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post #1 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Practical Sailor anchor testing

Did anyone else get the PS email trying to sell their latest report, Anchoring in Sand and Mud? The email had this interesting tease:

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Seeking answers to these questions produced some dramatic results for this latest report in Practical Sailor's continuing series on the in-the-water performance of about two dozens makes and types of anchors. Rather than one big test aimed at finding the perfect, all-purpose anchor, Practical Sailor has approached this subject carefully. Three years of work thus far has produced these published reports:
  • The first test to see which of 11 different anchors set best in sand. The top three, in order, were the Bulwagga, Spade and Bruce.
  • The second test to review which of 15 had the best holding power in sand. Top-ranked were the Spade, Bulwagga and CQR.
  • The final review to see which of 17 anchors set and hold best in mud. Tops for setting was the Delta with six anchors tied for second; for holding power, the rank was the Barnacle, CQR and Bulwagga.
Is this report available to subscribers? It seems to require an additional fee. If an additional fee, it's just one more reason that I struggle with PS.

Anyway, I wonder which anchors were included in the "dozen". I suppose the Spade is a "next-gen" anchor, but it was interesting that the Rocna and Manson Supreme didn't make the top of the list and surprising to see the strong showing for the CQR above. In the past, I've occasionally found PS testing methods to be flawed. I'm very curious to learn more, but I'm not willing to pay the vig for a one-time use report.


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post #2 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

I've looked at a lot of anchor tests and while they offer good info, I believe the controls are far from perfect.
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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

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Originally Posted by RegisteredUser View Post
I've looked at a lot of anchor tests and while they offer good info, I believe the controls are far from perfect.
I agree.
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post #4 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

I gave up on Practical Sailor in 2013... They don't test apples to apples, and the tests include a pitifully small sample size.

Also; Delta anchors suck.


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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

Strange test since the Bulwagga and Barnacle anchors went out of business several years ago. What is the point of testing them?

And the CQR beat the Fortress in mud????

I'd save my money…

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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

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Also; Delta anchors suck.
I beg to differ.
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post #7 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

I've done a lot of instrumented anchor testing for articles, books, and my own curiosity. It's like herding cats. The short version is...

* If the bottom is good sand or sticky mud, everything holds and the data is consistent in any given location... but it will vary with location.
* If it is a difficult bottom (soft or hard), the data is all over the place. How soft is the mud? What is the density gradation? Is it layered with shells? Are there tree limbs in it? What is the pull rate (it makes a HUGE difference during setting)? Are there rest periods (big difference)? A LOT of repeat testing is needed.

But if the data is all over the place, that means that real-world performance will be too, since we are not machines and the bottom varies. Cruiser anecdotes aren't any better, for the same reasons. Thus...

The best you can do, IMHO, is read a lot of data, and then learn how to set and test an anchor properly. The truth is that you can safely anchor with most any anchor, if it is sized properly and you know how best to use it. We all have our favorites, and I'm not going there!

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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

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Strange test since the Bulwagga and Barnacle anchors went out of business several years ago. What is the point of testing them?......
Typical of PS.

I think they are well intentioned, but underfunded to properly perform testing. They test what they have or can get their hands on inexpensively. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that they tested very different anchor sizes/chains and/or did not have access to a popular type. To be clear, I do not know that to be the case. I've only seen it before in other tests, such as running rigging.

I take it, no one has actually seen the report. Can't really understand why anyone would pay specifically for it.


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post #9 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

I find anchor tests soooooo unscientific and consider the "results" to be mostly based on chance.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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Re: Practical Sailor anchor testing

Except if you are always anchoring in the 1 substrate then you really need to optimize for a variety of anchoring situations.

Does anyone really have 2 picks set up? Each with its own windlass so it can be easily deployed?
All boat I have seen with 2 anchors only have one set to the windlass.

I use a Delta. If I had lotz-a-money I would buy a new Manson Supreme... but the Delta has never dragged in the last 6 years. It dragged once or twice before that before I knew how to set it and put out scope.

Today its 30 knots and I am sitting happy knowing I will be off the boat today and out to dinner tonight.

That peace of mind is worth its weight in rockinghorse ****!

Last night a boat next to me moved. So they must have dragged. Their anchor was one of those flappy dinghy type anchors. I hope they're not half way to Mexico. Oh, and I think they were on a cable rode.

Don't be stupid, get chain, and lots more chain, and a good anchor designed for 'anything' and learn to get it in and holding


Mark

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