anchors, anchors, anchors
I've looked around this site and others to find what people say about different anchors. While I've found lots about the more common anchors (danforth, cqr/ delta/plow) I've been curious about some of the more unusual ones, especially the mason supreme (there is a good thread about this on this site), the spade, and the sword anchors. One that I can't find any info on is the xyz anchor. I saw it at a show and sort of dismissed it as way too exotic looking, has anyone had any experience with it? What about the spikey looking "bulwagga"? It seems that all of the more unusual anchors can be seen at http://www.azuremarine.com
From what I've seen of the Bulwagga... It has great holding but stowing it is a problem. It doesn't really sit on a bow roller, and due to its shape—it takes up a lot of locker space.
The Spade, Manson Supreme, Buegel, and Rocna all fit on a bow roller pretty well, and are fairly similar in size/design. I have a Rocna and am very happy with it...and know people who have the others I mentioned...
I've seen the XYZ...but never known anyone who has actually used the XYZ. It probably has some problems with stowing it as well, either in a locker or on a bow roller, due to the oversized plate it uses.
I would avoid a stainless steel anchors, especially if you are cruising long-term, as they are really good for anchoring out for extended periods of time. I would also avoid the aluminum ones for similar reasons.
I don't like the design of the Bulwagga, since it seems to have a point of failure, since the whole anchor connects via the central rod, which seems relative weak compared to the ones I mentioned above.
There are as many divergent opinions about anchors as anything you can name.
I think there are some imperatives that ought to be observed. Some that come to mind are:
1. You must have a ready anchor. That means it is all ready to let go as soon as you can get to the bow. Best if it is on a bow roller with the anchor cable made up and ready to run out.
2. Holding ground ia very variable, and no one anchor will be good in all. You should have a selection of anchors in your locker. The selection should include an everyday hook (Usually the ready anchor), a storm anchor, and perhaps a third of a type that is known to be competent in the kinds of bottom that may present a problem to the others.
3. Selecting anchors is subject to all kinds of controversy. Use something that has an established reputation in your intended cruising ground and is made by a reputable manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations as to size, but, except for a lunch hook, prefer the heavy end of the range.
4. The holding ability of any anchor is enhanced by proper length of chain and by proper scope. Don't take short cuts here.
5. It is difficult to have confidence in something you have never used. Practice your procedures with all of your anchors so that you will know their capabilities and idiosyncracies before they are put to the test for real.
Sailing Dog is quite correct about stainless or aluminum anchors. (Aluminum may have a place in some rather narrow applications, however.) Instead of buying stainless, you will probably be better served by buying a couple of good quality galvanized anchors, perhaps of a little larger size, and first class chain, rope, and hardware..
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