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Old 10-24-2014, 03:05 PM   #1
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Cool Fine Art of Anchoring

The Fine Art Of Anchoring - Seaworthy Magazine - BoatUS
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:31 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting that ACD,

If this is actually correct ....
"The anchors were tested on a typical soft mud bottom, the kind in which many boaters routinely anchor. The location at the mouth of the Patuxent River near Solomons Island, Maryland in the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay was chosen because of the relatively consistent mud bottom —" ....

"Typical soft mud bottom" then I think I need to look at the results of this test in a way different light than I believe I've been led to believe. I thought this was an extremely difficult bottom .... not typical at all. If that is so then marveling at any reasonable performance would be the order of the day. But if this is actually a typical mud anchorage these poor and miserable performances of state of the art anchors (with the obvious exceptions) should cause one to look at older traditional anchors much more seriously. I think most older anchors would be at least more consistent.

Who knows this bottom? Is it typical or extremely challenging?
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:41 PM   #3
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Typical soft mud bottom.
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #4
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There is no "typical" soft bottom....

Look on a nautical chart of the Chesapeake and in many popular anchorages, the bottom consistency changes as you move around the anchorage.

If you hit a particular gooey spot...which may have been on the chart already if you bothered to study the chart...move towards one of the bottom types that better suits your anchor...or move on to one of the zillion anchorages in the Chesapeake that doesn't have such poor holding for your anchor.
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:12 PM   #5
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Finding a "typical soft bottom" is like finding a typical family with 1 1/2 children.
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post

"Typical soft mud bottom" ...

Who knows this bottom? Is it typical or extremely challenging?

I don't know that exact area, but it sounds like what I've encountered pretty everywhere in the upper Chesapeake. As I said in the other thread: mud around here ranges from mud, to medium mud, soft mud, gooey mud, slimy mud... mud covered with leaves... etc.

I don't know as I'd call it challenging, but there've been times when we dragged (see other thread). And now mostly we don't drag (see other thread). Probably as Marin says: until we do (other thread).

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Old 10-24-2014, 04:51 PM   #7
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Here we go again, and I can't resist:

At this very moment I am anchored at Solomon's Island, in Mill Creek off the Patuxent River with the "typical soft mud bottom." Right here in the immediate vicinity of the big anchor show down!

We are headed south but it has been blowing 15 to 25 kts with gusts over 30 since Tuesday. So, we lowered our 60# Manson Supreme and set it with 80' of chain. Gently backed down on it and settled in for my evening nourishment and to wait out the blow. It's now Friday and we are still here and think we can leave tomorrow. We haven't moved not an inch, best I can tell.

There are a few more boats anchored here as well---five 45-50 foot sailboats, a 36' trawler and one BIG sailing cat. Plus, a disheveled looking trimaran. It's comforting that none of my anchor mates have moved at all.

Guess we are all using the "best" anchor.

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Old 10-24-2014, 04:55 PM   #8
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I would like to think that a quick glance at charts and any soils/geologic explanation of the Chesapeake basin shows that bottom composition can vary from one side of a creek to another..just ask any waterman who oysters or crabs....

....and they don't need the science...just experience.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:35 PM   #9
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So in the PNW and the inside passage what is a typical bottom?
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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So in the PNW and the inside passage what is a typical bottom?
Pulp logs, wire rope, and dozer tracks as far as I can tell.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:05 PM   #11
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So in the PNW and the inside passage what is a typical bottom?
Look for somebody doing a Fortress anchor test and you'll find a "typical" bottom.
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:05 PM   #12
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So in the PNW and the inside passage what is a typical bottom?
In our experience, there isn't one. We've encountered relatively soft, clean sand; coarse clean sand; fairly heavy mud; very soft mushy mud; mud in between those two extremes; gravel; a mix of rocks and gravel; and bottoms with heavy growth ("weeds").

Then layered on top of those bottoms in a lot of places is Northern Spy's description, which is why we often use a trip line on our anchor.

The wide variety of bottom conditions from Puget Sound on up through SE Alaska is one reason for the popularity of the Bruce anchor up here. This anchor has a reputation (deserved or not is another question) for reliable setting in a wide variety of bottoms. (Note that I said "setting," not "holding.")

As opposed to something like a Danforth-type anchor which is great in mud and sand but can have problems trying to set in other types of bottoms.
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Pulp logs, wire rope, and dozer tracks as far as I can tell.
Hey I've been to that anchorage!
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:29 PM   #14
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First of all there is no " The fine Art of Anchoring"...

Just like medicine it should the " The Practice of Anchoring "

I am still practicing at 35 years and counting

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:22 PM   #15
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Alaskan Sea-Duction wrote;
"So in the PNW and the inside passage what is a typical bottom?"

I never expected this modified XYZ anchor to set in anything but mud or other soft bottoms w it's very wide fluke tip. I gave it a rather blunt chisel tip w my grinder. But it set 10 times (or so) on our trip south from Ketchikan. Performed flawlessly so whatever you want to call the bottoms I hooked into I think it's safe to say they were "soft". It looks like the bottoms up north to Ketchikan are very soft ... or mud. However the anchor came up basically lean every time.

I plan to make a new tip out of 5/16" plate instead of 1/4" plate and making it a little pointed. The tip is about 4" wide now and the new one will be about 2 3/4" to 3" wide. Straight sides as before but turned in a bit. I want to retain much of the tip width to save most of the added tip surface area fwd. That should enhance short scope holding and all the better if there is no downside.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
At this very moment I am anchored at Solomon's Island, in Mill Creek off the Patuxent River with the "typical soft mud bottom." Right here in the immediate vicinity of the big anchor show down!

Didn't Brian post the coordinates where the recent Fortress tests were? I gathered the testing was done outside, not in the protected creeks...


Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I would like to think that a quick glance at charts and any soils/geologic explanation of the Chesapeake basin shows that bottom composition can vary from one side of a creek to another..just ask any waterman who oysters or crabs....

....and they don't need the science...just experience.

Yep. Been there, done that. A couple of our local creeks are notorious for difficulty in setting (leaves covering the bottom) or holding (soupy mud). OTOH, a "next creek over" is just fine.

Given The Fortress test coordinates, it wouldn't be difficult to see how the chart describes that particular test bottom. And I think somewhere in the, Brian said the site was chosen based on input from U of M research and the boat crew (aka experience).

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Old 10-25-2014, 12:03 PM   #17
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There are several skippers in the Puget Sound area that use the Super Max anchor and think it's great. The super Max has three protrusions that are very much like the fluke end on my XYZ and it may be even less likely to penetrate a rocky bottom. But people use the Super Max and I would think that would say even more so than my using my XYZ that most all bottoms in the area are mud .. or at least soft.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:08 PM   #18
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:58 PM   #19
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Here's three other stories that have been written about this testing:

All at Sea:
Best Anchor for the Chesapeake Bay? - ALL AT SEA

Boats.com:
Fortress Anchor Testing: When It’s Good To Be a Stick in the Mud | boats.com Blog

PassageMaker:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lcypucilvz...EAMAN.pdf?dl=0




I will keep you informed of other stories as they are published.

And yes, Chris, the University of Maryland and the crew of the Rachel Carson led us to the site. Thanks!

Brian
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:30 PM   #20
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There are certain types of mud much like snow that do not "bind" well. This mud can have tendency to avalanche, except in this case it happens horizontally. Any decent bottom machine can point this type of mud out to you. If you absolutely have to anchor in this type of bottom structure then you are foolish to rely on ANY one anchor, in my opinion. For the record we did spend several nights at anchor in the region where these tests were done but we kept our fortress anchor on deck and used our rocna instead.


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