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Old 02-22-2005
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My boat is a fiberglass 32 foot schooner that I built myself. I only say that so you know I can''t say it is a Westsail 32, or a Cape Dory, or any boat people can picture. It is low, wide and heavy, with a 12.5 foot beam and about 22,000 pounds displacement. So, okay.

For my primary anchor I am running 200 ft of 5/16 BBB chain and a 45 lb CQR. It seems good, but then, I''ve never been in a real bad blow at anchor. For my second, I want to run a 35 lb CQR, and I have 300 ft of 1/4 BBB chain to go with it, as well as the right Gypsy to swap onto my windlass should the need arise.

My problem is this: It seems that my chain may be small in both cases, and while I could (by boat size) opt for a Bruce 22 as the second anchor, which would work with the 1/4 BBB chain, I have little confidence in a Bruce 22 to hold my boat in anything above a ten-knot breeze. A larger Bruce really begins to be tough on my bow and runs the same problem of too much anchor for the chain.

Even though it would be a considerable expense that I simply could not do now, would I be better off getting 3/8 BBB chain for the 45 CQR and also getting 3/8 BBB and the 35 CQR as a second? I''m thinking this would cost me about $1500 not counting the 3/8 BBB Gypsy for the Ideal Windlass, which runs another $400 or so.

I hope to go cruising soon and spend time in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
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Old 02-22-2005
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
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Hi Eddie...I''m sure you''ll get lots of different opinions here but I would definitely NOT encourage you to buy a second CQR as you want different types of anchors for different bottoms. I think your 5/16 chain is fine for your size boat but would certainly suggest you go no smaller. If I were you I''d be thinking about maybe a Fortress or a Delta as secondary anchors as they are both proven designs that will give you anchoring power in places where CQR''s don''t do well.(I would use a Delta45 as primary and relegate the CQR to a secondary role). Where are you gonna put all that chain on a 32 ft. boat? It may be wiser to use the 200 ft. you already have for your primary anchor then make up a rode with 80-100 ft of chain spliced to 200 ft of nylon.
in the interest of weight. This will let you drop an all chain secondary in the typical depths you will anchor in, but still give you the 300 ft you need for deep water or predicted storm situations. Hope this helps a bit. Best...BigGB
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Old 02-22-2005
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I''ll second Camaraderie''s thoughts as to a second type of anchor. With your thoughts of cruising the islands, you will be anchoring in an average of something like 20'' or less of depth. You have the ability to put out HUGE scope with the tackle you have in mind. I would look at the Delta, in the 45lb range with the chain/nylon rode combo. A Fortress is nice and light with great holding power as well. Also I would make sure you are snubbing your all chain with about 15'' of stout nylon, otherwise you may do some damage if the weather goes bad. The shock loads will put your mooring post to the test.

I would also look at a claw or grappling hook as well, something that you can get a grip on "rock formations" with. (Can''t say you will hook to coral heads as that is taboo...) Light weight, inexpensive, and adds to your ground tackle "arsenal".

I am 37'' sloop, but only displace 13,500. I use a 35lb CQR with 25'' 5/8 chain and 250'' nylon on my No. one, and a 20lb Fortress on all nylon for my second. Stay mostly in New England.

How much windage does your schooner project? You said low and wide, but does that include your deckhouse? What about your rig, sailcovers, rattlings, gaffs and such? I''m sure you have figured your load out, but it sounds like you have more than enough to hold you firm.

Variety, a great way to go. The CQR is great, but not on all bottoms. If you can choose the right hook for the job, and have a second for a blow, you will be in great shape.
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Old 02-22-2005
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Your boat may be only thirty-two feet but she displaces 22,000lbs and you also have the added windage of two large sticks with all their rigging. 5/16 chain is too small. Yes, upgrade to 3/8.
A danforth anchor is good for a second anchor but remember that danforth anchors alot of the time don''t reset themselves after breaking out and they foul easy they disfigure if undersized their not good in gravel, shale or any loose bottom, they stink in grass and if they drag, your actually trolling for fouls that won''t clear due to design, but in clean sand and mud, the holding power can''t be beat.
I wouldn''t go cruising with only two anchors and I wouldn''t go cruising without a Bruce anchor. This is the most important anchor on my boat. Though not a storm anchor unless oversized, the Bruce 44 in sand and mud will constantly deliver 400 to 600lbs of holding power and more and thats enough to hold your boat to about 40 knots of wind in a protected anchorage and the setting dependability of the Bruce is unmatched-it''s not even close. And they are excellent in rock and coral.
Hope this helps,

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Old 02-22-2005
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I bought the Simpson Lawernce anchor last summer a 33 pound which I thought was to light for my 38''25.000 lb boat.The anchor has superior holding and is cheep to top that. I am buying a second one incase I have to hang on in a real blow of hurricane strength. I also hace a Dansforth I am using as a stern anchor so I would have all three set for big storms. The following are from West Marine and people who have this hook on their boat.Strengths: it holds good very good
Weaknesses: it doesnt set quickly
Review Summary: the anchor is the best i ever had
Overall Rating:

Submitted by James
Date Reviewed: 2003-05-29 08:14:35
Strengths: holds suberbly, and if it breaks free (as it did in the Bahamas during a 55 knot blow) the little devil digs in again very quickly.
Weaknesses: clumsy to store, plenty of edges to bruise you
Review Summary: Fabulous anchor. Unlike a danforth it is not so "picky" to get set. Also, with a danforth, when it breaks free under load...wel, let''s just say "All is Lost"
Overall Rating:

Submitted by Dan
Date Reviewed: 2003-06-30 10:53:38
Strengths: Sets quickly, doesn''t drag, good for bow roller, price.
Weaknesses: None that I am aware of.
Review Summary: In two years of extensive anchoring in sand and mud bottoms in the Chespeake Bay it has never failed to set on the first try and has never dragged. In one particular squall with gusts clocked at over 60 mph and steady winds of 30 plus over a period of two hours it still held!
Overall Rating:

Submitted by Brian
Date Reviewed: 2004-04-06 18:34:33
Strengths: sets easily. doesn''t foul as easily in grass.
Weaknesses: very heavy. Awkward to handle. difficult to clean
Review Summary: This has been a great anchor. I use the 33lb anchor for my 29 foot boat which is probably a little heavier than I need. I use this as a second anchor so it''s not in my windlass. If I had it to do over again, I would put this anchor in the windlass and use a Fortress as a second anchor since it is a lot lighter and easier to store. Very happy with the anchor so far though.
Overall Rating:

Submitted by Travis
Date Reviewed: 2004-05-26 21:16:37
Strengths: This Claw anchor is a very reliable. I''ve used the Danforth anchor and didn''t like the repeated attempts needed to set the anchor. I use this anchor in mud and rock and it is great. It is easy to pull in because it will rock up and out easily.
Weaknesses: None that I''ve found yet
Review Summary: Very happy with this style of anchor and I would recommend it strongly, especiall for silt, mud and sandy mixture bottoms.
Overall Rating:

Submitted by dana
Date Reviewed: 2004-08-02 10:13:54
Strengths: Set quick, held 56 feet of boat in moderate wind and chop for 6 hours without a problem.
Weaknesses: None as of yet.
Review Summary: I bought the 22lb for my Sea Ray Sundancer 250. It set immediately in 15-20k winds and moderate chop. Sand/weed bottom. Held my boat along with 30'' Stamas (rafted up) for 6 hours without budging. I look forward to trying it in other bottom conditions.
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Submitted by MARK S
Date Reviewed: 2004-09-25 16:29:09
Strengths: Holding Strength, Holding Strength and Holding Strength, Low cost
Weaknesses: Heavy??
Review Summary: I bought these to ride out Hurricane Francis 90+ winds, they held so good that some jerk tied his 28 foot boat to my 31 and they still held!!!! Using the same to ride out Jeanne,..RIGHT NOW!!! They are very strong!!!!!! Trust Me!!!!
Overall Rating:

Submitted by Jim
Date Reviewed: 2005-02-02 20:14:44
Strengths: Holding power that is as good as it gets in sand ,mud and shell. You cant buy a better anchor at three times the price.
Weaknesses: It is a bit heavy but that may be a strong point.
Review Summary: We set the hook in allot of current and sand and it only washed out once when we first set it. Give it time to bury its self and no worry after that. This was off the end of Boca Grande Key south of Key West and the tide switches around and runs at about 7 knots it held even when it swaped directions during the night and we never moved except for swapping directions.
Overall Rating:

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Old 02-24-2005
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Yes, increase the chain size for your rig if using the 45 CQR. Otherwise, like others suggested get different types to cover different situations. I spent 2 yrs in the Bahamas and 95% of the anchoring is in soft sand. There is nothing better than a Danforth for soft sand. Use two anchors and don''t take chances that your single "plow" type will reset when the current changes and backs the anchor. Usually they reset but plenty of boats drag with plows because they don''t reset quickly. I had the same CQR you do including a 25lb with all chain on a 24k lbs boat. Took them off after 6 months. They can and do continue to plow and sometimes plow their way out if hitting shells, etc. When I removed them and the 300'' chain the bow came up approx 4". All replaced with short manageable chain and nylon.

For working anchors in the Bahamas on your boat I''d do two 22lb Danforths with 10'' min of chain and 250'' x 5/8" rode. They will do better than your 45 CQR. Maybe hard to believe but true. Add a fisherman, Northill or hook type with all chain for coral or heavy grass. Take along a couple kedge anchors that are light enough to swim out. 8lb & 13lb danforths with 3/8" line and no chain are my preference on your size boat. Min size hurricane anchor would be 40lb danforth with nylon all the way to the stock along with 25'' min chain to keep it down. You need 2-3 of them. You can''t have too many anchors so get a cross section of each type. Nice thing about you displacement is you can carry the stuff along without overloading.
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Old 02-28-2005
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One thought on chain

I would stay with 5/16 for everything and if concerned about working load upgrade the 5/16 to High Tensile / G4 chain. This will give you greater working load than standard 3/8 with lower weight and takes up less space. I personally would not stay BBB unless you have to as standard chain has better working loads for the size.

With regards to anchors there is no right answer but your CQR is plenty for the boat and if looking for options the only other one not mentioned I would look at is a Spade.

Jon D
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Old 03-01-2005
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As you indicated, your boat is wide & heavy - for the purposes of calculating anchor loadings, about equivalent to a more moderate 35 - 40 footer.
Assuming a (storm) anchor load of about 2,400Lbs, your 5/16" ‘BBB’ chain is undersized (WLL of 1,900 #).
I would recommend using 1/4" High Test (G4) chain,rated 2600# WLL (or 5/16" HT @ 3,900#), which is roughly equivalent to 3/8” ‘BBB’ (rated @ 2,650#)
The 1/4" H.T. will weigh only about 40% as much as the 3/8" BBB, and will take less space (both at a premium on a 32'').
The H.T. chain would be an appropriate match for a pair of lightweight fluke anchors, such as the FX-37 “Fortress”, which weighs only 21# (or FX-55 @ 31#), or a 40 - 55# “Danforth” style (excellent in Bahamian sand bottoms). A 35# (or 44#) Delta, or 44# Bruce, or your 44# CQR would all make good alternative “companion” (backup) anchors.
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Old 03-08-2005
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The lighter chain on such a heavy boat will not allow much catenary.
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Old 03-11-2005
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There is little doubt that, if I could, I would like to have a 60 pound CQR on 400 feet of 3/8" BBB chain as a primary, and something just a bit smaller as a secondary.

A friend of mine, when I asked him what I should have for ground tackle, once asked me in return "How soundly do you want to sleep?" That is the root of all anchoring answers.

Good catenary is essential to supporting a good anchor in marginal holding. I have been collecting and reviewing every anchor test I can find on line and have found some disturbing results.

In the first place, I wish I could be sure an anchor test that has a broad selection of anchors was being performed without a marketing agenda aimed at one specific anchor. Anchor tests held for the Bruce are dialed into to gutshoot the Danforth and CQR''s. Tests for the Delta go to places where the Bruce and Fortress go belly up. Some tests are just plain lies. I have seen tests that claim "The CQR just skipped across the bottom and never set." "The Bruce held up to (some lame number) then dragged." "We could never get the ( blah blah blah ) anchor to drag." (even though they were pulling at it with a 3000 HP tug)

Of course, all of these tests don''t mean anything because when you''re out there, you are left with what you have as far as bottom, wind, swell, and current.

I guess the only thing left is to ''go bigger, heavier, and stronger than you''ll ever think you need'' and then don''t scrimp on a windlass - get a big strong reliable unit and let it do the work for you.
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