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Old 11-13-2012, 09:53 AM   #1
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Sarca Excel

There appears to be a lot of interest in this Aussie anchor, so it seems appropriate that the collective experiences, testimonials, and doubters can share their thoughts in one place.

On BC's north coast where I live there is a lot of mud from fast flowing mountain rivers, so this anchor is looking pretty good.

Any word on a Seattle company bringing them in to North America?

Murray
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:43 AM   #2
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Murray M,
Are you under the impression that the EXCEL is a mud anchor? There was a special anchor test done on anchors on a muddy bottom. Most all anchors set easily and dependably in mud but many drag. After an anchor is set and buried the blade area mostly and to some extent other parts of the anchor will determine holding power. Anchors w a high weight to blade area like the Plow and the Claw don't do as well re holding and others bring up much more of the bottom. The Forfjord has high weight to blade area and fishermen often weld end plates to the flukes to help the anchor deal w mud. Many fishermen also use the Claw and I've never seen extended flukes on them but they use very big Claws. A Claw twice as big as a higher performance anchor is a very good choice in that it (except for mud) is a good anchor for almost any other situation or bottom. They are better than most at having the ability to deal w all bottom types and perform better than most others at short scope and in your waters I consider that to be a significant advantage. But to get this excellent performance you need to pack around twice as much anchor weight as would be required w a newer and higher performance anchor. Ell grass and hard bottoms give all anchors fits and the Claw if used in a typical anchor weight for a given boat wouldn't do well at all. BUT using a Claw twice the normal weight it may/would probably be on a par w most other anchors. If I was to use a Claw as a working anchor I'd get one double size. Also I'd probably sharpen the flukes (especially the center fluke) and have it re-galvanized.
I talk about the Claw as it is the most popular anchor both among yachtsmen and fishermen (after the Forfjord). It's inexpensive and stows better than any other anchor on the bow of a boat. They are nice looking and readily available shinny if you like and are willing to pay but the performance is only available if you double the size. They set quicker than most any anchor and now I think I'm about ready to repeat myself. The main reason I'm talking about the Claw is that it is very unpopular on this thread and nobody else will likely talk about them positively ... the devil's advocate if you will.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:17 AM   #3
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If I knew I could anchor in mud all the time I'd probably re-hang the Bruce that came with Gray Hawk. This forum needs another anchor thread like I need a 2nd arsehole. Use the search function.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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If you're going to be anchoring in mud, unless it is really oozy, soft mud, the anchor that is consistently rated the highest for holding in mud and sand is the Danforth and it's lightweight lookalike, the Fortress.

The anchor that is consistently rated at or near the bottom in terms of holding is the Bruce.

If you are going to be encountering a variety of bottoms including bottoms that require the anchor to penetrate first before digging in and setting, my own opinion is that the rollbar anchors are the best--- Rocna, Sarca, Manson, and Bugel.

And Bob is correct. There is a ton of discussion in the archives on this subject.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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Marin says:

"The anchor that is consistently rated at or near the bottom in terms of holding is the Bruce."

Of course and that's why one needs double the size. Then their holding power should be at least on a par w most other anchors and you get all the nice advantages of the Claw.

Bob says:

"If I knew I could anchor in mud all the time I'd probably re-hang the Bruce that came with Gray Hawk. This forum needs another anchor thread like I need a 2nd arsehole. Use the search function."

I agree w Marin. In mud all the time?..... A Danforth to be sure.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:23 PM   #6
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Murray M,
Are you under the impression that the EXCEL is a mud anchor? There was a special anchor test done on anchors on a muddy bottom. Most all anchors set easily and dependably in mud but many drag. After an anchor is set and buried the blade area mostly and to some extent other parts of the anchor will determine holding power. Anchors w a high weight to blade area like the Plow and the Claw don't do as well re holding and others bring up much more of the bottom. The Forfjord has high weight to blade area and fishermen often weld end plates to the flukes to help the anchor deal w mud. Many fishermen also use the Claw and I've never seen extended flukes on them but they use very big Claws. A Claw twice as big as a higher performance anchor is a very good choice in that it (except for mud) is a good anchor for almost any other situation or bottom. They are better than most at having the ability to deal w all bottom types and perform better than most others at short scope and in your waters I consider that to be a significant advantage. But to get this excellent performance you need to pack around twice as much anchor weight as would be required w a newer and higher performance anchor. Ell grass and hard bottoms give all anchors fits and the Claw if used in a typical anchor weight for a given boat wouldn't do well at all. BUT using a Claw twice the normal weight it may/would probably be on a par w most other anchors. If I was to use a Claw as a working anchor I'd get one double size. Also I'd probably sharpen the flukes (especially the center fluke) and have it re-galvanized.
I talk about the Claw as it is the most popular anchor both among yachtsmen and fishermen (after the Forfjord). It's inexpensive and stows better than any other anchor on the bow of a boat. They are nice looking and readily available shinny if you like and are willing to pay but the performance is only available if you double the size. They set quicker than most any anchor and now I think I'm about ready to repeat myself. The main reason I'm talking about the Claw is that it is very unpopular on this thread and nobody else will likely talk about them positively ... the devil's advocate if you will.
The reason the Excel would probably be a good mud anchor is because it will continually dive into the seabed. Unlike a hoop anchor where the compressed material building up between the flukes and the hoop will prevent it from burying itself to the same degree, an Excel just keeps going. It might end up being 10' deep if the mud is that deep, but the Excel will find something hard eventually if the boat keeps moving backward.

Claws work fine, as long as they weight 80# plus. Not sure where the tipping point between an ok anchor and a great anchor, but my heavy Claw is a really great anchor. I lust after an Excel, but ultimately couldn't make the case for one based on a need to improve holding because in the heavier sizes, a Claw will also just keep heading towards the center of the earth until it finds hard ground.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:29 PM   #7
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Delfin wrote:

"The reason the Excel would probably be a good mud anchor is because it will continually dive into the seabed. Unlike a hoop anchor where the compressed material building up between the flukes and the hoop will prevent it from burying itself to the same degree, an Excel just keeps going. It might end up being 10' deep if the mud is that deep, but the Excel will find something hard eventually if the boat keeps moving backward."

I once thought that especially re the Claw but now I believe that one of two things will happen. You'll break the rode or the anchor will break out. What if an aircraft carrier came along and snatched up your rode at 20 knots or so. The obvious will probably happen but if the rode held the anchor (yours) obviously won't even slow down the AC and I'm sure the anchor will come flying out of the bottom. Probably not a scenario that has any practical value but the idea that an anchor will just keep digging deeper and deeper has limits. But in defense of your deeper and deeper theory what if an anchor set and buried to a depth of 4'. Then if you came over the top of the anchor and pulled it up to 2' deep and went back to the same scope as before the anchor would surely go back to 4' deep and the chain would eventually limit the penetration to something over 4'. Further if you anchored at 1-1 scope you'd probably pull the anchor right out. And at some point on long scope the chain would prevent the anchor from penetrating any deeper as the chain is trying to pull the anchor out. And that point may not be very deep. So the concept has limits and even on long scope you may find a sea bottom hard enough that setting won't even be possible w any anchor. I just read an anchor test where a certain anchor set better at short scope that at long scope. The obvious dos'nt always happen.
I agree w you that the roll bars reduce an anchor's ability to penetrate but the roll bar adds to the holding power and that's the bottom line and speaking of the bottom that's still the biggest variable in anchoring. Sea bed.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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Delfin wrote:

"The reason the Excel would probably be a good mud anchor is because it will continually dive into the seabed. Unlike a hoop anchor where the compressed material building up between the flukes and the hoop will prevent it from burying itself to the same degree, an Excel just keeps going. It might end up being 10' deep if the mud is that deep, but the Excel will find something hard eventually if the boat keeps moving backward."

I once thought that especially re the Claw but now I believe that one of two things will happen. You'll break the rode or the anchor will break out. What if an aircraft carrier came along and snatched up your rode at 20 knots or so. The obvious will probably happen but if the rode held the anchor (yours) obviously won't even slow down the AC and I'm sure the anchor will come flying out of the bottom. Probably not a scenario that has any practical value but the idea that an anchor will just keep digging deeper and deeper has limits. But in defense of your deeper and deeper theory what if an anchor set and buried to a depth of 4'. Then if you came over the top of the anchor and pulled it up to 2' deep and went back to the same scope as before the anchor would surely go back to 4' deep and the chain would eventually limit the penetration to something over 4'. Further if you anchored at 1-1 scope you'd probably pull the anchor right out. And at some point on long scope the chain would prevent the anchor from penetrating any deeper as the chain is trying to pull the anchor out. And that point may not be very deep. So the concept has limits and even on long scope you may find a sea bottom hard enough that setting won't even be possible w any anchor. I just read an anchor test where a certain anchor set better at short scope that at long scope. The obvious dos'nt always happen.
I agree w you that the roll bars reduce an anchor's ability to penetrate but the roll bar adds to the holding power and that's the bottom line and speaking of the bottom that's still the biggest variable in anchoring. Sea bed.
That's a few more theoreticals than I generally encounter. I see your point on the rode preventing certain anchor designs from burying themselves, but the that is not a problem in the kind of mud or light sand that results in a lighter Bruce type dragging. With a heavier Bruce, the penetration is excellent, and you can take your pick on what is most responsible for holding the boat in place - the buried chain or the buried anchor. Either way, you stay put.

Chain rodes, properly matched to vessel size and properly buffered with a snub line are extremely unlikely to break, so I don't worry too much about that. The 1/2" G4 I have is good to around 90 knots of wind, and that is without a proper snub line.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:15 PM   #9
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Go watch the videos on YouTube and make up your own mind. I have both the super Sarca and the Sarca Excel both brilliant in their own rights

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:52 AM   #10
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Hendo 78, I assume that your avitar is not your late lamented boat, I am wondering why you have the need for both a Super Sarca and a Sarca Excell. Which do you use as your primary anchor?
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:09 AM   #11
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:18 AM   #12
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Hendo 78, I assume that your avitar is not your late lamented boat, I am wondering why you have the need for both a Super Sarca and a Sarca Excell. Which do you use as your primary anchor?
Hi Andy.
My primary anchor is the excel. I have the super as a stern anchor should I require it.

I bought the super but struggled to get it to fit in the bowsprit of the Bayliner so after some pissin around trying to make it work and after a about a year I got the shits and bought the excel as they are designed to specifically fit into sprits etc so chucked the super in the bilge in case I need it for the stern.

With a bit of luck I can take both of these off the 3055 when I finish building the 35er and use them on her.

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Old 11-14-2012, 07:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
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There appears to be a lot of interest in this Aussie anchor, so it seems appropriate that the collective experiences, testimonials, and doubters can share their thoughts in one place.
On BC's north coast where I live there is a lot of mud from fast flowing mountain rivers, so this anchor is looking pretty good.
Any word on a Seattle company bringing them in to North America?
Murray
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:44 AM   #14
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Marin says:

"The anchor that is consistently rated at or near the bottom in terms of holding is the Bruce."

Of course and that's why one needs double the size.
Any type of anchor will work better for a given boat size if you double or triple the size of the anchor. But our boat, for example, can't accomodate a 66 pound Bruce or an 88 pound Rocna. So what we need for our boat is an anchor that performs well and fits the boat. The 44 pound Rocna fills that bill perfectly so far. The Bruce didn't.

There is a boat on our dock with a Rocna 25 (55 pounds). I don't believe this model was available at the time we bought our Rocna. The next size up from ours was the Rocna 30 (60 pounds). But while I haven't taken any actual measurements it appears that the Rocna 25 is a bit too long for our pulpit.

So there's more to the equation than just doubling the size of the anchor.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #15
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So several hundred pounds of extra chain is fine but 20# of extra anchor is not?

Marin if I had your boat I'd prolly have a different anchor and all the rest the same. A 65# Claw would do fine and I'm not say'in that to get your goat. It would work very well at short scope and would not interfere w my view out over the bow. I may add 100' of nylon line and a roller to facilitate getting the chain up to the wildcat. In a really strong blow and given enough room I'd set up at 10-1 scope if I could. I wonder if the Manson Ray is better or much better than the Claw?
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:56 PM   #16
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So several hundred pounds of extra chain is fine but 20# of extra anchor is not?

Marin if I had your boat I'd prolly have a different anchor and all the rest the same. A 65# Claw would do fine
It'a moot point because an anchor that big may not even fit on the pulpits of the early fiberglass GBs. And we don't have several hundred pounds of extra chain, we have several hundred pounds of chain period. And the chain isn't what's digging into the bottom and hopefully staying there. All the chain does is attach the anchor to the boat and help keep the angle of pull lower on the shank in all but really strong winds of the type we are not likely to ever encounter in our boating.

And the Claw is just another drop, drag, and hope anchor. I'm not interested in those anymore. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. The only anchors I'm interested in today are anchors that are designed to be what I call pro-active. By which I mean their design makes them automatically assume a position on the bottom which forces them to knife down through stuff like grass and bottom crust and then dig in and hold like hell.

And the only anchors I know of that have a pro-active design are the rollbar anchors--- Rocna, Sarca, Manson, and Bugel. There are relatively subtle differences between those four that caused us to select the anchor that we did, but I believe that any of them offer a vast improvement over all of the drop, drag, and hope crowd.

That's why I put design at the top of my criteria for what makes a good anchor. I'm not saying that the drop, drag and hope anchors don't work or won't hold your boat in a blow. I'm simply saying that I prefer a design that actively promotes fast setting and high holding over one that just lies there and depends on large size or high weight or both to set and hold. Why try to carry a bazillion pound, too-big anchor on your boat when you can achieve the same results with a 44-pound anchor? (Or whatever size of pro-active anchor is appropriate for your boat.)
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:59 PM   #17
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Claws are indeed "proactive" by your definition. They assume a position on the sea floor to ideally set when pulled by the boat. So do Danforths and ... Marin what anchor dosn't?
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:58 PM   #18
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I know I know your anchor has a roll bar to force it to assume the position where-as most anchors don't need such assistance. The Danforth has a stock that (like a roll bar) is not part of the anchor that holds the boat but so is the shank that holds the flukes in the correct position for both setting and holding.
The Claws land on one side or the other and then then set very quickly. They have a well earned reputation for fast setting so they may in fact be superior to roll bar anchors in this regard. And the Claw dosn't need a roll bar to get the job done. As I see it basically their only flaw is holding power and according to the anchor tests I read yesterday they aren't that far behind most anchors ... at least the other ones on the test. And if one gets a Claw 1.5 times bigger almost all of that problem disappears and w one twice as big it would seem they'd be a match for anything else. So if I had your boat I'd do as I said in the last post. Either of the SARCA anchors and a horde of others would be fine too.

You say the Claw is just another drop drag and hope anchor. Such dramatics. You feel about Claws as Israel feels about Palestine.

And I never even hinted that you should get a Claw Marin. I still think the SARCA is the best all around anchor but I've got so many good anchors I'm actually grown weary of buying them. I'd snatch up a 40 to 45# Dreadnought if I could find one though.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:04 AM   #19
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Sarca Excel anchor

I have one of Rex's Sarca Excel anchors on my 40 foot cruiser, custom bow sprit and all. It locks onto anything it gets thrown into and we feel as safe as if moored. Sand, Mud, gravel or rocks it works every time.

As an example - Last new years eve we parked in Sydney Harbour for the night (again) to see in the new year. It can get very rough up till 6pm with so many ferries and boats looking for a vantage point to see the fireworks and so much wash is created that we have had the odd sick person who never got sick before.
The bottom is a mix of weed, mud and sand. We had 4 boats all about the same size bunked up together and only my anchor was out holding us in place, mainly because I was the first one there and there was no room to put out any more anchors...it did not move even in all of the wash. So if you are having second thoughts about Rex's anchors...don't... they are the best in the business and I am happy to promote what is an excellent product. The bonus is that Rex is not a bad fella to deal with either.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:08 AM   #20
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Welcome aboard, Diehard. You'll get no argument from me on the above, although I use a Super Sarca, the Excel wasn't out when I got mine. The main issue now seems to be getting them to our Northern Hemi brothers...
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