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Old 11-01-2015, 05:45 AM   #1
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Fortress Anchor Retrival

On the Chesapeake with it's mostly mud bottom I changed anchors recently to a Fortress, which incidently works very well on mud bottoms. The problem is retreving it.
Should I attach a 20' line to the head of the Fortress with a small float and slip it loose with the line before attempting to retrieve it?
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:23 AM   #2
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I did some single handing (on the boat) a few weeks back- mechanical windlass, lower helm with side doors. I pulled up till rode was vertical- then forward again for a "four count" to break it out of the mud. Worked every time.


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Old 11-01-2015, 07:27 AM   #3
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I agree with Forky, rode vertical, forward a little and it'll break out. There is no easy way to attach a trip line to a Danforth style anchor and unless the anchor fouls on something, you'll never need it.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:13 AM   #4
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Thanks guys I'll do that.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:07 AM   #5
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If you've hooked a cable going vertical and moving fwd likely won't retrieve the anchor. But unless you've hooked a cable or chain just vertical will do. Giving it time (with tension) is very effective too. Sorta the opposite of "soaking" it down. Moving fwd or backwards when it's vertical will increase tension.

Perhaps you need an anchor retriever .. that's basically an oblong or eliptical ring that one lowers down the rode assuming it will eventially slide over and down the shank. Then w slight tension on the rode and lots of tension on the retriever line perhaps using a dinghy it should come up.

How hard to you set your Fortress and how big is it?
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:41 AM   #6
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Fortress Anchor Retrival

Slow and steady in reverses is the way to go. Going forward on it you run the risk of putting to much down pressure on your bow pulpit and breaking it. I have done this and as mine was made out of steel. If it's really stuck take to a stern cleat and try then. You also run the risk of running the line over when it breaks free if going forward with it on the bow.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:51 AM   #7
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Actually, you don't have to go forward with a lot of pressure, since that can indeed damage the pulpit. Just go up until the rode is vertical, cleat it off, and then relax for a bit. The motion of the boat will break it loose, especially if there is any wave action at all. At least this always worked for me, anyway. Your mileage may differ, I suppose.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:34 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Forkliftt;384454]I did some single handing (on the boat) a few weeks back- mechanical windlass, lower helm with side doors. I pulled up till rode was vertical- then forward again for a "four count" to break it out of the mud. Worked every time.

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I agree with Forky, rode vertical, forward a little and it'll break out. There is no easy way to attach a trip line to a Danforth style anchor and unless the anchor fouls on something, you'll never need it.
Ditto and Ditto!!

FX-23 - Taken up out of mud in same way. Only little hassle is the BIG chunk of mud in flukes. Real fair trade-off for anchor that holds well in mud!

PS: HopCar as dealer sent me that Fortress Anchor... I recommend!
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:07 PM   #9
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Fortress says to come to the anchor, tighten the rode and Back Down on the anchor. Never ride forward over the top as you can bend or break the blades.
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jwnall View Post
Actually, you don't have to go forward with a lot of pressure, since that can indeed damage the pulpit. Just go up until the rode is vertical, cleat if off, and then relax for a bit. The motion of the boat will break it loose, especially if there is any wave action at all. At least this always worked for me, anyway. Your mileage may differ, I suppose.

John- I'll try that in the future as well. Great idea.


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Old 11-01-2015, 09:08 PM   #11
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Fortress says to come to the anchor, tighten the rode and Back Down on the anchor. Never ride forward over the top as you can bend or break the blades.
Not supposed to go hard on breakout motion (in forward or reverse) once anchor line is truly vertical and secure via being cleated and chocked off boat's bow or transom. Gentle motion does the trick. IMO... if an anchor's metal components can't handle the slight nudging power of engine(s) in idle rpm (or even slightly above) then that is an anchor I would not want need to trust in a BIG blow. That said - I do trust Fortress anchors and personally believe the item you mention above is a basic reverse "caveat emptor" statement to legally protect the manufacturer just... incase... a boater decides to push way too high on rpm... which I could see potentially creating anchor material and part problems.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:45 PM   #12
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I've anchored many hundreds of times with a Fortress, with no windlass. I just drive up to anchor to get rode vertical, cleat it off then back down with boat in reverse for like 50 feet. Pops it loose and then I go fwd and pull it up by hand, shake it off, and stow it.

Nice thing is I can work engine and thruster controls through the pilot house window, so it minimizes the rat-race.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:46 AM   #13
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We drill a hole into the crown (center piece) to which you can attach a small shackle, a secondary line and a buoy to float on the surface. In event that the flukes get stuck or retrieval is difficult, then you can pick up the buoy and pull the anchor out from behind.

An image of the crown is below with the location of this hole, which is under one of the mud palm plates.

All of that said, I don't have any first hand experience trying this retrieval method in soft mud. I certainly know from the Chesapeake Bay testing that once you load up and bury a Fortress deeply, and tightly compress the soil against the two large flukes, then retrieval is simply not going to be easy.

I think patience is the key here, particularly if you have been anchored for a fair amount of time and you have encountered some gusty winds.

Aboard the 81-ft Rachel Carson that we used for the testing, we pulled up tight directly above the anchor at a 1:1 scope, and then let the gentle movement of the boat in the light waves help us to break the anchor free, which usually took around 20 minutes.

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Old 11-02-2015, 09:59 AM   #14
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Hi Brian,
Just say'in ...
1-1 scope is w the rode at 45 degrees.
Just being a smart ass.

There's lots of Fortress anchors on the two 30' floats as primary anchors in LaConner WA where we have our boat. Few are very big.

Did you see the thread on the AC-14 stockless anchor? I'm sort-of fascinated by that thing. It has a crown like a buldozer blade where your "palms" are.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:48 AM   #15
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1-1 scope is w the rode at 45 degrees.

Might not have been; the launch point on the Rachel Carson may have been substantially high off the water...

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Old 11-02-2015, 01:18 PM   #16
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Chris,
Good thinking ..
But what I recall in the pics on the thread the anchors were deployed at deck level. The deck may not have been as low as I think and the water was fairly shallow but a vertical rode is not 1-1. And I'm certianly not picking on Brian. Three to one scope is a ratio of two measurements and when the rode is vertical there's only the vertical dimension .. the horizontal is non-existant. I've wondered in the past if that would be 1-0
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:23 PM   #17
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Anchor rode scope is not an expression of an angle. It is the relationship of the distance between sea bottom and where the rode exits the boat versus the length of rode deployed . So, a vertical line is 1:1
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:09 PM   #18
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And I'm certainly not picking on Brian.
Its ok Eric, pick away, after all, it is an always-contentious anchor thread!

My understanding of scope is the same as Mark's. Here's a for instance:

While attempting to retrieve the FX-16 after one pull during the Chesapeake Bay testing, and with the boat and aft winch directly above / vertical to the anchor.....and with the line as tight as a piano wire, the winch operator calculated the following:

Freeboard: 4 ft
+ Water depth: 26 ft
= 30 ft total

Chain: 20 ft
+ Wire rope: 23 ft
= 43 ft total

Therefore, the scope was 1:1 and the anchor was buried 13 ft in the soft mud.

Regarding the AC-14 stockless anchor, I see that it is widely sold by large anchor resellers such as Anchor Marine in Houston and Sotra in Norway, and I will try and find the thread you mentioned.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:16 PM   #19
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OK Brian I see a 1-1 scope as 40' deep and the anchor directly below a point 40' from the bow roller. One unit vertical and one unit horizontal. What I see in your numbers is about a 1.5-1 scope.

When I get home tonight I'll look in Chapman's book. He has presented this stuff for years and was bound to be corrected if he was/is wrong.

Oh I see your comment about the anchor being 13' down in the mud. Well if the rode was straight from the bow roller to the anchor .. then yes 1-1 scope. Didn't think in terms of deeply set anchors and in most mud the rode would be hook shaped as would be a chain cable or line. So 1-1 it is. Usually the rode dosn't get into the bottom at all .. especially w Danforth type anchors.

But I disagree w you Mark. A vertical rode is not even a ratio. The anchor is just "X" feet deep.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Usually the rode dosn't get into the bottom at all ..
That's only the case if you don't set it very well at all.
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