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Old 09-19-2014, 09:07 AM   #461
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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.

If we walked our dock and only "observed" anchors to decide which was most useful here.... we'd obviously select a Delta. Undersized. Often with 3' (or maybe 6') of chain on a mostly-rope rode.

(I think maybe the Fleming fleet usually has a couple anchors mounted, one being a big Fortress. I can't see their bows on our outermost dock from our slip; maybe I'll walk over there and eyeball that a bit more closely.)

Aside from the Flemings...

Actually talking to other boaters here sometimes yields some nuggets... but the most common nugget is that they've seldom (maybe never) overnighted at anchor. So simply observing their selection is usually useless, without knowing whether they actually use their anchor or not.

Watching folks anchor in the nearby party creek suggests correct technique around here is to drop the anchor overboard, turn off the engine, and start drinking beer.

OTOH, listening to some folks here -- like the skipper who takes his 25' cuddy down to man-O-War over year, on it's own hull -- can actually be a learning experience.

IOW, it takes a bit of time to recognize knowledge and to separate wisdom from chaff.

I find it useful to form bulk impressions using whatever test data is available, and to supplement that with commentary from all sources.

I can filter as needed.

And I can amend as necessary, as new data and commentary becomes available.

-Chris
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:31 AM   #462
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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!

Happy Anchor Holding Daze! - Art
I have had that experience. Except for rain. When the Santa Ana winds blow here in So Cal and you are at the island, you better be prepared and set good. I saw a commercial dive boat sink in front of me one night during a 65 knot blow with 12' seas hitting us on the bow. The pitching, howling and no sleep constant watching, duck walk to the bow checking lines. Yup, been there.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:04 AM   #463
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In thinking this through, the local cruisers I have spoken with at the US Sailboat Show who did not have setting & holding issues with their old / new generation plow-type anchors in the Chesapeake mud were those who had massively over-sized them.

It certainly makes sense to have that "factor of safety" built in so that when a poor holding bottom like soft mud is encountered, then these anchors should hold in all but high wind conditions.

A case in point would be Psneeld/Scott's example with the image of Steve Dashew's 83-ft boat, which has a massive custom 115 kg (253 lb) Rocna on the bow.

That said, per ABYC charts, an 80-ft boat is going to have a load of 3,600 lbs in 30 knots of wind, which means the 253 lb Rocna would need a holding ratio of 14 (3,600 divided by 253) to keep the boat from dragging, and the Rocna did not consistently achieve that holding ratio during the Chesapeake Bay tests.

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Old 09-19-2014, 10:27 AM   #464
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The fishermen in Alaska all but worship the Forfjord anchor but when they can't get a Forfjord they almost always find a Claw. They use them hard as I've seen several bent ones. I think they use the "walk the dock and use what most everyone else has" (fishermen only) method of choosing an anchor. There are quite a few that use Dreadnoughts and occasionally a Danforth.

But I've never ever seen any anchor on a commercial fish boat in Alaska that could be classified as "new generation". Perhaps they have the attitude that if it hasn't been around for 50 years it's not to be trusted. Airplane pilots and fishermen seem to be a very conservative lot. Are we cruisers in that category too? Dos'nt seem like it as many are rushing out for the new tech.

With this attitude widespread we'd still be running on bias ply tires.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:03 AM   #465
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Hi Brian and Eric, if an anchor does its job who's to say that it is over sized? The way I see it anything that cuts down on the failure rate is OK. Also Eric, beacause of the shallowness of most of our anchorage areas, I usually anchor at no less than a 5 to 1 ratio, and sometimes 7 to 1. So short scope performance was not as important to me. Yeah, my anchor is a size up from my Delta, but I see that as a good thing. Sleep tight.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:39 AM   #466
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"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 "

Not really a good idea to stay aboard during a hurricane. A cruiser just died down in Mexico trying to ride out a hurricane and one of my customers died in hurricane Andrew trying to ride it out.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:53 AM   #467
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"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 "

Not really a good idea to stay aboard during a hurricane. A cruiser just died down in Mexico trying to ride out a hurricane and one of my customers died in hurricane Andrew trying to ride it out.
If I may say... Not really too bad an idea either - IF - you really know what you're doing aboard a boat just before and during Big Blow situations.

Reason is... some people die on land too from thangs-dat-happen as result of storms. Could always sequester into a tornado vault I guess!!

Also, on both occasions of Big Blows we rode out aboard boat - we were traveling and did not reside anywhere near those areas.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:18 PM   #468
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Hi Brian and Eric, if an anchor does its job who's to say that it is over sized? The way I see it anything that cuts down on the failure rate is OK.
Moonstruck, my point was that some anchors have to be well oversized in order to hold their boats in certain wind and bottom conditions, like soft mud. No issue with that at all. Safety first.

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Not really a good idea to stay aboard during a hurricane. A cruiser just died down in Mexico trying to ride out a hurricane and one of my customers died in hurricane Andrew trying to ride it out.
Agreed.

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If I may say... Not really too bad an idea either - IF - you really know what you're doing aboard a boat just before and during Big Blow situations.

Also, on both occasions of Big Blows we rode out aboard boat - we were traveling and did not reside anywhere near those areas.
Art, Tom Neale has ridden out a few hurricanes aboard, and I think his experience and circumstances mirror yours. In all cases, dangerous and scary.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:46 PM   #469
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Art, Tom Neale has ridden out a few hurricanes aboard, and I think his experience and circumstances mirror yours. In all cases, dangerous and scary.
Scary Yes!! Dangerous - Of Course!! But... if staying aboard is need-be... exciting, fun, and fulfilling once a storm is successfully weathered through to completion... especially... with no damage to life, limb and equipment aboard boat! I feel (as my dad then obviously did too) that in both instances we utilized the best alternatives at hand. In late 1950's / early 60's storm forecasts were not as accurate as now... storms could sneak up on you pretty quickly. When storms hit and boat was at dock in LI, NY we never went out to "ride-it-out" at anchor. We would however got to the marina and do our best to control affairs as they developed.

We all gots ta go some time. If the time is mine... then aboard boat is my preferred location!
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:26 PM   #470
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(I think maybe the Fleming fleet usually has a couple anchors mounted, one being a big Fortress. I can't see their bows on our outermost dock from our slip; maybe I'll walk over there and eyeball that a bit more closely.)

Aside from the Flemings...

-Chris

I raised my own curiosity... and had the boat out this morning, so I could run past some of the Fleming fleet and eyeball their bows...

Thirteen boats visible. Five Fortresses, usually paired with either a CGR or a Delta. (Or similar; in any case, many of those other brands were stainless...)

Of the boats that didn't have Fortress, two had only one anchor mounted, one a CQR and one a claw of some sort. Most of the others looked like pairs of a Delta and a CQR. Some actually looked like a pair of Deltas, same size each....

But I couldn't get close enough or use the binoc well enough -- while trying to pilot through the shallows over there -- to get all that perfect.

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Old 09-19-2014, 05:52 PM   #471
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What a great thread for those curious and learning about anchors. I'm with Marin in that so long as what we have works stick with it.

A few years ago Marin and others were lambasting swivels. Mine worked, until it bent when making a hard retrieval. An alloy shackle took its place with no issues and no more need for a swivel. The same sort of rock strewn retrieval where I'd bent Danforths in the past.

So my Bruce soldiers on. Always doing what it is supposed to. My spare anchor for years has been an FX 55 that remains in its red storage bag, unused. Because the West Coast and PNW are boulder and hard rock strewn, the FX will remain in its bag, thinking it would bend like a Danforth is not too remote a possibility.

Brian's recent post about sizing up anchors as not "playing by the rules" I find curious. Probably because an oversized non FX anchor diminishes the obvious advantages of his product.

Again, great thread Fortress.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:44 PM   #472
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This is a link to a thread on Sailnet about the guy who died.
Lost a dear friend to Odile - Page 2 - SailNet Community

There are two statements made by boaters that just label them as inexperienced in my book.
" The best bilge pump is a scared man with a bucket" and "I'll stay on my boat in a hurricane."

It sounds like the cruiser in Mexico died while trying to be the "best bilge pump" in the middle of a hurricane.

There is nothing you can do to help your boat during a hurricane. If you didn't do it before the hurricane, your out of luck.

My customer who died in Andrew, tied his boat up in the mangroves. Not a bad place to be. He and a friend stayed on the boat through the storm. At some point he went out to secure a loose transom door. They found his remains several years later. Both the boat and the friend survived. There is just no point in being on a boat in a hurricane. There is nothing you can do to affect the outcome. If the boat dies, you die with it.
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:51 PM   #473
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Tom I can't find anywhere where Brian said anything about "playing by the rules" but I think I have a basic jist of what your talking about. If it's the huge difference in weight v/s surface area of the flukes I can't imagine how to evaluate them fairly.

Would you care to expand upon this?
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:14 PM   #474
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Tom I can't find anywhere where Brian said anything about "playing by the rules" but I think I have a basic jist of what your talking about. If it's the huge difference in weight v/s surface area of the flukes I can't imagine how to evaluate them fairly.

Would you care to expand upon this?
All anchor makers have charts of their range of anchors vs vessel size. Surely to be fair you compare anchors suggested, by the anchor makers, for similar sized boats (which s effectively what Fortress tried to do). How the anchor makers arrive at their charts is not relevant, whether its weight, surface area or simply experience - but whatever the basis - if they do not know who does and if they have it wrong - then the more often they are exposed as being 'inaccurate' the better.

But a point that Brian might be making is that to compete with the Fortress or Danforth at 32 degrees then the closest 'competitive' products, maybe Mantus and Ultra?, that were tested would need to be twice as big (about 90lb vs 20lb for the FX and 35lb for the Danforth) or carry and deploy 2 anchors and to compete with the Fortress at 45 degrees might need to be 3 times as big, a rather monstrous 135lb - and then what price safety? Upsizing many of the other anchors would make little difference, based on the data - they still would not work (in soft mud).

Fortress do seem to make case, even if that was not the intent, for twin bow rollers capable of taking anchors of different characteristics to cater for different seabeds. Whereas you might not know if the seabed is hard or soft sand - you certainly always know when its soft mud.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:54 PM   #475
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Dbangi,
The manufacturer's recommendation is what's often or usually used in anchor testing and as far as I know they (the manufacturers) can recommend whatever they want. So there's no standard for any kind for a level playing field. A standard wind speed should probably be used.

Ideally you'd have a number of anchor features considered taking into account the importance of the "features" and their relative value. Features would be things like
Weight, cost, availability, user friendliness, snob appeal and whatever other values may be assigned to any one anchor. But it would be impossible as you'd need to factor in the owner, his boating style, his cruising waters and the bottoms in his area.

Would be great but the above even left out the most important part so it will never happen. I would like to see an anchor test factoring in weight, cost and user friendliness. User friendliness is one of the main reasons the Claw is so popular not to mention cost. Re the Fortress performance per pound is way ahead all anchors on earth (as far as I know).

So we're comparing anchors to anchors but apples to oranges. One could use weight and predict how efficient (per lb) anchors were or cost and evaluate bang for the buck ect ect. But using what size the manufacturers recommend for a given sized boat seems to level the playing field a lot. I think I would prefer a weight standard if only one feature was used other than manufacturers recommendations. Aluminum anchors could be rated by the difference between the weight of steel and aluminum ... or not. After all on a medium to large sized trawler anchor weight means little.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:18 PM   #476
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This is a link to a thread on Sailnet about the guy who died.
Lost a dear friend to Odile - Page 2 - SailNet Community

There are two statements made by boaters that just label them as inexperienced in my book.
" The best bilge pump is a scared man with a bucket" and "I'll stay on my boat in a hurricane."

It sounds like the cruiser in Mexico died while trying to be the "best bilge pump" in the middle of a hurricane.

There is nothing you can do to help your boat during a hurricane. If you didn't do it before the hurricane, your out of luck.

My customer who died in Andrew, tied his boat up in the mangroves. Not a bad place to be. He and a friend stayed on the boat through the storm. At some point he went out to secure a loose transom door. They found his remains several years later. Both the boat and the friend survived. There is just no point in being on a boat in a hurricane. There is nothing you can do to affect the outcome. If the boat dies, you die with it.
Yo, Parks

Yes it is more dangerous than usual aboard boat, or nearly anywhere else for that matter, in area of a hurricane... no doubt about that! People too often are injured or perish during BIG storms. On board, on land, in air... etc, etc.

Also, you can have a customer (or anyone else) die by going "out" while aboard a boat to loose something (anything) during other severe conditions than a hurricane (rough seas, sudden white gale, thunder storm, high wind rain storm.......

I did not say that being aboard boat is best place to be during hurricane. I did say we decided to stay aboard carefully at anchor because we lived nowhere near. Basically, we had no other location to go. We were not familiar with the area and it looked like everything on the docks was closed down. We were comfortable with our decision to remain aboard and it worked out with no injury to us or damage to our boat.

Additionally, by staying aboard our boat we were able to help the big Danforth to not break loose by running engine for powering into strong winds to consistently relieve the continued stress and reduce wind-gust-yanks on the rode. So, you say: "There is nothing you can do to affect the outcome." I disagree, There is something that can be done to help save the boat by staying aboard during hurricane, and, we did it with the motor. That said, I do NOT recommend staying aboard, especially unless you are at least a consummate, experienced mariner such as my dad was at that stage of his life. At end of that hurricane we had survived at anchor in Dering Harbor. There were grounded boats who pulled anchor or sheered rode and there were sunk boats tied to the docks. Our boat floated at anchor... simple as that!

He (we) did good - in situations of that instance of boating life! That's how I see it!!

Cheers! Art
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:46 AM   #477
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Manyboats,

Weight might mean little to a larger trawler but if you only have one bow roller and you want to deploy a second, reasonable sized, anchor then unless you have an 80' trawler then a Fortress will be slightly easier to handle than a steel anchor, unless trawler owners are built bigger (and stronger) than in other parts of the world. Beyond 80' (I choose an arbitrary large size) then maybe even a large Fortress will be difficult to deploy without mechanical assistance.

But Fortress is not only about being alloy, it also has the 45 degree fluke angle which makes it different (in addition to being light) from most other anchors. So the second anchor you might want to deploy might be because having moved from your home waters you find yourself in mud and (knowing the results Fortress has produced) you want to use your Fortress as a, or the, primary. Weight then becomes an issue - even for a trawler.

Of course the same could be said for other alloy anchors, Excel or Spade, in terms of weight as you might want to deploy them as a better option, or as well as, whatever is the anchor on your bow roller.
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:27 PM   #478
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So my Bruce soldiers on. Always doing what it is supposed to. My spare anchor for years has been an FX 55 that remains in its red storage bag, unused. Because the West Coast and PNW are boulder and hard rock strewn, the FX will remain in its bag, thinking it would bend like a Danforth is not too remote a possibility.

Brian's recent post about sizing up anchors as not "playing by the rules" I find curious. Probably because an oversized non FX anchor diminishes the obvious advantages of his product.

Again, great thread Fortress.
Sunchaser, thank you for the kind words. I'm glad to hear that your Bruce has served you well and it is obviously one of the best anchor options for those bottoms. Our late founder marveled at the structural strength of the Bruce, and because of this fact, he commented once that it made a terrific "grappling hook" anchor for use in rocks.

It is certainly possible to get a Fortress hung up in rocks and bend a part. We drill a hole in the crown (center piece) to which you can attach a breakaway or secondary line and pull the anchor out from behind if necessary.

Regarding over-sizing anchors, rather than dramatically increasing the weight on the bow to compensate for an anchor-type's shortcomings in certain bottom conditions, I think it is advisable to use the "right tool for the job" instead and have multiple anchors of different types aboard, particularly if/when cruising into unknown waters.

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But Fortress is not only about being alloy, it also has the 45 degree fluke angle which makes it different (in addition to being light) from most other anchors.
The advantage of a wider shank/fluke capability cannot be overstated for soft mud. Again, this is no great Fortress secret, as Bruce, the US Navy, and Vryhoff all make anchors with this capability.

On the 4th and last day of testing, and after all of the protocol anchors had been tested 5x, we tossed over the 10 lb (4.5 kg) FX-16 @ the 45 angle and the results were a bit mind-numbing.

Not only did the FX-16 hit peaks of 1,600 and 1,400 lbs without breaking free, but it also was one of the most difficult anchors to recover and it came up with a harder, grainy sediment that we had not seen with the other anchors.....including the larger Fortress....which suggests that it buried even deeper.

I think for the test attendees who were present on the boat at that time, there was no better example of "design over weight," as a 10 lb anchor out-held all of the 44-46 lbs anchors in the test, and was comparable in performance to the 35 lb Danforth......and the 21 lb Fortress FX-37 @ 32 for that matter.

Here's the video from that final day, with the FX-16 test at about 8:00.

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Old 09-25-2014, 01:54 PM   #479
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If so the Rocna would not roll upright and set .... as it almost always does.
So I'm sitting here in France with a few minutes of wifi time and I see this discussion is still going on and on and on and....

I also get the impression, typified by the above quote, that some people still don't understand what the roll bar does.

It does NOT make the anchor roll upright and set.

The roll bar has ONE function and ONE function only. No matter how the anchor lands on the bottom, the weight distribution and geometry of the anchor and the roll bar force the anchor to end up lying on its side.

This positions the fluke on its side like a knife blade ready to slice down into something.

When pull is exerted on the shank to set the anchor, the anchor-- still on its side-- pivots around the down-end of the rollbar and-- in the case of the Rocna the "fin" beside the end of the roll bar-- and the fluke is forced to slice sideways downward into the bottom just like a knife blade.

That's ALL the roll bar is there for.

Once the fluke has sliced sideways into the bottom like a knife, the geometry of the anchor forces the fluke to rotate as it slices further down uvtil it is presenting the full width of the fluke to the direction of pull thus maximizing its resistance to that pull.

That's it. Simple, straightforward, works every time.

UNLESS--- the bottom is so mushy and oatmeal-like that it presents no surface against which the anchor can develop that sideways slicing force (leverage) that knifes the fluke into the bottom.

Since Peter Smith was not anchoring over an oatmeal bottom down in the southwest Pacific, he wasn't concerned with developing an anchor for his boat that would work in mush.

So if one has to anchor over mush, one has two choices. Don't. Or use an anchor that has a better chance of holding in the stuff. We use option A, but in case we can't we carry a big-ass Fortress that at least in theory will work where the Rocna in theory won't.

While I understand the concept behind comparing the action of an anchor in a bottom to the action of an airfoil in air, I think the comparison is totally meaningless in terms of the reality anchor's performance because the materials and forces are so radically different.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:12 PM   #480
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And I thought everybody knew that.

What else would the roll bar do? The balance of the anchor won't allow the anchor to do anything else.
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