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Old 04-14-2019, 03:04 PM   #1
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Nomad Willy—— your thoughts

Eric-

I have a brand new Fortress sitting in its original shipping box that I might try this coming season in place of my 80# Manson Supreme. It is a large anchor, their FX55. If I were purchasing this today, I probably would select their Guardian or a factory refurbished for greater bang for my money.

But the question I have is do you think this is a satisfactory anchor for general use rather than my Manson? I am just not satisfied with the Manson. Might put it up for sale along with an 88# Delta.

Thx

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Old 04-14-2019, 03:54 PM   #2
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I will tell this story (again) about the Fortress/Danforth anchor. FWIW the Fortress has the best straight ahead holding power per lb of any anchor.


Some years ago I was well anchored at Jewell Island in Maine with my 55# Rocna and 125' of chain out in 10-16' of water. Jewell has a reversing current 2-3 times a day due to the tides.


After a day or so a bigger trawler than mine pulled up its anchor next to me. When it broke the water it was a big gob of chain wrapped around a Fortress/Danforth type anchor after 2-3 days in that reversing current. The only thing holding him was the weight of that mess. It took him almost an hour to unwind it all.


David
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:16 PM   #3
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David why did you have so much rode out? 60 to 75 feet of rode would be 4-1 plus and unless a big blow was coming? You may have had 10-1 scope.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:32 PM   #4
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No Danforth clone including Fortress is a good general purpose anchor compared to many available, particularly the Manson Supreme.


Not in my experience and the general consensus of many mariners I have taught or worked with.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:35 PM   #5
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Foggysail,
Just my opinion but it’s all about the seafloor.
Some bottoms give danforth types trouble or downright fits. Grass and coarse rocky bottoms. Rocky would be more likely in Maine I would think.
And I’d sure want to know why the Supreme didn’t work well for you. The Fortress may scumb to the same problem.
The Dans (aluminum or steel) prefer soft bottoms. We have (in the PNW) almost universally mud bottoms and a Fortress would work fine here as long as you have a back-up anchor easy to deploy. A big Claw would work .. if it was a good Claw.

But I don’t know what the bottom’s like in Maine. You may not know someone w a Fortress but finding another boater w longtime Danforth experience should be easy. You could mount and use the Fortress while you do the research.

I know a cruising guide that very often tests the bottom w a very small Danforth before anchoring w the working anchor. And if you don’t foresee reversals and get a good set the Fortress should be fine .. or better than fine.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
Foggysail,
Just my opinion but it’s all about the seafloor.
Some bottoms give danforth types trouble or downright fits. Grass and coarse rocky bottoms. Rocky would be more likely in Maine I would think.
And I’d sure want to know why the Supreme didn’t work well for you. The Fortress may scumb to the same problem.
The Dans (aluminum or steel) prefer soft bottoms. We have (in the PNW) almost universally mud bottoms and a Fortress would work fine here as long as you have a back-up anchor easy to deploy. A big Claw would work .. if it was a good Claw.

But I don’t know what the bottom’s like in Maine. You may not know someone w a Fortress but finding another boater w longtime Danforth experience should be easy. You could mount and use the Fortress while you do the research.

I know a cruising guide that very often tests the bottom w a very small Danforth before anchoring w the working anchor. And if you don’t foresee reversals and get a good set the Fortress should be fine .. or better than fine.

The Claw! I enjoyed many many years anchoring my old sailboat with Bruce anchors UNTIL our harbors were overcome by ell grass. Then I found that in setting, one could get a false sense of being secure......... until more engine power was applied. It would rip the Bruce out along with a minimum of 50#s of ocean ell grass infested bottom stuck to it. This was true with both my Bruce 33# and my 44# anchors

The condition I described is that found in southern Massachusetts waters. My advice to those using claws where ell grass dominates is to be careful.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:31 PM   #7
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David why did you have so much rode out? 60 to 75 feet of rode would be 4-1 plus and unless a big blow was coming? You may have had 10-1 scope.

Maybe 10:1 at low tide but not at high.


I had 16' at high tide plus at least 3' to the bow roller gives me 6.5:1 scope. I always anchor with at least 5:1 scope and preferably more.

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Old 04-14-2019, 06:37 PM   #8
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What is the reset ability of the Fortress/Danforth type?

That was a featured test on Steve`s(SV Panope) series. We almost always rotate 180 degrees overnight,maybe everyone does,I don`t know,but it`s important to me.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:53 PM   #9
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Foggysail,
Well the grass is not good.
Don't think many anchors will do well in grass. It's probably just a matter of what anchors do "better" in grass.
These are just guesses ..
Max. Setting on it's side it may present a near knife like fluke to the seafloor and cut through the grass.
Ballasted fluke tip anchors.
Spade, Vulcan, Excel and there's others. I'm usually not fond of ballasted tip anchors because the weight if spent on the fluke would produce more blade area. But if you have grass you've got to penetrate the grass to anchor well. Percent of weight on the fluke tip may be a deciding factor getting through the grass. If a Claw had a sharp tip it could (maybe) penetrate grass. But there's nothing sharp about the rest of the anchor either. Grass is something I'd not dealt with. Only once. It was blowing 20 and rather cold and nothing was working. I think I used my go-to anchor when nothing else works .. a Dan w a forged shank and (S) rating. 13lbs.
Another possibility would be the Excel. Has a nicely bent down and appearently sharp toe. And some ballast.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:18 PM   #10
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David,
Try running out 5-1 or a bit more. Set the hook hard. Then shorten up rode to a little less than 3-1. Or 2-1 if it’s a crowded anchorage and very little wind. If the wind gets near 15 slack off to a bit over 3-1. And if it blows 25-30 .. 4-1 and over 40 5-1.

In one of my anchor tests Smith (Rocna) was called upon to explain why his Rocna didn’t do better at short scope. He said he tells his customers to set hard w lots of scope and “shorten up”. He couldn’t offer an explanation for the substandard performance but his advice was excellent IMO.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:46 AM   #11
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"What is the reset ability of the Fortress/Danforth type? "

Mr Ogg the inventor of the much copied Danforth suggests the use of two anchors for tidal reverses.

The stern anchor is only a min. or two to set and as its usually smaller, so not much effort to bring aboard.

The stern anchor line is lead outboard to the bow , a side deck is very useful.

All explained in the Danforth literature.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:14 PM   #12
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C'mon. I've been hauling around this 80# Paul Luke anchor for years in anticipation of anchoring in grass. Your not even going to mention it as the greatest anchor ever for use in these conditions?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
Foggysail,
Well the grass is not good.
Don't think many anchors will do well in grass. It's probably just a matter of what anchors do "better" in grass.
These are just guesses ..
Max. Setting on it's side it may present a near knife like fluke to the seafloor and cut through the grass.
Ballasted fluke tip anchors.
Spade, Vulcan, Excel and there's others. I'm usually not fond of ballasted tip anchors because the weight if spent on the fluke would produce more blade area. But if you have grass you've got to penetrate the grass to anchor well. Percent of weight on the fluke tip may be a deciding factor getting through the grass. If a Claw had a sharp tip it could (maybe) penetrate grass. But there's nothing sharp about the rest of the anchor either. Grass is something I'd not dealt with. Only once. It was blowing 20 and rather cold and nothing was working. I think I used my go-to anchor when nothing else works .. a Dan w a forged shank and (S) rating. 13lbs.
Another possibility would be the Excel. Has a nicely bent down and appearently sharp toe. And some ballast.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
Foggysail,
Just my opinion but it’s all about the seafloor.
Some bottoms give danforth types trouble or downright fits. Grass and coarse rocky bottoms. Rocky would be more likely in Maine I would think.
And I’d sure want to know why the Supreme didn’t work well for you. The Fortress may scumb to the same problem.
The Dans (aluminum or steel) prefer soft bottoms. We have (in the PNW) almost universally mud bottoms and a Fortress would work fine here as long as you have a back-up anchor easy to deploy. A big Claw would work .. if it was a good Claw.

But I don’t know what the bottom’s like in Maine. You may not know someone w a Fortress but finding another boater w longtime Danforth experience should be easy. You could mount and use the Fortress while you do the research.

I know a cruising guide that very often tests the bottom w a very small Danforth before anchoring w the working anchor. And if you don’t foresee reversals and get a good set the Fortress should be fine .. or better than fine.
So right. The type of bottom, and how it will be used, means everything as to which anchors are best.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #14
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Stripper,
HaHa .. but I thought about it.
I support old things often on TF and know there are members that think that’s ridiculous. But the Luke anchor has such a small amount of fluke area it’s effectiveness would be questionable.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:47 PM   #15
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Group9,
I must have said the seafloor/bottom is the greatest variable in anchoring several hundred times. Especially when guys crow loudly about their brand of anchor. Thanks for mentioning though as it can’t be said too often.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:14 PM   #16
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But I would say some anchors do well in all kinds of bottoms, thus a main go to or general purpose anchor....while some have traits that excel in some bottoms and fail miserably in other bottoms. Thus they will never be my primary anchor.


Part of that doing g well in all kinds of bottoms is being heavy enough to penetrate, or parts large enough to not jamb easily with debris, so the same design in small sizes may be lacking in the all purpose arena.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:29 PM   #17
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But I would say some anchors do well in all kinds of bottoms, thus a main go to or general purpose anchor....while some have traits that excel in some bottoms and fail miserably in other bottoms. Thus they will never be my primary anchor.


Part of that doing g well in all kinds of bottoms is being heavy enough to penetrate, so the same designinsmall sizes may be lacking in the all purpose arena.
In the PNW with mostly mud-bottom anchoring, I've arrived at a 66 lb claw as my go-to hook, with 3/8" all-chain rode. It is rare that I need more than 3:1 scope unless the wind
Is 20+ kts. It has never failed me on this boat, 15 seasons in BC and SE AK and always sets on the first try. Friends have switched to Rocnas the past few years but I really can't see how I could get better performance than I'm currently getting with a claw.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:51 PM   #18
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Ken, what kind of Claw ya got there mate?
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:18 PM   #19
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I have two Fortress 38s and a 55. The 55 was the primary. I changed it out for a 85# Mantus. I have only used it a couple times. It sets softer than my old CQR from my previous 47' boat. I know it is great in a variety of conditions but for sand or mud, the Fortress 55 would provide better holding power but not reverse well. I figured the 85 would be fine but I may have to go up to 105 to get that hard set. In any case I still have the Fortresses. I chose to change the Fortress because it works best at 5:1 or more. In our tight anchorages that is a luxury I don't frequently have. Mantus still does well at 3:1. Maybe even a little shorter.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:03 PM   #20
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Ken, what kind of Claw ya got there mate?
Eric, It's a Lewmar claw. I have followed your posts for a long time and I know you are of the claw-on-short-scope school like me. I did go to 5:1 once last summer, though. Anchored in Port Refugio behind the island, south of Craig AK. Dixon was blowing a full gale through the night and a lot of spurious wind gets in there over the lowlands. I was concerned enough to stay up all night, but we never moved. We were in 35', mud bottom. Big white caps next to the boat. I took a nap the next day!
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