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Old 02-19-2012, 08:44 AM   #1
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Picked up a Fortress Guardian 37 y-day

Anybody have any input on the Guardian line vs. FX? I know the technical differences listed on the Fortress site already. *I need advice on an anchor that will actually lay down on the pulpit though.


-- Edited by twiisted71 on Monday 27th of February 2012 05:36:57 AM
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:12 AM   #2
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Twiisted 71

I don't know whether that is helpful, but my line of thought when dealing with the same question for a scnd anchor was: price difference vs the added functionality of beeing able to adjust the fluke angel
What finally convinced me to spend some more bucks was that I found that most of the modern anchors used to anchor the oil and gas riggs have similar functionalities
Perhaps you find the following link also helpful (manual for oilrig anchoring)
http://www.vryhof.com/anchor_manual.pdf
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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The Fortress looks like it has a much stronger shank and that is probably the weakest link in Danforth designs. I'd go w the Fortress.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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Obe, that is more info than I can process!! LOL Neat link to look at different anchor designs nonetheless.

Many, the guardian is just a cruder finished anchor than the FX versions. In fact the shank seems to be proportionally larger than my FXs. I currently am running the FX16 and have anchored in several squalls with it and have been circled around it 3 times (last weekend, storms and tidal changes!) and it didn't budge. That being said though the FX23 is soon going up there. I'd really like to figure out a way to run both so I can keep using the FX16 as a lunch/fishing hook. The Guardian 37 is in the lazarette for that trip where I'm caught out in a blow and have to ride it out. I don't look forward to having to haul that mother up full of muck. But it she sets I'm not too worried about my 34' breaking it out, unless I'm worried about out safety overall.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:11 PM   #5
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One of the "faults" of a Fortress (we have a big one on our stern so I'm not knocking the anchor here) is that the aluminum shank will bend fairly easily under a high side load if the anchor doesn't come out before this. So if Eric's observation is correct (and it usually is) that the Fortess has a stronger shank than the FX, that would make the decision for me and I'd go with the Fortress (again) over the weaker FX even if the Fortress was considerably more expensive.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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LOL Fortress is the name brand. FX and Guardian are "lines" of anchors they sell. FX highend/better finish/higher $$.

http://www.fortressanchors.com/guardian_anchors.html
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:33 PM   #7
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I had sort of thought the two names were related-- our Fortess model is "FX-something--but now that we have two anchors that work as advertised I don't pay any attention to the anchor market anymore. Regardless, I'd go with the stronger, better made product whatever it's called over the "economy" model.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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$280 vs $480 is a pretty big difference for me to pay for something that I know is so over-sized that my boat should never come close to testing it. (granted I didn't pay anywhere near that). I only bought it for its holding power not its "strength" of construction. Having fought with #100+ steel Danforths growing up on our shrimp boat, these aluminum versions amaze me everytime I pick one up!

Have you ever bent a Fortress shank? I've been curious as to whether they would bend or break since they are hi-tensile. I've bought many Danforths with bent shanks (cheap at yard sales/flea markets down here) and straightened them out and gotten many yrs of use from them for pennies on the dollar of a new one. Never noticed any more tendency of them to bend than one that had never been damaged.
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:00 PM   #9
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They've been bent in anchoring tests where steel anchors (Danforths) were not. But this was under high side loads where the anchor did not unset or was prevented from doing so.

Strength of construction can affect holding power under some circumstances. If it didn't anchors would all be made of plastic and be a hell of a lot cheaper.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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I've been using Fortress Anchors for some time now...probably 30 years or so.. Never had one break out on me in a blow, never had a shank bend... I bent a cross bar...and I sent it to Fortress and they sent me a new one... Nothing like a warranty that says...you break it we replace it...

We have an FX-37 on our 44' trawler...does a fine job.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAT View Post
I've been using Fortress Anchors for some time now...probably 30 years or so.. Never had one break out on me in a blow, never had a shank bend... I bent a cross bar...and I sent it to Fortress and they sent me a new one... Nothing like a warranty that says...you break it we replace it...

We have an FX-37 on our 44' trawler...does a fine job.
Correction: I bought my first Fortress anchor in 1992! So I have been using then for 20 years..... Golden years my foot! Senior moments happen entirely too often....
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAT View Post
I've been using Fortress Anchors for some time now...probably 30 years or so.. Never had one break out on me in a blow, never had a shank bend... I bent a cross bar...and I sent it to Fortress and they sent me a new one... Nothing like a warranty that says...you break it we replace it...

We have an FX-37 on our 44' trawler...does a fine job.
@JAT
after so many years of continouus use (20 that felt even longer ), I wonder whether you ever adjusted the fluke angel of your Fortress
For me, the higher finish compared with the Guardian would not justify the price difference, but higher holding power in mud or very fine sand probably would (actually, this is why I opted for Fortress as a second anchor). I just wonder if you (or someone else) have any real live experiences where changing the fluke angel had an effect.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:10 AM   #13
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It is interesting to note that the 13* angle difference according to Fortress will exactly double the FX's (of any size) holding power. Wonder at what point the lightness of the anchor becomes a factor in its ability to "shove" the anchor down into the bottom hard enough to make it bite.

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Old 07-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twiisted71 View Post
It is interesting to note that the 13* angle difference according to Fortress will exactly double the FX's (of any size) holding power. Wonder at what point the lightness of the anchor becomes a factor in its ability to "shove" the anchor down into the bottom hard enough to make it bite.

Fortress Marine Anchors
have never used it in mud, so have no own experience
however, as mentioned previously some of the high tech fluke anchors used for oil rigs seem to have similar features (i.e. having to change the fluke angel akkording to the soil conditions) - so to me its eems to be more than a gimmik

and I learned from a sailor with real live Fortress-in-mud experience that in mud, the 45 worked better than the standard 32
but also that the higher angel (45 deg) subsequently creates a problem on harder sand with the anchor not digging in so that you defenitley have to adjust it back to sthe standard 32 degress (wtith always means fining the right wrench and a few min of work)
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #15
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While the Guardian line uses the same model numbers as the Fortress line other than Guardians models being "G"-xx and Fortress anchors being "FX"-xx, their ratings are not the same. I assume this is due to the Guardian's lighter construction and different manufacturing techniques.

For example the G37 is rated (on their chart) for boats 42-47 feet long while the FX37 is rates for boats 46-51 feet long. How these sizing recommendations differentiate between a boat that's 51 feet and 52 feet I have no idea--- I suppose it's all in the numerical averages they come up with in their tests and whatnot.

In any event, it would appear that , at least by the numbers, you need a larger Guardian than a Fortress for the same boat, all else being equal.

We have a Fortress FX-23 on our boat as a stern anchor but it is rated by Fortress to be the main anchor for boats in the 39-45 foot range. The combination rode for this anchor is also sized to be the main rode for the boat.

Given the differences in component dimensions and manufacturing process described on the Fortress website I think I would always go for a Fortress over a Guardian. Sure, you save some money on the Guardian but quality and workmanship is quality and workmanship, so unless I went with a MUCH larger Guardian to make up for its "deficiencies" relative to the Fortress--- and I had the ability to stow a much larger anchor like this--- I would go with the Fortress.

Being at anchor at 2:00 am when the wind and waves unexpectedly sweep in earlier than forecast (which has happened to us on more than one occasion) is not when we want to find out we should have spent the extra money to buy a better-built anchor.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #16
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If the sizes are compared, the Guardians run smaller dimensionally than the FX though they have the same number nomenclature. Thus the ratings would naturally be less (smaller anchor=holding strength). I do like the ability to change the fluke angle on the FX though I have yet to play with it.

Marin if you run a FX23 for a stern what size are you running on the bow?
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #17
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Marin if you run a FX23 for a stern what size are you running on the bow?
We use a Rocna 20 (44#) on the bow with all-chain rode.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:46 PM   #18
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How well does it work in sand? Are they designed for hard bottom? I haven't seen any down this way. Seen a few claw (3 pronged type), had 1 and hated it. It would dig in and plow along. Quite a few of the hinged shank plow looking ones but they are huge/heavy compared to what I'd run in a Danforth for a given boat size. In fact my friend has one on his 49 Defever, IIRC its something like #130. It seemed to take an abnormally long time to set compared to the fluke type that I'm used to.

I'm completely happy with my anchors for the area I boat, but its good to know what works elsewhere. Never know where a whim might lead you!
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:27 PM   #19
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In our opinions (which I realize a lot of people won't agree with) the Rocna is currently the best all-round small boat anchor design on the planet. It has worked perfectly so far in everything we've used it in--- sand, mud, weed, ooze, gravel.

I know there is no "perfect" anchor--- weather, water, and bottom conditions can combine in an infinite number of ways and defeat any boat-carried anchor design---- but in our opinions the Rocna comes as close to perfection as it's possible to get these days.

There are other anchors that come close-- the Sarca in Australia being one of them--- but all of them have at least one design feature I personally don't care for. Others prefer these design features.

Best thing in my opinion is to check out the websites for any anchors you're interested in and look at the videos and magazine reviews and so on. But far more important than these is to search out independent user testimonials about the anchor. We'd never heard of the Rocna when we decided to replace the anchor we had on the boat, and while I really liked the reasoning behind its "pro-active" design, it was the large number of extremely positive user-testimonals from all over the world, many from people cruising the southwestern Pacific, from the Dashews on down, that convinced us this was the anchor for us.

All that said, we bought our Rocna a number of years ago, when they were made by Rocna in New Zealand or by Suncoast Marine in Vancouver, BC. Shipping a 44# anchor from New Zealand was staggeringly expensive so at the suggestion of Rocna we purchased ours from Tom Pocock's manufacturing company in Vancouver which, according to Rocna, was using some manufacturing techniques that were superior even to theirs in New Zealand.

Since then Rocna has been sold--- twice--- and the manufacturing moved to China to help keep the price competitive. Now China can make great stuff-- Apple computers and iPads come from there and so do a lot of components of our airplanes. But there was some controversy over the materials that were being used in the initial Chinese-made Rocnas; the grade of steel being used was not what it was advertised to be. According to the current owner of the brand, Canadian Metals, that issue has been corrected. But were we in the market for an anchor today and were interested in the Rocna I would want to confirm as best I could that the anchor is indeed being made to specification.

None of which affects the superiority of the design. But a good design and quality manufacturing have to go hand in hand to ensure a great product.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:33 PM   #20
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One thing I think I'd like about it is that it appears it would do well in a grassy bottom. So far that's been the only real problem area I've ran into with a danforth type. I just don't know how well it would do in the soupy bottom that was under the grass! I think a 1/2 dozen cinder blocks would have done better than an anchor in that mess.
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