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Old 07-16-2019, 06:47 PM   #1
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Two anchors to play with.

I have been given two ARA anchors to play with.

Had them for two weeks or so and haven't even got-um wet.

One is an Excel and the other a Super SARCA. About 17lbs (the Excel) and about 23lbs for the SARCA. Over the years I've noticed I have had different notions about them and that certainly happened w these two .. mostly the Excel. And that is mostly because I've never liked the Delta and others like the delta. The Davis is, however, reported to be a very good anchor. But the Excel is in the same image so I didn't take much notice of the Excel. Especially since I've always had a soft spot for the SARCA. Claimed it as my favorite many times but w/o much reason for it to be my favorite as I'd never seen one except from a distance.

So to have them in my hands and scruitenized by eye my impression of them changed my take on them quite a bit.
Length to width (aspect ratio) is way different between the two .. SARCA being quite wide and short and Excel being very long and narrow. I can only speculate on the amount of force necessary to pull them through the seabed. It may vary re the type of seabed significantly too I think.
The shank is much like the flukes w the Excel being quite long and the SARCA unusually short.
The SARCA has the slot and the Excel does not.
Even the finish is different. Both galvanized but the Excel has a bit darker color and quite smooth. Whereas the SARCA is a more typical galvanized finish.
One feature that I didn't expect is the self launching balance .. or should I say .. imbalance. The anchors won't lay in the bow roller channel w/o immediately sliding fwd and down. I feel I better not try to mount them on the roller channel for fear of loosing them. However others will welcome this feature I'm sure.
I'll use the SARCA tripping slot the way it was designed.
Another very big difference is that the Excel is weighted at the tip of the fluke (actually to a point about 4-5" back) and the whole anchor is very nose heavy as designed. The SARCA has a supprising weight bias to the rear. I'm thinking that's unusual but all the pivoting shank anchors do also and I can think of no way to relate that to the SARCA other than that the similarity exists.
Also balance wise the Excel is pre-determined to roll over on it's side assumably as designed and does it very well. The ballast chamber isn't flat on the bottom and even on a hard surface the anchor wants to rotate.
Enter the SARCA. just the opposite. It has a wide footprint on the bottom and seems determined to sit flat on any reasonably flat surface. And as I recall on Steve's vids it didn't roll around at all even in Steve's violent reversals. Just rotated to the rode staying very flat and the diving sharply down.

I don't think I can even come close to pulling these anchors out once set. Would be difficult to rig to pull from the stern and unless I change my prop I'll only have 3-400lbs pull from the bow. My rode is almost all 5/8ths Nylon Brait and I don't want any of it wrapped around my prop. I may try a slow drift over the anchor to switch the pull to the stern. Doubt seriously if I'll come close to pulling one out unless I encounter a poor seafloor.

We're going on a road trip to Sointula in about a week .. camping. We like Port McNeil and plan to be in that area several days. May get one chance to get the boat out before we leave and if not it will be about tree wks before I try the two anchors. Have a new place picked out.

Sorry no pics .. the anchors are on the boat. But very few will not be familiar w the ARA anchors.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:57 AM   #2
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One feature that I didn't expect is the self launching balance .. or should I say .. imbalance. The anchors won't lay in the bow roller channel w/o immediately sliding fwd and down. I feel I better not try to mount them on the roller channel for fear of loosing them. However others will welcome this feature I'm sure.

Our SuperMAX won't "self-launch"... which means I always have to go forward to start it forward and over the roller... even though we have helm control on the flybridge. OTOH, I have to go forward to undo the chain stopper anyway...

-Chris
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:51 PM   #3
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Chris,
Even when I have an anchor on the bow roller I push it out 3" about horizontally so the fluke tip won't gouge the hull. But I always have a little rode on the channel of the bow roller that comes back around the brail and gets tied off.

I'll deal w these ARA anchors over the rail by hand on the port side. I have a bit of a harness rigged to keep me from falling overboard. I pick up the anchor w a boat hook and lift it up on deck. Anchors on deck is the usual for me.

Re the post I must have but up too many details. Many don't like details.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:03 PM   #4
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I look forward to reading your impressions. As you know, I’ve been pleased with my Excel. It definitely self-launches from the bow-roller. I have a line keeping the chain tight and the anchor sucked up tight to the roller. Otherwise it would move around. When the rode is released, it leaves the anchor roller quickly.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:13 PM   #5
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My Super Sarca self launches,it may depend on bowsprit design.
Looking forward to your experiences with these anchors. I have not blocked the slot on mine either(a bolt was supplied in case you want to) so it has functioned as originally designed for around 5 years since purchase.
Eric, how did you come by the anchors? Has someone at last recognized your anchor expertise?
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Our SuperMAX won't "self-launch"... which means I always have to go forward to start it forward and over the roller... even though we have helm control on the flybridge. OTOH, I have to go forward to undo the chain stopper anyway...

-Chris
Same here but with a Bruce knock-off. Despite having duplicate controls in the bridge, need to push off the anchor to get it going. Have always used pedal controls at the bow. Besides, need to wash down the chain and anchor when retrieved, as well as occasionally pulling off vegetation.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
I have been given two ARA anchors to play with.

Had them for two weeks or so and haven't even got-um wet.

One is an Excel and the other a Super SARCA. About 17lbs (the Excel) and about 23lbs for the SARCA. Over the years I've noticed I have had different notions about them and that certainly happened w these two .. mostly the Excel. And that is mostly because I've never liked the Delta and others like the delta. The Davis is, however, reported to be a very good anchor. But the Excel is in the same image so I didn't take much notice of the Excel. Especially since I've always had a soft spot for the SARCA. Claimed it as my favourite many times but w/o much reason for it to be my favourite as I'd never seen one except from a distance.
Eric, as you know, I am the first person to bring up the Super Sarca on here, mainly because I was so impressed by it. Still am/was, even after selling the boat. I think I miss that anchor most of all. Sounds a bit silly, doesn't it, to like the anchor more than the boat. But Lotus, nice though she was was just an old CHB 34, whereas that anchor back then was unique. It was just so decidedly purposely designed to do what it does, and in such a businesslike no-frills, (some might say agricultural) way. It just does the business. I loved it, and hated to part with it.

I am therefore just dying to hear your experiences with them both, especially the S-Sarca. So please get on with it and use the things, asap and don't keep me, and others no doubt, dangling too long eh..?
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:10 AM   #8
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Eric, for the Super Sarca you need a shackle to fit the slot,as far as I know Sarca doesn`t supply one. The pin slides in the slot, use a good long shank ss shackle, be sure the jaws are wide enough. I used a 1/2" Ronstan with a rating, cost about $40, your anchor is smaller so probably smaller less pricy shackle. Or you`ll have one lying around.
Happy anchoring!
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:59 PM   #9
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Nomad Willy (self) wrote;
“I'll deal w these ARA anchors over the rail by hand on the port side. I have a bit of a harness rigged to keep me from falling overboard. I pick up the anchor w a boat hook and lift it up on deck. Anchors on deck is the usual for me.

This picture explains what I’m talking about.
I stand to the left (port side) and hook a chain link w a boat hook very close to the anchor. Then pull it up w both hands, rotate and place on deck. The boat hook has a rubber tip that fits tight enough not to fall off but small enough to not pose a problem hooking up. You can see my old XYZ anchor where I place the anchors on deck.
I tried the body harness but not yet w an anchor on the boat hook.

You can see my modded Claw resting the waymost anchors rest. I have a 5/16” restrainer line w a clip on one end and a bowline on the other end for length adjustment.
All the 400’ of rode goes in the plastic box w the grey cover.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:36 PM   #10
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Re the comments;
Yes the self launch was a surprise to me but many (perhaps most) deploy their anchors from the helm. A bigger advantage when solo of course. Just another way no product is right/perfect for everybody.
As I’ve said if I had it to do over I’d have a combo-winch chain/line and likely 1/3rd of the rode would be chain .... 1/4”.

Bruce,
I forgot about the special shackle that’s ideal. I have 20 or so shackles but I don’t know if I have a long and straight one just the right width. If I get the pin dia right and the shackle width right I may be good to go ... what think?
The anchors are from Chris Eldridge at Ground Tackle Marine. His idea.

Peter,
Hang in there buddy. I’m much the same and have that problem w cars too. I’m moved by your loss and perhaps you can lead me above depression when the time comes for me. Could be soon but I keep goi’n .. somewhat. But I have the problem threefold w both anchors, cars and boat. The anchors I’ll need to take to the scrap bin and that could be a bit hard.
As to the dangl’in trawlerformers I may not get to it before we leave for Port NcNeil and Soentula. At least we’ll be in a car so won’t need to hole up for weather. 2-3 weeks.

Mark,
Sounds like you need to wash down all the time. But you’re being on/in a big river delta you’ve probably never known anything but mud. But most would rather wash mud than drag anchor and it sounds like you don’t do the dragging thing.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:51 PM   #11
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I have a Sarca Excel 22kg on my GB 32. Used it a lot last summer in the PNW. Works great...sets fast and then stays set. Bought it after I watched the anchor review videos by S/V Panope on Youtube. He rated it as one of the best!
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:54 PM   #12
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Bruce,
I forgot about the special shackle that’s ideal. I have 20 or so shackles but I don’t know if I have a long and straight one just the right width. If I get the pin dia right and the shackle width right I may be good to go ... what think?
The anchors are from Chris Eldridge at Ground Tackle Marine. His idea...
I`m sure you`ll find something suitable in your stock on hand.
The shackle is an operating part, the only moving part in fact. I think Sarca don`t supply them because they don`t make them and won`t be seen as warranting them. It needs to slide nicely without jamming either in the slot or on the shank. And be strong, I rejected one made in a tarrif war country for a Ronstan. The chain sometimes jammed around the shackle,so I added an old type cast gal swivel(shock horror ) which cured it and so far hasn`t caused other problems.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:33 PM   #13
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...
Mark,
Sounds like you need to wash down all the time. But you’re being on/in a big river delta you’ve probably never known anything but mud. But most would rather wash mud than drag anchor and it sounds like you don’t do the dragging thing.
Yes, have never dragged, and current and wind have set anchors without needing to reverse engine. Anchors have always set with a jerk. Strong tidal currents and winds have only sent anchors more secure.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:49 PM   #14
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Bruce.
Why wouldn’t a short shackle work that had straight “shackle arms” but of normal length?
A galvanized shackle of that description came w my XYZ anchor when it was new. For no connected reason I’m sure. And that anchor has a round shackle pin hole so the chain connection goes to the head of the shackle. I usually prefer that configuration ... not that I would want to build a case for it. But I won’t be using a swivel.

But if a swivel and/or a shackle was required for function I would think it would be included as part of the anchor and available as a part w a part #. I don’t know about SS shackles but I think many stronger galvanized shackles are well documented re quality and strength.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:36 AM   #15
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Bruce.
Why wouldn’t a short shackle work that had straight “shackle arms” but of normal length?
A galvanized shackle of that description came w my XYZ anchor when it was new.....I don’t know about SS shackles but I think many stronger galvanized shackles are well documented re quality and strength.
Eric, as long as the shackle pin sits snugly in the slot, but not too snug, and the U-shaped end clears the end of the shank when at the rode end of the slot, so it can rotate around it, it is probably long enough. Rex favoured a stainless one for anchor sizes below about #7, because a galvanised one might not be 'slippery' enough for the tripping function to operate properly. In the larger sizes it does not matter. However, as you are more interested in the set and hold function that the foul trip function I'd say don't let that be a big issue. Just use what you have that fits the above description.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:47 AM   #16
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Oh yes that slippery SS.
Didn’t think of that. Got a sack full of shackles at home. One is even polished bronze. But it’s too small.

Here is that shackle from XYZ w the red head pin. It was claimed to be documented high strength. Not the greatest pic but you can see the straight shaclke ears. Not a hoop end.
With the XYZ's short shank I think Draggo the designer was looking for the least amount of resistance beneath the seafloor surface so it wouldn't hold back the anchor's penetration.
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