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Old 09-09-2014, 11:22 PM   #321
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You'll be the .... the last to switch to the next generation of anchors (if ever) and that's fine. .
Okay, I'll bite. What's the "next" generation of anchors?
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:23 PM   #322
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OK Marin I deleted that post. You have indeed poo pooed the anchor tests. I do recall that.

But this business of seeing more and more Rocna's on the bows of boats like more and more people are seeing the light, getting smart like you and responding to Peter Smith's hot talk got old a long time ago. I know facts won't alter your opinion at all nor will any amount of objectivity or documentation to the contrary .... so be it. You'll be the first to have an anchor on your tombstone and the last to switch to the next generation of anchors (if ever) and that's fine. You'll be old and like a boater in our boatyard that goes to Alaska every year w a normal sized Navy anchor on his bow. Swears by it. And of course the number here that "swear" by the very anchor you despise are not few.

Haha I was wonder'in if you'd ever bend like trees in the wind but it is looking more doubtful all the time. But .. my friend ther'e just anchors.
I pay pretty close attention to anchors and at least in my marina, there are more Ultras on boats than Rocnas, more Rocnas than Supremes, and more Claw/Bruce than all of the above.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:27 PM   #323
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Hi Marin,

So if I understand correctly you have the best anchor in the world, based on your view (note use of view - have you examined an Excel close up?) of its design characteristics, even though you have never tried the Manson Supreme and Boss, Spade, Mantus, Ultra, Anchor Right Super SARCA and SARCA Excel, XYZ, Kobra and any others I might have missed and might actually have never seen some of them in the flesh.

Maybe when you say 'best in the world' you should mention you have never tried any of the others, maybe list all the anchors you have not tried, nor seen some of them. This would put your assertions into true context - anyone then looking for a new anchor could put a realistic value on your advise and experience.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:30 AM   #324
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Hi Marin,

So if I understand correctly you have the best anchor in the world, based on your ...... etc.
Dude, you are getting yourself all wrapped around the axle about something that, in the overall scheme of things, is less important and less interesting than the sex life of the Edwardian Earthworm.

They're anchors. They dig into the bottom and keep stuff floating up above them from drifing away. Sometimes they work good, sometimes they don't. In my opinion, it's up to the boater to use the thing with intelligence. In other words, don't anchor where the anchor won't work.

Who cares if I haven't had every anchor design gone over by the folks at MIT? Who cares if I have't actually tried every anchor type and design on the planet? I daresay nobody on this forum has. In my opinion, based on our experience and what I feel about the design, the Rocna is the best anchor out there right now. That's my opinion. Anyone who takes what I think as some sort of gospel and actually acts on my opinion without doing their own research and forming their own opinion is not firing on all cylinders.

It's a single data point. Marin thinks the Rocna is the best anchor in the world and here are his reasons why. Fine, take that and then go talk to Carl (Delfin). Get HIS opinion about what HE thinks is the best anchor. There's another data point. Then go talk to Don and see what he thinks of his big, new, shiny rocket fin from Australia. There's another data point. Read the anchor tests if you think they're worth bothering with. Talk to more people or read more independent reviews from experienced boaters.. Get more data points.

Then, make your decision abut what would work best for you based on what you've heard and read. Hopefully spiced up a bit with some common sense.

I rarely agree with Eric's views on stuff because he looks at things through a whole different set of glasses than I do. But he made a great point earlier, and that is there are commercial fisherman who anchor up the coast using an anchor design that was probably considered old-fashioned by the Egyptians when they were barging big rocks down the Nile, and they work fine and have for decades.

Why? I bet it's partly because their anchors are relatively huge and heavy. But mostly because they've learned, either through direct experience or being told by someone who has it, that you don't anchor there, there and, there, but there's good anchoring here, here, and here.

I place, way, WAY more stock in where it makes sense to anchor than what kind of anchor is on the bow of our boat.

The fact we have the best anchor in the world on the bow of our boat is just a bonus.

And that, folks, is that. This render computer I've been waiting to finish has just finished, and I have a plane to catch for Europe in the morning. As Art wrote awhile back, it's certainly been entertaining, talking about bent pieces of metal as though they're actually important. But on my "things to ponder" list, anchors just fell off the bottom of it. But I'll try to remember to hoist a glass of champagne in Reims, Fr. to the design genius of Peter Smith. Without him, this forum would be a dull place indeed.
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:03 AM   #325
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I rarely agree with Eric's views on stuff because he looks at things through a whole different set of glasses than I do. But he made a great point earlier, and that is there are commercial fisherman who anchor up the coast using an anchor design that was probably considered old-fashioned by the Egyptians when they were barging big rocks down the Nile, and they work fine and have for decades.

Why? I bet it's partly because their anchors are relatively huge and heavy. But mostly because they've learned, either through direct experience or being told by someone who has it, that you don't anchor there, there and, there, but there's good anchoring here, here, and here.

I place, way, WAY more stock in where it makes sense to anchor than what kind of anchor is on the bow of our boat.
And which is precisely the same reason why most people are happy with the anchor they have. In my marina the majority still have CQR/Ploughs. I gave mine away for a Sarca.

Call it prudent choice of when and where to anchor - whatever - we try to avoid extreme conditions which might expose our anchor to its limits.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:30 AM   #326
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The "bottom" line is that no single anchor performs exceptionally well in all bottom conditions....and in those bottom conditions where it does not perform well.....will it be good enough to keep the boat safe and secure during adverse, unpredicted events?

The Fortress anchor will be challenged in grass, weeds, and rocks, possibly more so than other anchor types as it has two large flukes which might make penetration more difficult. No debate there.

We have heard that the Fortress is sharp enough to slice through grass and weeds and penetrate into firmer holding that is below, but I suspect that this is the exception, rather than the rule.


During the recent soft mud tests, we found a common bottom that was a challenge for ALL anchors, particularly those which are not specifically designed for this type of soil.

We saw several performances, some of which were from the highly-touted recent anchor designs, that were so shocking and disturbing that a comment was made among witnesses that these anchors should be sold with a warning label when used in soft mud.

Take from this testing what information you find helpful, or discard it as useless, its obviously your choice.


The ultimate goal is boater safety, and if that safety can be achieved using Brand X, Y, or Z anchors, which meet and exceed the boater's holding power needs in the wind and bottom conditions where they regularly anchor, then that's great.

Awareness and education are part of the keys to that safety, whether it be proper scope or anchoring techniques, or using the right anchor that is optimal for the specific bottom and wind conditions which the boater is likely to encounter.

And if we at Fortress can assist with this awareness and education, then great, once again, and maybe also sell a few anchors along the way as well, which help keep boaters safe and having fun on the water, then that's a bonus.
Brian,

I might be guilty of have sidetracked your thread, humblest apologies.

But back on track

I find it refreshing you suggest a possible weakness, sorry might be challenged, in a Fortress - too much to ask that other anchor makers are equally candid? But I'm not sure any anchor, unless its a monster is not equally challenged in weed or grass, other than fisherman's or marsh (hands up anyone with an anchor that they are confident to use in weed or grass).

We, and in other parts of the world, are discouraged from anchoring in grass anyway - destroys habitat (apparently) so not always an issue.

Your focus on safety is also refreshing (even if its also good marketing).

But your first sentence is the key:


The "bottom" line is that no single anchor performs exceptionally well in all bottom conditions....and in those bottom conditions where it does not perform well.....will it be good enough to keep the boat safe and secure during adverse, unpredicted events?


If you have one lesson from the Chesapeake tests - your sentence sums it up (but I think there are a number of lessons in there).
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:41 AM   #327
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I find it refreshing you suggest a possible weakness, sorry might be challenged, in a Fortress - too much to ask that other anchor makers are equally candid?
Djbangi, considering the importance of an anchor aboard a boat as a vital piece of safety equipment, I would expect so.

Some of the surprise at the testing turned to anger, as it was clear that several of the anchors, including one specific roll bar model, would not dependably set in soft mud and when they did, the holding power generated was nominal and not enough to hold the boat for which they are recommended in anything but light winds.

This is obviously a potential safety hazard for an unsuspecting boater/user, and should another anchor manufacturer be the one responsible for alerting them to this?

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Old 09-10-2014, 07:44 AM   #328
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Might I just point out here…in defence of the roll-bar types that might not have done so well in the very soft mud on this test, and based on experience with one of these types, albeit not one actually tested in Brian's program, that the conditions of the test as performed, whilst valid, might well have not accurately replicated the sort of conditions actually in effect if one was using one of these anchors in a real life anchoring situation.

By this I refer to the fact that these anchors set normally so well, so quickly, and with such minimal deliberate setting power needed, that we generally tend to just drop them, lay out the scope, then let them sit and set by just the drag on the vessel, with maybe a quick gentle reverse tap, as it were, to check the set before settling down for the night.

If in soft mud, this would generally allow the anchor by its own weight, and slight movement, to roll on its side and engage the fluke in the bottom, and subsequently dig in to a better depth over this time. By contrast, in this test of Brian's, the almost immediate application of a dragging force to the anchor, which I am not criticising in itself, as it was uniformly applied to them all, but considering the somewhat unique setting characteristic of these roll-bar types, probably caused them to set less well they they would in normal use. This is because the almost immediate drag in soft mud might well move the anchor sufficiently fast that the roll-bar instead of being able to roll the fluke over onto its side as it normally does, could well grab enough mud to clog and weight the bar, thus preventing the roll of the fluke to the bottom.

I guess my point is, that although their failure caused adverse comment by some at the test, as Brian has mentioned, in all fairness, they were probably not as used to the rather unique setting requirements of this type as regular owner users are, and over-interpreted the results negatively, and with justification going by the figures, but if set how they are normally set in actual usage, they would have performed better. This same issue might well apply to other designs as well in a one type of test situation.

I guess it just illustrates perfectly the reservations several have already expressed re the limitations of any anchor testing as such, as compared to the real world use.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:03 AM   #329
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That was one test with one set of conditions. It is what it is, and it looked like it was conducted fairly. The Chesapeake mud is a real situation around here as it is one of the largest estuaries in the world. As has been said no one anchor is always best, but under these conditions the Fortress/Danforth style seem to work best. Having anchored in many areas of the Bay, I think it's true.

If I upgrade my Danforth it will be to a Fortress. Neither would be my primary anchor, but would be for use when similar type conditions occur. If the EX-CEL holds well under those circumstances, they will always remain as backups.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:13 AM   #330
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Our testing was not "real world" in the sense that when an anchor does not immediately set, and within a relatively short distance, then the anchor is usually picked up and then it is deployed in a new location.

What we did was deploy the anchor, let out a 5:1 scope + 100 feet (about 33 m), which resulted in about an 8.3:1 scope to start, and then the Dynamic Positioning System aboard the Rachel Carson was set to "hover" at that specific location.

We then pulled back the 100 feet (33 m) to a 5:1 scope at a very slow rate of 10 feet (3 m) per minute, for a full 10 minutes, so each anchor was given 100 feet (33 m) and 10 minutes to engage the bottom and develop resistance.

I certainly believe that this testing methodology was long and slow enough to allow each anchor to perform well, or not.

Also, in the "real world" a specific scope is usually let out (ex. 5:1), and then the boat moves under power, or with the wind or tide to set the anchor.

When we initially tried this same technique during our preliminary testing, we simply found that the boat was too big, the anchors too small, and the bottom too soft to test this way and achieve repeatable, controlled pulls.


Otherwise, I don't think that the testing was "un-realworldly," as again, we used a long scope to set and pull the anchors, and we pulled them at a rate of speed that was certainly slow enough to allow them to engage the bottom.

I might even venture to go out on a limb and say that we were kinder and gentler to the anchors in this testing methodology than what they would typically encounter in the "real world," which might involve shorter scopes and faster pull speeds.....so during our testing, they should have performed optimally, at their best capability.

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Old 09-10-2014, 09:36 AM   #331
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Interestingly enough some are convinced that anchors need to "settle"...meaning lay on the bottom for a bit of time that seems to be described anywhere from 5-60 minutes before any or even IF any rearward thrust is applied.

Normal anchoring usually involves a series of tugs and sways due to the nature of a boat snugging and sailing with wind and current that may assist some anchors in burying in some bottom conditions.

I may be wrong or under read...but I don't think I have read an anchor test that used "unsteady" or "jerky pulls" or that's allowed an anchor to settle.

I wonder if those "real world" quirks would change any of the tests that didn't use them? Of course even in the real world "quirks" can or may not exist in every situation.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:33 AM   #332
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Interestingly enough some are convinced that anchors need to "settle"...meaning lay on the bottom for a bit of time that seems to be described anywhere from 5-60 minutes before any or even IF any rearward thrust is applied.

Normal anchoring usually involves a series of tugs and sways due to the nature of a boat snugging and sailing with wind and current that may assist some anchors in burying in some bottom conditions.

I may be wrong or under read...but I don't think I have read an anchor test that used "unsteady" or "jerky pulls" or that's allowed an anchor to settle.

I wonder if those "real world" quirks would change any of the tests that didn't use them? Of course even in the real world "quirks" can or may not exist in every situation.
Excellent point. Real world comparisons that simulate how an anchor is actually used are quite tough - which is why I respect Anchor Right's testing method. It at least presents a true apples to apples comparison of anchors performing under one set of circumstances. Brian has been forthright in pointing to the potential weakness of the Fortress in starting to penetrate in harder or grassier bottoms. That is less important when the Fortress is carried as a storm or backup anchor. Under storm conditions, you spend the time you need to in order to ensure you got the Fortress headed in the right direction. If so, you'll have stupendous holding power.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:29 AM   #333
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Interestingly enough some are convinced that anchors need to "settle"...meaning lay on the bottom for a bit of time that seems to be described anywhere from 5-60 minutes before any or even IF any rearward thrust is applied.

Normal anchoring usually involves a series of tugs and sways due to the nature of a boat snugging and sailing with wind and current that may assist some anchors in burying in some bottom conditions.

I may be wrong or under read...but I don't think I have read an anchor test that used "unsteady" or "jerky pulls" or that's allowed an anchor to settle.

I wonder if those "real world" quirks would change any of the tests that didn't use them? Of course even in the real world "quirks" can or may not exist in every situation.
Our late company founder used to say that "When anchoring, time is your friend" and he was certainly a proponent of setting an anchor slowly. Allowing an anchor to soak, so to speak, and the bottom to heal around it can definitely be a factor in its performance.

While the winch aboard the Rachel Carson provided a steady consistent pull at a pre-set rate of speed, the boat itself was certainly not completely stationary, as the waterjets and thrusters from the engaged DP system were constantly firing to keep the boat in its set GPS position.

This jerking was noted as waves and spikes on the Running Line Tensiometer (RLT) gauges and the accompanying charts, and it was typically greater with the anchors that were providing the higher loads, and in turn, a more difficult challenge to the DP system.

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Old 09-10-2014, 11:39 AM   #334
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For 20 years in mid to latter portion of 21st Century (before all the fancy push button winch systems became the rave! – LOL)

Exclusively using good-sized Danforth anchors with 20 +/- feet chain and appropriate circumference manila (in the early years) and then nylon rode, throughout NY to Maine in hundreds of locations; the following was our very successful anchor set technique:

1. With boat usually directed into wind and/or against or with the current (depending on their combined directions/ferocity), to attain appropriate position mix of the two that enabled necessary reverse movement in water-mass by prop-power or wind so that land-mass was being backed over (away from)… usually at near-idle engine rpm… drop anchor straight down by hand so flukes are pointed toward bow of boat
2. When anchor reaches bottom (you can tell by hand feeling on rode) signal Captain to slightly increase backing speed over land while playing out more line but always keeping slight tension on line so it never becomes fully relaxed/slack
3. After laying out ample line to have attained approx. 7 to 1 scope (you could tell by eye after years of hand anchor setting) affix line to cleat. Signal Captain to slightly increase reverse draw on anchor line to set anchor. Continue reverse draw until boat stops moving over ground-mass. Then somewhat increase reverse power until satisfied anchor is well set into bottom.
4. Depending on closeness to other boats we’d either leave the 7 to 1 scope or shorten a bit to about 5 to 1 so boat swing was not going to interfere with other boats.

I can only recall a couple times we needed to haul anchor and retry setting because it simply would not set; I believe mud one time and another time weeds were the reasons. We moved to different locations in general area. Only lost one anchor to fouling with a cable (or something?? - in Block Island’s big harbor); after hours of tries to free it we cut her lose! Dad was bummed!! I also recall two times we rode out hurricanes in harbors while on the hook (anchored with a Danforth). In neither storm did our Danforth fail us… however, in both storms we spent hours with engines running and at times somewhat pushing into the heaviest of gusts for assistance to help anchor not break lose.

To this day I release and retrieve anchors by hand. I enjoy having “the feel of the deal” in my hands and close-up visuals for my eyes… so I can best ascertain just what is going on!

Happy Hooking Daze! - Art

PS: I look forward to the day when I test an FX-23 in SF Delta mud; while I have it set at its 45 degree flukes to shank angle. As I've mentioned previously, it seems to me by research, listening to others' accounts, and holding a Fortress in my hands... I believe Fortress anchors are Danforth anchors on steroids! Lightweight to handle too!!
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:49 AM   #335
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Peter,
The Super Sarca has a roll bar but I tend to not think of it so much as a roll bar anchor. The SS stands by itself unique in having a much smaller dia "bar" and larger radius of the "hoop". The compression factor between the bar/hoop and the fluke is much much less an element of the design that I personally don't lump it together w the typical roll bar anchors.

And relative to the Fortress test if the SS was in attendance it probably would have not suffered from any roll bar irregularities that have been talked about. I think the SS functions almost entirely as a stand up anchor that only assumes any other attitude for brief moments.

And I agree w Brian that the setting procedure used should have allowed any anchor to set properly. If a roll bar anchor landed up side down and clogged it's roll bar preventing it from setting I'd consider it a fault in the design and the test results valid for judging anchor performance. This isn't what I hold against the roll bar design ... just another weakness of the concept. But not all roll bar anchors are the same in this regard. By the way .. the way I deploy an anchor the roll bar anchor would not/could not land up side down. But most skippers basically just drop anchor and pull back thinking there's nothing more to it. So if an anchor is sold indiscriminately to everybody it should perform well the way most people use the product. So anchor tests should be performed like a typical skipper would generally go about anchoring. So in that regard the Fortress test was more a test of the potential of the anchor than an indication of how well it would do w the average boater. Could be called a test fault but I'd rather know about how well the anchor itself can do.

When asked for an anchor recommendation I usually recommend the Supreme and of course it's a roll bar anchor so it's obvious I'm not 100% against the roll bar anchor. My recommendation is not so much because of it's holding power (but it is probably only second to two other anchors in that that regard) but because it seems to be able to perform very well to extremely well in almost every conceivable situation. It seems to come closer to excellent performance in all conditions than any other anchor I can think of. But like all other anchors it can fail.

And here's an interesting fact. I have a Manson Supreme and don't often use it. I'm usually too busy playing/experimenting w other anchors. I guess I'm just curious like the cat.

Art I see your post now and must say that's almost exactly how I set Willy's anchors. I lay the anchor down as we gently back. The big difference is that I use shorter scope. Usually about 3-1 and almost never over 5-1.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:26 PM   #336
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Peter,

Art I see your post now and must say that's almost exactly how I set Willy's anchors. I lay the anchor down as we gently back. The big difference is that I use shorter scope. Usually about 3-1 and almost never over 5-1.
Hey Eric!

You and several others on TF seem pretty well versed in using different anchor designs and for testing their capabilities. I am NOT; and, don't care to spend the capital or time to become so! I'll take you all at your word regarding your success and/or failures with different anchor designs.

I do wonder why you keep anchor scope so minimal. Far as I know (general law of physics) the more scope the better the angle for an anchor's "flukes or plow" to dig into bottom. Isn't 5 to 1 scope the standard recommendation??

The only two anchor designs I ever used in my entire life are the antiquated opposite side fluke "Navy" anchor (used twice in my life on a fishing boat) and Danforth design anchors - used thousands of times by me on pleasure craft. Reason for using Danforth design anchors - cause they work very well!

Two principals I adhere to:
1. KISS
2. If it tain't broke - Don't fix it!

Cheers! - Art
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:45 PM   #337
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The very best anchor according to a 20 plus year charter company owner in the Sea of Cortez, where chubasco's pop up with no warning blowing most anchored boats to shore, is the Bulwagga anchor.

This is the ugliest anchor I have ever seen. It sets faster than any and holds better. It's like a mooring block. The owner has seen all other anchors drag in the chubasco blows. Every one.

I think we can end the discussion.

Bulwagga Anchors

Give it a look. It's ugly, you won't buy it, you'll find fault with it but it's the best, period.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:05 PM   #338
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The very best anchor according to a 20 plus year charter company owner in the Sea of Cortez, where chubasco's pop up with no warning blowing most anchored boats to shore, is the Bulwagga anchor.

This is the ugliest anchor I have ever seen. It sets faster than any and holds better. It's like a mooring block. The owner has seen all other anchors drag in the chubasco blows. Every one.

I think we can end the discussion.

Bulwagga Anchors

Give it a look. It's ugly, you won't buy it, you'll find fault with it but it's the best, period.
Bullwagga anchor design seems good and works well into my engineering mind for accomplishing needs apparent considering different bottom conditions. Couldn't get videos to play that are in the link and didn't locate other video from short net search. You know of an active video.

I'm not one to worry about anchor looks! If it works best - it works best - Period!
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:06 PM   #339
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Capthead and Art,
I have two anchor tests that rank the Bulwagga anchor highly (#2 out of 17 anchors) and about average. Here's a quote;

Weird creation, the triple fluke configuration looks like a sculpture for the Turner Prize. It looks painfully awkward to stow and can’t be taken apart. Yet, whichever way it falls, two flukes dig in. It certainly set quickly, holding at 5:1 scope with a peak resistance of around 2500lb averaging over 2000lb. But at 3:1 scope, performance fell off dramatically.

I pay no anchor much attention that fails at 3-1 scope. Many to most say they anchor at 5-1 to 7-1 but in reality I think many or most actually come closer to 3-1. In Alaska it was small anchorages and here it's crowded anchorages. People say they anchor at about 6-1 but I don't see how they can find the room for it. Anchoring close together safely is only possible if everyone has the same type of rode and uses the same scope. Then everyone swings together and dos'nt get too close. But that's utopia and almost never comes to pass. And most don't take tide seriously into consideration, both the high and low and I think also that most more or less dismiss bow height as being insignificant.

The Bullwagga does look like a really good anchor at 5-1. It has a trip line substitute and it may even mount on a bow w two flukes straddling the bow and one vertical. I'm impressed but w/o 3-1 performance I'm not interested. I kinda like it though probably because it's unusual.
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Eric

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Old 09-10-2014, 02:23 PM   #340
Art
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City: SF Bay Area
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 34' Tri Cabin
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
Capthead and Art,

The Bullwagga does look like a really good anchor at 5-1. It has a trip line substitute and it may even mount on a bow w two flukes straddling the bow and one vertical. I'm impressed but w/o 3-1 performance I'm not interested. I kinda like it though probably because it's unusual.
Now... that's the Eric we've grown to know and respect!
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