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Old 04-22-2015, 07:07 PM   #41
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:15 PM   #42
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I don't anchor frequently, but when I do it is typically in a strong tidal current. Easy to tell when the claw anchor sets because the boat quickly jerks to a halt on its own.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:23 PM   #43
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No!


If it sucked so bad then guess what... Everybody would throw them away.

.
The experience other people have with an anchor or a boat or a toaster is of no relevance to me other than when I am trying to decide what product to buy. Once I buy it, the only experience I'm interested in is my own.

I know WAY more people who have problems with Bruce/claw type anchors holding than I know people with rollbar anchors holding.

In fact, combining the experiences I've read over the years from people who have rollbar anchors, including the extensive research we did when deciding what kind of anchor to replace our Bruce with, and the comments from people I've met personally in recent years who have rollbar anchors, I have not had ONE person tell me about a setting or dragging problem.

Does that mean they don't have these problems? Of course not. But from the comments I read and hear, these problems are far and few between.

The other thing to remember is that I would guess that a good 80 percent if not more of the boats in a marina never anchor. Hell, half of them never even go out. So the fact that the Bruce decorates the bows of a ton of boats (one reason we bought one in the first place) to me says nothing about it's overall performance. It does tell me that humans are prone to buying the same things they see other humans buying.

In another thread, Eric made an extremely astute point that in the vast majority of recreational anchoring situations, the conditions are such that the anchors are never really tested. Boaters could anchor using a big rock and it would probably do just fine 99 percent of the time.

What interested us when we started searching for a new anchor type was the number of people who had switched to rollbar anchors who routinely anchored under very demanding conditions, many of them in the southwest Pacific in wide open, windy anchorages (which is what prompted Peter Smith to create his design for his own boat in the first place).

These people had all switched to rollbar anchors precisely because their "traditional" anchors had let them down too many times.

So sure, the average recreational boater with a Bruce (or any anchor, really) is going to experience great luck with it because the anchor will never really get tested, particularly here in the PNW where the forecasts are pretty good and there are dozens of places to get out of the weather no matter where you are.

Our Bruce always set just fine. And it held us in the typically mild conditions that recreational boaters go out in. That wasn't our issue with it. Our issue was that when it was actually tested, when the boat was surging up and down on the end of the rode in 35 knot winds or whatever, even with 7:1 or more all-chain rode out, it gave up its hold on the bottom too many times.

Sometimes it reset itself, but when it really mattered, it didn't. We have several friends just in our little boating club alone who've had exactly the same experiences with their Bruce/claw anchors. In some cases they switched anchor types, in others they've simply stopped anchoring out.

If other people want to retain their faith in their Bruce/claw anchors, great. And if they are large anchors--- 60, 90, 100 pounds or more--- their faith is probably very well placed. But it's a design I'm convinced does not scale down well-- you can scale an anchor down but you can't scale the bottom down--- and in the smaller sizes they're simply a crap design in my opinion from a holding point of view. Which is the only view I care about. I can get anything to set eventually, even a Cat D-10. What I'm interested in is having it stay set.

The Bruce sucks at this, as anchor tests have been demonstrating for decades. I don't put any stock in anchor tests, preferring testimonials and experiences from people who have truly put an anchor design under pressure under real and varied conditions. But for people who do, the evidence of the Bruce's poor holding is nothing new.

We knew abut the poor holding but were convinced to get a Bruce in large part because all the power boats we saw around us in our harbor had them. And if everyone has something, it must be good, right?

If the Bruce was the only anchor choice out there, of if the other choices were anchors of equally iffy performance like the CQR, that would be one thing. The Bruce has its advantages over those (another reason we bought one). But today there are designs, the best of which I feel is the rollbar, that are so superior to the Bruce/claw that I don't view that anchor type as worth bothering with anymore.

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Old 04-22-2015, 07:25 PM   #44
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1. Ok, I moved it. But I don`t think the issue is geographical. Let`s hope we can have an anchor thread that doesn`t end in tears. Discussing "penetration" is a good distraction.
2. I`m coming to the view that good technique for a Super Sarca (and probably related designs) involves a power set to drive it in. Comments?
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:31 PM   #45
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Marin wrote about using his Rocna in the same spots as his Bruce Claw ..

"We use exactly the same technique for setting the rollbar anchor today as we used with the Bruce in the past. The same boat, the same places, in the same bottoms, under the same conditions."

How many times have you said this? And how many times have you left out the huge difference that your Rocna is 44# and your old Bruce 33#. If you thought the Rocna had higher holding power you would have ordered the same size anchor. Or if you thought the Rocna to have much more holding power (and you do) you would be expected IMO to buy a smaller example of the super anchor. But you got a bigger anchor and have ever since been crowing about how wonderful it is. No brainer ..... It's bigger. Start using a 22# Rocna and you'll have more followers. I consider you my friend Marin but feel you've over-hyped yourself on this one.

Oh and #43 was a good response.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:32 PM   #46
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1. Ok, I moved it. But I don`t think the issue is geographical. Let`s hope we can have an anchor thread that doesn`t end in tears. Discussing "penetration" is a good distraction.
2. I`m coming to the view that good technique for a Super Sarca (and probably related designs) involves a power set to drive it in. Comments?
I always set my anchor using power unless it's just a "fishing anchor"

That always worked with my bruce and it will probalby work with my new Super Sarca.

Then again I've always had an anchor large enough to penetrate properly.

On my 28' boat I had a 20 kg bruce
On my current boat I have a 30 kg bruce but I always thought this was marginal.
My new Super Sarca is a 36kg
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:35 PM   #47
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The only think I can think of, is perhaps your anchor is not of adequate size to penetrate the substrate, and achieve the desired performance.

What size anchor did you have anyway?
The size the Bruce sizing chart said to have on our boat and that all the boats of the same make and model in our harbor with Bruce anchors had (at the time). 33 pounds.

Now Eric is convinced that had we had a 44 pound anchor, we would not have had the problems we had. First, an 11 pound difference is not going to make one when it's blowing 35-40 knots with gusts and waves. And second, some of the people we know who have or had holding problems with their Bruce anchors have lighter boats than ours and 44 pound anchors. And the stupid things still drag.

Sorry, once bitten twice shy. I will never be convinced the Bruce/claw, at least the Bruce/claw in sizes less then 60 pounds, is worth the metal it's made of.

If you or anyone else thinks it's the greatest anchor ever designed, terrific. I hope you have continued great luck with it. But when a product proves itself convincingly to me that it's unreliable, it's off to the landfill with it. Computer, camera, toaster, anchor, you name it, it's history.

Now if we were having the same bad experiences with our rollbar anchor, I would be more than happy to say it was something we were doing wrong. But when we get rid of one product, replace it with another product, use it exactly the same way in the same places under the same conditions, and it performs absolutely flawlessly and has for the last seven or nine or however many years we've had and used it, guess what our conclusion is going to be?
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:36 PM   #48
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[QUOTE=manyboats;327074

How many times have you said this? And how many times have you left out the huge difference that your Rocna is 44# and your old Bruce 33#.[/QUOTE]

WHOA!!!!


A 42' boat using a 20 kg (33 lb) Bruce???

No wonder it didn't hold! Thats the same size anchor I had on my 28' 7,000 pound boat!

Now the story comes out. The problem isn't the anchor. Its whomever chose the wrong size anchor thats at fault!
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:42 PM   #49
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:46 PM   #50
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Eric--- You are never going to convince me that an eleven pound difference in anchor weigh is going to mean anything when conditions get nasty. Eleven pounds isn't squat.

Twenty pound, thirty pounds, more, sure. At least for a Bruce/claw. But eleven? That's armchair theorizing again.

And as I've said many times, we know people with same kind of boat we have but with 44 pound Bruces, and guess what? They are every bit as unreliable for them as ours was when they're actually put to the test.

I'm not interested in armchair theories about how an anchor design is supposed to work. I'm only interested in how it atually works under real conditions in real bottoms holding real boats. And in the smaller sizes, the vast majority of what I've been told by users and have read says the Bruce/claw has unrealiable holding. 33 pounds, 44 pounds, 15 pounds, makes no difference. They've been sufficiently proven to be poor holding anchors many times over.

That's the only thing I'm interested in.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:49 PM   #51
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Now the story comes out. The problem isn't the anchor. Its whomever chose the wrong size anchor thats at fault!


Me bad...
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:49 PM   #52
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That wasn't Marin Kevin.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:51 PM   #53
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WHOA!!!!


A 42' boat using a 20 kg (33 lb) Bruce???
We don't have a 42' boat. Our boat in Europe is 45' (with a real anchor on it, I might add). But our PNW boat is 36.' For this boat, 33 pounds was the size recommended by Bruce at the time, and it's the size that was on every boat of the same make and size as our boat in our harbor back then that we were aware of including the large charter fleet that had several of the same boat in their lineup. There were a couple of exceptions I know of that had the 44 pound Bruce on the same boat as ours. The 44 pound Bruce behaved as badly for them as our 33 pounder did for us and they subsequently changed their anchors, too. In fact one of them was the person who got us interested in investigating the so-called "new generation" anchors, which until then we'd never even heard of.

When I phoned the rollbar anchor manufacturer in the course of our investigation into what anchor to replace the Bruce with, they told me that while their Model 15 (33#) would work fine on our boat, they suggested the Model 20 (44#) if our pulpit could accommodate it, which it can, barely. So that's what we went with.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:57 PM   #54
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This entire thread should be in anchoring, not General.
No, all anchoring discussions needs to move to "Off the Deep End". That's where it always ends up.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:10 PM   #55
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I have a 15 kg Lewmar Claw on my 20000 lb, 34 footer and it works just fine, but there are times when the wind blows 35 kts or more when I wish I had bought the 20 kg model. When I look at it hanging from my bow, it looks grossly undersized. Even so, it's never failed me. I have no idea what the real differences are between the Lewmar Claw and the Bruce anchor but I doubt they are significant enough to cause such a major discrepancy in performance.

But I have no doubt that a 36 ft GB is much heavier than my 34 Californian. Maybe higher windage, too. With such poor performance on the GB, it sounds like a bad case of undersized ground tackle to me, too. With so many satisfied Bruce/Claw anchor owners out there right now enjoying their anchor's performance, there must be some major difference here that's not been exposed.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:11 PM   #56
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No, all anchoring discussions needs to move to "Off the Deep End". That's where it always ends up.
Now that makes a lot of sense!!
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:14 PM   #57
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We don't have a 42' boat. Our boat in Europe is 45' (with a real anchor on it, I might add). But our PNW boat is 36'
I stand corrected on the boat size.

The simple fact is that you are comparing a larger anchors performance with a smaller one. Thats not a realistic comparison. You say that 10 lbs does not matter, but going from 33# to 43# is a 30% jump in weight.

The other fact is that you are the only person ive ever heard of that feels so strongly regarding the Bruce anchor.

When I put my new SARCA on several people on my dock said "nice anchor". Then they asked "why". Several asked if I'd sell them my Bruce.

My opinion is that size matters in an anchor. I believe that you would have had better results with a larger anchor.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:21 PM   #58
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If I had had problems and changed my setup to one that worked for me I would be very happy and would probably tell others how well the changes worked for me.

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We use exactly the same technique for setting the rollbar anchor today as we used with the Bruce in the past. The same boat, the same places, in the same bottoms, under the same conditions. There have been only two differences.

One, the rollbar anchor sets the moment it starts being pulled on and it sets hard and it sets fast. As opposed to the Bruce which always had to drag along a bit on the bottom before it caught, dug in and set.
Here is my concern - as I mentioned earlier, that's not the way I set a Bruce anchor and nor would I recommend it to anyone. Dragging it across the sea floor until it appears to set does not get a good deep set in many types of bottoms. Letting the Bruce settle in on its own has worked very well for me. The technique you describe may be perfect for the rollbar anchor but I don't think it is for the Bruce.

I have used a 33lb Bruce on a 36' sailboat for 15 years in a wide variety of conditions from Drakes Bay to the Channel Islands and had no problems holding.

It may just be that the anchor you chose matches the technique you employ. Nothing wrong with that - after all we are all striving for a setup that works well for us.

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Old 04-22-2015, 08:25 PM   #59
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But I have no doubt that a 36 ft GB is much heavier than my 34 Californian. Maybe higher windage, too. With such poor performance on the GB, it sounds like a bad case of undersized ground tackle to me, too.
The last time our boat was in the Travelift with full fuel and water and all our stuff on board it was right at 30,000 pounds.

I don't deny that the Bruce on our boat may well have been too small. It was the model that was recommended for our boat by Bruce and was the same size that was on all the same make and model of boat that we saw in our harbor (with a couple of exceptions as noted elsewhere).

Given the design of the Bruce, I think its fluke area is way too small for its weight which would certainly account for it's poor holding power in tests if one gives any credibility to anchor tests.

If the next size up Bruce had a significantly larger fluke area than the one we had, I could see how it might have held better. But the 44# Bruce doesn't look much larger than the 33# Bruce other than its longer shank, and based on the performance I've heard about with the larger anchor on the same kind and size of boat we have, the additional eleven pounds don't seem to make much difference in terms of holding reliability.

Again, setting has never been the issue with the Bruce design in our experience. It's holding under higher pressures and surging pressures that's problematic.

In comparison to the Bruce, the fluke area of our rollbar anchor is very large for its weight plus it's all in one wide, flat blade rather than in three widely separated fingers.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:39 PM   #60
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Dragging it across the sea floor until it appears to set does not get a good deep set in many types of bottoms. Letting the Bruce settle in on its own has worked very well for me.
When you are anchoring in tidal currents that typically run (in this area, they're stronger farther north) up to four or five knots depending on where you are, there is generally no "letting the Bruce settle in on its own" unless you want to use power to counter the current for however long it's going to take for the anchor to settle in on its own.

Without power, the boat's going to drag the anchor along whether you want it to or not.

And that's just considering the current. Granted, sometimes there isn't any or it's not very strong. However, there is also wind in the islands that shoves the boat along, current or no current.

So the drop-it-and-hope-it-settles-in method can probably work very well if you can sit there while you wait for it to settle in. But in our experience up here, the boat's going to go somewhere on its own at some speed or another once you take the power off and the boat comes to a stop. And it will drag the anchor along with it until it digs in, which with the Bruce or any anchor really, is generally pretty quick.

But once the anchor has done it's initial digging in, the boat's most likely going to keep pulling on it unless the weight of the rode prevents the pull from actually reaching the anchor shank.

The method we use is the one we not only read about in books on the topic but we were taught by a number of people we know or met who are very experienced boaters in this region, both power and sail. They use all sorts of anchors, from Bruce to CQR to you-name-it. But we've not had anyone advise us to use the method you describe. Not saying it doesn't work under the conditions it works under. Just that it does not seem to be a common practice here, regardless of the type of anchor.
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