There are as many divergent opinions about anchors as anything you can name.
I think there are some imperatives that ought to be observed. Some that come to mind are:
1. You must have a ready anchor. That means it is all ready to let go as soon as you can get to the bow. Best if it is on a bow roller with the anchor cable made up and ready to run out.
2. Holding ground ia very variable, and no one anchor will be good in all. You should have a selection of anchors in your locker. The selection should include an everyday hook (Usually the ready anchor), a storm anchor, and perhaps a third of a type that is known to be competent in the kinds of bottom that may present a problem to the others.
3. Selecting anchors is subject to all kinds of controversy. Use something that has an established reputation in your intended cruising ground and is made by a reputable manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations as to size, but, except for a lunch hook, prefer the heavy end of the range.
4. The holding ability of any anchor is enhanced by proper length of chain and by proper scope. Don't take short cuts here.
5. It is difficult to have confidence in something you have never used. Practice your procedures with all of your anchors so that you will know their capabilities and idiosyncracies before they are put to the test for real.
Sailing Dog is quite correct about stainless or aluminum anchors. (Aluminum may have a place in some rather narrow applications, however.) Instead of buying stainless, you will probably be better served by buying a couple of good quality galvanized anchors, perhaps of a little larger size, and first class chain, rope, and hardware..
Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 01-28-2007 at 10:29 PM.