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Old 06-07-2014, 10:58 AM   #1
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Mud Anchors & alum anchors

As a design I like the Spade anchor a lot.

The shank is very light and strong (tubular) welded up fabrication. Knife like leading edge on the shank and ideally shaped concave fluke. Requires ballast though and in the anchor tests I've read the aluminum Spade has done poorly (on a relative basis) so I'd be inclined to get a smaller steel Spade of the same weight. But surface area is very important in mud. I was glad to hear of someone (eyshulman) halving good luck w a Spade. Was hot to get one in the past. There was an anchor test that was conducted in mud only and the old XYZ won that one. At 13lbs it out shone all others.

In the anchor test The top performing anchors were

3-1 Scope;
1. XYZ
2. Hydro Bubble
3. Kingston Plow
4. Davis Talon XT
5. Bulwagga
6. Super Max
7. SARCA

7-1 Scope;
1. SARCA
2. XYZ
3. Super Max
4. Bulwagga
5. Hydro Bubble
6. Bulwagga
7. Fortress

At 7-1 scope all the anchors had 450 to 500lbs of resistance.
At 3-1 scope The Fortress, Danforth Deep Set II, Super Max, Rocna and Spade Alum failed to hold at or above the the 400lb level. At 3-1 scope only one anchor did more poorly than the Rocna.

It's interesting how some shine and fade at different scopes. Of course the best anchor is one that works well at both short and long scopes. So anchors on both lists is a good thing .. like the SARCA, XYZ, Bulwagga and Hydro Bubble. Notice the Plow did well at short scope relative to these other anchors (and a few others that wern't top performers). I know where there is a big Hydro Bubble cheap. And a 13lb XYZ that I know holds very well but only sets in mud.


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Old 06-07-2014, 11:01 AM   #2
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Re the Fortress Mark says, "While I have a smaller version as a spare anchor in the lazaret, unused (well, it does have its merits), I hate the design for pinching my fingers and bringing up a lot of bottom, and would never trust it when experiencing reversals of tidal currents".

eyschulman writes, "Just saying you want an aluminum anchor get a spade. I have had both and suggest the spade much better all around anchor as primary or back up" and later "Spades are not highly marketed in most parts of US a Euro product. They can be ordered direct from net or from some marine supply companies. With their light weight and come apart form they are not hard to ship. A spade in the 15-16 lb range probably good for your boat check with info on spade site. There are two things a spade does much better than fortress Setting and reset after big change in wind or current direction otherwise are similar for any practical considerations"

caltex wrote "Fortress is a nice anchor for where you are. Used those and Danforths on various boats over the years out there. Delta work pretty well too. Both do fine in the gentle reversing currents found in most places, though a lot of places you end up using a stern anchor too, straight up or Bahamian moor, as you are often in restricted space in the sloughs"

Healhustler (Larry) wrote "I've got a FX-23 on my bow rail, unused, but I'm looking for a 44 or so Rocna or Manson, or maybe even a Hydro Bubble if you've got one laying around. Seriously though, at only 15 lbs., it's a versatile grabber that's easy to throw off the stern"

And Art (who was the OP of the original thread wrote "Stern anchor is exactly what I will use the FX-23 for. I'm tired of hauling around 30+ lb Danforths and the like with chain-to-line on rear of boat. And, they break loose toooo easy in the real silted mud of SF Delta. In addition to the EZ to handle 15 lb weight... it's the 45 degree shank to fluke angle and flat Mud Palms on Magnum anchor that really interest me for taking good hold in Delta mud. As it will be used almost exclusively as a back anchor there is no need to worry about current or wind boat-direction twists that may break anchor loose. Once set in the bottom - all should be good for weekend party/swim at anchor off Islands in the SF Delta. FX-23 is one size bigger than recommended by Magnum chart... at 15 lbs (only 3 lb heavier than next one down) – no prob!"
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:20 AM   #3
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Art,
The Super Max also has an adjustable shank to vary the throat angle.

Someone mentioned the Manson Supreme. I have one. It is marketed as 15lbs but actually is 18lbs. As to holding power and swinging it would probably be at least what you need but you'd likely need a washdown system as they do bring up mud. Always seems to do well at short scope too.
Interesting about short scope in that the only well known anchor among the top seven anchors in the test I posted the link for did well at short scope. It was the Kingston Plow. I was surprised the Plow did that well as I've never had much interest it the Plow and it gets little press. I've never had or used a Plow but if they do well in mud and at short scope .. I'm impressed. No modern or well known anchor made the top seven in this test except the Plow. I should say "well known in the US". The most difficult thing for an anchor to do it seems is to do well at all things and the SARCA seems to fit that shoe. I wouldn't be uncomfortable calling it the best anchor in the world. Yup no discomfort at all.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
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Around So California where I'm at the bottom is a grey mud and sand combination much like very heavy wet cement. My Bruce seems to hold well and bury itself really deep. Is a danforth a better anchor for this bottom. Awfull lot of Bruce and Bruce types used here.
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post

It's interesting how some shine and fade at different scopes. Of course the best anchor is one that works well at both short and long scopes.


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Originally Posted by manyboats View Post

Art,
The Super Max also has an adjustable shank to vary the throat angle.

The pivoting SuperMax is adjustable; the rigid SuperMax is not.

The pivoting SuperMax is designed to be set at 5:1 with all nylon rode, or 4:1 with all chain. Once properly set, scope can vary base don other conditions. I think I remember reading the PS test shortly after it was originally published, and noting their technique didn't seem to be to set the anchor properly first, then do the pull tests. Not arguing with their results or defending any specific brand of anchor...

But I'd guess most of the anchors tested also have their own design features...

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Old 06-07-2014, 02:45 PM   #6
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In another mud bottom test the adjustable Super Max came out on top while XYZ did well also.

"The conclusion reached from this test was that only four anchors provided a set in this bottom, the XYZ prototype anchor, the Bullwagga, the Delta and the Super Max anchor. Of the four, only the Super Max anchor provided security up to 700 pounds of pull, while the others dragged from 390 and 400 pounds on. The XYZ and the Super Max anchors are deep penetration anchors by design, and it is felt that with time and constant pressure both types would penetrate deeper and thus create added holding pressures. Since the Super Max anchor has an adjustable arm that can be changed for differing types of bottom conditions, it appears to be the best anchor for all-around anchoring usage, since it has been proven in others’ tests in sand, gravel and coral bottoms. The XYZ in order to be competitive with the Super Max anchor in soft mud bottoms would need to be quite a bit heavier and larger in fluke area."


So as usual, YMMV.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:25 PM   #7
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It took me a bit to find the ref, so I didn't mention Fortress earlier... but now I've found it, I can say they suggest setting initially at 2:1 in soupy mud when using the 45­-degree angle. Then increase to 5:1 and apply power.

Just another example where simple pull tests at various scope like 3:1 or 7:1 would be more useful if the maker's design-specific instructions were followed first.

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Old 06-07-2014, 04:29 PM   #8
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Around So California where I'm at the bottom is a grey mud and sand combination much like very heavy wet cement. My Bruce seems to hold well and bury itself really deep. Is a danforth a better anchor for this bottom. Awfull lot of Bruce and Bruce types used here.
Claws are fine and swing well but the Dan would probably pull up easier and hold a bit better. Especially when you transition into sand. IMO

There was a Puget Sound guy here about 7 years ago that had long time experience w the Super Max and liked it.

Capt.BillII,
The 13lb XYZ prototype held well on my 8 ton Willard up to 50 knot winds. But it wouldn't set in anything but mud. Then only if you carefully laid out the rode.

Anyone here have mud experience w the Plow?
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:55 PM   #9
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Anyone here have mud experience w the Plow?

Not exactly, but we've had a couple Deltas which sometimes act like plows. Generally good experience, although one time when we had about 10 boats on our anchor, in what turned out to be some serious mud (not quite soupy slime, but almost), we discovered we were making way up the creek as the tide came in

I didn't hold that against the 35-lb anchor, which was one size larger than recommended for our 34' 16K-lb boat (with some windage). Afterwards, I added up we had well over 125K-lbs of boat hanging on the anchor at the time...

OTOH, we didn't have an electric windlass at the time, had an all-chain rode... and hauling in all that by hand became a bit of a chore. Especially since we had to clean so much mud out of the links...

Intellectually, I like the one-piece/no-moving-parts design. But I have no first-hand way to compare that with all the other newer anchors that have appeared more recently.

OTOOH, the one that came with our current boat is the smaller 22-lb variety, and I have a hard time deciding what bozo selected that for this particular installation. Given the windlass we have now, I wouldn't feel bad about a 55-lb Delta -- two sizes larger than recommended except we have even more windage now -- but I already had the other anchors to bring forward when we got this boat.

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Old 06-07-2014, 07:04 PM   #10
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Capt.BillII,
The 13lb XYZ prototype held well on my 8 ton Willard up to 50 knot winds. But it wouldn't set in anything but mud. Then only if you carefully laid out the rode.
That is interesting. Based on the design you would think it would penetrate and set well in many bottom types.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:50 PM   #11
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Reference post #1. Was the Bruce/claw included in the tests?
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:14 PM   #12
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Bill the last pic is of the first XYZ anchor. Some call it a prototype and at least to a significant degree it was. It had amazing holding power for it's size and weight. In that test the Rocna was 28lbs and the Kingston Plow was 36lbs and the SARCA was 30 lbs. The little XYZ was only 13lbs and came out top dog in the test but how an anchor performs in magazine test is not enough of an endorsement to buy one. I learned the hard way buying the little 13lb XYZ. It was only great when you could get it to set and I failed to get it to set over half the time. I can't recommend it for that reason and it's not on the market anyway .. as far as I know. I do know where there is one cheap though.

The 2nd generation XYZ is in the 1st pic. I had one of those and used it 4 or 5 times and it set fine but was anchored in fine weather. I can recommend it generally. Only generally because I had limited experience w it.

In the 2nd pic is my 2nd gen XYZ modified by myself. Only the tip is changed. How I came to do that is another story. I've used this one 10 times or so once in a 50 knot gale and it held well and even set well. I was afraid it wouldn't set at all w the extremely wide fluke tip. It's a prototype tip made out of mild steel that I intend replacing w a 4140 steel tip w a little narrower fluke tip. I wanted to get more area in the front of the fluke for better holding at short scope. At one point I may have been at 4-1 scope in that gale but probably 5-1 most of the time. It's never failed to set and I've concluded I anchored on a mud bottom every time. However it probably will set fine in sand. You can get the 2nd gen pointy tip XYZ on the internet. I think it's a great anchor but for me it's still a bit experimental but I do trust it. When it doesn't set I'll have to pull out another anchor. They make an 18lb and 36lb 2nd Gen XYZ. The 36lb XYZ should be enough holding power for a 50' boat. But it's not well enough known to be strongly recommended.

That's the basics of my XYZ experience. Usually on TF nobody seems interested in the XYZ so it's largely just my own thing.

This probably will be a better link to the XYZ anchor;
http://www.xyzanchor.com/

Mark,
There was no Claw featured in the test. Sorry.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:10 AM   #13
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Here is a 88lb Delta, all chain rode holding a 80,000 lb boat in mud in a reversing current with a nice 40 knot squall thrown in for a few minutes (I have about hundred experiences like this on this rig, mostly mud, some sand, the length of the east coast, plus some on a Mainship 430 also with a Delta, on the Delta!).



Including another time during a microburst clocked at 80 knots on a nearby station (my wind gauge blew off at 60 knots that night)

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Old 06-08-2014, 10:55 AM   #14
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That's the basics of my XYZ experience. Usually on TF nobody seems interested in the XYZ so it's largely just my own thing.

This probably will be a better link to the XYZ anchor;
XYZ Boat Anchor - presentation and information about the best boat anchor
Thanks for the info. It's an interesting design that I've been curious to try myself.

If you do any other testing please post the results. I for one would appreciate it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:02 AM   #15
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In the Practical Sailor report, they mentioned that the Fortress FX-23 would be later tested in this soft mud bottom condition at the 45 degree angle (for which it was specifically designed):

"In a future update to our mud test, PS will find out whether changing the fluke angle on the Fortress anchor (far right) to 45 degrees improves its holding power." However, I do not recall ever seeing the results of this additional testing.

Had Practical Sailor done so, then they would have immediately seen the dramatic difference that we saw with the 45° angle setting during our recently completed 3 days of extensive and preliminary holding power tests aboard an 81-ft research vessel in the soft mud bottoms near Solomons Island, MD and the Chesapeake Bay.

The boating media will be invited aboard for our next series of tests in late July - early August for independent viewing and reporting of the results.

Ten competitive anchor models weighing in the range of 44-46 lbs will also be included in these tests, including several "new generation" models. Based on our initial test results, there are certainly going to be some surprises, as several of these models were clearly designed for optimal performance in harder soils, and not for this type of common soft mud.

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Old 06-14-2014, 10:50 AM   #16
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Eric, Bill, George, Mark, Chris, Brian... This is an interesting/informative thread. I appreciate all of your inputs and provide you with thanks!

During my decades of New England boating 50’s 60’s 70’s... Danforth was anchor of choice. Anchor weight, sq inch surface, and its “digging-angle” design, as well as, scope with nylon or chain or combinations of these several increments play ultimately important parts in resulting holding power. Irrespective of wind/current boat directional alterations (a whole other subject); I would like to say MO of the “sheer” needs to have any anchor hold firmest upon draw-back / draw-down boat pulling pressures.

Unless bottom surface is of substantially sized and firmly affixed rock wherein an anchor’s “prong” could become firmly lodged without needing to “dig” into bottom’s surface, or area is so over grown with weed that anchor never touches bottom... the following seems basic physics:

- Anchor’s flukes, plow, wedge, grapples, pointed surfaces... etc... in regard to its shank simply need to be at correct angle and piercing design so that the anchor must continue its downward trajectory into the sea bottom as the draw-back /draw-down pressure increases due to any conditions/actions of boat on water surface. Also, anchor needs to have shank and other appendages that least restrict its “digging” surface design from continuing the anchor’s decent deeper and deeper into bottom material.

- Therefore – and although each bottom surface material offers some different situations/circumstances in order for an anchor to continue its downward-digging-trajectory. Fact O’ The Matter: “Angle of the dangle is directly proportionate to hypotenuse of the square”! In other words, in most sea bottom conditions, it is logical that 45 degree angle of entry for any anchor’s “digging portion” as compared to its shank will result in the most efficient continued embedding of the anchor deeper into the sea bottom. More than 45 degrees may tend to let anchor begin to “plow” furrows along the bottom and less than 45 degrees may let anchor begin to pull up through the bottom and “skip” along the surface.

That said: In my current anchor design search for best holding qualities in SF Delta’s VERY slimy mud bottom... so far... FX-23’s light 15 lb weight and 45 degree shank to blade angle stands at head of the class! I’ll adjust “...scope with nylon or chain or combination...” to best fit my stern anchor needs.

Happy Bottom Hooking Daze! - Art

PS: “Minds-Eye” suggestion to FX manufacturer - As it seems that 45 degree angle of decent would be the most efficient “digger” for anchor flukes, and due to line/chain somewhat upward pulling pressure (dependent on scope) the shank will not be completely parallel with bottom surface. Let’s say shank will average 10 to 15 degree upward slant. Therefore it seems it would be great if FX anchors had the 45 degree opportunity, but also had a 55 degree opportunity too. That way the digging flukes of FX could remain a more constant 45 degrees to bottom surface. Just thinking out loud; I’ve spent many times swimming on the bottom watching Danforth anchors in action under different wind and current and scope conditions!
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:05 AM   #17
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Something not often discussed in anchoring threads is something that I taught but don't often hear...

There's 2 reasons to anchor...what are they????

One because you want to ...the other is because you HAVE to. When you "want" to...you have the luxury of picking the spot, bottom type, conditions, setting parameters....
If single engine and she quits...you may have none of the above and depend on quick set with no maneuvering in any bottom/situation.

There are anchors out there that I would trust my boat to in a hurricane if I had the time to rig, set and inspect them...that same anchor I consider useless as a day to day or emergency (primarily hung) anchor....

Again..anchoring discussions can be interesting but it would be a lot more beneficial to newbies to show that some "thorough" thought actually goes with recommendations....to which there is NO correct answer...just experience.

Referencing magazine "testing" makes a mockery of cruisers input that are out there day in and day out that have graduated past showroom advertising.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:27 AM   #18
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Something not often discussed in anchoring threads is something that I taught but don't often hear...

There's 2 reasons to anchor...what are they????

One because you want to ...the other is because you HAVE to.
On the "HAVE to" side of anchoring:

I recommend and carry two BIG HEAVY emergency Danforths with a lot of scope available for each if needed. I keep them securely fastened-down on forward deck, one atop the other. Have quick clips on multiple lines stowed for fast deployment. I'm a bit of an anchor-safety nut! Currently have four anchors aboard. All used/meant for different reasons. The FX-23 will be # 5 - to be used as simply a fun-time back anchor.

Anchors Away!
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #19
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I would NEVER consider a Danforth or Fortress as my "emergency" or "primary" anchor....storm use yes...but not day to day...

Too many commercial and private operations have taught me the unreliable ability to set when you most need them.

I also had many commercial captains that after taking my captains course call me back telling me of horror stories with their "Danforth" types they had been "showroom sold on"...
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #20
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I would NEVER consider a Danforth or Fortress as my "emergency" or "primary" anchor....storm use yes...but not day to day...

Too many commercial and private operations have taught me the unreliable ability to set when you most need them.

I also had many commercial captains that after taking my captains course call me back telling me of horror stories with their "Danforth" types they had been "showroom sold on"...
Why for storm use only but not other uses? Good enough for storms nees pretty good in my book!

Sooooo... Your anchor type suggestions??
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