Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gloucester, MA
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You need to define what the anchor needs to do before you can correctly answer this question. Do you plan to go full time cruising and want this to be your main anchor? Are you a daysailor only and need an anchor so that you can occasionally stop for lunch? Is this part of your storm or severe thunderstorm plan?
If you are looking at an anchor to go full time cruising with, I would argue that it also needs to be able to hold your boat during a severe thunderstorm. An example set of specifications for your boat might be:
Sets first time
Stays set in a wind shift
Has a minimum of 1500lbs of holding power in a decent bottom (this is a hard number to give and it is even harder to say definitively whether the anchor has the holding power)
Fits bow roller/stows well in locker?
If you take the specifications that I outlined above, the only anchor that would meet all of them is the manson supreme 25lb in my opinion. The danforth and the fortress will not reliably stay set during a wind shift. If you are planning on spending the night at anchor, you really need something that will stay set even if there is a large windshift in the middle of the night.
However, if you daysail or cruise and never spend the night on the hook, you may select a different anchor. If you are cost sensitive, the danforth would be best. If you want something with a lot of holding power for thunderstorms or squalls but don't care about the anchors veering ability, you might choose the fortress.
For reference, many cruisers choose something like the manson supreme as their main anchor but keep a fortress as their second anchor because it stows well and has tremendous straight line holding power.