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Old 09-17-2014, 08:38 AM   #441
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On vessels with a low freeboard I would have concerns on the negative impact of a monster anchor (of any sort) on a bow roller if the vessel is susceptible to taking water on and over the bow in 'weather'. Sadly a big Danforth, Fortress or any other anchor with a big fluke might not be the best - and if its a Fortress it would certainly be better kept somewhere more sheltered (a big Danforth might have weight issues to keep anywhere than on a bow roller).

The Fortress I see are commonly lashed, fully assembled, amidships, or on the stern. But as many people claim to have one (and Fortress have sold over 0.5 million) I assume most are in deck lockers, or under the pillow in the master cabin?
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:30 AM   #442
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Regarding any setting issues, we have found that a high percentage of them can be solved simply by permanently installing the Mud Palms which are provided inside the box with every Fortress anchor.

The Mud Palms are two metal plates which bolt on the the crown (center piece), and they lift the back end of the anchor up so that the flukes take a more aggressive angle into the bottom.

Of course, as previously mentioned, there are bottom conditions where a Danforth/Fortress-type anchor is likely to be challenged, which could be a cause for setting issues as well.

Brian
Brian - TY for clearing up my confusion as to why the light weight Viking aluminum anchor we've been using (testing against) two steel Danforths sets better in the extreme silt mud of SF Bay Delta. I.e., the heavy ol' steels sink their back end into the mud before flukes get chance to dig in for a set. Whereas the light weight aluminum allows its flukes to dig before its back end settles into mud. Even so... the old-school Viking has no mud palms such as your FX anchors do and therefore its flukes also do not always set too easily because its back end may have already settled into mud. Mud palms and the 45 Degree angle on your FX should make for better mud-setting conditions in the region we sometimes anchor.

As items evolve I will report my experiences. Testing will take some time to have happen as other obligations have reduced our times per year aboard boat and anchoring in the mud bottom areas.

Cheers! Art
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:12 AM   #443
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Art,
Speaking of the anchor's heinie sinking into the mud first reminds me of Danforth types I've seen that had something on the heinie or aft end where Fortress attaches their mud Palms that are very different.

There are two types. The first resembles what is seen there on a Navy or Dreadnought. It's like a flat plate that sticks down vertically (at right angles to the flukes) about 2or 3". I assume they act as levers turning drag into a down force on the fluke tip.
The other type that I've only seen once or twice is in the same spot but is shaped more like a hook. Looks like it would kinda gouge the bottom like the fluke of a Kedge anchor to have basically the same effect as the little flat plates described above.

With my strong tendency to modify things I would be inclined to weld on a little extension to the "mud Palms" (down turned a bit) strongly resembling flaps on a wing. The "flaps" would not only get the heinie up a bit more but would act somewhat as a lever increasing the down force on the fluke tips .. a bit.

Art could you post a pic of the "Viking" anchor you refer to?
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:24 PM   #444
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Art,


Art could you post a pic of the "Viking" anchor you refer to?
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:51 PM   #445
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The CQR has a strange set of results. It looks tike the graph lines are reversed. All the other anchors achieved best results in the later half of the drag. The CQR just petered out before half time. Was the long shank preventing performance as the scope decreased?

The Delta finished very close to where it started.

Looks like the Boss flipped over and failed to recover in the second half.

I'm still amazed at the consistency of the Mantus. Only the Spade came fairly close.

It looks like many drags resulted in fair holding and later in the drag a sudden large drop in resistance. I tend to think the drop off curves represented breakouts w some resetting but most not. A good example would be the blue line for the Claw (day one test one). Looks like the Boss had three breakouts without recovering. Unless it's scope related in mud I have a hard time relating to anchors breaking out. I agree w the magazine text that a photo account would have been extremely helpful.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:14 PM   #446
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The first published story on the anchor testing, just sent to me by the magazine.

FYI,
Brian
Brian

I watched the video last week and moments ago read the story. Results experienced in that mud bottom where test was performed are so very similar to experiences I get in SF Delta mud bottom... with reversing position, dual fluke, single shank anchors that is. I've never used the other type anchor designs. Not that there are not some good "alternative" anchor designs available, just that I did not feel the need to switch. My engineering brain (mind's eye), as well as decades of successful anchoring experience on East and West U.S. coasts, has always told/shown me that reversing position, dual fluke, single shank anchors with no roll bar (such as Danforth and your Fortress FX series) would act best in setting and holding capabilities throughout a relitively broad spectrum of bottom conditions/properties.

As I've mentioned before and will say again... your Fortress FX anchor design 45 degree fluke to shank angle and mud palms appear to me to be the best current design for really muddy bottoms. As time progresses I plan to test an FX-23 myself and look forward to learning the results.

Carry On! - Art
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:35 PM   #447
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The link and post seems to have subsequently disappeared before I had time to look in detail but what I noticed was that though some anchors appeared to develop a hold they were never good enough for a reliable overnight. In fact an anchor that holds, apparently, on the engine(s) but is not able to develop sufficient hold for a 25 knot wind is simply an accident waiting to happen. Really its providing a consistent false sense of security.

The only anchors that worked were the Danforth and Fortress and the Fortress excelled with the 45 degree fluke angle - leaving little argument - in this seabed it was superb and unchallenged.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:45 PM   #448
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Assuming you believe the test over thousands of cruisers who would disagree that their Non-Danforth style or Fortress has failed them in 25 knots of wind while anchoring in the Chesapeake...ME included.

I don't doubt that a properly set Danforth or Fortress would out hold almost everthing else...I said that BEFORE the test like others with a bare minimum of experience with anchors..or maybe even a bit more experience than that......that the Fortress's/Danforth's will always win the max holding tests....if you can get the SOBs to grab exactly when you want them to.

But to assume the test proves anything beyond a shadow of a doubt...well it prove one thing to me...those that believe the test results 100% need to buy everything out of my shed because it's the best boat junk in the land!

Which study did you believe 100%...the margarine or the butter tests that said it would kill you in no time?????
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:54 PM   #449
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Assuming you believe the test over thousands of cruisers who would disagree that their Non-Danforth style or Fortress has failed them in 25 knots of wind while anchoring in the Chesapeake...ME included.

I don't doubt that a properly set Danforth or Fortress would out hold almost everthing else...I said that BEFORE the test like others with a bare minimum of experience with anchors..or maybe even a bit more experience than that......that the Fortress's/Danforth's will always win the max holding tests....if you can get the SOBs to grab exactly when you want them to.

But to assume the test proves anything beyond a shadow of a doubt...well it prove one thing to me...those that believe the test results 100% need to buy everything out of my shed because it's the best boat junk in the land!

Which study did you believe 100%...the margarine or the butter tests that said it would kill you in no time?????
We know you do not agree with anchor tests, or any other type of test. As has been said - if we strip out the tests all we are left with is the view of the boater next door and anecdotal comments - like yours. The tests add background and in some cases detail to the comments made by the guy next door. You then weight it all up - but if the guy next door says a Fortress and Danforth are good and the tests say the Fortress and Danforth are good I, contrary to what you might think, would tend to look very seriously at the Fortress and Danforth.

Maybe if you had read a few more tests your shed would not be full of junk?

Edit, Oddly - many of the boaters I see dragging are doing so in winds less than 25 knots.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:02 PM   #450
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We know you do not agree with anchor tests, or any other type of test. As has been said - if we strip out the tests all we are left with is the view of the boater next door and anecdotal comments - like yours. The tests add background and in some cases detail to the comments made by the guy next door. You then weight it all up - but if the guy next door says a Fortress and Danforth are good and the tests say the Fortress and Danforth are good I, contrary to what you might think, would tend to look very seriously at the Fortress and Danforth.

Maybe if you had read a few more tests your shed would not be full of junk?

You can sound cute..but it doesn't work...my junk is as good as the tests show or better...

I knew what the tests would show and they did...go back and look to the posts before the tests...not everyone here is inexperienced in maritime matters.

I don't disbelieve the tests..I put them into real world perspective...what you are ignoring is thousands of satisfied boaters all to blindly affirm some test?

I'm not...I'm using my real world experience in the maritime profession and having studied anchor tests over the decades and the rebuttals by acknowledged cruisers from all over the world about those tests...I make my own judgments on the worthiness of anchors...not just based on some charts that were produced under "test" conditions.

I have a danforth in my arsenal...it's just not my "go to" anchor as my experience has show me not to trust it in an emergency...a storm anchor yes or a bottom where my other 2 anchors won't hold...but not my primary.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:08 PM   #451
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Gents,

Sorry about the link with the anchor test story, I jumped the gun by uploading it and the magazine asked me to take the story down until their subscribers get a copy in the mail and they have it up on their web site.

Art, our consultant Bob Taylor has charted the 1990 SF Bay and the recent Chesapeake Bay soft mud test results, and they are very similar and consistent. If you would like a copy, then please send me a PM with your e-mail address.

Psneeld, we have exhibited at the 5 day US Sailboat Show in Annapolis for the past 15 years or so, and during that time we have talked to many cruisers who have had difficulties getting their plow-type anchors to set and hold well in the local bottoms.....which closely mirrored the results during our testing.....so what we heard firsthand ourselves from cruisers was exactly what we found.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:14 PM   #452
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Gents,

Sorry about the link with the anchor test story, I jumped the gun by uploading it and the magazine asked me to take the story down until their subscribers get a copy in the mail and they have it up on their web site.

Art, our consultant Bob Taylor has charted the 1990 SF Bay and the recent Chesapeake Bay soft mud test results, and they are very similar and consistent. If you would like a copy, then please send me a PM with your e-mail address.

Psneeld, we have exhibited at the 5 day US Sailboat Show in Annapolis for the past 15 years or so, and during that time we have talked to many cruisers who have had difficulties getting their plow-type anchors to set and hold well in the local bottoms.....which closely mirrored the results during our testing.....so what we heard firsthand ourselves from cruisers was what we found.
OK...I challenge you or any other Danforth/Fortress devotee to take a picture of all the well known, best read, most travelled cruisers throughout the world, etc bow of their boats and show me a Danforth/Fortress style anchor...even 2 as they are so great.

see attached pic

I am not debating the results...heck I predicted them...and if all I ever did was anchor in a few spots of the Chesapeake...I might have 2 danforth/fortress look-a-likes on the bow...but I don't and I'll stick with people's opinion that actually cruise full time...not sell anchors or want science to prove something to them and not reality.

As I have posted... I think Fortress is a great anchor...just not my daily one...but to not have one aboard it probably not the best decision either.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:30 PM   #453
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I am sure you have heard of Tom Neale, and below is a picture of his 53' motorsailor with a CQR and Fortress FX-55 mounted on the bow. A PDF file of his Soundings magazine cover story "How to Survive a Storm at Anchor" is below as well.

Here's a short bio from this story:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom and Mel Neale have lived and cruised aboard since 1979, averaging 3,000 to 5,000 miles per year. They have boated since the early 1950s.

Tom is author of All in the Same Boat and Chesapeake Bay Cruising Guide, Upper Bay. He is currently Technical Editor and columnist for Soundings, Editor at Large for PassageMaker magazine, and columnist for the BoatUS web site, www.boatus.com (Tom Neale’s Cruising for You).

Tom was formerly Editor at Large and On Watch columnist for Cruising World magazine. He has spoken to boating groups around the US and in Canada.


Tom was also aboard for our testing and representing Soundings magazine.

Brian

P.s. We are well familiar with Steve Dashew, as the company that builds his designs typically buys our two largest anchor models, the FX-85 and FX-125.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:36 PM   #454
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I'm not debating whether a fortress is a better storm andhor as I think it is...

I skimmed the article and I'm not sure whether or not Neale says what anchor he uses on a daily basis....but he did say this...

I also use my 60-pound CQR — as well as the FX-55 — in
storm conditions, depending upon bottom characteristics and
whether I want to put out more than one anchor. (I also have
a 35-pound CQR in my arsenal.) I’ve used the genuine CQR
anchor since the early 1970s for thousands of nights on the
hook.This is a very popular anchor among long-term cruising
liveaboards, who, like me, must anchor reliably night after
night — in many types of bottom and all kinds of weather —

to keep their homes safe and their sleep uninterrupted.

Funny that he didn't use or currently use a Fortress/Danforth to anchor reliably night after night.

For those that only have room for one on their bow and don't anchor in anything but mild to medium conditions...I think his statement is yet another endorsement of something that's NOT a better suited storm or sloppy mud anchor.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:59 PM   #455
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THE ANCHORS
I live and cruise aboard Chez Nous, and use a Fortress FX-55 and a 60-pound CQR for daily anchoring.

I will follow up with Tom and see if his daily anchoring includes the night.

Tom has obviously had great experience with the CQR, which he has used long before he owned a Fortress, and for that matter, long before we were even in business.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:18 PM   #456
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Scott it seems you're telling us that observing what anchors are used by experienced boaters is a more ligitamte way to decide what anchor use for ourselves. In view of the probable fact that most boaters just use the anchor that came w their boat that would be responding to happenstance rather than choice not to mention intelligent choice based on more or less scientific methods. But to reject your "looking at what experienced boaters do" dosn't seem too smart either. I don't reject anchor tests but I read between the lines. Also I take into consideration the implications of seeing a long time long distance cruiser going to Alaska year after year using a Navy anchor. There must be something to be learned from both. But it seems to me that rejecting either is not operating on all cylinders.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:24 PM   #457
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I am sure you have heard of Tom Neale, and below is a picture of his 53' motorsailor with a CQR and Fortress FX-55 mounted on the bow. A PDF file of his Soundings magazine cover story "How to Survive a Storm at Anchor" is below as well.

Here's a short bio from this story:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom and Mel Neale have lived and cruised aboard since 1979, averaging 3,000 to 5,000 miles per year. They have boated since the early 1950s.

Tom is author of All in the Same Boat and Chesapeake Bay Cruising Guide, Upper Bay. He is currently Technical Editor and columnist for Soundings, Editor at Large for PassageMaker magazine, and columnist for the BoatUS web site, www.boatus.com (Tom Neale’s Cruising for You).

Tom was formerly Editor at Large and On Watch columnist for Cruising World magazine. He has spoken to boating groups around the US and in Canada.

Tom was also aboard for our testing and representing Soundings magazine.

Brian

P.s. We are well familiar with Steve Dashew, as the company that builds his designs typically buys our two largest anchor models, the FX-85 and FX-125.
I read the article top to bottom, including inserts. Tom Neale speaks very highly about both Fortress and CQR anchors. IMO even more so about Fortress.

How_to_Survive_a_Storm_at_Anchor-Final.pdf

Although not having the depth of experiences that Tom has there were many items in his article that well reminded me of decades in New England coastal waters and harbors when I was young. Specifically, regarding testing bottom conditions before anchoring for a big blow.

We survived two BIG blows while at anchor. Both times we spent couple hours dropping anchor and retrieving, over and over again, to learn bottom conditions. Then we chose best overall area in the harbor and set our large Danforth with plenty of chain leading to rode and really heavy power back downs by the boat. That included relaxing the long scope on nylon line and then sudden reverse acceleration to give the anchor a yank seeing if it would hold or not.

One of the blows (the heaviest) we facilitated anchor refuge in Dering Harbor NY. That night we were at helm with Perkins diesel running and often placed into forward so we could assist the anchor's holding capabilities. It was said the gusts hit in the 90 mph range. At day break when light came the storm had quelled a lot. There were boats grounded and some sunk at docks. We made it through OK. I give all the credit to my dad. He was one heck of a sharp mariner. I'll never forget that experience. At times, rain hit the salon windows so hard it was difficult to yell loud enough to hear each other.

Boating is a slice o' life that fills my heart, mind, and soul!

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Old 09-18-2014, 10:29 PM   #458
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Gents,

Art, our consultant Bob Taylor has charted the 1990 SF Bay and the recent Chesapeake Bay soft mud test results, and they are very similar and consistent. If you would like a copy, then please send me a PM with your e-mail address.
Brian PM with address forthcoming.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:47 PM   #459
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As I have posted... I think Fortress is a great anchor...just not my daily one...but to not have one aboard it probably not the best decision either.
Like he said. My back-up anchor is a large Danforth. I've never had to get it out, other than to check it and make sure the rode and shackles have not rusted away. But it's there…in the lazarette.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:37 AM   #460
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We survived two BIG blows while at anchor. Both times we spent couple hours dropping anchor and retrieving, over and over again, to learn bottom conditions. Then we chose best overall area in the harbor and set our large Danforth with plenty of chain leading to rode and really heavy power back downs by the boat. That included relaxing the long scope on nylon line and then sudden reverse acceleration to give the anchor a yank seeing if it would hold or not.

One of the blows (the heaviest) we facilitated anchor refuge in Dering Harbor NY. That night we were at helm with Perkins diesel running and often placed into forward so we could assist the anchor's holding capabilities. It was said the gusts hit in the 90 mph range. At day break when light came the storm had quelled a lot. There were boats grounded and some sunk at docks. We made it through OK. I give all the credit to my dad. He was one heck of a sharp mariner. I'll never forget that experience. At times, rain hit the salon windows so hard it was difficult to yell loud enough to hear each other.

Boating is a slice o' life that fills my heart, mind, and soul!

Happy Anchor Holding Daze! - Art
Art, a harrowing and riveting story! We are based in south Florida and on occasion we hear hurricane survival stories from the Caribbean, Gulf, and USA east coast......the most fascinating of which are those stories where the boat owner stayed aboard to ride it out, like yours!

Brian
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