I have a small drum windlass that was $425. and it seems to work fine. Pulled up a tree sized limb w no fuss. Very noisy though. Since it handles line only one must pull up the last 10 or 15 feet by hand. My anchor and chain is only about 32lbs*(no problem) but*most here will have more than that. But since these high performance anchors work so well one should need less (size/weight) of anchor. Either that or the high holding power anchors do'nt perform much better than the old guard. When I see 40' boats anchoring for several years w a 10 lb anchor then I'd be more inclined to consider the "high holding power" anchors for real. Just say'in.
Nomad this is exactly what I was looking for......real experience, not a flat out there's no way and my cheap expectaions are unreasonable. *I too run a light tackle (Fortress and 25' or so of chain) so that is what my comment about not needing a dragline winch was about. *I grew up commercial shrimping/fishing along the La. gulf so I know to work my equipment smart not hard and 1. it will last a long time and 2. I won't need a hugely overengineered piece of gear. *I also don't need the Berger grade of bling on my parts or the price tag that goes with them. *My boat is for my enjoyment not to show off how much money I can spend to others, I'd much rather spend it on fuel/food!