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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 05-28-2006
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which type anchor

We recently purchased a Beneteau 373 which comes with I believe a plow anchor; I understand this might not be the best anchor for the Chesapeake; anyone with any ideas on type and size of anchor we should get?
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Old 05-29-2006
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A properly sized "name brand" plow is probably (arguable) the best all around anchor. That said, one of the two times mine has dragged was in a river off the Chesapeake when a thunderstorm came through at night. The river bottom was VERY soft mud and the plow just plowed through it. For those conditions, a "Danforth" type (I have a Fortress) would have been best.
But my plow with an all chain rode has been an extremely reliable anchor over the years and up and down the East coast from Maine to the Caribbean.
The other time it dragged was in a harbor in the Bahamas that all the guide books advised taking a mooring in because of the extreme kelp conditions. But in my arrogance I thought I could get my anchor to hold. I was wrong!
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Old 05-30-2006
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Thanks for the input; anyone know how a Danforth or a Bruce would compare to the plow for the Bay?
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Old 05-30-2006
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A Bruce anchor is pretty good in mud as is a Danforth. Right now my primary anchor is a Delta with a Fortress as back up. Both have done well in Chesapeake mud. On my first sailboat, I used a Fortress as my primary anchor and was quite happy with its performance. Lots of people believe strongly in a CQR, but I don't think it's the best anchor for mud.
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Old 05-31-2006
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Hello Hawk<
We've been cruisng the Bay since 1980. For 15 years we used a CQR 20. We dragged once. For the next ten we've used a Bruce 44. We haven't dragged with it yet. We have a Fortress 37 for storms and a Danforth 20HT for utility.

The secret is scope. With 5:1 the probability of drag is pretty small. Also before we went to all chain we found that an equal weight of chain to the anchor to be very effective here and in Florida.
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Old 06-01-2006
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I can see there's not going to be one simple answer; I have about 10 feet of chain and someone has suggested more might be a good idea; is this really necessary? After this I think I'm done with my questions on this. Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 06-02-2006
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Hawk, a shot of chain attached at the anchor serves three useful purposes. Chafe protection from botom debris, oystershells, etc.
Shock absorption at the anchor as the boat tries to tug it free.
Some ability to reduce scope depending on the amount of chain.

Chain isn't easy to deal with. If 10 feet of it is the best answer for your situation, I'd suggest you shoot for places where 5-1 scope is acheivable and go ahead and rely on the plow anchor.

Have fun out there
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Old 06-02-2006
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Hawk...spent 20+ years on the Bay and your plow will be fine for most situations but when the mud gets really soft and silty, a Danforth or preferably Fortress is a better solution. One advantage of a Fortress is that you can set the fluke angle for mud and they also suggest a mere 6ft. of chain so it would work with your current rode. My own combo was a Delta and a Fortress. Outside of the Bay, the plow type Delta's & Spades would be my choice for much of the East Coast but you need about 50 ft of chain IMHO to really set those well in 10-20 ft of water before going to nylon.
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Old 06-03-2006
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I've Danforths for over 30 yrs on the bay. With 20 ft of chain and half inch nylon rode, I have never had a problem setting a Danforth or having it break free in the middle of the night. Danforths and the infamous Bay mud just seem to like each other. I would not use a Danforth, however, in the few places on the bay that have grass bottoms. A plow or CQR would be a better choice in those rare instances. A number of my friends carry both of these anchors for this reason, but I think a Danforth is the best all around anchor for the bay.
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Old 06-05-2006
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Many thanks everyone for your help with this; I've a much better idea now of how to proceed; time to head of to the store.
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