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Old 11-26-2019, 08:46 PM   #1
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Stern Anchor

Most of the anchorages in our area are typically single anchor.

There are a few spots I have visited where a stern anchor is also used.

I had a stern anchor left over from a previous boat that didn't work very well and gave it away.

I need to get a larger one for the current boat (45 ft. LOA, 40K lbs.).

Conditions: 20 to 40 ft. depth, sand, tucked inside coves, mostly mild-moderate conditions with other boats, sometimes in close proximity.

A few questions for people who have experience using stern anchors:
  1. -What size are you using, and your boat size?
  2. -Anyone using a Fortress (I wouldn't as a primary, but for a stern anchor they are light weight, and appear to be easily taken apart for storage).
  3. -How much chain do you have in your rode?
  4. -What size chain link?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:56 PM   #2
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I’ve never used a stern anchor but there should be obvious qualities or design features that would be helpful. For example you may anchor close to a beach and find short scope performance helpful. Or tidal activity would dictate veering and reversal performance helpful.

I prefer Anchor Right Australia anchors. Their setting dependability may be very appealing to you. They are available through GroundTackle Marine in Sidney BC.

In Sand an old S series Danforth w the forged shank will be a good choice for holding power/weight on the cheap. Speaking of cheap don’t buy anything less than an “S” in a Danforth. I have a 13lb S Dan that has worked very well. It’s always held my 8k lb 30’ boat well up to 35 knots.

Buying an expensive general purpose anchor may be over kill and not ideal foryou.
Please share more specifics about your situation.
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:28 AM   #3
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Hi, I use a Stern anchor Fortress fx 23 and a lead filled rope 16mm, no chain. Works great.


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Old 11-27-2019, 01:33 AM   #4
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I carry a spare anchor line, 5/8" 600' primary and a 5/8" 400' secondary. The primary has 50' of 5/16" chain and the secondary has 25' of 5/16" with a large snap hook for stern tie around objects on the beach. My primary anchor is a Rocna 15K and secondary is a Rocna 10K, so I can add a shackle if I lose my primary and I am still in service. Lines are matches to my windlass...
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:47 AM   #5
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I like a Fortress as a stern anchor. They hold well in a single direction and they are light, making them easy to drop and weigh by hand without a windlass.

My concern with a stern anchor is, it needs to be small enough to handle without a windlass, and large enough to hold the vessel if the wind clocks around to stern and you are sitting solely on that one (usually undersized) anchor.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:16 AM   #6
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The FX 23 is also what I was thinking of.

I am one anchor only 90 plus percent of the time, so I don't want to carry more than needed as you note.

I really prefer bow only to keep things simple, but it's required at times in the tighter coves in the Channel Islands when other boats are around. Even if it's not that crowded, if one person puts out a second one, we all have to. First world problems.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:01 PM   #7
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I also use a FX 23 for stern. It is likely overkill for protected anchorages but I like having redundancy in case I lose my bow anchor so a little larger OK.
I normally knock it down for storage unless I'm planning on anchoring often and assembles it fit is s stern locker and doesnt take up much space. I use 1/2" braid w/o any chain. I can also use the rode as a stern tie to shore if/when available.
Bottom line I'd recommend Fortress if you ste in sand or mud... doesn't do well in weeds.
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:35 PM   #8
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On my 34, I still use a small 10# Danforth for my CA Delta stern anchoring in benign conditions. It lives on its 15' chain/1/2" line rode in a milk crate in my aft laz. I recently pulled up a fairly new FX-23 with that Danforth so it sits in ready reserve if needed. Haven't tried it yet but I expect it to be an improvement over the lil' Danny.

Don't know the chain size on my stern but I use a relatively short ~150 ft line for the stern. I also carry a spare 250+ ft 9/16" 3-ply/rode and another 20+(?) Danforth that I carry if needed. It was the main anchor used on an old Powerwinch when I bought the boat and has been relegated to unused backup duty ever since.

I think the FX-23 will be well suited for your boat for stern anchor duty. Easy to lift, easy to take apart and store compactly.

When anchoring in the CA Delta, I seek water at least 15' deep to avoid weeds. Our water is turbid enough that at 15' insufficient sunlight reaches the bottom to support weed growth. Avoiding the 'shrubbery" is paramount to a good hold.

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Old 11-27-2019, 02:01 PM   #9
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Also utilize the FX-23, although I do carry another FX-37 on the bow rail for just in case. The pulpit holds a Mantus 45 with 300’ of 5/15” BBB, and a Bruce 35 with 300’ of double braid 3/4” and 15’ of 5/16” BBB. Boat weight is 25,000 but windy.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:45 PM   #10
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Our 15,000-ish pound boat came with a 7Kg Bruce as its sole anchor, which immediately became the spare anchor. We've never used it as a stern anchor, but have placed it upwind on the beam while stern tied to shore.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:56 PM   #11
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FlyWright wrote;
“When anchoring in the CA Delta, I seek water at least 15' deep to avoid weeds.”

I learned that in Alaska. Things don’t grow where there’s little light. I post in that many shy away from deeper water. Tides will make you shy of shallow water too.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:25 PM   #12
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I use stern anchor quite often. Also bow and stern together when I want to keep the boat in right position. 12 feet of chain and lead filled rope with stainless bruce anchor. No problems.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:31 PM   #13
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I carry a stern anchor (Danforth) with 40' of chain and 3/4" rope. I have used it a few times but try to avoid because I do not have a windlass on the stern. When I have used stern anchor, I have had trouble retrieving it. Once set and dug in from any beam seas or wind, buries the anchor. I have short tied it and let the movement of the boat to help.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:31 PM   #14
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Stern anchor we use often is FX 23 with 12' chain and 150' 5/8 nylon. Where we anchor, in a slough, nose to [near to] island edge and really sticky mud bottom to rear [avg depth 18' to 20'].
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Old 11-28-2019, 03:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
On my 34, I still use a small 10# Danforth for my CA Delta stern anchoring in benign conditions. It lives on its 15' chain/1/2" line rode in a milk crate in my aft laz. I recently pulled up a fairly new FX-23 with that Danforth so it sits in ready reserve if needed. Haven't tried it yet but I expect it to be an improvement over the lil' Danny. ...
Have a slightly heavier Fortress anchor for the stern. Has several feet of chain and the rest rope for rhode. Not used yet.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher500 View Post
Most of the anchorages in our area are typically single anchor.

There are a few spots I have visited where a stern anchor is also used.

I had a stern anchor left over from a previous boat that didn't work very well and gave it away.

I need to get a larger one for the current boat (45 ft. LOA, 40K lbs.).

Conditions: 20 to 40 ft. depth, sand, tucked inside coves, mostly mild-moderate conditions with other boats, sometimes in close proximity.

A few questions for people who have experience using stern anchors:
  1. -What size are you using, and your boat size?
  2. -Anyone using a Fortress (I wouldn't as a primary, but for a stern anchor they are light weight, and appear to be easily taken apart for storage).
  3. -How much chain do you have in your rode?
  4. -What size chain link?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Being previously from socal we often used a stern anchor to tuck into the coves out at the islands. Most here would totally freak out how many and how close boats anchor to each other in the Channel islands due to limited space. We used various smaller Danforth types through the years with great success. A few feet ( 10 or so ) of chain then all rode was our setup.

We carried a long rode as the typical drill was to back into the beach to minimum depth, drop the stern hook and pay out line to the point we dropped the main anchor. We then pulled in the stern line while letting out the bow line. The stern hook was "set" with a small pull and the bow was set conventionally. Often the stern had a lot of rode out due to the slope of the beach but it had very low scope and held really well.

As we were always there to dive I typically dropped over the side to check ours and the neighboring boats anchors to lessen middle of the night fire drills.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:44 AM   #17
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Good feedback, Thanks.

Yes, it can get crowded, especially in the Summer/Weekends. The last time I used a stern anchor a few years ago it popped loose in the middle of the night when the wind picked up and tangled up with a neighbor. Took awhile to get it back.

Has anyone used a trip line for their stern anchor? Figured I would run a line with a bouy to mark the location for others, and it could help to dislodge it when retrieving from the Dink. The FX23 doesn't have a spot to tie it off on the forward portion (Crown), which would be best for dislodging it, but I suppose fall back location could be the top of the shank where the chain/swivel will connect. Diagram attached.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf FX23 Trip Line.pdf (45.1 KB, 38 views)
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Old 11-28-2019, 12:17 PM   #18
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There's always a chance of the trip line getting entangled in the flukes on the way down thereby fouling the anchor. Another issue I've seen with anchor floats in crowded anchorages is another passing boat becoming entangled in the float and inadvertently pulling the anchor.

Chaos normally follows.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:45 AM   #19
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"Figured I would run a line with a bouy to mark the location for others, and it could help to dislodge it when retrieving from the Dink."

Almost always for the bow anchor we rig a floating ball . The trip line goes from the anchor crown thru the loop in a ball and ends at a lead sounding weight.

Works well as the ball is directly over the anchor.

We simply drop the stern anchor from the stern and walk its line outside to the bow. A simple tug will tell if it sets . On recovery walking the stern anchor line back outside everything means you are almost directly above the anchor so it comes out and up easily. No sweat, no effort.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:37 AM   #20
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I've never used a trip line/floating ball in my 6 decades of setting/retrieving anchors. 1966 we lost one anchor in Block Island's bigger bay. Man... worked hours trying to get that one. Must have become bound up in cable or?? on the bottom. Dad was pissed!

That is the only anchor I/we ever lost. Doubt that a trip line would have made much difference then.. would have lost the trip line too as we cut off the floating ball!
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