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Old 11-25-2014, 02:15 PM   #21
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I seem to recall that the Bruce anchor design was tested on North sea oil drilling platform and kept them anchored fine. Me thinks the person on the end of the rode might be the problem.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:33 PM   #22
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I'm sure glad that I have been made aware of the Bruce anchor shortcomings. She worked without fail for the years I had her on my aluminum twin diesel boat. I'm sure I had to re-anchor sometimes, not enough that I remember it being a problem.
Possibly some of the problems of these anchors aren't in the anchor but in the mirror? Just sayin....
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:22 PM   #23
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I seem to recall that the Bruce anchor design was tested on North sea oil drilling platform and kept them anchored fine. Me thinks the person on the end of the rode might be the problem.

The Bruce anchor used on the oil rigs looks almost nothing like the Bruce anchor used by recreational boaters. Also, it is many, many tons in weight. And while you can scale an anchor up and down, you can't scale the bottom up and down.

Photo below is a Bruce oil rig anchor. The only commonality between it and the little anchors on the bows of recreational boats is the name.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:57 PM   #24
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It's possible it has nothing to do with anchor or dragging or scope or who the hell knows.
In this particular case, what put the boat on the reef was dragging at a tide turn, high to low. Dragging, in fact, through a somewhat crowded anchorage with some boats at anchor and others moored to the marine park buoys. The rode, at least the bit hanging from the pulpit, appeared to be chain.
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Old 11-26-2014, 05:43 AM   #25
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In this particular case, what put the boat on the reef was dragging at a tide turn, high to low. Dragging, in fact, through a somewhat crowded anchorage with some boats at anchor and others moored to the marine park buoys. The rode, at least the bit hanging from the pulpit, appeared to be chain.
So I'm guessing that we don't know if he had the appropriate amount of scope in his anchoring system or if he kept an anchor watch?? Just easier to blame the anchor/tide/other boats etc.
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:44 PM   #26
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So I'm guessing that we don't know if he had the appropriate amount of scope in his anchoring system or if he kept an anchor watch??
Well, he obviously didn't keep an anchor watch, although he had started out pretty close to the reef so it wouldn't hava taken much time for the boat to hit it once it started to move.

The amount of scope and how well he'd set the anchor in the first place are all unknowns. However, given the Bruce/claw type anchor's known low holding power (demonstrated in about three zillion anchor tests), it was certainly one strike against him even if we dont know what the other two strikes were.

The Bruce's low holding is a well-known characteristic. When we bought our boat in 1998 and decided to put a Bruce on it to replace the old, no-name, bent Danforth that the boat had had in the SFO bay area, the anchor guy at the commercial fishing supply company from which we bought the anchor told us that the Bruce set great in all kinds of bottoms but had relatively low holding power. But we figured that in our protected waters this low holding power would rarely if ever be put to the test.

Well, we did put it to the test several times, as did other boating aquaintences, and it dragged more often than not. Finally, after a particularly harrowing experience in which we came close to losing the boat, we said enough's enough and took it off the boat.

I will say, however, that a Bruce is absolutely fabulous at propping open a door, which ours did for years in our garage. Never budged an inch no matter how hard the wind blew. Finally the other year when we didn't need it for this purpose anymore I torched it in half and sent it to the landfill.

Based on our and other people we know's experience, we would never select a Bruce to use where there was a possibility of having a significant strain put on it because I'm convinced its design encourages it to drag. I know there are a lot of people who have good luck with the anchor, and perhaps in big sizes-- 100 pounds or more-- it does an okay job. But we can't put a 100 pound anchor on our boat so its performance when it's real heavy is irrelevant to us.

Given that there are a number of anchor-types on the market with proven superior performance to the Bruce/claw, from the Fortress to the rollbar anchors, were we in the market for an anchor today we would see no reason to even consider a claw-type anchor. In the smaller sizes, at least, they are a risky bet at best in our opinions.

One couple we boat with who have an oversized Bruce for the weight and windage of their boat have had enough problems with it that the wife now refuses to anchor anymore until they replace the Bruce with something more reliable.

Ours was a genuine Bruce. I have no idea if the knock-offs and imitators offer any better performance, but given that they have the same design, I expect not.
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:21 PM   #27
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I better let all the commercial boats around the harbor here the get rid of their Bruce anchors. I think its the captain and not the anchor.
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:38 PM   #28
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I better let all the commercial boats around the harbor here the get rid of their Bruce anchors. I think its the captain and not the anchor.
There is no way of knowing unless one can find out exactly how all the variables in anchoring were addressed in a particular situation. In the case of the boat on the reef in my photo, all that I know is that the boat dragged during the high winds, the other anchored boats didn't, and the anchor used by the boat on the reef was a Bruce. I do not know what kinds of anchors the other boats used, nor do I know their scope, rode type, etc.

The same thing goes for the boats that dragged badly and got all tangled up in the bay we were in that same night. I could see when they pulled them up that the anchors on these boats were claw-types, but that's all. What type of rode, what the rode ratio was, etc. are unknowns to me.

However.....I believe in reducing the risk of an anchoring problem as much as possible. It's why we eliminated the swivel in our rode when we learned of the problems they can cause. Since the Bruce/claw is well known and proven to have low holding power relative to some other types of anchors, it was obvious to us that if we wanted to elminate the risk of our Bruce dragging under load, the thing to do was eliminate the Bruce.

So we did, and we have not experienced a dragging problem since.

Will we ever experience a dragging problem with our current anchor? Don't know.

Would we have experienced a dragging problem with the Bruce in subsequent situations when the wind and waves have put our current anchor under a high load? Don't know.

Have we eliminated the risk of our Bruce exhibiting its tendency to drag or come out of the bottom under load? Totally.

And zero chance is my favorite degree of risk.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:01 PM   #29
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I remain convinced that Bruce designs are quick setting anchors whose holding power goes up dramatically as the weight increases. I anchored with a 44# for 20 years of cruising and dragged twice. I anchored with a 176# for 5 years and it held fine in 50+ knots of wind. The Bruce design Ray anchor outperformed the Rocna and the Manson in Mr. Starzinger's test in Patagonia in the 100# range, although the result could well have been different in the 35# range.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:22 PM   #30
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I remain convinced that Bruce designs are quick setting anchors whose holding power goes up dramatically as the weight increases..
I don't dispute that at all. As I said earlier, you can scale an anchor design up and down but you can't scale the bottom up and down. So the bigger and heavier the better in terms of holding power.

We were always impressed at how quickly our Bruce set in the variety of bottoms we encounter. That was never the problem.

Unfortunately, little boats like ours cannot carry a 100-plus pound anchor.

So the obvious solution to us was to go in search of an anchor design that holds reliably under load in a size that will fit on the boat and at a weight that is manageable.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:07 PM   #31
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I don't dispute that. As I said earlier, you can scale an anchor design up and down but you can't scale the bottom up and down. So the bigger and heavier the better in terms of holding power.

We were always impressed at how quickly our Bruce set in the variety of bottoms we encounter. That was never the problem.

Unfortunately, little boats like ours cannot carry a 100-plus pound anchor.

So the obvious solution to us was to go in search of an anchor design that holds reliably under load in a size that will fit on the boat and at a weight that is manageable.
Probably what I would do.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:57 PM   #32
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Marin, so what did you get?
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:20 AM   #33
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Marin, so what did you get?
Oh for the love of God don't ask!!
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:36 AM   #34
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Oh for the love of God don't ask!!
What Carl said.

I refuse to be responsible for starting another ad nauseum, 700-post, anchor debate.

If you really want to know I'm sure the answer is in the archives somewhere.
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:41 AM   #35
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Delfin and Marin,
Clearly there's some wisdom (or at least experience) amongst the veterans on this forum that I have yet to acquire...
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:45 AM   #36
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Correction: Just realized that I've reached the exalted status of "Veteran." I should have said "amongst those who are either 'Guru' or 'Grand Visier'..."
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:49 AM   #37
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Delfin and Marin,
Clearly there's some wisdom (or at least experience) amongst the veterans on this forum that I have yet to acquire...
Yeah, well, anchors, one vs two engines, and the value of stern thrusters will let loose a dragon that will not let up until he's burned every one of us to a crisp.

I don't have a video illustration of this happening but I suspect RTF has.
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:17 AM   #38
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Marin, so what did you get?
Maybe this will help ....
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:35 AM   #39
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Fossil Bay is famous for anchor dragging. It has a lot of salad on the bottom. A bruce will almost surely drag. I've seen many other anchors with a "pointy end" hold with no issues. I don't think its the anchor as much as the bottom conditions.
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:53 AM   #40
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The boat on the reef was not in Fossil Bay although we were.
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