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Old 11-26-2012, 03:30 PM   #101
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Make sure it's not installed backwards.
The swivel or the windlass? :-)
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #102
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The swivel or the windlass? :-)
The swivel. You can always run the windlass backwards if you mount it that way.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:36 PM   #103
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It has never balanced on its head, nor swooned onto its back.
Well, as long as we're all talking armchair theories here, I can easily imagine how a Bruce could end up on its back. Lands on a slope, as many of our deeper water anchorages have up close to shore, and flops over backwards. Hits the bottom with a slight swing and flops over backwards. Never say never when it comes to what can happen in the water or in the air. Our aerodynamicists learn this the hard way with every new model we come out with.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:36 PM   #104
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The Claw will obviously not assume a position vertically upside-down. Upside-down it is canted a bit to one side and one fluke is nearly straight down and presenting about 40% of it's weight to that fluke tip whereas the Rocna's fluke tip only presents 32% of it's weight to the fluke tip and it is by no means directed nearly straight down but very sideways. In this respect Marin the Claw is quite superior to the Rocna.

Thats not my experience. No anchor I have met and had any experience with makes the turn while burried through a tide or wind shift. They are left to un-hook and re set most of the time. They can and will hold what ever material they set in on the flukes. Making it tough for them to reset.

The roll bar helps force the flukes back over to establish the hook so to speak. Where as the claw can and will skip along on its back in hopes of clearing the flukes. They usualy will but that my end with the boat covering some ground.

Just my experience and have found same with danforth and such. Worth thinking about IMO.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #105
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I don't think setting an anchor on a dock and seeing which way it tips is much of a test. In actual use, we would be backing away from the anchor as we are dropping it.

My claw anchor has never failed to set, nor has it ever drug in use. That's true for the smaller original and the larger replacement. I anchor where reversing tidal currents are an issue.

If it ever fails me, I will consider one of the more exotic designs. Until then, I have more pressing things to think of.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:40 PM   #106
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I don't think setting an anchor on a dock and seeing which way it tips is much of a test. In actual use, we would be backing away from the anchor as we are dropping it.

My claw anchor has never failed to set, nor has it ever drug in use. That's true for the smaller original and the larger replacement. I anchor where reversing tidal currents are an issue.

If it ever fails me, I will consider one of the more exotic designs. Until then, I have more pressing things to think of.
All it establishes is that the shape of the anchor is completely unstable in any position except laying on its side presenting a fluke for penetration. Unless you're balancing it in a parking lot for a photo op. Like you, I have never had my Bruce, or the Claw I currently have ever fail to set quickly. The Bruce dragged twice, once in deep mud in Hospital Bay and once in light sand off Lahaina. However, I think at 44# and 12 tons of boat it was undersized, and a 66# may have worked in the 2 instances in 20 years when I did drag. The 176# Claw I have now has held a 65 ton boat in 50+ knots of wind, and that's good enough for me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:17 PM   #107
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I don't think setting an anchor on a dock and seeing which way it tips is much of a test.
No, it's not. It's not a test at all. But in the real world anything can happen. Just as the 777 flipped completely upside down and then dropped its nose into a vertical dive the first time it was stalled--- which NOBODY had predicted was even a remote possibility--- an anchor can do things on the bottom that nobody in an armchair at home could think would happen. The fact that the Bruce can end up on its back, and has done so on some occasions however rare, was one of the reasons as we started to explore other anchor options that we determined our decision to get rid of the Bruce was the right one.

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If it ever fails me, I will consider one of the more exotic designs. Until then, I have more pressing things to think of.
Absolutely. No reason to change out something which, in the kind of boating you do in the places you do it in, has worked flawlessly thus far. Had our Bruce not proven so unreliable to us and other people we knew we never would have considered changing anchor types even after learning about the so-called "new generation" anchors. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. In our case, however, it proved on multiple occasions that it was broke, so we fixed it.

We did not learn about the Rocna and then came up with a reason to get one. We had over time become convinced the Bruce was not a reliable anchor in terms of holding and after a particularly bad experience decided to actively look into what might be better or at least find out if there even was anything better. At the time we had not heard of the rollbar anchors or any of the so-called new-generation anchors.

A post on the GB owners forum made us aware of them, we researched them as well as other, more conventional types, talked to the folks in New Zealand and Vancouver who at that time made the Rocna, and in the end decided to give one a try.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:59 PM   #108
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No, it's not. It's not a test at all. But in the real world anything can happen. Just as the 777 flipped completely upside down and then dropped its nose into a vertical dive the first time it was stalled--- which NOBODY had predicted was even a remote possibility--- an anchor can do things on the bottom that nobody in an armchair at home could think would happen. The fact that the Bruce can end up on its back, and has done so on some occasions however rare, was one of the reasons as we started to explore other anchor options that we determined our decision to get rid of the Bruce was the right one.
Living in Realityville, as I do, I can only say that my Bruce or Claw has never flipped over in a test flight, nor dove randomly for the surface, and that is all I have to go on. It has merely dropped to the bottom, and set quickly 99.9% of the time over 30 years, apparently never even thinking about lounging around on its back. And when properly sized and deployed in a seamanlike fashion, has done what it is supposed to do 100% of the time. I doubt it is the best design, since there is no such thing, but it is hardly what you have described it to be. If I had to pick an ideal design, my vote is for the Sarca Excel. Other than price, I can't think of a reason why anyone would have an anchor with a mud catcher (a.k.a. a hoop) attached to it, when a superior alternative is available. Perhaps if my Claw ever drags, I'll get more serious about replacing it, but until then, probably not.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:14 PM   #109
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Nothing ever fails until it does. So until it does, it is 100 percent reliable and there is no reason to change it. We simply got to the Bruce failure point sooner than you have.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:20 AM   #110
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Marin, is it not possible that Delfin's good experience with the Claw/Bruce/whatever, is because, as you have pointed out on many occasions, it is weight critical, and his boat is big enough that the Claw he carries is heavy enough to overcome the shortcomings of smaller claw types...? In other words, his anchor weight is such it exceeds the critical mass needed for the Claw to work really well. If so it may well never fail him, whereas other lighter versions well may...?
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:40 AM   #111
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Regardless, the claw has never failed me in the muds of San Francisco estuary.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:47 AM   #112
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Marin, is it not possible that Delfin's good experience with the Claw/Bruce/whatever, is because, as you have pointed out on many occasions, it is weight critical, and his boat is big enough that the Claw he carries is heavy enough to overcome the shortcomings of smaller claw types...?

Sure. I suspect that is why his Bruce/Claw has served him so well and will continue to do so. It's huge compared to the one we had on our boat, and I'm convinced it's a design that works far better when large than when small. As I said, you can scale an anchor up and down but you can't scale the seabed up and down with it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:16 AM   #113
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Bigger is better

Hi Eric, Marin and Delfin.

You guys are certainly passionate over your anchor designs.


I have to back Marin in on his comments re the Claw upside down and dragging, this is a fact of life with the smaller claws as I was present at an anchor test where it was hard sand, the side fluke just kept dragging, admit tingly it was not direct ally on its spine but simply did not align itself to employ the toe, this anchor was a 33 lb Claw I won’t mention the company who made it but they are well known in the industry.


Once again if you lay the claw the problem almost ceased to exist, interesting in the rubble though, as they were dragging the claw through it did a complete flip and dragged – trailed one fluke then the other for several meters before its orientation once again took over.

Delfin is also correct as I can see the bigger heavier claws overcoming this problem simply because of their mass weight, so once again bigger is better.


I do believe if you took the same size claw 33 lb and added another ten pound to it and sat it on its spine with one fluke in contact this problem may well be overcome, the extra weight would throw to whichever side fluke is dragging encouraging that fluke to penetrate deeper to start the process needed to orientate its self, in hard sand anyway, don’t know about the rubble, please don’t try this as it is speculation and its design may not allow extra weight in a given position.

My Quote on the Excel thread :
"Bruce, Claw anchors and the type worked well but could on many occasions land upside down in soft mud and the swept up flukes along with the shank would bury upside down and drag."


Eric responded:
I think, Rex, That it would have been more appropriate if you had said "would bury on its side and drag"


My reply to Eric: I mean well but my terminology and explanations sometimes are not always explained in a way for most to understand.


If you drop a 33lb claw upside down in oozy mud as we did the spine sinks to the point where both side flukes are also supported in the mud, it then skids on top of the mud, the first meter of chain disappeared in this mud and did not become visible as there was not enough load on the claw to raise this chain, the claw continued to (correction, not bury) drag,, this observation was made on several occasions when we were developing the Original Sarca, again if you laid the claw this problem was no longer.


Regards.

Rex.


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Old 11-27-2012, 07:42 AM   #114
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Interesting discussion about claws. Here they are pretty much the standard as our seabed ranges from rocks and sand to mud but with little vegetation on the bottom.

My boat is a 34 footer and was originally equipped with a 10 kg claw type anchor. The previous owners said that it is perfectly fine as we typically use rear anchoring and bow to shore style. The first thing I did was to buy a claw anchor that weighs 22 kg... So far i have never had a claw fail on me, but like all of them someday it eventually will...
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:55 AM   #115
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..............I do believe if you took the same size claw 33 lb and added another ten pound to it and sat it on its spine with one fluke in contact this problem may well be overcome, the extra weight would throw to whichever side fluke is dragging encouraging that fluke to penetrate deeper to start the process needed to orientate its self, in hard sand anyway, don’t know about the rubble, please don’t try this as it is speculation and its design may not allow extra weight in a given position.[/FONT].
As long as that design has been around and as many of the originals and copies have been produced and used by boaters, I would think that if a simple change such as that would make a significant improvement, someone would have done it already and brought it to market.

Arguing anchor types is pretty much like arguing Chevy vs Ford vs Toyota. They pretty much all do the same thing and the ones that do it well stay around, the ones that don't fade away.

My anchor retails for $110 and it does what I need it to do so I can't see spending several hundred dollars more for something I may have to leave to the fishes someday.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:50 AM   #116
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Rex wrote;

"If you drop a 33lb claw upside down in oozy mud as we did the spine sinks to the point where both side flukes are also supported in the mud, it then skids on top of the mud"

Ye gods I never imagined the shank could find mud so soft it could do that. But I don't think I ever did as my Claws always set after a bit of dragging and it would seem to me that once down in the mud upside down it never would set. Must have been like yogurt. If the tide went out that far a guy could die in the "quick mud". I wonder what the possibility of finding mud that soft is? Never been walk'in around down there. Sure would be fun to meet up w some anchors and see what they do but I'd really rather be up on deck w a beer watch'in the have nude girl row by in her dink.

But I do agree with you Rex about the virtues of "laying" the anchor down. And setting an anchor very slowly is also to be of significant benefit. One of the reasons I like to continue to deploy my anchors by hand but that's not practical for most on the forum as their boats/anchors are too big.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:00 AM   #117
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Ron wrote;

"Arguing anchor types is pretty much like arguing Chevy vs Ford vs Toyota."

Not at all Ron as I think there's much greater differences in anchors than Fords and Chevys or even Toyotas. Anchors are even more interesting and I like cars. If car testers tested like anchor testers test anchors some cars would'nt make it to 60mph in 30 minutes.

I thought we were "discussing" but since wer'e arguing perhaps I ought to set out to win something like talk Marin into putting his Bruce back on his bow. Is this a goal oriented thread?
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:42 PM   #118
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Eric--- I totally agree with your and Rex's notion of "laying" an anchor down when deploying it vs. dropping it to the bottom with a big pile of chain on top. And I believe one can "feel" the deployment with an electric windlass almost as well as you can by hand.

When we deploy our anchor I operate the windlass at the windlass as opposed to using a remote control from the helm. My wife operates the boat and we communicate with hand signals and an intercom/hailer. I do this because I can watch the chain go out, I can see the amount of pull using the change in catenary as a guide, and if I want to I can put my hand on the chain and feel what it is doing. By being out of the cabin up on the bow I am in a better position to judge our boat's rearward movement---or lack of it--- using the relative movement between things on shore while at the same time seeing and feeling what the chain is doing in relationship to the anchor.

We do the same thing when retrieving the anchor. By being right beside the windlass and chain I can judge the amount of strain being put on the system, I can keep pace with the windlass to match the slow forward creep of the boat to keep the chain from angling back into the hull, I can hear how hard the windlass is working, and I can determine if the anchor is breaking out easily or needs to be snubbed off with our heavy setting line and broken out with the boat.

I would not waste bandwidth trying to convince me to put our Bruce back on the boat. I am completely convinced by direct experience reinforced by more and more user testimonials I hear or read that in small sizes it is a very poor anchor design in terms of holding and we would never have one again on any boat. Not when there are designs out there now that are clearly so superior, one of which we already have. After our (and friends') experiences with it the Bruce/Claw is a total non-starter in our book and we no longer consider it a viable anchor design, at least in the small sizes and weights dictated by boats our size.

If it makes you feel any better we feel exactly the same about the CQR although for different reasons. However our bias against the CQR is not based on any experience with it whatsoever, but simply by looking at its design. So it's a totally armchair-theory bias. I understand the principle behind the CQR but an anchor that is streamlined in the direction of pull is a design looking for a reason to fail to my way of thinking.

In our opinion and based on our experience over the last seven years there is currently only one type of anchor for all-round use in a wide variety of bottoms in the sizes we require that is worth considering and that is the rollbar anchor. We can debate the merits of concave vs. convex fluke and slotted vs non-slotted shank and so forth, but the bottom line is that we believe the rollbar design represents the best performing small anchor to date.

Now if one anchors in the same basic conditions all the time, like the mud that I understand is the predominant bottom in the SFO Bay/Delta region in California, an anchor that is proven to do extremely well in this kind of bottom would make all kinds of sense, too.

Our boat, which spent its whole life in SFO Bay until we liberated it, came with heavy Danforth-type anchors bow and stern, which made perfect sense. Had we kept the boat in the bay we probably would have retained this type of anchor as I don't know that a rollbar anchor (which we had not even heard of at the time) would have proven any more effective.

The only part of the puzzle yet to be resolved in my mind is the Rocna vs Sarca question. I prefer the concave fluke of the Rocna because logic tells me that it will resist movement through the bottom better than a convex fluke. But again, that's an armchair theory, not one based on any experience other than using a shovel. But the Sarca's fluke is not really all that convex. So it would be very interesting to compare the two in identical sizes over a long period of time and variety of anchoring conditions. (The amount of mud brought up by an anchor is not anything I care about because we can easily deal with it on our boat).

The Sarca was not an option when we bought our anchor so whether it's better, the same, or worse than a Rocna would not have been a factor in our purchase decision at the time. But these two anchors are really, really clever, I think, and I admire and congratulate the folks who put the thought and effort into their creation.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #119
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Marin, is it not possible that Delfin's good experience with the Claw/Bruce/whatever, is because, as you have pointed out on many occasions, it is weight critical, and his boat is big enough that the Claw he carries is heavy enough to overcome the shortcomings of smaller claw types...? In other words, his anchor weight is such it exceeds the critical mass needed for the Claw to work really well. If so it may well never fail him, whereas other lighter versions well may...?
Peter, the additional weight clearly does make a difference in the holding power of a Bruce type anchor, as Evans Starzinger's comparison indicated. However, from experience using the lighter weight Bruce on a lighter boat, I found that the mistake most people make when setting any anchor is dropping it, then throwing the vessel into reverse and backing down on it before it has a chance to really set. I have no idea if that is why some people swear by Bruce types and others say they don't work, but the contrast between the two positions must have some explanation. IMHO, the only correct way to set an anchor is to drop it to the seabed, lay out 3:1 scope as you drift away, then go have a beer. Come back later, let out some more scope if you've a mind to, set a snub line and forget about it. Whenever I have followed my own advice with any size/type of decent anchor, no problems. When I see someone backing down on their anchor to 'set it', I can visualize the thing being jerked out of the seabed, with subsequent complaints that the anchor is no good. Not saying that it's true, but it is possible that anchor complaints relate more to preferred anchoring technique than deficiency of design, although it does seem to be clear that newer designs are more tolerant of aggressive anchoring technique than others might be.

No commercial boat I have ever seen does anything other than drop and forget, and none of them would spend the money on a dude boat anchor. As the boat snubs up in the current/wind, virtually any anchor design will dig in, and then holding power becomes a question of how much lateral surface is exposed to the seabed. A Bruce type offers more than most in that regard, at least when it is allowed to set correctly.

But just to repeat, if I had no anchor, I would choose the Sarca Excel, but I would still buy a BIG one, just cuz....
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:16 PM   #120
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Well the concave shape resists fwd movement better than a convex surface as proven by the Frenchman that designed the Spade anchor. I consider that a given but there are so many variables and trade offs that the slight resistance advantage of the concave fluke dosn't even come close to deciding what anchor is best or even holds best. I've used quite a number of anchor types and have never dragged any of them except to set. Here in the NW fishing fleet and the NW pleasure boat fleet not to mention this forum there are thousands of skippers that feel very much the way you feel about the Rocna .. but about the anchor that you despise .. Claws. There are differences between anchors and those differences are much greater than the differences between Fords and Chevys but given enough scope they all work "WELL". The only time you need a super high holding power anchor is when you are faced w a super high wind. I don't think you have and when you do you won't be inclined to sleep the night through. You'll be up in the wheelhouse monitoring your position and listening to the screaming wind just like the other skippers w whatever anchor they have deployed. When we anchored in Patterson Inlet in the 50+ knot gale the other two boats there had a Bruce and a CQR. The Krogen w the Bruce did drag but he was also dragging a small tree w his anchor. The sailboat w the CQR did not drag nor did we. I'm quite sure the Krogen wouldn't have dragged either if the Bruce wasn't fouled w the tree. As you've heard me say before the biggest difference in anchors that is worth looking for is the short scope performance. One of the reasons I hold up the SARCA as the best anchor.

Great to hear about you're method of anchoring and it's nearly a dupe of what Chris and I do.

And the business of laying the anchor and doing it slowly I picked up in an anchor test .. don't recall which one. Many of the anchor tests test short scope performance and so they seem to think it's important too. The holding power numbers stick right out at you but the comments and other things that emerge from the whole operation seem to be probably more important. Consistency for one and the SARCA may well be #1 in the world on that score.

OK Marin ... I've decided to cave ... no need to put the Bruce back on the boat.
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