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Old 08-28-2017, 09:12 PM   #1
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Fortress for general use?

I been through many anchors with mixed results. My experience (on my 40' Silverton) includes 44# Bruce, 55# Delta, 88# Delta, 80# Manson Supreme. Last year I purchased an FX55 Fortress and am thinking about replacing the Surpreme with it.

Anybody using a Fortress for their main anchoring?
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:30 PM   #2
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Anchor talk *ducks* reminds me of another place. I hope here is more open then mean. *popcorn*
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
I been through many anchors with mixed results. My experience (on my 40' Silverton) includes 44# Bruce, 55# Delta, 88# Delta, 80# Manson Supreme. Last year I purchased an FX55 Fortress and am thinking about replacing the Surpreme with it.

Anybody using a Fortress for their main anchoring?
Fortress is a lightweight yet strong construction high performance Danforth design anchor... with adjustable shank to fluke angle for different bottom compositions. It is a good performance, hand manageable anchor.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:01 PM   #4
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Just interested in what problems you're having with the manson supreme? I've got nothing but good things to say about mine.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:01 PM   #5
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Fortress for general use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
I been through many anchors with mixed results. My experience (on my 40' Silverton) includes 44# Bruce, 55# Delta, 88# Delta, 80# Manson Supreme. Last year I purchased an FX55 Fortress and am thinking about replacing the Surpreme with it.



Anybody using a Fortress for their main anchoring?


I am thinking about getting a fortress to use as a backup anchor. 43' boat, lots of windage, and about 31,000 dry weight. What size/ How much chain on a combo rode?
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:41 AM   #6
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A Fortress for main and a backup for what the Fortress dosn't do well at.

So choosing one anchor that does relatively well at/on dense weed or rocky bottoms. What anchor is that? I've considered using a Fortress many times before. Then I just got too busy experimenting w other anchors.

Once found the two anchors should be a VERY good system for boats that have hand anchoring gear. A capstan could be added and many 35 to 40' could be in this group.

Putting an all chain rode on such a light anchor would be stupid so we're talking combination rode w no more than a boat length of chain. At least 95% of the time the Fortress would be deployed so anchor handling could be very simple for many boats w owners that were previously struggling w heavy rodes.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:28 AM   #7
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I have both the Manson Supreme and Fortress on my bow. Both can be deployed at the push of a button. My Manson is my anchor of choice for overnight with the Fortress being used for short stops and when necessary, as a stern anchor (because it is light). The Manson is on all chain and the Fortress on rope with a 4 ft chain leader.

Neither has failed me and I have no idea if one is better than the other, it is just what I choose to do.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:34 AM   #8
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Foggy, I can say we used a Fortress FX-37 as our main up until the time I could get an electric windlass installed. Worked fine, here in the Chesapeake, in all conditions. In fact, we used an FX-23 briefly before that, and it worked fine, too... just wasn't as big as I wanted.

I've read some folks feel the Danforth-style anchor doesn't do well with reversing current; I've not seen that ever happen with our Fortress.

I've read some Fortress anchors can "sail" for a bit during deployment; haven't seen that either, and I suspect if it happens that could more likely apply mostly to the very small/lightweight models.

You'll likely have seen the results of the Chesapeake mud tests; what they found (relative to Fortress anchors and our mud) is what we've found. Can't speak to most of the other anchors in those tests. And of course you may not have mud.

All that said, your anchor choice probably needs to be all about your intended anchoring grounds. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to make a big Fortress my main, if target substrate seems to cooperate.

You might also give the SuperMAX a look. We've been using those since the windlass install, with the FX-37 kept as back-up/spare/kedge.

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Old 08-29-2017, 07:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I am thinking about getting a fortress to use as a backup anchor. 43' boat, lots of windage, and about 31,000 dry weight. What size/ How much chain on a combo rode?

Dave, FWIW, our Fortress is an FX-37 for our 42' boat, approx 28K dry weight. 25' of leading chain and 300' of 8-plait rope. Usually it takes some serious work to unglue the anchor from the bottom.

I'd actually use more chain, elsewhere, but it's not really necessary here, and takes so long to clean the mud out of the links...

-Chris
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:51 AM   #10
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Most danforth style anchors I have used have more problems setting than my Bruces, Deltas and now Manson Supreme that I have used as primaries through the years.

Once stuck, they sure have holding power, but unless you know they are really stuck, just a guess.

For my 40 foot (small 40) trawler, my 60 pound Manson Supreme has been, well supreme.

I bought a Fortress 23 as a backup and second for storms.

I would only use it in heavy conditions if I could dive on it to ensure its set or if I backed on it as heavy as the conditions I expected.

Now, danforth styles in bigger sizes I think can set more reliably than smaller ones .....so my personal data is skewed. My guess is that they get through grass better, normal sized shells dont jamb the flukes or get impaled on the fluke tips as easily...so more reliable sets.

What size do they need to be to set reliably? I don't know and some people swear by them.

Based on the looks of my 23X Fortress, I would think the next size up starts to outgrow some of the smaller size shortfalls and it or your 80 pound Manson would both be pretty solid performers.

In an emergency anchoring situation, my gut would say drop the Manson.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:05 AM   #11
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Let me tell you my Fortress anchor story, again.

I was anchored at Jewell island in Maine which has a moderate reversing current running through it. After anchoring for a few days, a nearby boat pulled up his anchor. It was a Fortress and his anchor chain had formed a ball surrounding the anchor as it caught in the flukes when the current reversed. The only thing holding him in place was the dead weight of that mess.

It took him almost an hour to untangle the mess.

The moral- don't use a Fortress if you expect the wind/current direction to change. But for great, straight ahead holding power in mud, it can't be beat.

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Old 08-29-2017, 08:08 AM   #12
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I use a Fortress 23 for my primary. Works fine in my local stuff (sand, mud, shellbank). I have no windlass so the lighter weight makes it easier on my back.

Only place I had trouble was in the Keys where there was a thin layer of eel snot on top of flat caprock. Not sure anything would work there.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:12 AM   #13
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In reality, it maybe does not mean much here anymore with most of the harbors placing anchoring restrictions. There are plenty of places in the open water they have no objection to although I will do that only in emergencies.

My boat is 40' with a lot of canvas that completely encloses the boat. The 25+years with my sailboat never saw us on a mooring or slip, when away from our home slip we anchored. Towards the end though, my 44# Bruce became unreliable due to ell grass.

Around here in Massachusetts there are many days with wind gusts over 30K and that was what motivated me to move to larger anchors. One is very lucky when there is room to set out enough rode for a scope of 4. An other option is to reconstruct my bow pulpit to accommodate 2 anchors and not looking to do that.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:27 AM   #14
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My opinion is that you don't have an anchor problem, but a technique issue. If all those different anchors are problematic, so will the Fortress. An 88# Delta held my 56 foot Hatteras, a far larger and heavier overall boat, quite well in a variety of waters in New England and the entire eastern seaboard, multiple days, conditions and sea beds.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:41 AM   #15
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Dave, FWIW, our Fortress is an FX-37 for our 42' boat, approx 28K dry weight. 25' of leading chain and 300' of 8-plait rope. Usually it takes some serious work to unglue the anchor from the bottom.

I'd actually use more chain, elsewhere, but it's not really necessary here, and takes so long to clean the mud out of the links...

-Chris


Thanks Chris.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:50 AM   #16
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I use a Danforth almost exclusively in the eastern LI Sound, Block Island, etc area with all chain. It sets instantly, burries deep, doesn't foul, and I usually have to work to get it out.
A Fortress would perform the same way.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:28 AM   #17
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How big is your Dan?
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:03 PM   #18
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I use a Danforth almost exclusively in the eastern LI Sound, Block Island, etc area with all chain. It sets instantly, burries deep, doesn't foul, and I usually have to work to get it out.
A Fortress would perform the same way.
Be careful Jay... that you don't hook onto our 50 lb Danforth in the big bay at the Block. She got hooked into something back in 1966 +/-. After hours trying to get it loose we cut the line.

I recall we were pretty close to the right side shore after entering the inlet and traveling a few minutes on idle.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:03 PM   #19
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After anchoring for a few days, a nearby boat pulled up his anchor. It was a Fortress and his anchor chain had formed a ball surrounding the anchor as it caught in the flukes when the current reversed. The only thing holding him in place was the dead weight of that mess.

It took him almost an hour to untangle the mess.

How did he discover (decide?) it wasn't really set? (or set anymore? or whatever...)

Did he know for sure it was set in the first place?

FWIW, when we've pulled ours out after use, we often have caked-on mud about halfway up the shank...

-Chris
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:21 PM   #20
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How big is your Dan?
It's a 35 lb high tensile.

Art, several years ago we were diving in the water ski area. We found a length of anchor chain. We tried for about 20 minutes and could not get the anchor up. Maybe that was yours LOL
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