I have a 40 Beneteau with two anchors, a big Bruce and a huge Danforth on a rope/chain rode. I need a stern anchor big enough to do the job OK but that won't make me regret having set it when it's time to bring it in by hand. What would you recommend?
Mark Matthews responds:
Choosing an anchor has a lot to do with what kinds of bottom you're likely to encounter, and what you think works best. Anchors can be a very personal thing. My own anchors and rodes are exactly the same as your combination, a big Bruce for my primary and a big Danforth as my secondary. Since you've already got the Bruce and the Danforth, your decision on what kind of stern anchor to use should be based on what you think you are missing. Personally, my next choice would probably be a CQR type, although as much as some people swear by them, there's another contingent that disavows plow type anchors since they can do a good job of "plowing" in the right conditions.
Due to the ease of handling and good holding power, light-weight aluminum Fortress anchors are increasing in popularity. However, they present something of a compromise as with sufficient enough impact (as from another boat colliding with it) they can be bent. Perhaps handling efficiency could be significantly improved with the simple addition of a stern roller or a fairlead.
Then again, I've always thought a light "lunch" hook would be good to have for quick stops, so its probable that the next time I go cruising I'll get an even smaller anchor I can throw should an inopportune grounding arise. Its easier than fighting with the dinghy to row one out, if it works.
For more information, see the anchors in our store.
Good luck and good holding,