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Old 09-11-2018, 06:59 AM   #1
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Choosing a Bower Primarily for Sand/Mud versus for Rock

This is in regards to choosing the better primary, stockless anchor on a single-anchor trawler. Weight would be the same for either. The choice is between a Poole TW and an AC-14. Both are high holding power, and at minimum, will be sized per class rules. The application is a “cruising” boat, so there is no predominant bottom type to plan for.

I got in touch with Sotra and their response was:

“The answers to your questions below is the Poole TW. They are better on sandy bottom, and AC14 anchors are better for stone bottom.”

My feeling however leans more towards the AC14. The other relies too much on fluke area, like a Danforth which historically does poorly in grass or rock. If the designer okays, then I may up the weight one step higher, perhaps with heavy leader, but that is to be determined.

It seems that few on this forum use stockless anchors, but I would appreciate some feedback, especially from the commercial guys, who usually see these on their workboats. Thanks
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:16 PM   #2
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The funny thing about asking commerical fishing boats and work boats their opinion on anchors is, these folks anchor the LEAST. They go from dock to dock loading and unloading, or from dock to fishing grounds, to dock to offload, back to dock or fishing grounds again.
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Old 09-11-2018, 02:04 PM   #3
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Some of the head boats in the NE anchor while the folks are on the rail fishing , but the boat has the engines on and is fully manned.


They seem to love the wire real setup that can be dropped and retrieved from the pilot house.
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Old 09-11-2018, 03:23 PM   #4
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I met a man that had/has a 50’ steel trawler and spent all summers (at that time) in SE Alaska. His boat wasn’t as heavy as most steel boats. He had a Navy anchor on his bow and said he used it all the time. It was at least his primary.
He also didn’t have windshield wipers and plastic windows. He said of the wipers “don’t need-um”.
I don’t have wipers either and he’s right. Don’t need-um but still would like-um.
After 12 years it’s never gotten to the top of the to do list.

Not my Navy and probably the only one around here but a nice painted (no rust .. unusual on a Navy) example.
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:12 AM   #5
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Choosing a Bower Primarily for Sand/Mud versus for Rock

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Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
This is in regards to choosing the better primary, stockless anchor on a single-anchor trawler. Weight would be the same for either. The choice is between a Poole TW and an AC-14. Both are high holding power, and at minimum, will be sized per class rules. The application is a “cruising” boat, so there is no predominant bottom type to plan for.

I got in touch with Sotra and their response was:

“The answers to your questions below is the Poole TW. They are better on sandy bottom, and AC14 anchors are better for stone bottom.”

My feeling however leans more towards the AC14. The other relies too much on fluke area, like a Danforth which historically does poorly in grass or rock. If the designer okays, then I may up the weight one step higher, perhaps with heavy leader, but that is to be determined.

It seems that few on this forum use stockless anchors, but I would appreciate some feedback, especially from the commercial guys, who usually see these on their workboats. Thanks

I have a forfjord #12 on our boat and have had great sets anchoring mostly in mud here in Puget sound area. Unless we are in tight anchorage with limited swing we always try to get at least 5:1 scope out. No issues even up to 20-22 kt this year and with another boat rafted up.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:10 PM   #6
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I have a 200# navy style as a primary anchor, but carry a danforth as a storm anchor. I've never had a danforth drag in 60 years and many bottoms. I also carry a 80# plow for a stern anchor. The navy anchor works ok with proper scope. Thinking of changing. I had a folding stainless anchor on my fishing boat. It never dragged either. Really good in rocks. Wish they'd make them again.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:30 PM   #7
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This stockless anchor is supposed to be rated as super high holding power: https://www.posidonia.com/anchors/an...achts/ptw-plus
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:11 PM   #8
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tozz - I've always heard great things about those Forfjords. But I get the feeling they were invented in the Pacific NW. I have never seen them in Asia, not even cheap Chinese copies. What length and displacement is your boat?

Lepke - The Navy has never been known as a good holding anchor. Plus isn't 200lbs a bit light for that 80ft beast of yours? Perhaps grab a 300lb HHP anchor from a used reseller. Probably plenty of Pooles lying around.

I like the comment from Sotra about the AC-14 being very good in rocks. Everything holds well in sand or clay - but rocks, hard pan or coral is the challenge.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:42 PM   #9
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Look at how well/bad the Forfjord did in Steve G’s “Anchor Setting Videos”. I’ll save you the trouble .. did poorly. My own short experience poor also. And as for mud the Forfjord has very small fluke area.

The AC-14 may be better in mud that it appears. Notice the big “shoulder” that probably acts much like a bull dozer blade and the flukes pull it down so it’s more effective. Typical of stockless designs but the AC-14 looks to take this to a higher level I think/suspect. But Sortra should know.

Murray,
I like the pivot point on this one. Notice the 41 degree throat angle. Most or maybe even all the stockless types have much more angle than toy boat anchors.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:15 PM   #10
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If your boat design requires a stock less I’d recommend at least going with stud link chain. The Mega’s anchoring around us this summer with stockless never got a set, but they were also bound to run 24 hour watches so it didn’t really matter.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:39 AM   #11
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Some have made comments that a short, really heavy leader (say 8' or so) before the chain can interfere with the anchor digging and setting properly. I understand that Fortress in particular have their own characteristics, but for other burying anchors, I don't understand this statement.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:09 AM   #12
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In South Australian waters, almost all fishing boats have stockless anchors. Most are locally made, similar to the Klip design. And yes, the local fishing boats anchor a LOT during big blow as there are few dock facilities around.

The Klip style stockless anchor is the best you can get for our local rocky bottoms, especially thick sea grass over limestone, or a thin layer of sand over limestone.

I wouldn't recommend them for general cruising where soft botttoms may be encountered. Other wider fluked stockless anchors try to be a bit more of an all rounder, but I doubt if any have much holding power in soft mud.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:27 AM   #13
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I probably shared the situation on this forum about the charter boat fisherman here in the mud and soft bottoms of the Chesapeake Bay. He contacted me about an anchor. He had many brands including new generation anchors and and was constantly dragging. It was about his technique more than the anchor. He has 6’ of chain with a 200’ nylon rope for a rode. He drops the anchor a specific distance in front of where the fish are. Does not determine holding on the seabed. He drops it so his clients can fish. Does not power set the anchor and just drifts back so as not to scare the fish away from clients. He dragged a lot. I provided him with on of our anchors that was one size larger than I would normally recommend. Happy charter boat fisherman!

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Old 09-14-2018, 09:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
Some have made comments that a short, really heavy leader (say 8' or so) before the chain can interfere with the anchor digging and setting properly. I understand that Fortress in particular have their own characteristics, but for other burying anchors, I don't understand this statement.
Mako,
I assume leader means chain.
The big thing I learned from Sfteve’s video’s was that while setting anchor the tension on the fluke end/tip causes the anchor to pitch down putting downward pressure on the end of the shank. The chain holding the shank on the seafloor is typical but the downward force on the end of the shank was new to me. I had assumed before I saw a Claw shank dive down into the seabed that all tension on the rode caused the rode to rise and the anchor shank to be lifted UP. I assumed anchors tended to be pulled straight out with the shank lifted off the seafloor. Not so as evidenced by some of Steve’s vids. Apparently the tension on the rode causes the anchor to pitch down into the seafloor.

The XYZ anchor guy apparently realized that. The XYZ anchors have a small shank so he attached a 2-3’ length of cable to the anchor between the anchor shank and the chain. Since the chain was being pushed down into the seafloor substituting the cable made/makes it easier for the shank to dive into the seafloor. The cable causes far less resistance to penetration than the chain.
I’ve used a cable quite a bit but w/o a camera I have no idea what’s going on down there.

Anyway Mako this may be the mystery to the comments you have heard.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:10 PM   #15
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I was actually going to suggest OP look at yourSuperMAX anchors... but the original post makes it seem like he's only considering two specific anchor models (I didn't recognize either one)...

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Old 09-14-2018, 03:53 PM   #16
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Choosing a Bower Primarily for Sand/Mud versus for Rock

I need to stick with a stockless but rated high holding power. So these are the two models that are readily available in my market and seem to be the best rated.

Regarding Nomad’s comments - what you stated makes sense. I could see where a huge chain leader could interfere with the burying of the anchor.
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:41 AM   #17
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"I could see where a huge chain leader could interfere with the burying of the anchor."

The chain might help set an anchor but its primary purpose of a leader is to absorb the chafe on rocks and the bottom .

Chain can be scratched by rocks ,cable can be chafed or bent enough to perhaps to part?
Although with a 3/4 or one inch diameter cable its a remote chance.

Danforths was set with no leader , until after WWII and sales for the recreation market , where a boat might be anchored for a long time.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:46 AM   #18
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FF,
Much smaller cable than that or it would not be a benefit.
My cable piece is about 1/4” but my boat is small.
You’d hafta have a 90’ boat to require 3/4” cable.

I’ve always thought of the chain as weight to hold the anchor shank down on the seabed to give the anchor it’s best shot at setting. I’ve never had more than 15’ of chain and often use just 4’ but twice as heavy as one would usually use for a 30’ boat. Catenary wise it would be about the equivalent of 10’ of 1/4” chain. The heavier chain to hold the shank down better and to require less chain length for retrieval .. can run the line up closser to the capstan.
I’ve not had damage resulting from rock chaffeing here in the PNW.

Of course if I had a gipsie/windlass I’d have 1/4” chain. But I could still have my 4’ of 3/8” chain next to the anchor to aid in setting. But after initial setting the chain would reduce the shank penetration somewhat. I use to have the cable between the anchor and the 3/8” chain. The 3/8” chain would inhibit penetration more than the 1/4” chain.
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:31 PM   #19
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tozz - I've always heard great things about those Forfjords. But I get the feeling they were invented in the Pacific NW. I have never seen them in Asia, not even cheap Chinese copies. What length and displacement is your boat?

63'
Approx 45 tons

There are so many variables to it and ymmv. We anchored out over labor day in 20+ kt and had no issues and even rafted up a smaller vessel that had dragged toward us with a bruce anchor. It had broken free and wouldn't reset. Lots of grass, kelp, and seaweed came up when they weighed anchor the next morning.
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Old 09-15-2018, 02:49 PM   #20
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tozz,
The fishermen seem to make it work. But they have ground tackle so heavy any anchor at all would probably pwork.
I don’t know but I suspect that the Forfjord has rotational problems. I’ll explain. Some of the time Claw anchors set one side fluke and then (w the anchor sideways) the center fluke acts like a buldozer blade. It gives some holding but not as much as most expect. Then they complain about draging. I’ve seen quite a few Claws do this on dry or fairly dry land but usually they are hidden in the water.

Did you see the Danforth wagging along at 90 degrees (vertical) to where it’s supposed to be for quite a long ways. The ForFjord is closly related to the Danforth. The Dan is kinda Pigeon toed whereas the For is sorta splayed out or (duckfooted). At first I thought this was an advantage. But then I surmised that it would be an odd event for both flukes to enter the seabed equally seabeds being not uniform. So my theory is (heavy on the theory) that once one fluke starts down it overtakes the other and the anchor ends up vertical .... like a Northill.
The one time I tried to set my ForFjord it just slid along. Tried one of my XYZ’s and it took a stroll too. My S class Danforth hooked right up in the same place.
I had a friend w a 30’ Willard in Alaska and he had a 65lb For on his bow. Don’t remember what he said about it’s performance but the last time I saw him he was talk’in bout changing the For out. Most of the fishermenin the area used the For and those that didn’t mostly used the Claw. And those that didn’t use the Claw used the Deradnought. I have a 35lb example of the Dread. Only used it once. The quickest set I’ve ever experienced. The Dread worked immediately tension was on the rode. Amazing.

Anyway that’s my input on the ForFjord.
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