Bruce/Claw

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Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
18,745
Location
USA
Vessel Name
Willy
Vessel Make
Willard Nomad 30'
The Bruce is another rather unique anchor but unlike the Forfjord it has been copied by many manufacturers. The copies are still w us and the original is gone so I'll refer to this anchor as the claw. I just bought one and I do'nt even know who made it. Just says "made in China" and 22lbs. Must have been made specifically for the US market as it gave the weight in pounds. I see that the fluke tips are slimmer or sharper but otherwise it looks like a faithful copy of the original. Actually all the Bruce copies I've seen look like the manufacturers are hell bent to make their anchors as much like the Bruce as possible. The Bruce advertising stressed that the Bruce was better than all the copies and you'd suffer if you bought brand X. Looks like the present claw manufacturers bought that totally but in time I'll bet we see some variations as I think the Bruce was'nt perfect and sombody's bound to make a visible change and say "look *...ours is better". But it has'nt happened yet. When I get through playing w this 22 pounder I may have some modification ideas myself. Not only does the claw look different but it is different in several ways. The most important (I think) is the fact that close to 100% of the anchor's weight is on it's flukes when on a flat surface w the shank end and 2 flukes in contact w the supporting surface. I'm fairly certain this is the reason the claw has a well entrenched reputation for setting quickly despite it's rather blunt fluke ends. Once an outboard fluke is embedded and the anchor on it's side w the shank flush on the bottom I do'nt see how the anchor continues to rotate untill it's right side up. It could be the twist in the outboard flukes. A righting force is required at that time because the weight of the shank would tend to keep the anchor laying on it's side. I voiced my suspicions and was required to stand down on that by some Prof (can't remember what) that that did'nt happen. I'm still a bit suspicious that the claw sometimes stays on it's side not completely setting. It's also said that chain is not needed and the claws will perform quite well at short scope. The most unique claw is the Manson Ray and in a small anchor test w the Manson Supreme and the Rocna those qualities were tested and indeed the Ray out performed both of the other anchors. But the feature of the claw that has had the greatest impact on sales has not been performance but the slick way the claw sits on the bow roller of the average boat. It rides on the bow better than any other anchor. Some say the claw breaks out after initially setting and then usually resets. I've heard that about no other anchor that I can recall and my only possible explanation is my theory about the claw setting only on it's side but that's been dispelled. Perhaps someone else has another explanation. I've seen Bruce's bent but I've not heard of them breaking. I'll not post a picture of a claw as I think everyone knows what they look like.
 
Eric-- One of the first things we did after acquiring our "boat" (I know you don't like me using the brand*name :) ) was to replace the big, no-name Danforth knock-off that came with the boat with a new Bruce. Our only experience to date at anchoring was with the same model of "boat" that we had chartered, and it had a Bruce, too.

As it was explained to us by the folks in the charter fleet as well as the fellow in the local marine store where we bought the anchor, the great advantage of a Bruce was its ability to set fast in a variety of bottom types--- mud, sand, gravel, rocky, weed--- rather than just a few. Nobody we talked to said anything about holding power, and at the time we figured that if an anchor would set it would hold. We learned better later.

Also not mentioned because it was obvious was the ability of the Bruce to fit just about any bow configuration. Just like the CQR. In fact several years later when we got to know a very experienced boater on our dock I asked him why the CQR was so popular among sailboaters. He said--- and he had a CQR on the 40' sloop he'd owned for nearly 30 years--- that the CQR was the first anchor to come out for small recreational boats like his that would stow well on a bow. So everybody wanted one.

With regards to the Bruce, every "boat" in the charter fleet had one as did almost every powerboat we saw in the marina. We heard the "sets fast in all bottoms" claim so many times from so many sources that it became one of those "if everybody's doing it, it must be right" deals. So we bought a Bruce.

I also heard the "a genuine Bruce sets better than the knock-offs" claim. In addition to reading it, I heard it in person (a number of years ago) from Bob Hale, the one-time distributor of Bruce anchors in the Puget Sound area and the creator and publisher of the Waggoner Guide, probably the most popular cruising guide to Puget Sound, BC, and SE Alaskan waters. As I recall Bob told me the advantage the Bruce had over it's then-competitors was in the balance of the anchor and in the configuration of the flukes. Whether this was theory or fact I have no idea.

In the following years that we had the anchor it did indeed set quickly in every bottom we dropped it on. And this continued to be the reason we heard given-- and still hear or read--- for people's preference for a Bruce over other types in these waters.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 7th of November 2011 10:06:38 PM
 
nomadwilly wrote:
*I'll not post a picture of a claw as I think everyone knows what they look like.
*
 

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"Actually all the Bruce copies I've seen look like the manufacturers are hell bent to make their anchors as much like the Bruce as possible."

The difference between real and fake,can not be seen.

Forged steel and cast scrap iron look the same with a can of spray paint.
 
Eric, if you don't watch it you are going to sink your boat under the sheer weight of all these anchors you keep insisting on trying. By my calculations you have a Danforth, a Fortress, (maybe), certainly at least 2 XYZ's, a Manson Supreme, (admittedly too light for your boat), a Spade I think, and now a Claw, and I think I might have missed one or two other variations....?
The sad thing is all that wasted metal coulda been saved if you just had access to a Sarca....sigh........
Somebody over there start importing them for heavens sake, before Eric's boat goes glug...glug...glug....
 
Thank's for the picture Walt. What a work of art. Beautiful. As a piece of sculpture I can think of no other anchor as beautiful as the claws.

Fred I do'nt think they coat the knock off claws w spray paint! They are galvanized but they did'nt grind off the rough surface of the casting I got but it cost less than $40 here in Alaska. And quite a few fishermen have quite a bit more money than you obviously suspect.*

HAHA Peter I'm in no danger that I know of. Need to pump my laz today though. I have: 2 XYZ Extremes (an older shorter SS and a new Extreme much longer *..Galvanized steel and SS), 1 Danforth (14lbs), 1 Manson Supreme (18lbs) and now the 12lb claw. That's all ..well actually I've got several Danforths at home and a Northill in my skiff ....and another claw for my dinghy. As to the weight/size of my anchors being too light for my boat consider that w a low holding power anchor like a Kedge a much heavier anchor should be used. Average anchor - average weight. But w a very high holding power anchor it's obvious a much smaller anchor would provide the same performance. My new Extreme and my Supreme are very high performance anchors so one size smaller seems about right to me. I admit the performance of my new XYZ is assumed. Thanks for your thoughts Peter.
 
I've used Bruce types of two different sizes, one 44# on a 12 ton sailboat, and a 176# on Delfin, who weighs around 65 tons. *I dragged the 44# twice, once in Hawaii and once in Hospital Bay in Canada. *The former was sand, the latter mud. *The bigger anchor seems flawless. *I think this design is one that works very well in the heavier sizes and adequately in smaller sizes. *Evans Starzinger's test of heavier Manson Supreme, Rocna and Manson Ray anchors gave the edge to the Ray (Bruce type), which makes perfect sense to me. *Once set, the profile of the Bruce is greater than most, giving it very strong holding power, but you need weight to get it to set completely. *Manson Supreme, Rocna, Delta, CQR, etc. are all designed to dig in via plow action. *Depending on the bottom, they can just keep plowing along, which is why they didn't test as well as the Bruce type Ray anchor in Starzinger's test. *

The Supreme and Rocna also suffer in some circumstances from the hoop, which can act as a backboard preventing the anchor from digging in like a Delta or Sarca Excel. *From what I can determine from my own experience and from a prurient interest in the subject resulting in careful consideration of other's opinions on the subject, a heavy Bruce type is the ultimate in holding power. *Can't wait to get a 250# Ray, which Delfin will handle just fine. *For smaller sizes, there are probably better choices.

Finally, I think we should organize an intervention for Eric. *His anchor inventory may become the subject of a new reality show modeled on those depicting people suffering from a hoarding syndrome. *The purpose of the intervention would be preventing his fine vessel from sinking under the weight of all that ground tackle. *
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Delfin wrote:
Finally, I think we should organize an intervention for Eric.
*As a longtime producer of films and videos I think an even better (and more profitable) idea is to create a reality show about Eric's adventures in anchoring.* Sort of like Ice Road Truckers, where we have Eric, our intrepid anchorer faced every week by a new anchoring challenge and trying to get one of his many anchor types and rode lengths and configurations to work*

The conflict--- you have to have conflict in these shows or nobody will watch--- can be between Eric and the local commercial fishermen who constantly mock him for his little toy anchors and torment him with suggestions to be a real man and get anchors like they have.*

Then there can be conflict between industry experts who travel to Alaska and attempt to make Eric see the error in his theories. And we can have a recurring character who is the exact opposite of Eric in every way, who shows up to berate Eric's ideas and brag about his own exploits.* This character would be Peter Smith who designed the Rocna.

We can also have a recurring character from Bugel, who comes down on the side of rollbar anchors but in a reasoned, non-aggressive way to contrast him with Smith.* And the Bugel rep will speak in a heavy German accent--- it's always good to have someone like this on a show because gullible*American's always give instant credibility and respect to anyone with a European accent even if they're total as*holes.

Of course the drama each week will come from Eric actually trying to anchor his boat with that week's featured*anchor/rode configuration. As the wind starts to blow and the waves build, we'll have dramatic music heigtening the tension as underwater cameras watch the anchor being pulled slowly out of the botttom by Eric's too-short rode.*

The endgame each week will be the ultimate failure of the setup and Eric will barely get the engine started and the anchor up before Nomad Willy's blown onto the rocks.* Then the whole incident will be analyzed in turn by Peter Smith, the Bugel rep, the rep from whatever anchor Eric used that week,*and perhaps a guest expert like one of the Dashews.

I think the show would be a big success.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 8th of November 2011 08:08:17 PM
 
You'll also need a dufuss to show stupid is as stupid does.* A dufuss is also a good target of jokes so Eric can have some relief.
 
I will be spending some time with Eric in 2012 if our stars line up. Marin, I'd be glad to deliver*your door stop to Eric for some additional tests. Thorne Bay is a good backdrop and with sun promised every Thursday afternoon a shoot may be in order. As for Dufuss, I can only think of 20 or 30 Forum members that could be destined for stardom.

How about anchor techie - is there a role for RickB here? Whistle blower Delfin and Peter B as the Supreme flogger? Now who plays Mr Smith, hummm---
 
sunchaser wrote:
Marin, I'd be glad to deliver*your door stop to Eric for some additional tests.
No.* We've had people in our boat club*ask to buy our door stop*on occasion*but we feel it would be irresponsible for us to sell such a known piece of crap to an unsuspecting boater.* Plus after their boat dragged and they ended up on the rocks we'd probably be named as an accessory to the crime.**And it does such a good job of propping the door open we'd have a hell of a time finding an equally effective device.* So we'll keep it in the garage where it can't hurt anybody.
 
sunchaser wrote:
...*As for Dufuss, I can only think of 20 or 30 Forum members that could be destined for stardom.
*I qualify.* Had trouble dropping the anchor on my first attempt.* Neither the pilothouse control switch nor the at-windlass foot controls turned the windlass on.* Oh!* Someone had turned off the master windlass-power switch.* With power on,* the windlass turned, but the chain wheel didn't.* Oh!* The pawl was engaged.
 

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Well it looks like I've got you're attention. And Marin I'll bet you could make a great deal more money in Hollywood w your skills. I think your workup for the drama was great (at my expense) *...actually I'm thrilled to get so much attention even if you've cast me as a bit of a dufuss (10%) ..no 5. Any more and I'd be likely to fall overboard (as I have no bow railing fwd) and waste too much money on our low budget shoot. And Marin since you did'nt contribute your evil Bruce I bought my own but yours probably would have worked 100% on my little Willy. And then it would'nt have been much of a test. Any faults w the type will be much easier to analyze w an undersized unit and I have an 11lb example. I'll have another heavy cleat on the stern in the spring so perhaps I can pull in fwd gear at WOT. Do you think that would break out an 11lb claw? Probably just set it good. And Tom it looks like your're the casting director so make sure you get some people that really make me look good and as a side note promising sun could make a fool out of even a seasoned sourdough. Rick plays the part of Attila The Hun (again) and easily packs the 180lb Manson Ray down to the floats for testing and a 180lb Halibut back up the floats for lunch. I can't think of anybody detestable enough to play the Smith guy and even a reasonable facsimile of him would send me running off the set. Speaking of the set I may not even show up without one of Cains sexy blonds there for me to grope when the camera zooms in close. Details details. Also we should do the shoot not in Thorne Bay but somewhere in the Caribbean. And Marin after several weeks of failures testing Rocnas, claws, CQRs and Danforths you'd have to let me test my XYZ.
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Eric-- I suspect that at WOT your eleven pound Bruce will jump out of the bottom and come up and water ski behind your boat. I wasn't thinking of casting anyone to play the Dashews or Peter Smith or the Bugel rep. This is a reality show--- they will play themselves. The fireworks beween you and Peter alone will be worth a 70 share in the ratings.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 8th of November 2011 10:39:02 PM
 
THANKS
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for the 70% * .....not smith.
 
sunchaser wrote:
...as for Dufuss, I can only think of 20 or 30 Forum members that could be destined for stardom.

How about anchor techie - is there a role for RickB here? Whistle blower Delfin and Peter B as the Supreme flogger? Now who plays Mr Smith, hummm---
*No, got me wrong there Sunchaser - I'm the man from Downunder with the Sarca to show them all how it should be done, ha ha.* Hey - what, or who, is*this Dufuss...?* Ya got me there.....

But hey Marin, that would make a really funny 'reality' TV show.* Where's the set?* Alaska?* Count me in...

'Course I'd expect the air fare over and a small retainer.


-- Edited by Peter B on Thursday 10th of November 2011 05:49:20 AM
 
Peter, I'm good for the*small retainer. Do you accept doorstops?
 
Peter,

Dufus is probably just an American expression. It refers to a person a bit dull and always stumbling about with his feet or words or whatever is at hand. You probably don't have enough dufus's down under to merit a special word.*
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*Peter you must have said something negative about the Manson Supreme to be cast as the Supreme flogger. But you're not much of a flogger of anything. Tom *...40 dufus's? If it were Marin say'in that I would assume he'd be referring to everybody w a Bruce anchor but that would surely*amount to more than 40.
 
nomadwilly wrote:
Dufus is probably just an American expression. It refers to a person a bit dull and always stumbling about with his feet or words or whatever is at hand.
*
 

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nomadwilly wrote:
Peter,

Dufus is probably just an American expression. It refers to a person a bit dull and always stumbling about with his feet or words or whatever is at hand. You probably don't have enough dufus's down under to merit a special word.*
smile.gif
*
******** Oz Dufus=Galah (not the parrot)**'Simplton or idiot' often prefixed*** with the following words

Flamin, as in a*'Flamin Galah'

Bloody, as in a*'Bloody Galah'

Right, as in a 'Right Galah'

Although we may be small in number we are big in Galah's


-- Edited by shrimp on Thursday 10th of November 2011 05:02:40 PM
 
You shouldn't have told them that Andy - the Galah bit I mean. I suspect it's going to crop up in conversation here now if we raise our heads a bit high.....
 
After retrieving my 33# claw, it was obvious from the sticky-bottom clay that the anchor, shank and several feet of chain*had buried themselves.**The anchor*hooked good and hard in the bottom in the 2-knot current.* Whether it would withstand hurricane winds, is another matter.


-- Edited by markpierce on Monday 14th of November 2011 10:36:51 PM
 

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Whether it would withstand hurricane winds, is another matter.

No problem , just use it om a boat 1/6 the size.
 
I use a 25Kg Bruce with an all chain rode on my 34' Riviera for 7 years now.* Absolutely fantastic in most cases.* Has dragged once, and that was in a weedy bottom.* It's also hard to set in weed, but thankfully, weedy bottoms are not to prevalent around here.* I'm told that about the only thing that will reliable set in weed is the old fashioned admiralty anchors - basically a big claw that chops through weed.
 
I'm told that about the only thing that will reliable set in weed is the old fashioned admiralty anchors - basically a big claw that chops through weed.

CQR and Northill do OK.

The problem with old style anchors is weight.

Most folks do not have the ability to handle an anchor that should be 10 pounds per foot of boat.

On our 33ft 90 /90 a 100lb folding Herrishoff is enough of a beast to get from under the cabin sole and out and assembled on deck!!!

And its way too small for a blow!
 
Hey Fred, * let's see a picture of your Herreshoff anchor ready for action.
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I thought of using a 50 pounder on Willy. I could'nt leave it assembled as the stock would hit the bow roller hoop and prevent it from coming aboard. It's common for fishermen carry their Forfjords vertically. See pic.

Looks like the stock could get bent on the Herreshoff. A a claw is not good in mud but would out perform a Herreshoff. The Herreshoff is of course a tricked out or modified Kedge and was once the highest performing anchor in the world. Larger old yachts had a davit on the bow to winch the anchor aboard where it was secured (with it's stock folded) like we do w Danforth's now *..flat on the deck. One could do that w most any other anchor today using a SS channel and mounting the anchor up-side-down in it on the deck. Thus one could do away w that unsightly pulpit and perhaps pay less for moorage.*







-- Edited by nomadwilly on Thursday 17th of November 2011 12:29:51 PM
 

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nomadwilly wrote:It's common for fishermen carry their Forfjords vertically. See pic.
I bet Walt is already shopping for a Forfjord so he can carry it this way and thus be able to develop the crescent gouge in his hull that is the mark of a REAL boat.* :)
 
Marin wrote:
I bet Walt is already shopping for a Forfjord so he can carry it this way and thus be able to develop the crescent gouge in his hull that is the mark of a REAL boat.* :)

*

Marin, Thats to funny.

SD
 
Do'nt be pick'in on Walt now as he may not be giving you his boat and I've never seen a chrome Forfjord anchor. I do'nt see any cresent "gouge". *Just scratched the paint. Sometimes it's TOO obvious I'm in here w a bunch of yachties.
 
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