who makes a better bruce (claw) anchor? - SailNet Community

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Old 04-10-2008
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who makes a better bruce (claw) anchor?

I am considering purchasing a vastly oversized anchor to moor my boat on (semi-permanent)
it seems that the most bang (holding power) for my buck would be a bruce style.
is the lewmar or plastimo claw better
their prices are nearly identical and I haven't seen a "genuine" bruce
my gut tends toward the lewmar horizon since lewmar is the current manufacturer of the "genuine" CQR and has a substantial reputation
also should I set up a two anchor rig (see the pardey's books) or rely on a single much larger anchor
two 22lbs or one 44lb
all chain 7:1 scope
thanks
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Old 04-10-2008
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There is no more "genuine" Bruce...they are out of the recreational anchor market and Lewmar has the Horizon "knockoff" which I would certainly tend to trust more than some of the other knockoffs.
I disagree with the notion that the Bruce has the most holding power as I can' remember any test by anyone in recent years coming to that conclusion. I also would suggest that anchors are good for anchoring...and moorings are good for moorings. Suggest a mushroom mooring.
There are lots of "anchor" threads here to review...just use the search function up top.
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Old 04-10-2008
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I suggest you check..

I suggest you check with your local harbor master and find out what the requirements are for moorings. Anchors in most municipalities DO NOT count as a mooring and are not a good idea. As Cam said a real dedicated mooring such as a 250lb. mushroom (1 lb per foot of boat length) is the far safer bet.

Perhaps you don't care what happens to your boat in terms of damage but what if your boat drags onto someone else's. That happened to me and the guy that hit my boat, when his cast, not forged, Chinese made mooring shackle, broke ate a 20k repair bill....! Your boat may not even be worth 20k yet...you hit you owe...

P.S. The Bruce style anchors have consistently held the least of any anchor in the many anchor tests conducted and is considered a LOW holding power anchor. It would be my LAST choice for any sort of long term anchoring.

I'm with Cam get a real mooring!!
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Old 04-10-2008
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I use a two anchor rig (100# Danforths) strung between 84 ft of very heavy (1") chain. The 40 ft top chain (1/2 in) is attached at the mid-point of this bridle. At the surface there's a swivel, ball and pendants. All of this gear is sized for a 25 ton, beamy sailboat w/ a big mast (lots of windage) moored in 25 ft +/- water depth at high tide.

Several years ago the harbor master in my town was asking people installing new moorings to use two (or three) anchor rigs. I think he was trying not to have the harbor bottom littered any more than it was with concrete blocks. I went with his suggestion, but others resisted. Tradition dies hard. He's since backed off the anchor request on new moorings.

If you're going to use anchors, my view is that a two anchor rig is preferable for two reasons: one it allows you have reasonable scope with a smaller swinging circle (a big advantage in most harbors), and two you'll never have to worry about an anchor pulling out and having to reset with a big wind shift.

One thing you need to consider in using a two anchor rig is getting both anchors set well with the bridle chain fairly tight between them. Because of the weight of my gear I hire one of the local fishermen to help with their big engines, booms, etc. We start by getting the anchors shackled to the bottom bridle chain with the top chain w/ bouy attached in the right place. We then lower one anchor in position to set and hold against the prevailing wind. With the first anchor on the bottom we slowly feed the bottom chain over the side letting the wind move the fishing boat down wind as it goes. When the mid point of the bridle is reached the top chain and bouy go overboard and we continue letting out the bottom chain. As we approach the end with the second anchor we tie a heavy line to the second anchor and then lower it over the side. The line is tied so the flukes are free and will set without the line fouling them. Before the second anchor hits the bottom we start to pull against the first anchor stretching the bridle as tight as possible and beginning to set the first anchor. When the bridle is tight and the first anchor holding well we drop the second anchor to the bottom. We then move back to the ball and top chain, attach a heavy line to the ball and begin pulling hard with the dragger's engine to set the second anchor. You know everything is set well when the fishing boat's engine is at full power and the boat isn't moving. I always follow up this procedure with a dive on the mooring to see how everything settled and to recover the line we used to lower the second anchor.

Advantage of such a system is that you can recover the entire rig anytime you wish. Same is true of a big mushroom anchor, but I don't think a mushroom would stop a fishing boat at full power. Obviously, a concrete or stone block on the bottom is also more difficult to recover or move.

If you choose to go with such a rig, make sure that the top chain is of a length that it can not foul the down wind anchor. In my rig, the bottom chain is 85 ft with the top chain attached in the middle 42 feet from each anchor. Top chain is 44 ft so with the catenary it can never touch either anchor.

I've used the rig for years with no problems -- well, I did have one problem. As we were leaving for a multi-year trip away from the homeport, I decided to pull the mooring and store it ashore while we were gone. Problem was I had difficulty finding the anchors. They were buried 18" below the surface of the sand.
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Old 04-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwf05001 View Post
I am considering purchasing a vastly oversized anchor to moor my boat on (semi-permanent)
it seems that the most bang (holding power) for my buck would be a bruce style.
is the lewmar or plastimo claw better
their prices are nearly identical and I haven't seen a "genuine" bruce
my gut tends toward the lewmar horizon since lewmar is the current manufacturer of the "genuine" CQR and has a substantial reputation
The idea of "bang for buck" is either just wrong, on account of the Bruce type's relatively poor holding power (1), or a false economy where the perceived value derives from a heavily compromised build quality (2).

You can compensate for (1) by just oversizing a lot, but then the same logic applies to any anchor, and if something else will perform twice as well on a weight-for-weight basis, why not go with that. Look where the Lewmar Claw is on this chart -



As to (2), the genuine Bruce is no longer available, and none of the cheap knock-offs come anything like close to its quality.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kwf05001 View Post
also should I set up a two anchor rig (see the pardey's books) or rely on a single much larger anchor
two 22lbs or one 44lb
all chain 7:1 scope
thanks
A single larger anchor is almost always better.
Two to Tandem: Maximizing Holding Power by Tandem Anchoring
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Craig-

While I would normally agree that a single larger anchor is better, according to the OP this is for a semi-permanent mooring, rather than just anchoring out--so two anchors would make far more sense, so that the swinging circle is reduced and the risk of the anchor pulling out and not resetting is minimized.
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Sorry was assuming the OP meant two anchors in tandem on the same rode, not deployed so as to handle reversing loads. The latter is not such a great idea if there is likely to be high load perpindicular to both anchors but fine if each anchor is adequate on its own for the preset directions. Which I would venture it would not be if a 22lb claw.
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Old 04-11-2008
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The thread title is wrong: semi-permanent mooring

I was thinking of a rig like billyruffn's
except sized for my 25ft seafarer meridian, disp~5000lbs

I am in agreement that the claw is probably not what I want
I am thinking danforths would be better
I know anchors such as the rocna are far superior, but this is a temporary set-up until I get a permanent mooring permitted and installed (on that note is a 250# mushroom adequate?) I figure in anything over 40knts of wind I'd have to find a hurricane hole
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Old 04-11-2008
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It's all how..

It's all how you set up your permanent mooring. A mooring is a system where all parts must work in unison. The mushroom must be the proper size (generally 1 lb. per foot of boat length until 35 feet or so), the bottom chain must be HEAVY and the top chain must also be of a decent size and weight to provide a solid caternary. Your swivel/swivels and shackles should be forged and never cheap castings. Cast shackles break, forged shackles generally don't, and wear out before they'd ever break if sized properly. Your pendants should also be part of the system I use Yale Polydyne Pendants..

Here's a photo of the bottom chain for my 36 footer. This is a proper chain size for this length boat as bottom chain goes..

Bottom Chain:



Bottom and Top chain:
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 04-11-2008 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 04-11-2008
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Don't forget to get load-rated shackles, which generally have a colored pin, rather than a plain one. The shackle in Halekai's photos appears to be a load-rated one... which doesn't surprise me.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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