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Old 04-24-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
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dragged anchor

It is unusual for me to drag anchor, but my Delta did and would not reset on three attempts a few days ago. Prevailing fair weather winds in my area are from the west to southwest, but we had winds out of the east at 12-15 mph. I didn't think 15 mph wind gusts would be enough to drag. We did though, and so did my buddy anchored nearby on a sailboat. We moved to the other side of Broad Creek and I put out my Fortress FX-23, which grabbed and held on the first attempt. Thankfully winds died to zero overnight and we got a good rest. I hate sleeping with one eye open on anchor watch. When we departed the next morning we pulled up a two foot mud ball with the anchor, so I guess the bottom was like chocolate pudding. I'm still surprised because we have anchored on sandy bottom in NJ with the Delta and had a Mainship 390 and a Bayliner 2850 rafted to us, all with just my anchor and did not drag. It proved to me the value of having two different types of anchors, and that the Fortress, or all Danforth types I guess, are good mud anchors.
The snapshot was taken the next morning in blissful calm after the previous afternoon's dragging adventure.

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Old 04-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #2
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CC,
Generally speaking if you can get a Fortress to set your'e set.

Pun intended.

Danforth anchors (designed in 1938 I think) still has a strong following and the Fortress version of that anchor is considered to have the highest holding power of any anchor. I've never heard anyone try and dispute that here on TF or anywhere else. I believe the Coast Guard employs many Fortress anchors.

It seems odd to me that a lightweight aluminum anchor should out perform all the steel anchors of the world but they do ... including all other Danforths.

And it seems strange that I should not have one since I have and use several anchors and my boat is at the very upper end of the range of boats that are small enough to use hand deployed anchors. Being as light as they are the Fortress seems an obvious 1st choice. I almost bought a Fortress when I bought my Manson Supreme. All my experience w steel Danforths shows the Danforths have good short scope performance too so perhaps a Fortress is just a matter of time for me.

Does anybody employ a Fortress anchor as their primary anchor?
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:03 PM   #3
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Which Broad Creek? Is it in NC near Pamlico Sound?
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
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I don't, but we just got a used one and have yet to try it. What befuddles me is that it's the same general design as a Danforth, but seem so far superior.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:09 PM   #5
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Which Broad Creek? Is it in NC near Pamlico Sound?
Look at a chart of Eastern, NC... There are at least four.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
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Which Broad Creek? Is it in NC near Pamlico Sound?
Yep, that's the one. We were near River Dunes.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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I don't, but we just got a used one and have yet to try it. What befuddles me is that it's the same general design as a Danforth, but seem so far superior.
Perhaps its because the Fortress can be adjusted from a normal 30 degree fluke to shaft angle to a 45 degree angle for more holding power, whereas the typical Danforth style has a single setting. I was on the 30 degree setting, and haven't tried the 45 degree yet. My experience is that it is not the best on grassy bottom, I suppose because of light wight; but on sand or mud you should be very happy.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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Yep, that's the one. We were near River Dunes.
Ok, here goes, being a real estate developer and doing excavations in East Carolina for a few years, I got familiar with coastal soils. This is what you may have been dealing with. In many areas over there a few feet below the surface of the ground is a substance called hard pan. Most of it over there I have dealt with is a tightly packed silt clay that can be a blue color. It is so hard that it acts like a rock shelf. If you had anchored in an area that had been scoured by tides and current the hard pan can be at or just below the surface. It can be hard enough to prevent penetration by an anchor. When you moved it may have been to an area that was covered with soft mud of some depth. Try anchoring in the original area with the Fortress or Danforth to see if it will penetrate there.

In the Bahamas there are some areas where coral rock has a thin sand coating. You think you are anchored, but it isn't secure. I take a look box out in the dinghy or swim the anchor line to check it. Broad Creek is much to murky for that. Just back down really hard to see if it holds.

. . . . . and that's all I know about that.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:28 PM   #9
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The instructions say to use the 45^ setting for muddy bottoms... We are also on the Neuse, but everyone that I have talked to about it say they still just use the 30^ setting. The Neuse, as you know, is the sitting king of muddy-bottom rivers around here.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:07 PM   #10
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Don's getting really close to what is probably reality and reality could be dangerous to the life of threads. Very good call I think Don as it's common knowledge that the bottom is the most variable of all the variables.

Tom B wrote " What befuddles me is that it's the same general design as a Danforth, but seem so far superior." And me too. But it's just an anchor so if one was to analyze very well we should be able to learn why the Fortress is so superior.

1 The "F" has very sharp flukes, a larger dia stock, and flanged inboard fluke edges.
2 The steel Dans have more weight .. and that's about the only advantage I can see. Some have full flanges on the inside of their flukes but so does the "F". So it's not an advantage.

I think one could safely say that if one built a steel Fortress (exact replica) it should perform at least as well as the "F". And if weight matters (as most seem to think it does) the steel "F" should perform even better.

I know several have filed or ground sharper tips on steel Dans and were motivated to repeat that practice so one can conclude that the sharper fluke tips helped. But the sharper tips should aid setting but once set the sharper tips should present no advantage. And it's holding power that's in question ... not setting. Generally speaking though I think setting is as important as holding. At least nearly so.

More thoughts on the "F" advantage?
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #11
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We have a Fortress on our sailboat as primary and it is amazing in the muddy bottom around here. We've had five boats rafted on it with a good breeze and no dragging (in fact, it set so well that getting it back up is another story). That said, it doesn't reset well when the tides/wind change. With no windlass on the boat and given our bottom type, it made a lot of sense for us. The reset issue hasn't been too bad, but we do keep an eye on it (set alarm to check anchor around time when tide changes). All that said, we would probably go with a different anchor were we in an area with grassy, rocky or coral bottom. The Tug came with a Delta, which we like, but is not as good in the mud. The Tug also has a Fortress backup.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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How sharp the fluke point and edges appear to be a big factor.

I'm going to ground down and sharpen the points and edges on the Eagles three anchors. Being old school I have three different types of anchors depending on the bottom.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #13
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Phill,
I'm no stranger to modifying things but grinding sharper points on anchor make them easier to bend and not as long lasting either. I'd leave them alone unless they are expendable or are not performing well as is.

Carolena,
I have an anchor test downloaded that addresses that veering aspect exclusively. I'll look it up tonight. Thanks for responding.

All,
One aspect of the Danforth anchors I've wondered about modifying is the pad that pushes the back end of the anchor up to produce the angle of attack that promotes or facilitates setting. Perhaps they'd dig deeper or set more readily. A steeper angle trailing edge could be added ....... Kinda like flaps on a wing. Just a thought. I have seen off brand Danforth types w bigger and steeper pads. Could be more effective that sharpening the tips but one's chances of reducing performance may be greater.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:09 PM   #14
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By the way, the only time we ever dragged on the Fortress was when we were hit by a very strong storm cell. The anchor held fine until the wind clocked 180 degrees. It never reset, which caused us to drag. After the storm passed, we pulled in the anchor and found it was fouled by a small fishing anchor that was stuck between the flukes, which prevented the anchor from resetting. Not sure, but my guess is that could happen with almost any anchor.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:18 PM   #15
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Back several months ago I walked the docks and took a survey of what type of anchors. All the anchors that were quick set had very sharp points and/or edges. I don't think grinding the points and/or edges is going to weaken the anchors. All three of the Eagle anchors are 60 to 90 lbs so they are fairly strong.

I am also looking at welding a wider flang to the Forjords Fluke which will also increase the weight. I beleive you posted a picture of one. I beleive you start this whole anchor thing?

Here is a site with a great anchor calculator:

Tuning an Anchor Rode

Go it Syntheses and click on rodeanch.xls. You can change the varibles and play with it. The type of bottom, the type of rode, length of rode and weight of anchor are all important factors.

Gauds I can not believe I go sucked into another anchor discussion
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:09 PM   #16
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CC,
Generally speaking if you can get a Fortress to set your'e set.

Pun intended.

Does anybody employ a Fortress anchor as their primary anchor?
I have a FX-37 on the bow & thinking of going back to the FX-23, even with a windlass it is sometimes a bear to get out of the mud.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #17
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Had an FX23 as primary on our old 40' boat. Never a problem and it held in some strong breezes and varied bottoms. Have it as a back up anchor on our 32' current boat. Had to deploy it two years ago as our "Bruce" would not set in a kelp bottom. The Fortress bit right in and held in the kelp in fairly gusty conditions. Replacing the "Bruce" this year with a Rocna or Manson but definitely will keep the FX.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:32 PM   #18
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Colony Cove, what size Delta were you using?
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:33 PM   #19
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Does anybody employ a Fortress anchor as their primary anchor?
We don't but it has ended up being our primary anchor when the winds have done a 180. We have a Fortress FX23 (I think that's the right number) in a mount on our swimstep as a stern anchor. This anchor is the recommended size to be the main anchor for the boat.

Likewise we sized its combination rode to be the main rode for the boat.

On the couple of occasions it became the "main anchor" by virtue of the wind change I had set the Fortress as a stern anchor by rowing it out behind us, dropping it, and then setting it by hand from the aft deck of the GB. On one occasion the wind came up from astern at about 20 knots and blew most of the night. The boat hung on the Fortress all night and nothing moved.

In fact it was so well set that we had to haul the main anchor and then transfer the Fortress rode to the bow where we could use the boat to break it out. This was in a good mud bottom.

While we would not swap a Fortress for the anchor we currently have as a main anchor, we have been very impressed with the Fortress' performance on the times it ended up holding the boat--- backwards--- in stronger winds. For someone who boats in an area of mud or sand bottoms I would not hesitate to recommend a Fortress--- but one sized up a bit from their chart recommendation--- as a main anchor.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:22 AM   #20
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RiverCruiser,
Sounds like the Fortress is serving you well.
Probably shouldn't use the windlass at all to break out a deep set anchor.

Dwhatty,
Yup the Rocna and Manson Supreme are similar in most ways. I use the Manson mostly because of it's better short scope performance but the Rocna seems to have the edge on holding and probably (not really sure) faster setting. Is the bow storage and deployment features keeping you from using the Fortress all the time?

Marin,
Fortress is under rating their anchor? Don't forget the Fortress is aluminum. To get the required fluke surface area a much lighter Fortress should be required.
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