45
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Marin:

"5.* Replaced (a couple of weeks ago) boat's stock dual-8D battery system with a new battery system that occupies the same two boxes but doubles our house power capacity."

Details if you please. Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:29 PM   #46
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Fotoman: There's a good market for used REAL Bruce anchors. I sold mine very quickly on one of the lists... think it was T&T.

For that matter, there's a pretty good market for just about anything you take off your boat as long as it's working. There are a bunch of budget conscious boaters out there that are always searching E-Bay and other sites. I've sold used toilets, old AC units that were noisy but working, rubber plug seacocks, compasses, etc. etc.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:50 PM   #47
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Quote:
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Fotoman: There's a good market for used REAL Bruce anchors. I sold mine very quickly on one of the lists... think it was T&T.
Bruce stopped making their small recreational boating anchors several years ago.* I was told by Bob Hale (who used to be the Bruce rep in the PNW) that Bruce had signed some sort of deal to have their small anchors made under license by an Italian company but to date I don't believe that production has started (if it ever will).

There is at least one Bruce knock-off available today at a considerably lower price than*the genuine Bruce used to sell for.* *I have no idea if its performance is equal to the actual Bruce's (not that that's anything to write home about), but if one wants a claw-type anchor like a Bruce there are examples available new today.

We'd sell our genuine Bruce but *a)*we 'd feel guilty selling such a piece of crap to anyone else, and *b) it's doing far too valuable a*job propping open a door in our garage to get rid of.

*
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:28 PM   #48
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The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

David---

Probably WAY more detail than you want but.....

Our boat's stock system had two 8Ds which were selectable by the battery selection switch on the DC panel. The standard "Off-1-All"-2 switch. So either 8D could be selected to be the house power battery. An 8D in good condition is good for about 200 amp hours.

On our boat the selector switch does NOT select the battery for start power. Pushing either of the start buttons fires a big relay in the engine room that connects both batteries together as long as the start button is pushed, regardless of the position of the battery selector switch. This is the stock setup used by GB in the woodies and early fiberglass boats.

So selecting either 1 or 2 for house power simply meant that the other battery would not be drawn down by house loads so there would always be ample power for starting. We have an inverter/smart charger/dual echo charger unit connected to the port 8D (#2) so by default that became our "house" battery.

When running, the port alternator charges the port battery, the starboard alternator charges the starboard battery. If we put the selector swtich on "All" both alternators combine to charge both batteries. The starboard alternator has a smaller drive pulley than the port alternator so it spins faster which I'm told prevents the alternators from "fighting" if they are sharing a light electrical load.

*
With the 8Ds we'd normally put the selector switch on "All" prior to engine start and switch back to #2 as soon as we shut off the engines. This way both alternators picked up the inverter*load of the microwave or other AC appliances while we were underway instead of the port alternator doing all the work while the starboard alternator contributed nothing.* The power sharing ratio with light and heavy loads is shown on the amp meters.


The original fiberglass battery boxes cracked several years ago and the wooden*shelves that supported them began to fail, so we had new shelves made of StarBoard and new*plastic*boxes installed. These boxes are sized to hold one 8D or three 6v golf cart batteries. The idea was to eventually replace the two 8Ds with six golf cart batteries. For the past year load testing showed that*the 8D we use as our house battery did not have the amp hour capacity it used to.* And then*the other month*the other 8D failed.* So we took the opportunity to change the system over to six golf cart batteries.

Two of the pairs are wired together to make our "house" battery (#2 on the selector switch) while the other pair comprises our "start" battery (#1). The two pairs provide a total of 400 amp hours of house power, while the single pair provides the same 200 amp hours of an 8D.

Other than making up the connection cables and installing the big common*ground post on the forward bulkhead in the engine room, the installation was dead simple to make. No changes were needed to the boat's electrical system. The leads that had connected to the port 8D (#2) were connected to the dual pair of golf cart batteries and the leads that had connected to the starboard 8D (#1) were connected to the single pair of golf cart batteries.* Obviously one of the pairs has a battery in each box.

And that was it. The combiner relay that connects both "batteries" together when a start button is pushed is still in the system. We still use #2 for our house battery although we can select #1 (or "All") if we want to.

Our electrial shop, which had suggested we use "All" when running with the 8Ds, felt that*we no longer have to do that with the golf cart batteries.* The reasoning being that the dual pair of "house" golf cart batteries won't be drawn down nearly as much by an AC load.* So for now we leave the selector switch on "2" all the time although we can go back to running on "All" if we feel it becomes necessary.



-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 13th of May 2010 08:20:50 PM
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:34 PM   #49
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Marin:

My 30KG Bruce (real one) has*worked just fine with no setting or dragging issues. I go pretty light on scope, generally 3 or 5:1 - since it sets so well. I've* been in only a few big wind & wave situations though (30 knots with 4 to*6 foot breakers) . Steve Dashew swore by Bruce until Rocna came along. What Bruce issues did* you have and what are you using now? What size of Bruce do you have?

Is it a Ford vs Chevy (oops -*Toyota vs Honda) thing?

By the way, it was great spending time with you and your wife. It was nice to be with a boater who can write too. We slip the lines for SE Alaska in about 2 weeks. I hope I stowed sufficient grub. I'd hate to think I'd have to live off what I catch.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:58 PM   #50
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Practical Sailor did a comparison years ago and found Bruce to set first and tear out first. If I had to rate an anchor I don't think I would care how quickly it set. What counts is how well it hangs on when the hanging gets rough. So I took their advice and never bought one. Now that they are off the market, who really cares?
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:25 PM   #51
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The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Tom----

We had a Bruce sized for our boat according to Bruce's sizing chart, 33 pounds. For someone absolutely determined to use a Bruce, I would definitely recommend at least the next size up for a boat the weight and windage of ours.

The problems we had with ours was not in setting--- the Bruce set very fast in a variety of bottoms as it has a repuation for doing, which is why we bought it. The problem we experienced is that its holding power is pathetic. It's not that we didn't know this--- in virtually every anchoring test published, the Bruce is always rated at or near the bottom of the list in terms of holding power.

But we figured that in our protected waters anchoring issues would be more about the ability to set in sand, mud, gravel, grass, rock and every combination of these than the ability to hold. It's not like we're anchoring in open, exposed anchorages with strong winds and large waves like you get in the Carribean, southwestern Pacific, etc.

But what we (and a number of boating acquaintences who also have/had Bruces, some of them pretty heavy ones) learned is that even in our relatively protected anchorages, the Bruce's lack of holding power can be a real problem. Fast setting means nothing if the damn thing won't stay set.

We typically set our anchor with a 5:1 to 7:1 scope with all-chain rode, and we always make sure the anchor is well set by using the shoreline to confirm the lack of movement of the boat under reverse power.

But after several experiences with dragging, the last of which came within minutes of allowing the BNSF railroad the opportunity to paint a little Grand Banks under the cab windows of their locomotives, we finally gave up and went in search of something else. We didn't have a preconceived idea of what we wanted, we just wanted to get rid of the Bruce.

We read reviews of a number of other anchor types, and it was a query on the Grand Banks forum about the so-called "new-generation" anchors that prompted us to investigate the Rocna. After watching their video (which includes a disturbing scene of what a Bruce can do under pressure-- it pulls out and starts hopping across the bottom, setting and unsetting in rapid succession), and reading their own info as well as testimonials, and calling Rocna in New Zealand and talking to them about their anchor design, we decided that was the way to go.

Shipping cost from NZ is staggering for the Rocna 20 (44#) which was the size they recommended for our boat. So they suggested that we buy a Rocna in Vancouver, BC where they are made under license by Suncoast Marine. The NZ folks assured me that there is no difference between Rocnas made in NZ and those made in BC.

So we called the owner of Suncoast, ordered one from him, and simply drove up to Vancouver one weekend and picked it up. This was several years ago--- since then Suncoast has set up a distribution arrangement with West Marine (and perhaps other marine retailers as well), although I'm told you can still order them direct and pick them up yourself.

We've had no dragging problems since the switch.

One of the selling points of the Bruce was that its design is based on the anchors made by the same company*that are used to hold North Sea oil rigs in place.* If it can do that, it must be good, right?* I'm no physicist or mathmatician*but I suspect the problem is one of scale.* You can scale the anchor down, but you can't scale the bottom down.* So*I believe the Bruce design is great when the anchor is gigantic and weighs many tons.* But when you scale it down to a couple of feet across and 30 to*60 pounds or whatever, the design doesn't work very well anymore.



-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 13th of May 2010 09:44:21 PM
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:51 PM   #52
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

It is always interesting to read the different experiences people have with a product. We switched to Bruce anchors in the late 80's when all the sailing rags plugged the Bruce as the best thing since sliced bread. I have had what I consider pretty good luck with the succession of Bruce's on our 35' sailboat the we sailed for a couple years around the Pacific, our GB36, a downeast lobster boat, and our current 60000 lb trawler. We did drag in Fiji in a 40+kt blow that had green water coming over the bow, but I think the huge blue tarp that we were tangled up with had something to do with that episode. We also have had the misfortune to lift the anchor only to find it brought with it a huge coral head... and a 18" X 25' sunken tree on a different hemisphere. I also very rarely set scope at 5:1, most of the time 3-4:1. I do use oversize chain... additional cantenary may be the reason we don't drag. I do know that our GB36 had a Bimini and a isinglass enclosure that made it sail through the anchorage like a windsurfer.* If I was looking at new anchors would I get the Rocna.... I just might, will I dump the Bruce... absolutely, right off the pointy end of my boat and connected with a big chain so I can do it again and again
LD
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:52 AM   #53
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

As another who got rid of what I found to be an annoyingly unreliable setter (CQR knock-off), and went for one of the new generation, faster setting and strong-holding brands, in my case Super Sarca, I have followed this discussion with interest. Look, all anchor types still in use have stood the test of time, or they are no longer around, and all work in most circumstances. Practice and experience usually reveals ways to compensate for foibles in individual equipment, and they all work most of the time. After all, with the correct length of rode and heavy enough chain, the anchor is mainly just the thing which holds the end of it all in a place on the bottom right? Also, a strong sense of self preservation usually means you give a lot of thought to avoiding extreme excitement. I think the main thing here is that technology does not stand still. Who is still using the old monochrome GPS and depth sounders, or the old style radar one had to look down a horn-like enclosure to see the display and to exclude ambient light, because the scope was so dim? Sure - there will be someone with a loyalty and love affair who is......but most will have moved on to better things. Why? Because they just work better, and do more for the money, and add to ease and enjoyment and safety of use. Same with anchors. Like most I persevered with a plough/CQR, but had my moments, but just blamed my lack of expertise....until one day, when I failed to get it to set after 8 attempts in a certain anchorage here, in next to no wind, and just some tidal current, and I realised it was not me....it was the damn weed on the bottom. The next boat show I saw a video of Sarca at work and said - "that's the sucker for me, I want one", and ordered it on the spot, and have never regreted it since. Especially as it sets first pop, with little effort every time at that same anchorage, and every other I've been in. Time moves on, so do developments in gear - this is just another example. If you are in the business of thinking new anchor, and want less hassle, more reliability and more peace of mind....think about it......However, hat does not mean every old design is suddenly no good - just not as good maybe.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:04 AM   #54
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Quote:
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Who is still using the old monochrome GPS and depth sounders
ME!
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:12 AM   #55
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Quote:
Who is still using the old monochrome GPS and depth sounders, or the old style radar one had to look down a horn-like enclosure to see the display and to exclude ambient light, because the scope was so dim? Sure - there will be someone with a loyalty and love affair who is......but most will have moved on to better things. Why? Because they just work better, suddenly no good - just not as good maybe.
ok now wait a minute.... your telling me I dont need to get a cramp in my neck and a bad case of verdigo watching the dim, rotating green screen of the old radar spin around????
what next, a nav device that I dont need to transfer numbers to a chart and decifer TD's????
Just poking fun!!, boat gear comes and goes ( remember CNG bottles ). What ever works... as long as you are out there doing it is all that matters. I do concur on the CQR anchors.... they love to drag along the bottom on their side on hard or weed bottoms..... oops I have got to go.. the wind just hit 3 kts and the Bruce is dragging!!
Happy Boating!
LD

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:25 AM   #56
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
Peter B wrote:

Who is still using the old monochrome GPS and depth sounders
ME!

Me too.* And the depth sounder display at the upper helm .... well, I think it was an antique when it was installed I don't know how many years ago - a beige box with the orange digital numbers.* But it works.






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Old 05-14-2010, 08:55 AM   #57
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

i would like

new fuel tanks

auto pilot

genset

aluminum window frames

12v fridge
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:31 AM   #58
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Weight !! Successful boat anchors*love mass. The common notion back to Phoenician times is the heavier the better, no matter what kind. Debate anchor types all day, it makes good reading but mass rules. By the chart, I could get by with a Rocna near the same weight as my current Bruce. But if I were to buy a new Rocna, I'd go one size up and swear by it - when all I did was add 30% (19 lb or so) more mass - and a greater shank length. Rocna has done this very smartly, you have to get a heavier one than the bulk of thier competion for each boat length. However, on some go fasts, mass (unless babes in bikinis) is not so good so lots of light rope to increase scope is used in lieu of mass.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:08 PM   #59
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Quote:
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Weight !! Successful boat anchors*love mass. The common notion back to Phoenician times is the heavier the better, no matter what kind.
I actually don't agree with this.* If it were true, the Fortress would not work.* Yet it is consistently one of the highest rated anchors in all sorts of tests from the US Navy's to magazine-sponsored in terms of holding power.* Granted, its Danforth design limits its ability to set in a wide variety of bottoms, but for those bottoms for which it is most suited--- sand, mud--- it generally outperforms all other anchors despite it's being light enough to carry in one hand.

Weight certainly plays a role, particularly in giving an anchor the ability to penetrate a tough bottom.* But when we were researching anchors to find something that would do better than the Bruce, we read a lot of stuff, from magazine reviews to a few "scientific" articles about anchor performance.* And what struck me the most was how all these write-ups downplayed weight and stressed fluke design and size as the major factor in an anchor's ability to hold.

Sure, you can drop an old Ford pickup onto the bottom and fasten your chain to that and you probably won't go anywhere.* So weight alone will hold you if size and shape are not important.* But for anchors for small boats, weight is certainly a factor, but I don't believe it's the primary factor.

We carry a Fortress on our swimstep to use as a stern anchor.* But we sized it to be the main anchor of the boat as is its rode.* The anchor weighs a whopping 15 pounds or so which makes it far more pleasant to carry out in the dinghy than the heavy, awkward Danforth knock-off that came with the boat as a stern anchor.* A stern anchor is of no value if its weight and awkward shape discourages one from using it.

We once dropped the Fortress as a stern anchor in a bay and set it by simply pulling on the rode by hand.* It did its job of limiting our swing until later in the day when the wind did a 180 and blew 25 knots from dead astern on into the night* The entire force of the wind agasint the boat hung on that 15 pound Fortress (in a mud bottom that it liked) most of that night and when we went to retrieve it the following day we had to break it out with the GB after retrieving the Rocna that had been holding the boat prior to the wind shift.* That experience alone was enough to convince me that it's all about design, not so much about weight.

Weight is definitely a factor when it comes to initial bottom penetration.* Anchors like the Bruce, CQR,* Fisherman's, Navy, and other old-generation designs can need a lot of weight to "punch through" a hard, crusty bottom. ** Or...... you can do what Rocna and others have done and design the anchor to penetrate a tough bottom without relying on high weight.* The Rocna (and SARCA, Manson, etc.) is designed to always end up on its side no matter how it lands--- that's what the roll bar is for.* In that position, when the setting pull is applied to the anchor, the leverage from the pull on the shank is applied to the skid plate on the side of the anchor which forces the anchor to pivot sideways down into the bottom.* The tip of a Rocna (and the other anchors using the same basic design) is quite sharp, so a bit like a knife blade, the fluke slices down into the bottom at which point the continued pull on it causes it to twist and align the width of the fluke against the direction of pull.

Add to this the fact that the Rocna and other similar anchors have a fluke that, like a shovel blade, is concave toward the direction of pull.* The end result is an anchor that slices in, digs in, and then strongly resists any force to move it through the bottom.

As opposed to something like the CQR, which I believe used armchair theory way back when to come up with a design that supposedly moves it down into the bottom as it is pulled forward.* But think about it--- a plow is designed to move forward through the earth while pushing the earth aside.* The twin blades of a plow anchor supposedly force the anchor to move down deeper as it moves forward, but to my way of thinking, I don't want an anchor that is designed to move forward when you pull on it even if in theory it should move down deeper as it does so.* I'd rather have an anchor that resists forward motion period.

So I believe anchoring has come a long way since the Phoenician days, primarily due to the application of new design principles, metallurgy, the study of how shapes interact with the material around them, etc.

The 707 was a wonderful airplane.* The 777 is a better one due to a vast array of design and technology improvements.* By comparison, anchors are no-brainer, dirt-simple devices.* But this does not mean that they cannot be improved by the application of new design principles and technology.* In my opinion, the Bruce, CQR, Danforth, Fisherman, etc. are the 707s of the anchoring world.* They work, and they can work reliably.* There's no need to abandon them if they meet the requirements of an individual boater.* But the "707" Bruce didn't meet our requirements, so we went with a "777" instead

*
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:49 PM   #60
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RE: The 5 most useful improvements on your boat

Marin:

Don't get me wrong, I am not defending Bruce. My backup anchor is a Fortress also, so we can at least agree on that.

So I have it clear though, you went from a 33# Bruce to a 44# Rocna. By my math that is a 33% increase in weight. Yup, I can believe your*heavier Rocna*anchor is performing better than the lighter Bruce.

And when I buy the recommended 88# Rocna to replace my 66# troublefree Bruce I likewise will be happy.*As I said, anchors love weight.
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