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Old 02-29-2008, 12:52 AM   #1
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New Anchor

Hey Guys,

I just bought a nice piece of sculpture or an outragous anchor. Go to XYZ Anchor and have a look. Mine is the " Extreem " model. Practical Sailor magazine says they outperform Bruce, CQR, Spade, Delta and others. The main thing that hooked me was the claim that they perform well at a 2-1 scope and in Alaska thats important. Have any of you guys tried one?

Eric
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:28 AM   #2
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RE: New Anchor

I've not heard of them before nor have I seen one on any boat in our marina. But after our own experience I suspect a pop can will outperform a Bruce in terms of holding power. So the XYZ will certainly represent a vast improvement over that anchor at least.
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:22 AM   #3
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RE: New Anchor

" But after our own experience I suspect a pop can will outperform a Bruce in terms of holding power. "

I was never a huge fan of Bruce and used Danforth when a high surface area anchor was needed , and shot the CQR when getting thru the weeds mattered.

Been using the Bruce for a season or two and it seems fine as an overnighter.

We use 5 ft heavy (1/2 ) inch HT chain and rope rodes. (all 60lb & genuine* )

FF

-- Edited by FF at 05:23, 2008-02-29
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:43 AM   #4
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RE: New Anchor

Eric,

Interesting look. Please keep us posted as to performance.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:42 AM   #5
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RE: New Anchor

As it's been explained to me, the problem with the Bruce is one of scale. It's patterned after the anchors used to hold North Sea oil rigs in place, and in that application the design is excellent. When Bruce introduced their "small boat" line of anchors (they no longer make them), much was made of the fact that they were the same design as the huge oil rig anchors.

But what works great at a huge size and a weight of many tons does not automatically translate into the same success at a very small size and a weight of twenty, thirty, or forty pounds or so. This is why the Bruce sets fast thanks to its design but doesn't hold very well under load. In virtually every anchor test I've ever seen, the Bruce is consistently at or near the bottom of the list in terms of holding power.

We bought one to replace the Danforth knock-off that came with our boat--- Danforths are not the most effective anchor for many bottoms up here---- because the Bruce is the most popular anchor in this area, followed closely by the CQR, and its fast setting in a variety of bottoms seems to be deemed more important here than it's holding power. Obviously a lot of people have good success with the Bruce in these waters or there wouldn't be so many of them. But our experience--- and that of friends we boat with a lot--- has been mostly bad.

So after a particularly nerve-wracking dragging experience last year we took the Bruce off the boat.

Regarding the XYZ, the spade design of the blade has a lot going for it---- I think it's more effective than a plow, which if you think about it, is designed to dig in and then move forward through the earth. However I would be very skeptical of the claim to hold well at a 2:1 scope. With such a short scope the strain on an anchor would have a very strong vertical component, at which point the holding power becomes largely dependent on the resistance of the bottom material lying on top of the dug-in anchor. I cannot imagine in the oozy mud we often get in our area, or sand, which we also get occasionally, there would be much resistance in the foot or two of material covering the anchor to hold it down under a hard strain.

I think with a normal 5:1 to 7:1 scope the XYZ would perform as well or better than any other anchor with a spade-type blade. Our new anchor has a spade-type blade and it's terrific, even in the oozy crap we get around here. So it will be interesting to hear Eric's experience with his new anchor.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:55 PM   #6
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RE: New Anchor

Would be nice if it performed well with a 2:1 scope. Off Catalina Island here in SoCal, many of the anchorages sports depths >100 ft.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:36 PM   #7
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RE: New Anchor

I'm a newbie here and although I don't have a thick wallet, I've got some good rubber boots to wade through some of this stuff.
I browsed the xyz website and had a few good chuckles.* The best is at the end where they tell you not to try this at home.
Come on, a 24lb anchor recommended for a 54' boat?* A canoe? I see how anchors are similar to diets, and somebody always has a new one that works better, with less effort.* In my world, might makes right, and bigger (heavier) is always better.* Look at the Forfjord anchor that AK fishermen swear by. It's about as dumb as an anchor can be, but it works because it's heavy and it doesn't break. And don't forget that they also ad a bunch of link chain to it. But these are for AK rock.
If you don't have a windlass a mid-size AL guardian would be a good choice.**
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:53 PM   #8
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RE: New Anchor

" Bruce introduced their "small boat" line of anchors (they no longer make them),"

NOT because of problems ,

but because so many boaters are CHEAP!!!! that the similar but rotten Chinese Commy copy could be sold far cheaper. And for once a year vacationer in a protected harbor , cost counts!

Amazing what a dictatorship with no copyright laws and near slave labor can reproduce,

Except the "copy's" are not very close and mere cheap something metal sand castings , instead if forgings .

REAL Bruces are on many boats that have needed real anchors, their ability to fit a small bow roller that won't take a Danforth makes them ideal, for cruisers.

FF
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:08 PM   #9
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RE: New Anchor

FF-- You're right, Bruce did not stop making their small-boat anchors because they don't work. They stopped for a variety of reasons, one of which was they wanted to concentrate on their other product lines. According to a former Bruce distributor in this area, they tried to subcontract the manufacture of their small-boat anchors to an Italian firm, but that deal either fell through or the Italians have not yet begun making them.

We had a genuine Bruce on our boat together with all-chain rode, and while it worked fine most of the time it failed to hold on a few occasions when we needed it to hold. When we bought the Bruce we were well aware of it's poor holding power relative to other anchor types, but we did not think this would be so much of a concern in our fairly protected waters. We felt the Bruce's fast setting and resetting attributes in a variety of bottoms outweighed its low holding power. We have since changed our mind and the Bruce is doing a sterling job of propping open a door in our garage.

Incidentally, if you want to see a particularly bad habit of the Bruce anchor which is to break out under pressure, hop across the bottom, reset, then break out again, hop across the bottom, reset, and keep doing this, it's illustrated very graphically in the video on the Rocna website.

-- Edited by Marin at 15:11, 2008-03-01
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:24 PM   #10
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RE: New Anchor

ALG,

I'm on an experiment because it's the only way I can possibly live without an anchor winch. The XYZ looks like it may work so I'm going to try it. I have a Forfjord but it's too heavy w/o winch.
As to the Bruce I'll ad my 2 bits. six years ago I went to Juneau with a 25' Albin and took a Bruce thinking it would work well on rocky bottoms. Several times I had to drag it a lot to get it set but I never had holding problems but I don't rember anchoring in any big winds either. I did get it in deep enough to have some trouble getting it out also. I was going to get a Spade but the Spade and all the rest in Practical Sailor Tests lost a lot of holding power at a 3-1 scope. Go to your search engine and check it out.

Eric Henning
30' Willard
Thorne Bay AK
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:39 AM   #11
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RE: New Anchor

Wow, that looks cool in deed, big surface area, hope it is better than their website, I have yet to see a worst one. When will website designers realise that the customer does not give a toss about the artistic value of a website yet wants to find and understand the product advertised?
Probably never.

One question.

Once you lift your anchor, do you have it dangling on the side or you pull it in and store with the chain?
Does the chain and the anchor come up clean or is this a messy business?


-- Edited by Marc1 at 03:41, 2008-03-31
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:36 AM   #12
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RE: New Anchor

Once you lift your anchor, do you have it dangling on the side or you pull it in and store with the chain?
Does the chain and the anchor come up clean or is this a messy business?


On a pure sand bottom the chain will only come up with a set of weeds from the bottom.

Otherwise you need an airtight sealed (from the interior chain locker) or a whole bunch of scrubbing and power blasting all the muck off.

The muck is ALIVE , with tiny critters that die and STINK , if the chain isnt clean.

We only use a few ft of chain that is too heavy to pass the windlass , that helps keep the shank down and nylon anchor line.
This works fine giving a clean lift and plenty of stretch to smooth the ride in a breeze.

In the Bahamas with Coral, yes we do have/use 200ft of 3/8 , but the chain is far weaker than most nylon , so in a Norther , we still rig the nylon.

We store two bow anchors on rollers on deck, (CQR and Bruce or Danforth all 60lb) and the stern anchor is in a canvas bag (35HT Danforth ) stowed in a corner of the aft deck.

FF.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:52 PM   #13
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RE: New Anchor

Mark---

In this area a lot of bays have a dense, slimy, mud that has the consistency of soft modeling clay. Many boaters, including us, use all-chain rode because we also have a lot of rocky bottoms. In the mud, the chain that's been lying in it comes up completely coated. It's almost hard to distinguish the individual links. And our anchor, a Rocna, while it holds like the devil, is a spade anchor so it brings up a huge "spadeful" of mud.

It is imperative that you have a washdown pump to hose off the chain and anchor as they come in. The mud, when it dries, comes off the chain as a fine, almost powder-like material that gets all over everything the next time you deploy the chain. Our chain locker is very well ventilated and any mud left on the chain dries very quickly. So we've never experienced (yet) any sort of odor problem. But we hose off the chain as it comes aboard as best we can.

Our boat has an AC Westinghouse/Jabsco 26 gpm salt water pump that is plumbed to connections on the fore and aft deck. However the pump is out of the boat right now for overhaul and painting, so we're reduced to using the freshwater outlet on the exterior of the cabin for hosing off the anchor chain. Even with a squirt nozzle, the pressure is barely enough to remove the mud. So if you install a washdown pump on our boat (if it doesn't already have one) get a powerful one.

-- Edited by Marin at 13:53, 2008-03-31
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:04 PM   #14
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RE: New Anchor

Wash down pump, a good idea is to install something like an engine driven jabsco about 1" then reduce the outlet with a nozzle. This will give you terrific pressure for washing down.
Install the pump with an electric clutch so it can be switched on and off at will.
On my own boat this pump (1 1/2") is also plumbed in via a manifold as an emergency bilge pump to the 3 watertight compartments.
Also not a bad retro fit if you don't have one.
Benn
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:18 AM   #15
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RE: New Anchor

Wow, never thought of the anchor and chain being such a problem. So you actually suggest a power pump, we call that a gurney, I have one with a Honda 6HP petrol engine that would blow the render off a brick wall, and is nice and small. I wonder if the pump would take the salt water though.

Sorry you were talking about anchors... is that strange anchor a good one? that should bring up heaps of mud though.

(stupid idea) Can you take the anchor in just a bit and reverse the boat as to wash the anchor a bit....




-- Edited by Marc1 at 07:22, 2008-04-01
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:20 PM   #16
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RE: New Anchor

No, it's not a stupid idea. A lot of people including us will do that occasionally. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Another trick if the anchor comes up with a ton of mud on it is to lower it back down and "bounce" it on the bottom a few times to shake packed mud loose. Same deal, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The glue-like mud I was describing earlier has an impressive adherence quality so usually the only way to get it off is with a relatively powerful spray of water on the chain as it comes in, and then physically pushing the bulk of the mud off the anchor with your hand when that comes up onto the pulpit followed by a water rinse of the anchor.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:51 AM   #17
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RE: New Anchor

It is my humble opinion that there is no miracle anchor as some of the Madison Ave type ads would have us believe. I rececntly observed a 44 catamaran drag that had down a 76lb Rocna on all chain, he was the first of a few that dragged that night. The bottom was grassy sand and the wind maybe 35 sustained. My Nordic Tug 37 came with a 44 Lewmar (Bruce KO)
which Thank God held thru that night and the next 2 days of the blow. I find this anchor will not set in a hard bottom unless I have at least 7-1 scope. At 5-1 I do notice it will do that skip and set. In some Bahamas anchorages I was not able to set this anchor, 4inches of sand over hard coral rock. In these places I was able to hook the CQR that I had on a previous sailboat into a spot in the rock but no anchor will bury in these conditions. If the CQR would fit on my bow it would be my choice.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:43 PM   #18
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RE: New Anchor

To everyone who responded,

I do have some experience with the XYZ now. If I just lowered the XYZ and the rode and then backed down to set it it usually didn't set. The only way I could make it set is to lower it carefully untill I could feel it touch bottom .. then have Chris ( wife ) back down slowly as I slowly fed out the rode thereby laying the rode down in a line behiend the anchor. Then we backed down fairly hard and the XYZ set without question. I'd pull up on the anchor rode ( 5/8ths nylon Brait ) between the bow roller and the samson post to feel the tension .. the line got real tight real fast and held. I had to pull real hard to pull the kine up 1". Whenever the weather forcast called for winds over 25 I'd set the XYZ and feel secure. I realize " feel secure " is a subjective term. I anchored an 8 ton 30' boat in 40 - 50 knot winds with the XYZ and it held fast several times but I don't know how it would hold in really strong winds and at no time was I anchored in swells or seas. I feel I need more time to learn how to set this anchor but now I wouldn't recomend it to captians that can't lay the rode down as I have described. I set the anchor at about a 7-1 scope and shorten up to much less.
Marci,
I disconnect the XYZ from the rest of the rode. Everything but the anchor goes in a box on the foredeck with breather holes. The XYZ gets stowed on the side deck or in the hold. My anchor locker is open to my berth area and on my last boat that caused stink problems .. that part of being a boater I can do without.
ALG
A Forfjord anchor is'nt dumb. It's nearly impossible to do with a Forfjord what the XYZ does readily. The Forfjord is so bullet proof fishermen usually just drop their whole rode in a big pile on the bottom. Don't even set the anchor. Pull the Forfjord in any direction and it always will have one fluke burried and almost always both. But it requires weight .. lots of it. I'll need a winch. The XYZ is the only anchor that does not require ballast. Once one gets an anchor set the ballast weight serves no purpose. Bigger and/or heavier is'nt universally better .. especially if one needs to pull it up from 100 feet deep.
Marin,
I experinced the*skip and set performance of the Bruce on our trip to Alaska in 2003 also. I think the XYZ gets it's short scope performance by the location of the shank attach point. It's right above*rather than way out in front of the tip of the fluke. On short scope most all other anchors rotate in a much more vertical position making them easy to pull out. The XYZ flukes remain much more flat and resist being pulled up but one has to get the dang thing set first. I have had*( on my trip north ) almost ( on every anchoring ) a perfectly clean anchor and chain ( I only use 10 ' of 3/8 ). My XYZ was a prototype that is not polished. I thought it would be less likely to be stollen but then I feared it's primer like surface would promote stuff to stick to it but I seem to be lucky so far on that account. Actually I don't think people know what it is sitting there on my deck. It's been there for two months now and no one has even asked about it. Sorry I was so late with this report.

Eric Henning*

-- Edited by nomadwilly at 16:50, 2008-10-27
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:44 AM   #19
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RE: New Anchor

The Bruce patent also ran out as far as I can ascertain so all the copies had free rein.
I am not a fan of the Bruce anchor in the smaller sizes but as a holding anchor for rigs etc they are the way to go.
Have served on rigs of various configurations for many years.
I have a CQR copy with a long shank that I swear by.Usually have at least 4: 1 ratio and only all chain (1/2" short link tested) rode.
When most of your anchoring is done within the confines of coral reef you don't want any rope rode fraying and parting during a strong blow.
Benn
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:22 PM   #20
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RE: New Anchor

We never had any problems getting our Bruce to set.* We had problems getting it to hold.* In all the tests I looked at when we were replacing the large Danforth knock-off that came with the boat the Bruce was always rated near or at the bottom of the list in terms of holding power.* However in our relativley protected waters I didn't think that would be a big issue, and that plus the fact that almost every other boat in the PNW has a Bruce convinced us that was the way to go.

Things do not always scale down (or up) the way you might think.* The Bruce design is obviously very effective in the sizes and weights that are used to secure North Sea oil rigs.* But reducing this gigantic anchor to 30 or 40 pounds does not automatically mean*it will hold the same way.* Changing the scale of an anchor does not change the scale and properties of sand, mud, gravel, etc.* So where a gigantic, multi-ton Bruce digs in and holds like stink in whatever the bottom of the North Sea is composed of, a little bitty Bruce may not hold very well in that same bottom.

In any event, after a bunch of years of sometimes frustrating and a couple of times dangerous experiences with the Bruce we swapped it out for something that*so far has done a much*better job.*

I would venture to guess that of all the boats in the PNW, the number that actually anchor out regularly is quite small.* But some of these, perhaps many of these, use the Bruce with great success.* But every anchoring experience is different and after the problems we had with our Bruce we decided that for us at any rate, switching to a completely different type of anchor was the way to go.* That does not mean it's the way everybody should go.

-- Edited by Marin at 14:24, 2008-10-28
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