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Old 04-25-2014, 07:08 PM   #21
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I never meant to say the Rocna is the end all be all of anchors. And in that test the differences in holding power between the different anchors is not that great in most cases. Soft mud is a tough bottom for most any anchor to hold well in.

I fully agree that what type of bottom you anchor in can make a difference in which anchor you should use. I've just found that the spade type anchors perform very well in many different types of bottoms.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:04 AM   #22
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Soft mud is a tough bottom for most any anchor to hold well in.

Soft mud requires either big surface area , Danforth

Or an anchor that will go down thru the soft goop, old Herrishoff yachtsman.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:33 AM   #23
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Good point Ron.

Capt.Bill11,
Here is an anchor test performed on a mud bottom. Lots of popular and some not so popular anchors were in this test. In the PNW the most common type of bottom by far is mud. As you can see only one anchor did worse than the Rocna at 7-1 scope. At 3-1 also only one anchor had less performance. The SARCA, Bulwagga, Danforth, Davis, Fortress, Hydrobubble, Super Max and the XYZ anchors all outperformed the Rocna.

This shows what myself and others have been saying all along that the bottom is the greatest variable in anchoring. And no anchor can do everything. The Claw wasn't represented here and they seem to do poorly in mud but if the Claw was here Rocna's status would have only improved slightly. If the Delta, Manson Supreme, the steel Spade and the SARCA Excell had been tested here also Rocna's status would probably been even worse.
That said I can truthfully say the Rocna is a good anchor.
I suspect the reason why certain anchors perform poorly in mud, is buildup of bottom substrate just clogs those with a concave fluke arrangement, eg Rocna, Manson Supreme, and claws, stopping them from digging deeper, so they just pop out, often filled with a great gob of mud. This is why Rex of Sarca abandoned concave and went back to convex, plow-like flukes, as that shape can still keep digging in in soft bottoms, shedding mud build-up as it goes due to it's streamlined shape. Something Marin never seemed to get, when we got discussing fluke shapes. He always felt streamlined meant it would come out easier. Not so in a soft bottom.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:58 AM   #24
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I suspect the reason why certain anchors perform poorly in mud, is buildup of bottom substrate just clogs those with a concave fluke arrangement, eg Rocna, Manson Supreme, and claws, stopping them from digging deeper, so they just pop out, often filled with a great gob of mud.
Maybe. But I can't really see mud building up in front of a claw due to the angle and shape of the claws flukes. I think they just slide through the mud like they do once they start to drag in sand.

I think if I was going to be anchoring in mud bottoms a lot I'd use as large a Super Max as I could accommodate on the bow roller.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:05 AM   #25
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Cap.Bill,
Look at how poorly the 47lb Super Max did against the 13lb XYZ. Looks like there's more to it than surface area. One would think anything would set in mud but the difference in holding power between a big anchor in mud and a small one would be a no brainer due to the huge difference in surface area but the little XYZ created or developed more resistance in the test and once for me in a 50 knot gale.

Peter,
The convex/concave thing is always interesting but the concave surface creates more resistance in a fluid. Look at anhedral and dihedral wings. Clearly the anhedral (concave) wings have more lift. Winglets up or droop tips the droop tips win hands down. But the French anchor designer, the one that designed the Spade, addressed the convex/concave issue as his first step in designing the Spade. BUT .... when I rode out my first 50 knot gale at anchor I was using this convex 13lb XYZ anchor. The same as was on the anchor test in post #17. But my later model XYZ has a flat fluke. But then the original (this pic) wasn't very convex either but it was and it held. Personally I think the XYZ13 won that test and held in my 50K gale was because it was not encumbered w big shanks, roll bars or any other appendage except it's very small shank. XYZ must have got the shank angle right as it seemed to be the best digger ever. XYZ even provided a 30" cable to help in keeping the chain from impeding the anchors downward plunge. Most anchors are burdened by the necessity of having to fight against the chain and large shank to dig very deep. Roll bars insure that an anchor won't dig very deep but most dig deep enough to perform very well.
Lastly it would seem spilling mud off the top of a convex fluke would reduce "clogging" but also holding power .. and it does but there is much more to it.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:36 AM   #26
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So much depends on how, and how well you set an anchor in the first place. Do you go slow and let it "soak", as a friend of mine puts it, sinking it in deeper and deeper. Many's the time I had a long hard time getting my Delta back up after a few days on a mud bottom, and when it finally did, covered in mud up the shank, chain encased in the stuff. That high pressure raw water wash down was one of the very best additions I made to the boat.

I think some of these tests, be they formal in a magazine, or informal done by cruisers like us, start out be defining "set" as the anchor being mostly buried, but not all buried, for example, the plow section on a Delta, but not the ears. I may well be wrong about that. But in personal experience, always did better taking it slow.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:15 PM   #27
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caltex I think you are very right about;

"So much depends on how, and how well you set an anchor in the first place. Do you go slow and let it "soak", as a friend of mine puts it, sinking it in deeper and deeper."

Soaking the anchor is the very best way of setting them. And I learned that believe it or not reading an anchor test. Also "laying out the rode". I lower my anchors by hand and can tell immediately when it contacts the bottom. Then I signal my wife (at the helm) to start backing. When we start halving way only then do I slowly lower more rode. Then I signal her to stop and I pull gently on the line in pulses until the boat is mostly stopped. I enjoy the view for a minute (unless it's terrible weather) and then pull gently some more. Soon I give it more pull until We're up to 1400rpm if there is wind in the forecast or just above a idle if not.

In some or most of the tests they probably just drop the anchor down and probably a bunch of chain. Throw the boat into reverse and see how it goes. I may be overly critical but several anchor tests have comments about not being able to get some anchors to set. Could be that they were dragging the anchors across the bottom at 4 knots.

So far I've set my anchors carefully and never had one drag. I do it on the bow where I can feel and see what's going on.

And your comments about anchors not burying very well is also spot on. VERY few anchors get buried below the shank. Most are lucky to get the shank down to the surface of the bottom. Most probably just dip their flukes. They should never have coined the expression "burying type anchors". Makes it sound like they go 3' down. I think most all anchors most of the time go just a little deeper than the "non burying types" like a Navy anchor or my Dreadnought.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:52 PM   #28
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Cap.Bill,
Look at how poorly the 47lb Super Max did against the 13lb XYZ. Looks like there's more to it than surface area. One would think anything would set in mud but the difference in holding power between a big anchor in mud and a small one would be a no brainer due to the huge difference in surface area but the little XYZ created or developed more resistance in the test and once for me in a 50 knot gale.
But look how good it did against the XYZ in this test in Mississippi soft mud. :-)

"16.5 pound aluminum SPADE anchor with a 6-1 scope with chain did not set and had a maximum pressure on the rode of 130 pounds. 17 pound XYZ prototype steel anchor with a 5-1 scope with all-nylon rode set with 200 pounds pressure and dragged at 400 pounds.
17 pound steel alloy DIGGER anchor with a 5-1 scope and all-nylon rode did not set and had no measurable pressure on the rode while dragging.
21 pound aluminum FORTRESS FX37 anchor with a 6-1 scope and chain did not set and had no measurable pressure on the rode while dragging.
26 pound WEST MARINE Danforth steel anchor with a 6-1 scope and chain did not set and had a maximum of 200 pounds pressure on the rode while dragging.
29.5 pound steel BARNACLE anchor with a 6-1 scope and with chain had no set and no measurable pressure on the rode while dragging.
29.5 pound steel BULLWAGGA anchor with a 5-1 scope and all-nylon rode had a set at 300 pounds pressure on the rode, and was dragging at 390 pounds pressure.
35 pound aluminum DELTA anchor with a scope of 6-1 and with chain had a set of 400 pounds pressure and dragged thereafter. A maximum pull pressure while dragging was experienced of 900 pounds momentarily which was thought to be due to an underbottom obstruction.
48 pound steel CQR anchor with a 6-1 scope with chain never set but dragged with a maximum pressure of 575 pounds on the rode.
46.5 pound steel BRUCE anchor with a 6-1 scope and chain never set but had a maximum pressure of 400 pounds while dragging.
52 pound steel SUPER MAX 17 Pivoting Arm anchor with a 5-1 scope and all-nylon rode set at 570 pounds and began dragging at 700 pounds pressure on the rode."




But as you and George pointed out, what you do at the beginning of your anchor set can have a big effect on how well your anchor ultimately sets and how well you sleep.



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Old 04-27-2014, 07:58 PM   #29
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Yes Capt.BillII,
The early XYZ (bottom pic) was fantastic once it set but I only occasionally got it to set and then only very very carefully laying it out. In the end I decided it was strictly a mud anchor. It needed more weight in it's tail to put pressure on the fluke tip to bring about a set. See the second pic (top) of the later model XYZ. Much longer fluke. Much more weight further back. When the rode was pulled the tip dug in a little and would pop out but the tail of the fluke would bear down and transfer the force to the tip and setting would occur. The later type XYZ does set dependably. I used a modified version of that on our trip down from AK (see top ctr pic w wide chisel tip) and even the very wide fluke tip set every time. The weight in the back of the fluke seemed more effective than cast right into the tip as the pull on the rode added to the force at the tip. Note the side edge of the chisel tip is well positioned to cut right into the bottom w the center edges of the sides of the fluke not getting in the way (as many anchors do). Once the anchor is set there is considerably more fluke surface area at the tip that should reduce the tendency to break out and give better short scope performance.

But yes I'm a firm believer in laying out the rode so the whole rode is ideally set up to penetrate the bottom.

Cap is the Super Max's secret no chain? There was another TF member in the Puget Sound area that did very well w a Super Max. They look to be unbeatable in mud. At least soft mud.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:36 PM   #30
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Well in my experience from MD to FL, I have only used Danforth type anchors. I never had any real issues, other than that in swift currents I had a Fortress that would "fly" sometimes. With the Californian I have switched out my Danforth for a 60lb CQR. I still have the 43 pound Danforth and a 23 pound Danforth as spares. I have not anchored yet with the CQR but am looking forward to see what kind of performance it has.(all chain rode) In NE FL we have some swift reversing currents in popular anchorages and using Danforths I had never had a problem of dragging or losing it's set. I am hoping with the CQR it is the same. Anchors, unfortunately are one of those items that when asking 50 people you get 60 opinions.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:38 PM   #31
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Cap is the Super Max's secret no chain? There was another TF member in the Puget Sound area that did very well w a Super Max. They look to be unbeatable in mud. At least soft mud.
I don't think so. Mine worked great with all chain. I think the key is the ability to change the angle of pull and the design of the flukes.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:51 PM   #32
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Maybe. But I can't really see mud building up in front of a claw due to the angle and shape of the claws flukes. I think they just slide through the mud like they do once they start to drag in sand.
No real argument there Capt. Not sure why I included that one other than the fact is does have a sort of concave shape taking all 3 flukes into consideration.
I think with the Bruce/claw type anchors there is no way they are ever going to dig in deep - there is just nothing about their shape which would allow for that. Essentially their shape is more like a fat grapnel type than anything else - their flukes just try to grab whatever's out there. At best they might bury to the shank level. Weight seems to be the key regarding them sticking once they've grabbed. I think that is why they are used to anchor oil platforms etc, that and the fact they are probably quite easy to extract from the seabed once they want to move the rig. Not a feature we really want in our boat anchors really, so not good news to those who justify their faith in their Bruce by saying, "Hey, they anchor oil rigs with these…"

But, as many folk on her can vouch for - they set quite quick, and their holding power seems ok - most of the time…and they look & fit beautiful on the bowsprit.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:39 AM   #33
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I don't think so. Mine worked great with all chain. I think the key is the ability to change the angle of pull and the design of the flukes.
Yes of course. The Fortress has that adjustable feature also. The throat angle on all other anchors are probably a compromise. I think if the fluke is buried deep enough all anchors would have their shanks attached to the center of their flukes and at 90 degrees to the fluke.

So the shallow throat angle is a compromise that allows or brings about setting and penetrating into the sea floor. Then the shallow throat angle is to draw the fluke downward enough to overcome the tendency for the anchor to be pulled up and out of the seabed. The chain and shank trying to pull the anchor up and the fluke at an optimum angle to counteract to the degree that the fluke finds a point of equilibrium where the up and down forces are equal. Hopefully the fluke will be buried enough to have high reluctance to be pulled out.

The maker of the XYZ wanted me to find a big fish boat lots of power and a big prop to try and pull out a well set anchor. I didn't do that. You can read about him breaking chains in tests trying to pull the XYZ anchor out on his website. All this I consider things of interest and am not promoting the XYZ anchor.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:46 PM   #34
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An original Bruce. Not a Chinese knock off.You'll have to search boat salvage yards. Took almost 1 year but I have 2 original Bruce anchors. Love them....(so far).
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:29 PM   #35
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Have no complaints concerning my presumed "Chinese knock off." So far.

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Old 05-06-2014, 10:45 PM   #36
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Best Claw type anchor

On my first boat back in the mid 80's, a 28 ft columbia sloop (7500lbs) , I sailed for over 6 years in PR, USVI and the BVI without a single anchor failue on an original 13lb Danforth. Did bend the shank once, got caught between rocks. 5/8 rode with 10 ft of chain and always 7:1 scope, we rode out a couple of scary moment in 35-50 knt squalls and it just grabbed solid.
Fast forward 20yrs to the new to me Californian 34 (18,000lbs) with a 22lbs Delta claw and all chain rode. I've cruised locally and the thing sets almost instantly in most bottoms, however, I just found out last week it' achilles heel.....mud bottoms.

Weekend at Culebra Island, the day after we got there wind picked up nicely by morning to 20-25 knts. I had anchored Ohana at Ensenada Onda, a well protected cove, in about 15 ft of water and 100 ft of chain out since I knew it was going to be a fresh morning. The anchor set ok, gave it a short pull in reverse just to check and it held ok. I got on the dinghy and went to the rented beachhouse right in front. When I woke up in the morning, I look out the balcony and.....Ohana was not there!!!!!!
Ran to the dinghy dock and lucky me, she was about 200 meters downwind in the middle of the channel. Got on, moved her back and the Delta would simply drag again. Took out my secondary, a 13lbs danforth imitation with 6ft chain an 1/2 three strand. Guess what, it sank, grabbed and held. Left the Delta out as secondary and in the whole day, it did not move an inch.

My conclusion...

The Delta is not worth anything in soft bottoms, although I understand the 22 pounder is too small for my Californian. However, in the rest, sand, rock, mix, grass, it grabs and holds really fast, plus it is very, very strong.
It's strange how things change. Back in the day, an aluminum anchor would cost twice over steel, now a Fortress is cheaper than a high tensile Tie Down. But with my experience, Danforths are prone to get stuck in rocky bottoms, and a good yank with a 10 ton boat will bend anything really easy.
So.. Still debating between a larger Delta (35lbs) but I do not like the extra strain on the windlass... Or go with a 15lbs Fortress, that would be oversized, but a lot lighter than the 35 pounds of the Delta.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:31 PM   #37
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So.. Still debating between a larger Delta (35lbs) but I do not like the extra strain on the windlass... Or go with a 15lbs Fortress, that would be oversized, but a lot lighter than the 35 pounds of the Delta.
Unless your windlass is very, very small, it should have no problem raising up a 35lb anchor. If you go with the Fortress I'd go one up from a 15. Fortress set better with weight. And an FX-37 is still only 21lb.

I love Culebra by the way. :-)
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:47 PM   #38
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A friend has a Fortress, I've to see if it fits well in the anchor roller....the 37 is big!
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:49 PM   #39
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Shhhhhh....don't say it loud, people might hear you and go there!
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:01 AM   #40
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I have used Danforth, CQR and delta many times over many years. I find the delta sets reliably in a variety of bottoms where the others don't. I think the sharper point on the delta makes it better than the CQR and the hinge on the CQR is of little value IMO. Danforths can clog up too easily in my experience.
Unfortunately the Delta rusts more than any anchor I have owned so next time I will try a claw.
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