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Old 04-07-2016, 09:37 AM   #401
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Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
Doing the best I can to understand the psneeld post above(save for the resharpening part),there is no comparison between relying on anecdotal reports and experience of one or other anchor someone happens to have, and serial, real world, constant conditions, specific testing of anchor after anchor, back to back, with objective observations, as we`ve have seen from Steve on TF. Comforted at a personal level it validated my guess at choosing an anchor, I`m equally impressed by the other anchors which did well. That Fortress would happily supply anchors for future testing is an accolade in itself.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:44 AM   #402
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Marko, Ultimately, I could raise perhaps 3 or 4 times my current ground tackle (45 lb anchor, 3/8" chain) as the windlass has a 'low speed' gear ratio that I almost never use.

But this would be a ridiculously slow retrieval so in practical terms, I might do OK with a 60 pound anchor and 1/2" chain. But that might get old pretty quick in deep anchorages. Also, wear and tear on the windlass might be too much for a long life if I asked it to lift more than I do.

There is almost no chance that I will ever get a bigger boat so for me, windlass shopping is something I will never have to do.

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Just luck!

Found this original boxed unused cherry, for $400 ... just days before it's original 39 yr old "absolutely perfect match" on our Tolly gave up the ghost. Plan to soon swap em! EZ Pezie!! May rebuild old one as a spare.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:46 AM   #403
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Steve's videos bring to mind how I wish that we had been able to film the anchors underwater during the Chesapeake Bay soft mud bottom testing, as that footage would have certainly helped to explain the results, particularly the occasional flat-lining that we saw on the test gauges / monitors.

One of the key questions was whether a fixed-fluke anchor was able to properly orient if it landed in the "upside down" position with the fluke pointed upward.....or would it simply sink into the soft mud and not flip over as it was being slowly pulled along the bottom, and then not increase (or only minimally so) the tension from typical burying.

Of course, with the Danforth-type anchor and its pivoting shank / flukes, there is no "right side up," but it is possible for the heavy chain to sink the shank below the flukes (as per the image below / left side) if you try and initially set the anchor at a longer scope in this type of bottom.

Bob Taylor, the US Navy expert who consulted for us on this project, mentioned while setting up the protocol that they used sensors on anchors during pull tests to monitor an anchor's orientation and stability, and looking back we should have researched this possibility further.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:46 AM   #404
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I watched the Chesapeake Bay videos and the holding power of the Fortress was remarkable. One thing that I noticed and was concerned about and would like feedback if anyone has it, is that when the Fortress was pulled the pivoting mechanism looked completely packed with mud and would no longer pivot. If that anchor was ever rolled over when set there is no way it'd reset.
Also curious about the testing method, as I understand it the anchors were set, the boat was then held stationary and the anchors hauled toward it and load measured. So the tests were with decreasing scope. Seems like an odd method of test.

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Steve's videos bring to mind how I wish that we had been able to film the anchors underwater during the Chesapeake Bay soft mud bottom testing, as that footage would have certainly helped to explain the results, particularly the occasional flat-lining that we saw on the test gauges / monitors.

One of the key questions was whether a fixed-fluke anchor was able to properly orient if it landed in the "upside down" position with the fluke pointed upward.....or would it simply sink into the soft mud and not flip over as it was being slowly pulled along the bottom, and then not increase (or only minimally so) the tension from typical burying.

Of course, with the Danforth-type anchor and its pivoting shank / flukes, there is no "right side up," but it is possible for the heavy chain to sink the shank below the flukes (as per the image below / left side) if you try and initially set the anchor at a longer scope in this type of bottom.

Bob Taylor, the US Navy expert who consulted for us on this project, mentioned while setting up the protocol that they used sensors on anchors during pull tests to monitor an anchor's orientation and stability, and looking back we should have researched this possibility further.
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:52 PM   #405
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I watched the Chesapeake Bay videos and the holding power of the Fortress was remarkable. One thing that I noticed and was concerned about and would like feedback if anyone has it, is that when the Fortress was pulled the pivoting mechanism looked completely packed with mud and would no longer pivot. If that anchor was ever rolled over when set there is no way it'd reset.
Also curious about the testing method, as I understand it the anchors were set, the boat was then held stationary and the anchors hauled toward it and load measured. So the tests were with decreasing scope. Seems like an odd method of test.
Sean, thanks for your comments. During preliminary testing aboard the 81-ft Rachel Carson research vessel, it was determined that the boat was too big, the anchors too small, and the soft mud bottom too poor for holding in order for us to conduct repeatable and controllable testing with a consistent scope (5:1 or 7:1).

The exception was the very first anchor that we tested, the 32 lb (15 kg) FX-55, which was not part of the originally planned test protocol (the smaller FX-37 was).

At a starting scope of 5:1 and using the boat's pull, the FX-55 anchor at the 45 angle for soft mud was spiking tension at around 4,000+ lbs until the aft drum winch shut down when the Safe Working Load (SWL) had been reached.

After all testing was completed, Capt. Michael Hume of the Rachel Carson insisted that this anchor be left aboard as a back up to their Bruce-type primary.


And so after additional experimentation and consultation with Bob Taylor, the test protocol was changed to letting out a 5:1 scope + 100-ft (resulting in about a 8.3:1 initial starting scope), and then set the Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) aboard the Rachel Carson to hold the vessel in place, and finally pull the anchors back 100-ft towards the boat with the exact same speed, time, and distance.

Every anchor was given the exact same opportunity to perform (or not) in a fresh, close proximity seabed during the 60 pull tests over 4 days of testing.

In the "real world" a shortening of scope can certainly occur with surging seas. Bob was also able to calculate that based on the soil shear strength of the soft mud and the tension that was being recorded, the shortening of scope from 8.3:1 to 5:1 had a minimal effect on the anchor's performance.


You are absolutely right that it is possible for the shank / crown (center piece) hole opening to collect sediment, and once it is tightly compressed, the shank and flukes are immovable, as per images below.

81-ft Rachel Carson, owned by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.


Aft winch, note the "S.W.L 4200 lb" on top left of image. The Fortress FX-55 @ the 45 angle for soft mud exceeded this during repeated tests, causing automatic shutdown.


A Fortress after retrieval packed with mud and with flukes immovable.


Another Fortress after retrieval and before pressure washing.


Same anchor after pressure washing off mud.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:01 PM   #406
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I seem to recall that some anchors don't set as well at 8-1 scope or more.
I think I remember one brand and specific anchor but don't want to mention it for fear of getting it wrong.
Also I have suspected that anchors like the Supreme that have astonishing short scope performance may not perform better than others on long scope. The Supreme was/is an exception as it's long scope performance is outstanding also. Since anchor performance at long scope is universally good that combination is something I consider best and look for. Some anchors have extremely high performance at long scope and only fair on short. And that it may be related to throat angle. Has anyone else seen evidence of such?

Brian that mud dosn't look like slime and from all the talk about it I thought it would be much more loose and slimy than what I see in the above pics. That looks like mud that should give an anchor reasonably fair holding .... but re the test it did not.

I love that level wind on the stern.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:12 PM   #407
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Eric,

After all of the anchors were tested 4 times over 3 days, we devoted the last day to trying a new protocol, which called for us to pay out about a 2:1 scope, and then pull in 20 feet of rode at 30 feet per minute, or until we developed a load of 200-300 lbs, and then start the test as we had done previously.

We thought we might learn something that could improve setting performance in soft mud, which we could pass along to owners of the other anchors in this test. However, we did not observe any noteworthy performance differences.

That mud was some real foul slimy stuff and I have samples. I thought that it could be sold as some kind of facial product for women, but it smelled godawful.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:47 PM   #408
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Thank's for the imput Brian,
I've seen worse than that. In a Calder Bay on the north end of Prince of Wales Is. I pulled up my Danforth in the morning and even w sotcks and a fairly long shank not much of the anchor was visable. And stink big time. I'm quite sure the stink was from the shells the Sea Otters left on the bottom for several thousand years. There were many in the bay. Thought I'd gone to heaven when I saw the huge area at 20' deep. Almost unheard of in Alaska. Anchored at 10-1 just cuse I could.

By the way I'm sure the Fortress and the Dans don't suffer from too much scope. At least one anchor does though and I was really suprised. I thought the Bulwagga was interesting but it has a significant short scope problem. At mid range it does quite well though.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:57 PM   #409
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Scope is a red herring in many instances as swinging room often dictates how much one can use. That is why an over sized anchor is often utilized thus potentially skewing results and analysis. Right now I am sitting with about 3 to 1, seldom going more than 5 to 1 unless lots of swinging room and +30 knots predicted.
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:03 PM   #410
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Hi Steve,

Since you use a manual windlass and therefore had a direct tactile experience raising these anchors, which do you think broke free of the bottom easier, the Sarca Excel or the Mantus?
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:17 PM   #411
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Funny you should ask Murray, as I am just now posting my latest test video of an Aluminum Sarca Excel #5. See below.

To answer your question, I really cannot see a big difference in breakout force between the various anchors. In fact, the thing that determines breakout force is mostly a result of setting force (more setting force = more breakout force).

In the video below, you will see that during the "deep set" test, I needed to use the "low speed" feature of my windlass to break the Aluminum Excel free. This was not unusual for that particular test.

Steve

Video #59, Aluminum Sarca Excel Testing.

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Old 04-16-2016, 06:32 PM   #412
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Thanks, Steve.

I was wondering if the Mantus roll bar or the Excel's 'wings' would offer more of a mechanical advantage in helping the anchor pivot out of the seabed. Moot point as it seems...
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:38 PM   #413
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Video #60. Aluminum Anchor Re-setting.

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Old 04-21-2016, 10:30 PM   #414
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Thanks again Steve
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:00 PM   #415
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Steve - You're a champ! Thanks for all your effort. I use FX 23 on our 34' Tollycraft tri cabin; 21 to 22K lbs loaded, lots of "sail" due to large superstructure. That's one size bigger anchor than recommended. With light weight of Fortress anchor the extra size poses no problem and does a great job.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:37 AM   #416
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Thank you Steve. As usual very useful information, good analysis and beautiful presentation!

While some would argue that a multi-knot re-setting speed as you have used is unrealistic or unfair in a test I believe it is something that can happen and the main bower should be able to deal with it. For example, in a squall there can be suden and strong wind reversals that, coupled with a long scope in a deep anchorage, could lead to such re-setting speeds. While this situation maybe rare, it is precisely the type of situation where you don't want the anchor to fail, particularly as this usually happens at 3 in the morning.

One should bear in mind that the light-weight in relation to size of aluminum anchors is compounded in water. Aluminum's density is only around 2.7 times that of water. So, in water, an aluminum anchor weighs around 37% less than in air. (Steel is almost 8 times denser than water and so in water the weight loss is only around 13% less than in air.)

Moving up a size or two will probably not not solve the problem of resetting of aluminum anchors at speed as the greater weight is equivalently matched by more area and the tendency to "fly" at speed would still be there.

So, I agree with your conclusion that it is best to use a steel anchor in the bow and an aluminum one for the the stern.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:48 AM   #417
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The bent shank in the Fortress is good reminder that these anchors should not be used with all-chain rodes. In their website Fortress does recommend elastic rode (nylon three-strand) and "Bahamian mooring in "areas of changing tide or wind".
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:47 AM   #418
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Great work again Steve, and does demonstrate beautifully the benefit of extra weight, especially for quick setting, but also what most users of these new generation anchors have discovered for themselves. That being that even though it means departing from old habits based on other types of anchor, they actually really do not need to be hard set by backing down at all, at least not initially, as they set at their best when gently moved along by just drifting back, but later they can be checked for a good overnight set by a back-down, as you demonstrated.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:51 AM   #419
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What an education!! Thanks Steve, as everyone has attested to, your work is sooo greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:00 AM   #420
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The bent shank in the Fortress is good reminder that these anchors should not be used with all-chain rodes. In their website Fortress does recommend elastic rode (nylon three-strand) and "Bahamian mooring in "areas of changing tide or wind".
IMO - Due to experience... and ... for several reasons: All chain works great in boats over 50'. 15 to 25 feet chain with nylon line thereafter is best for boats under 50'. 50' length mentioned is an approximation; design, size, overall weight factors of boat can modify that length.
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