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Old 11-27-2014, 01:57 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Dawdler View Post
Clearly there's some wisdom (or at least experience) amongst the veterans on this forum that I have yet to acquire...
Sometimes it's not so much a point of wisdom shared as it is a position of bias against another's opinion, equipment or experience. Biases can run deep and are not necessarily supported by fact or reality. Just ask any of the hundreds of thousands of satisfied claw anchor users.
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:11 PM   #42
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I really think that the Bruce is getting a bashing it doesn't really deserve.

I anchored thousands of times in every type of bottom possible and My Bruce's only drug once. ( I have told the story about pulling up wrapped in a plastic tarp here before.. no anchor would of stayed in a tarp). I used Bruce's on a variety of boats.

Before the Bruce, the CQR was the standard and the Bruce certainly does set much better.

I currently use a Delta on my Ocean Alexander and I have been totally satisfied so far. I became a Delta fan after watching the Deltas and their use on big cats in the Caribbean.. cats are tough on anchors due to the sailing on the hook they tend to do.

I truly believe that in anchoring what is on the opposite end of the chain from the anchor ( the Skipper) is just as important as the anchor end.

There are moron's out there that could manage to get ANY anchor to drag.
Ultimate holding power that are achieved in many anchor tests is but a small portion of how a anchor performs.

Look at it this way. If you were in a real blow and the anchor hooks into a rock, old wreck, coral,logging cable etc. or would you rather be hooked with a solid hi test steel anchor or a light weight aluminum holds awesome in sand anchor?

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 11-27-2014, 02:57 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by hollywood8118 View Post
Look at it this way. If you were in a real blow and the anchor hooks into a rock, old wreck, coral,logging cable etc. or would you rather be hooked with a solid hi test steel anchor or a light weight aluminum holds awesome in sand anchor?

The best answer is the cheapest anchor you can find

If the anchor is going to hook up in rocks or debris, sophisticated anchor design is not important. Anchors like the fisherman's, its variants, and the Bruce, are the best choice if you want to deliberately anchor in rock, but I would not recommend it.

Providing you can retrieve the anchor, the Fortress aluminium anchor is at least covered by a lifetime warrantee if the anchor is bent.

When anchored in this sort of substrate even if the anchor is bent it is likely to make little difference to the holding:

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Old 11-27-2014, 03:06 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by hollywood8118 View Post
I really think that the Bruce is getting a bashing it doesn't really deserve.

<snip>

There are moron's out there that could manage to get ANY anchor to drag.

HOLLYWOOD
Reading this thread it appears a few of them may be in here.

My dad always said you've gotta be 5% smarter than the chunk of metal your trying to work with.
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Old 11-27-2014, 03:34 PM   #45
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Reading this thread it appears a few of them may be in here.
Well, let's see. We anchored in several places in several different bottoms and when the winds came up the Bruce let go (after setting fast and solidly) and dragged like a skateboard. After replacing the anchor some eight years ago now, we have continued to anchor in the exact same places, and sometimes the wind has come up considerably stronger than it did when we had the Bruce drag. Exact same boat, exact same rode, exact same ratio ( we never anchor with less than 5:1 and often use 7:1), exact same setting method.

And we have yet to have this anchor drag anywhere, any time.

Conclusion: in small sizes (33#, 44# or less) a Bruce is totally unreliable under pressure. Our assessment (as well as the assessment of people we know who've had the same experiences with the same anchor) is the Bruce sucks.

Except as a door stop as mentioned previously. We had a number of people including Eric of this forum offer to buy the anchor as it was a genuine Bruce. But we refused to sell it because in our opinions this would be passing on an unacceptable risk to an unsuspecting boater. In the end, when we didn't need it as a door stop anymore, we cut it in half and took it to the transfer station.

I am well aware that there are many thousands of boaters who have Bruce/claw anchors. It's probably the most numerically popular anchor in the PNW along with the CQR. And in the case of experienced boaters like Carl with his big 100-plus pounder, his experience doesn't surprise me at all. As I've stated, our Bruce always set fast and set very well initially. But the vast majority of those many thousands of Bruce/claw owners probably don't use their anchors at all. Of the power boaters we know or have met, most of them tend to be dock hoppers or only use the mooring balls in the parks. Or they only go out and anchor in mild weather.

But I would never recommend a small claw to any boater. Ever. One can totally discount our and our friends' experiences if one wants to: the Bruce/claw comes in at or near the lowest holding power in every anchoring test I've ever seen. And I don't care how well an anchor sets, if it doesn't hold under pressure it's sort of worthless in my view.

There are FAR more reliable anchors on the market in the smaller sizes, be they rollbar, Danforth-type, etc. So in my view, why buy a risk when you don't have to? Unless one knows they will always be anchoring under conditions where the anchor will not be subjected to heavy loads and the Bruce/claw's fast setting in a wide variety of bottoms is the most important attribute one needs in an anchor.

That's why we bought ours. And we learned to regret it when we were caught out in higher winds and waves than we had initially thought we'd ever encounter.

Live and learn.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:08 AM   #46
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I've only had one serious dragging episode (Knock on wood). It was at night in the San Juan Islands. The wind picked up and I awoke to find myself dragging down on a Coast Guard Cutter, also anchored for the night. Luckily I got the motor started and got the anchor up and reset. The Coast Guard crew got quite a show due to the lack of appropriate dress on the part of my crew.

The anchor was a genuine Bruce (smaller sized on a 28 foot sailboat). This was in the early 90's, the Bruce was considered by many to be the best anchor for Puget Sound at the time.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:47 AM   #47
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I believe that you must match anchor size to boat size and windage. I see so many boats in the marina that are larger than mine with the same size anchor. Bruce needs to go one size larger than what other brands recommend for a particular size boat. My Californian 30ft express low windage most anchors recommend a 16lb. I have a 16lb Bruce as a backup. My main is a 22lb Bruce. Always set, always held except the one time that the skipper (me) did a poor job of setting while rushed in a crowded anchorage (that was fun). As a rule I would always buy one size larger than the charts recommend. Even bigger if I had large windage profile. Most folks anchor choices are what ever came on the boat they purchased. Never giving a second thought to the anchor until they need to drop "The hook".
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:47 PM   #48
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The real test of an an anchor and rode is surge and veering...

Plain old windage isn't the real test till extreme conditions are encountered.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:14 AM   #49
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As a sailor, I believe that bigger is better. When I anchor, I expect to be surprised by late night winds. They never seem to come up when it is light out .

My sailboat is 44' and weighs about 40,000 lbs. I use all chain with an 80# Manson supreme. It has never dragged in any conditions. I also have a big Maxwell windlass, which is a necessity.

There are some great comments in this thread. When I make the switch to trawler I will go with big ground tackle again. YMMV.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:15 AM   #50
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The real test of an an anchor and rode is surge and veering...

Plain old windage isn't the real test till extreme conditions are encountered.
Ahh, the real world. 30 knots veering 25 degrees or so and a good swell gets my knickers in a twist. Not to mention lots of coffee for those on anchor watch.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:43 PM   #51
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Angry Shallow Bay grounding, could have been me!

I haven't joined in the discussions on this very entertaining forum before but just had to add my two cents worth. Sucia Island is one of my favorites and have anchored there hundreds of times. I was anchored about 50 yds. to starboard of that unfortunate elderly couple who drug anchor in Shallow Bay on Sucia. We've been cruising the San Juans and BC for over 30 years now. Sailboats and power as well. Most experienced with using CQR and Delta type anchors. Never any major problems encountered with these anchors. Confident in my anchoring abilities.
As everyone knows the Islands can get somewhat crowded on holiday weekends and this was no exception. We anchored that morning with a 5:1 scope in our recently acquired 55 trawler with a Bruce anchor. When Shallow is full of 50 or more boats your damn lucky to let out 3:1 let alone 5:1 scope. The weather was beautiful and boats just kept crowding in throughout the day. I was anchored on the south end of the bay (difficult place to get an anchor to set, very soupy and full of lettuce) in about 15' of water. As the bay filled with boats, I shortened to about 3:1 to stay away from late comers. Bad move! The wind came up that night; I drug but fortunately woke up and re-anchored, along with several others...not fun at all! The couple that ended up on the rocks was still anchored beside me, sound asleep? Could have been me with my Bruce that came with the boat.
I've owned the boat about 3 years and have had several issues with the Bruce. It may set fast in the right bottom, but I think it has a hard time penetrating thick grass and doesn't reset well after swinging on the hook. Thinking about changing to a "roll bar type" as Marin would say. Sorry for the long 2 cents worth.
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:06 PM   #52
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In the California Delta, local knowledge is to anchor in depths 15 or greater to avoid the weeds since there's not enough light penetration below 15 ft to support weed growth. In the clearer waters of the PNW, who onows...that might be 20-25 ft minimum, but I'm not familiar with your local protocols.

My claw anchor has never failed me when I obey the basics of weed-free bottom and minimum scope. BTW, I anchor over well 100 times per year for fishing and cruising.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:39 PM   #53
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In the California Delta, local knowledge is to anchor in depths 15 or greater to avoid the weeds since there's not enough light penetration below 15 ft to support weed growth. In the clearer waters of the PNW, who onows...that might be 20-25 ft minimum, but I'm not familiar with your local protocols.

My claw anchor has never failed me when I obey the basics of weed-free bottom and minimum scope. BTW, I anchor over well 100 times per year for fishing and cruising.
Sorry FlyWright...it appears I've yanked your chain. I'm glad you love your claw anchor. And you're right, you don't know local protocols and obviously not familiar with this superior cruising ground. I'm very well aware of the "basics" of anchoring. The fact that Shallow Bay, hence the name, is only 25 feet deep at high tide and full of sea grass doesn't discourage boaters from enjoying this beautiful bay.

I was mostly trying to relay the situation the unfortunate boater was in when he went aground. Again, enjoy your claw and I'll enjoy an anchor of my choice I feel is more suitable for this cruising ground.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:59 PM   #54
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:39 PM   #55
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Sorry FlyWright...it appears I've yanked your chain. I'm glad you love your claw anchor. And you're right, you don't know local protocols and obviously not familiar with this superior cruising ground. I'm very well aware of the "basics" of anchoring. The fact that Shallow Bay, hence the name, is only 25 feet deep at high tide and full of sea grass doesn't discourage boaters from enjoying this beautiful bay.

I was mostly trying to relay the situation the unfortunate boater was in when he went aground. Again, enjoy your claw and I'll enjoy an anchor of my choice I feel is more suitable for this cruising ground.
No need to apologize. I didn't mean it to sound that way. I didn't sense any chain yanking. Just passing along what works in our waters...not knowing the standards there.

Every place is different and requires attention to detail. I doubt there's one anchor that's the panacea for all anchorages. That's why so many of us carry more than one.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:49 PM   #56
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In the clearer waters of the PNW, who onows...that might be 20-25 ft minimum, but I'm not familiar with your local protocols.
The state and local departments (Fisheries, Parks, etc.) would prefer that boaters anchor in depths over 30 feet as eelgrass tends to grow in depths less than that. Eelgrass is important to the marine environment here because it provides a habitat for crabs, small shrimp and other creatures, as well as both a food source and protection for young salmon and other fish.

In some areas the bottom has been so torn up by anchoring that anchoring in 30 feet or less of water is now prohibited. In the marine parks, the large concrete block anchors with their smaller secondary blocks ((kellets) were all replaced a number of years ago with big screw anchors that hold the mooring lines for the buoys a few feet above the seabed. This was to elminate the damage to the bottom and the eelgrass beds from the secondary blocks and connecting chains being dragged around on the bottom by the boats on the buoys.

We don't use the marine parks as much as we used to, prefering to go to anchorages that are not used by the general public, so I don't know if the rules have been changed. But at one point not all that long ago we heard from a friend who works for the state parks department that consideration was being given to prohibiting anchoring in the marine parks altogether, or allowing it only in depths greater than 30 feet.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:18 PM   #57
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... But at one point not all that long ago we heard from a friend who works for the state parks department that consideration was being given to prohibiting anchoring in the marine parks altogether, or allowing it only in depths greater than 30 feet.
But at what tide level? High, low, mid-tide, minus tide, king tide??
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:27 PM   #58
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For the purpose of rule making I suppose they would use one of the lows: mean low, lowest low, etc.

But since a particular depth in an area of 12-foot or more tidal ranges is a pain to enforce if it's even possible, it's much more likely they will simply close certain areas of water to anchoring, period. This is what has been done in a few areas up here so far. Much easier to define the boundaries of a closed area than try to enforce anchoring depths with such a wide swing of tides.

The areas closed to different kinds of fishing here and in BC are defined by boundaries using points of land on the relevant chart, and this seems to work quite well.

So rather than say no anchoring in XYZ Bay in depths less than 30 feet at mean low water or whatever, they'll probably say no anchoring in XYZ Bay period, or no anchoring in XYZ Bay inside a line between Point A and Point B.

That's my guess, anyway.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:06 AM   #59
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I was there that night as well. Anchored in Echo Bay. I had a 38 Bayliner on one side and two 32 foot boats on the other. I listened to the weather forecast and wasn't overly concerned. I had my secondary Furuno spooled up all night on standby. Let some more chain out and had the confidence in the Fortress anchor. I did get up sometime early in the morning during the current shifts and gusts to "see" how things were. Some friends that had a plow type had a issue but we were doing fine. My wife and I watched for awhile to make sure they reset and we went back to bed. I was amazed the next morning to see the problems had by others.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:18 PM   #60
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Fossil Bay, which is where we were, had boats dragging all over the place and getting hung up in each others' rodes. Quite a mess.
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