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Old 09-06-2014, 11:12 PM   #261
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Really appreciate the data. Given what I know for the Columbia river area, which is mostly sand, I changed the PO's 33lb Bruce for a 55lb Delta fastset on 250 feet chain. #2 is an FX37 on a nylon rode with 30' chain. I have a very large Boeing Clipper Seaplane SS folding Northill I plan to put in bilge for storm with a nylon and chain rode. Maybe 36" shank and shovel size flukes at about 45 degrees. It would be fun to test that one. Northill ones are symmetrical. I see on commercial boats most often. What has made them lose favor? Maybe I should use a broken down FX55 for storm instead? Have that too but it is HUGE.

Here is "sister" Northill
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Again thanks for the data and context!!
Dan
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:34 AM   #262
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I suspect a small part of the low use of this anchor is that it is hard to stow😎. Of course, after looking over the graphs I have to at least consider sticking my easily stowed Delta 44 under the aft cabin bunk beside my rear water tank, and pulling my Fortress 37 outa there and getting it somehow stuck in the pulpit where it needs to be!!


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Old 09-07-2014, 01:41 AM   #263
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A number of members have queried the relationship between size (however you want to define size), of an anchor, and its maximum or ultimate holding capacity.

I can only find 2 pieces of work, from opposite ends of the spectrum, that have looked at this. John Knox in the UK looked at the relationship between anchor weight and hold for Bruce and Delta anchors. He published his results in the UK's Practical Boat Owner in August 2002 (long before some of the anchors tested by Fortress were released). John's work was on anchors upto 15kg in one seabed type (sand). Vryhof have published graphs of at least one of their anchors, weight vs hold in 3 different seabeds. The Vryhof charts are predictions but one assumes (maybe wrongly) that they are based on practical application. The Vryhof data is for anchors from 1t - 50t of an anchor that most closely looks like, with no disrespect to Vryhof, Danforth nor Fortress, a Danforth/Fortress (their Stevin Mk3).

Vryhof state, 2010 Vryhof Anchor manual, that performance is a function of weight (and separately suggest weight and surface area are interrelated). For an increase in weight they say you can expect an increase in performance but different designs will behave, more or less efficiently (so you cannot compare, say a Spade with a Mantus - you can only compare a big Rocna with a little Rocna, or a little Spade with a big Spade).

Both John and Vryhof come to similar conclusions that, very crudely, a doubling of weight results in a doubling of holding capacity.


I find the results slightly surprising, I'm simply reiterating what the conclusions are, as I would have thought that one would need to double surface area to double hold - just goes to show my thought process do not match practice!


Vryhof underline the results found by Fortress that in a soft seabed the fluke angle must be increased, though on their Stevin Mk3 their soft seabed fluke angle is 50 degrees (vs 45 degrees for Fortress) and in harder seabeds the angle is the same as Fortress at 32 degrees.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:34 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by Djbangi View Post

Both John and Vryhof come to similar conclusions that, very crudely, a doubling of weight results in a doubling of holding capacity.

I find the results slightly surprising, I'm simply reiterating what the conclusions are, as I would have thought that one would need to double surface area to double hold - just goes to show my thought process do not match practice!

I'm not necessarily surprised by a conclusion that doubling weight doubles holding capacity... if it's also maybe true that doubling size increases holding capacity by some even larger number (or multiple). I don't remember seeing a comparison like that...



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Chris, the Fortress model size indicates the approximate weight of a steel fluke anchor that is a comparable physical size, so the FX-37 is close in size to the 35 lb Danforth HT, and the FX-55 is similar to the 60 lb Danforth HT.

Regarding your second question, since an aluminum alloy is less dense than steel, it might be more likely to "sail" to bottom as you described, but as the weight and size increases, I think this becomes less likely.

Brian

Brian, that's what I'd always thought. I think you could have made an argument, then, that it would have also been fair to include a 32-lb FX-55 in the same tests.. since it weighs approximately the same as the 35-lb Danforth HT and most of the others.

Yes, I haven't seen our FX-37 "sail" anywhere. Haven't noticed any clogs from stuff like oyster shells, either, perhaps another potential hazard that generally decreases with anchor size and/or weight.

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Old 09-07-2014, 11:17 AM   #265
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I thought it was commonly thought that holding power is directly proportional to the blade area of an anchors fluke or flukes.

Seems to me Fortress made a dramatic demonstration of that.

But of course it's not that simple.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:27 AM   #266
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This test to me is suspect because it is sponsored by fortress not to unlike drug testing done by the drug manufacturer. Because of this I would tend to believe the independent testing of Practical Sailor.
I have to say that I love my Fortress FX-55 and I especially love the company. They stand behind their product and they make an exceptionally great anchor.

But...

I agree with the quote above. This entire test is very suspect. I'd even go so far as to say it was a marketing blunder. The fact that Fortress sponsored the event and is the one reporting on it (with Fortress logos on every page) throws doubt about the entire process to me. I'd love to know exactly who designed the test plan for all of this. This is not how real science is done except in the pharmaceutical industry and we know the long-term results of those study findings.

Again, I've had an FX-55 for almost 12 years on my trawler. For about 3 years of anchoring 50% of the time, 9 months/year, it was my primary anchor so I'm quite familiar with how it works on my boat. A whole lot of anchoring is technique and knowing how to use a particular anchor with your boat and knowing the cruising area you're. Anchoring in the Chesapeake has subtle differences to anchoring in the Bahamas.

Today the Fortress is my #2 anchor. It has exceptional qualities as a backup anchor (weight and disassembly) but there is no question that my current primary anchor is significantly better at grabbing quickly, holding with reliability, and handling full 180 degree swing in a real anchoring situation. I can guarantee that my anchoring technique is different than the tests performed within this study and most certainly account for some of the differences in experiences I've had with different anchors.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:33 AM   #267
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I have to say that I love my Fortress FX-55 and I especially love the company. They stand behind their product and they make an exceptionally great anchor.

But...

I agree with the quote above. This entire test is very suspect. I'd even go so far as to say it was a marketing blunder. The fact that Fortress sponsored the event and is the one reporting on it (with Fortress logos on every page) throws doubt about the entire process to me. I'd love to know exactly who designed the test plan for all of this. This is not how real science is done except in the pharmaceutical industry and we know the long-term results of those study findings.

Again, I've had an FX-55 for almost 12 years on my trawler. For about 3 years of anchoring 50% of the time, 9 months/year, it was my primary anchor so I'm quite familiar with how it works on my boat. A whole lot of anchoring is technique and knowing how to use a particular anchor with your boat and knowing the cruising area you're. Anchoring in the Chesapeake has subtle differences to anchoring in the Bahamas.

Today the Fortress is my #2 anchor. It has exceptional qualities as a backup anchor (weight and disassembly) but there is no question that my current primary anchor is significantly better at grabbing quickly, holding with reliability, and handling full 180 degree swing in a real anchoring situation. I can guarantee that my anchoring technique is different than the tests performed within this study and most certainly account for some of the differences in experiences I've had with different anchors.
Absolutely....

Nothing wrong with being number 2...the backup quarterback always suits up and sometimes even becomes the hero....but still the backup...
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:08 PM   #268
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Jeff if you read the thread from start Brian described the methodology and it's designers pretty thoroughly.

You bring up an excellent point others have made as well. About 80% of successful anchoring is technique, and that is is selling it short, especially if ground tackle is in specs for that size boat, regardless of anchor design. All these different tests by different people really tell you is how different anchors hold using one identical technique and tested in one particular manner. I find them interesting as a triangulation point, but not as sole the basis for decision making. In my now pretty extensive anchoring experience up and down both US coasts, in a a wide variety of conditions, using primarily CQR (many charter boats), Delta (main on my Hatteras, also charter boats) and Danforth (used as both main and backup on Hatt, also on many sailboats and charter boats and our Boston Whaler dinghy), I have found one constant in not getting a good set: my taking some kind of shortcut in the process.

I've posted this pic before, but I consider this type of situation to be an example one of my true tests of an anchor. This particular bottom was what I'd call "medium" mud. Clocking tidal current, residual winds maybe max 10 knots. Then, a sustained squall from out of the NW, max gust in the 40's, sustained maybe 25-30. Then after a few hours, back to normal.



Now, this is obviously a very hard thing to replicate in any kind of scientific study. Which why these types of controlled tests can only be used as one data point.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #269
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This entire test is very suspect. I'd even go so far as to say it was a marketing blunder. The fact that Fortress sponsored the event and is the one reporting on it (with Fortress logos on every page) throws doubt about the entire process to me. I'd love to know exactly who designed the test plan for all of this. This is not how real science is done except in the pharmaceutical industry and we know the long-term results of those study finding
Jeffrey, I appreciate your healthy skepticism. We had members of the boating media aboard who represented combined magazine circulations of about 1 million readers, and we could have certainly waited for them to publish their test reports, a couple of which will be made public within the next 30 days or so.

In the meantime, you are welcome to have review images that have been posted from the testing on Dropbox, and I will share links as well to YouTube videos from all 4 days of testing in the near future:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vkl9ekrm5...pxF4HhWqa?dl=0

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Old 09-07-2014, 06:21 PM   #270
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And here's the video from Day One....and the Fortress did not set in its first attempt!

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Old 09-07-2014, 07:16 PM   #271
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Jeff if you read the thread from start Brian described the methodology and it's designers pretty thoroughly.

You bring up an excellent point others have made as well. About 80% of successful anchoring is technique, and that is is selling it short, especially if ground tackle is in specs for that size boat, regardless of anchor design. All these different tests by different people really tell you is how different anchors hold using one identical technique and tested in one particular manner. I find them interesting as a triangulation point, but not as sole the basis for decision making. In my now pretty extensive anchoring experience up and down both US coasts, in a a wide variety of conditions, using primarily CQR (many charter boats), Delta (main on my Hatteras, also charter boats) and Danforth (used as both main and backup on Hatt, also on many sailboats and charter boats and our Boston Whaler dinghy), I have found one constant in not getting a good set: my taking some kind of shortcut in the process.

I've posted this pic before, but I consider this type of situation to be an example one of my true tests of an anchor. This particular bottom was what I'd call "medium" mud. Clocking tidal current, residual winds maybe max 10 knots. Then, a sustained squall from out of the NW, max gust in the 40's, sustained maybe 25-30. Then after a few hours, back to normal.



Now, this is obviously a very hard thing to replicate in any kind of scientific study. Which why these types of controlled tests can only be used as one data point.
I suspect with the vessel that Fortress used, the Rachel Carson, it is probably possible to develop a route and have the vessel follow that route precisely within + or - 4'-5'. You could then set an anchor have the vessel drive over the location of the anchor and then reload at 180 degrees to the set direction (on the assumption that is worst case scenario. However you need base data to start with, which is what Fortress have provided, and then you need a very large wallet.

Many are critical of the protocol - so come up with a better way, publish it here - let's see how we can improve on what has been done before. 'Real life' is not much use as no-one in real life has the cross section of anchors available (no-one has a large enough wallet) nor the motivation.

The test did not do 180 degree swings, but an anchor that has an approximate average holding capacity of 300lb in 5 pulls is unlikely to suddenly be better after a reverse of pull.

I accept the limitations - its a lot better, if not infinitely better, then it not being done.

But if you want a better test - make some suggestions.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #272
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Djbangi, actually, I believe we are in agreement. At least, I agree with your post and see it as restating the points I was trying to make.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:24 PM   #273
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If you think anchor testing a waste of time because it is conducted incorrectly - Manson, Rocna, Anchor Right, Mantus and Fortress have all conducted tests and published their results and often the tests being conducted. If they had a more acceptable way to test - one to which the boating public agreed - I am sure they would take notice.

I might venture a guess that Fortress might have encouraged other anchor makers to look at the performance of their product (and how the tests were conducted) and might consider it would be good marketing to respond in kind.

Think positive - maybe they can be persuaded by sound reason and healthy debate - here.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:38 PM   #274
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Caltexflanc,

I fully agree with you (and also agree its inordinately difficult to replicate real life conditions). I was not trying to be critical. I think you successfully demonstrate the weakness of anchor testing.

To me there are a number of worst case scenarios but up near the top is, will my anchor hold in the forecast storm (so does it have the holding capacity), will my anchor hold when the wind swings through a sudden 180 degrees when that tropical thunderstorm passes overhead (so if it pulls out - will it re-set) and will my anchor hold (in any case) in the cross section of seabeds I am likely to encounter.

Fortress have looked on part of this, will my anchor hold - in this case - in soft mud. Their tests, and they did the same in the early 90's, are the only tests in soft mud. Sadly there are a few more seabeds to look at, then we need add 180 degree wind shifts.

Its so easy to be critical of Fortress but I do not see it as being too helpful. If we suggest anchor testing, as has been done by Fortress and others in the past, is a waste of time and then strip the results of those tests out of the media I think you will find we have no data at all. That is apart from individual personal experiences - all of which are correct but do not compare to the wealth of information that is actually available (based on anchor tests many think are useless). Most would never have bought their Spade, Rocna, Supreme, Excel etc if there had been no anchor tests - and the controversy they develop.

But as we are inevitably to have anchor tests - its marketing - lets have tests that we might agree with.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:13 PM   #275
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Caltexflanc,

I fully agree with you (and also agree its inordinately difficult to replicate real life conditions). I was not trying to be critical. I think you successfully demonstrate the weakness of anchor testing.

To me there are a number of worst case scenarios but up near the top is, will my anchor hold in the forecast storm (so does it have the holding capacity), will my anchor hold when the wind swings through a sudden 180 degrees when that tropical thunderstorm passes overhead (so if it pulls out - will it re-set) and will my anchor hold (in any case) in the cross section of seabeds I am likely to encounter.

Fortress have looked on part of this, will my anchor hold - in this case - in soft mud. Their tests, and they did the same in the early 90's, are the only tests in soft mud. Sadly there are a few more seabeds to look at, then we need add 180 degree wind shifts.

Its so easy to be critical of Fortress but I do not see it as being too helpful. If we suggest anchor testing, as has been done by Fortress and others in the past, is a waste of time and then strip the results of those tests out of the media I think you will find we have no data at all. That is apart from individual personal experiences - all of which are correct but do not compare to the wealth of information that is actually available (based on anchor tests many think are useless). Most would never have bought their Spade, Rocna, Supreme, Excel etc if there had been no anchor tests - and the controversy they develop.

But as we are inevitably to have anchor tests - its marketing - lets have tests that we might agree with.
I don't believe that to be true..once a small cadre of well respected people bought, tried and had success with each one and reported it one way or another....more and more bought into each type and the rest is history.

Many things in the boating world are bought or done because of the "old salt" on the dock or the wise old yardmaster. Rarely do I hear of someone making their final decision on a "consumer reports like test" over real boater's experiences.

I'll bet at first quite a few anchors were almost given away to start the momentum. Sure tests got people curious...and excited about those initial finding...but I didn't nor did anyone I know run out and buy an anchor due to an anchor test.

Even more so...so many anchor tests have been so inconclusive that I would be amazed anyone of significant enough reputation to sway others into buying would have run out and bought a particular anchor because of one or several tests. Oh I'm sure some did...maybe a few here...but I bought mine only after KNOWING I needed to upgrade from what the PO had and years of reading and word of mouth about what was going on in the "cruisers" anchoring world.

I don't think anchor tests are bad or worthless...they are what they are...a tiny piece of a very large puzzle.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:40 PM   #276
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For those interested, here are the figures obtained by an independent series of tests done by Robertsons using the TATS = Tidal Anchor Test Skid…

Naturally, Rex of Anchorright cannot and therefore would not post these links here, but as a Sarca owner/user I can, and I think they might be of interest. I suggest reading up re the TATS system from the link first, how it was developed and how it works, so one can the understand how the figures in the second link were obtained.

Tidal Anchor Test Skid T.A.T.S - anchorright.com.au

http://www.anchorright.com.au/certif...rTestChart.pdf
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:12 PM   #277
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Djbangi and psneeld,
"Most would never have bought their Spade, Rocna, Supreme, Excel etc if there had been no anchor tests - and the controversy they develop."
That is a very good question. But I fear we'll never have more than widely varying opinions. But I've often felt it's true.

The first bit of information to work with is probably to find out how many anchor tests there have been, where they have been and what would be the likelihood of boaters encountering the tests. I'd never heard of an anchor test until I came onto TF. Since then the've almost become a hobby for me and I have bookmarked 5 or 6 anchor tests.

The results were unbelievable for several tests as the newer anchors came out 20 to 30 times as good re holding power as the older anchors that are everywhere on boats there to be seen by all. This Fortress test has shown that most of the other tests have been done on hard surfaces (bottoms) that favor newer anchors. Hard bottoms ... soft bottoms. Both a challenge it seems and all the while I assumed they were trying hard to find a typical bottom. At this point I suspect this mud test is more typical of anchorage bottoms around the world. Get some darts and throw them at charts and I'll bet the ones that land on water will be predominately nearest a bottom symbol that indicates a mud bottom. I anchored many times on the BC coast w an anchor that had a 4" wide chisel like fluke tip. I assumed it would only set in mud. It set and held in all anchorages every time.

But if anchor tests aren't universally known they certainly didn't dictate what anchor we're using. Here on TF if there are still a majority of older anchors like Claws and Danforths on our boats then the tests haven't dictated what anchor we have and use. But if the're mostly newer anchors then there's a strong possibility the anchor tests are having an effect.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:38 AM   #278
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Manyboats,

When I last looked (which was a long time ago) Manson, I think on the section of their website for the Supreme, listed about a dozen anchor tests that had been published by magazines, I think they were all pdfs - so you could download them all. The list was not exclusive as it did not go back as far as Fortress' early tests in SF Bay in the early 90's and it possibly did not include the 4 or 5 articles written by John Knox in PBO as they were 1998-2003 (or thereabouts). He did publish some a bit later (which may or may not be included). It also did not include tests published in those magazines with a small readership. 2 or 3 tests were conducted by Voile et Voileurs and were published inconveniently for those of us linguistically handicapped in French but either Yachting Monthly or World carried English translations (which I think might be in the Manson references).

Interestingly some of the tests that Manson did include did not have the Supreme as 'the best' but as you point out newer anchors tend to come out better than older ones so it was always up there.

The tests cover a huge cross section of 'techniques', cover most of the anchors we see today (and some that did not last the rigours of the market place) but as you point out generally come to the same conclusion that newer anchors (the oldest perhaps being the Fortress) are better, commonly by a factor of 2, than the more traditional models. Most tests studiously did not look at mud, except Practical Sailor, nor weed and tend to focus on clean hard seabeds - and as Fortress might imply(?) developments or improvements appear to have looked at this part of the market as if 'build an anchor for a hard seabed to enjoy world domination' - hence the very sharp toes that are now 'de rigeur'

Practical Sailor has had many tests and they can be easily accessed through their archives - if you are a subscriber. A previous post did make me wonder - if no-one takes any notice of magazine tests who on earth are the gullible readership (wasting their hard earned cash) who buy Practical Sailor and read Panbo?

I would agree that 'penetration' of the overall results 'that newer anchors are better than older ones' has not been very deep or widespread as many of the old salts still appear to be perfectly happy with CQRs, Deltas and Bruces (and their copies), whether they have a little runabout, a monster plastic fantastic or even a Trawler..

In many respects I find the anchor industry fascinating and unique (for a whole variety of reasons) but I cannot get to grips with this idea of (some of them, current company excluded) in pursuing a vendetta against 'each other' when the main market is CQR, Bruce, Deltas - and worse thousands of copies, clones and knock-offs, of unknown steel and unknown origin.

And I reiterate, I think Fortress have done us a service as I was totally unaware at the weakness of many of the designs in soft mud. I had always assumed most anchored at least 'worked'. It now appears this was an illusion. It has made me wonder about the performance of some of these same anchors in soft sand - though to be honest I would now tend to extrapolate and question or be doubtful.


Edit:

For Mansons catalogue of independent tests look here:


http://manson-marine.co.nz/SitePages...ndept_test.htm
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:12 AM   #279
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And I reiterate, I think Fortress have done us a service as I was totally unaware at the weakness of many of the designs in soft mud. I had always assumed most anchored at least 'worked'. It now appears this was an illusion. It has made me wonder about the performance of some of these same anchors in soft sand - though to be honest I would now tend to extrapolate and question or be doubtful.

Back starting in probably the '90's sometime I remember "extensive" commentary about hurricane anchoring in soft mud by Cap'n Wil Andrews. Most of what I read then would have been on the Trawler World (I think?) listserv, run by Georgs (sic) Kol-something and company.

Cap'n Wil made a point of buying likely anchors and testing them in some kind of soupy mud in I think NC someplace. This would have pre-dated all the newer names, and I don't know if he's continued that reporting or not as newer anchors have been introduced...

But at the time, Fortress and SuperMax were the only anchors that "passed" his test in soft, soupy (slimy?) mud, and the latter was the one he gave best marks to. Some of that I think is still quoted on the Super Max site.

Anyway, all that -- and my own experiences here with a Delta -- partially 'splains why we use a Super Max and a Fortress here on the Chesapeake

(The Delta wasn't bad, just not as good. Here. Worked much better in other holding ground, as for example when we lived in FL.)

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Old 09-08-2014, 09:21 AM   #280
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For gosh sake folks... IMHO, after over 50 yrs of anchor usage and also by reading/watching anchor-test reports:

Seems clear that Danforth Anchor dual fluke design with full shank to fluke alternating position reigns pretty much supreme as time tested and "special test" winner. Fortress, with 45 degree angle capability of fluke to shank for mud-bottoms is simply Danforth design on steroids! That said, and with Fortress' lighter weight greatly appreciated for personal handling, extra weight in Danforth does help to penetrate into nearly any type sea bottom. I'd like to try a Danforth with 45 degree adjustment in muddy bottom... bet it would work quite well!

That said: I like the lighter handling weight and 45 degree features in Fortress design!

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