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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-08-2010
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Assess my anchoring gear, please!

I currently carry a 13lbs fluke (Danforth/Fortress style) as my primary and an 8lbs fluke as my backup anchor. Here in Lake Michigan, we typically anchor in sand, mud, and weedy bottoms (in that order). We have 20' of chain (not sure the size) attached to our 100' rope rode. We also carry an 8lbs mushroom to send down the rode as a messenger for extra weight if needed. We've always done just fine with the 13lbs fluke anchoring for a couple hours or the occasional overnighter in good weather.

However, we're planning a 3 month cruise this coming summer and hope to anchor out at least half the time. I expect many of the bottom types to be as above (sand/mud/weeds) but know of a few anchorages where rocks/boulders will be prominent, particularly around Garden Island.

I'm considering picking up either a 14lbs or 22lbs Delta plow to act as the primary. Will this be necessary for a good night's rest (peace of mind)? What will work, if anything, in the rocks/boulders? I don't have the space or back to carry a fishermens-style anchor. Keep in mind my boat is 28' and ~8,000lbs. Also, we don't have a bow roller or good bow storage for anything other than a fluke hanging on the bow rail because of our oversized bow cleats and aluminum toe rail covering the entire edge of the bow.
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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 01-08-2010 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 01-08-2010
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I carry a 25lb CQR (the original version) on a CS27 designed at 6100 lbs but probably closer to 7000 lbs. 25' of chain and 200' of nylon rode. My next purchase will be either a Manson or more probably a Rocna of at least 22lbs. I look at most manufacturer sizing of anchors as too small for real comfort.
I would go with the 22lb fluke or a Manson or Rocna of the same size. By fluke do you mean a Danforth type anchor? If so thay are not very good unless used in sand or mud bottoms. I also find the Danforth recommendations for sizing to be the lightest of all. The Rocna type (or Manson Supreme) will work well in most bottom conditions.
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Old 01-08-2010
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Hi kwalt.

If it was me, I'd go for the larger of the two anchor sizes you suggested. I would also consider a different anchor style, rather than the Delta.

In your case, given the mention of the rocks/boulders, I would be inclined to consider a Bruce-style (e.g. Lewmar claw) anchor, in the +/-25 lb range. A claw will do well in mud/rocks/boulders. And the existing "fluke" anchors (which I assume are Danforth-style) will do well in the sand and weeds.

We have a Delta, and my impression of this anchor is that it would work better if it were very oversized. Our 25 lber does not do so great in the mud with our boat (11000 lbs). And I do not think the Delta would do especially well in boulders/rocks, either. But if you're set on the Delta, I would not want to undersize it.

Also, for a cruise of that duration, I think it would be nice to invest in a second, new, dedicated rode. It would be good if it were longer, too, with maybe 25-35' of chain and 125-150' rope.

Wow, that sounds like a great trip you have planned -- would love to hear details when you have time.
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Old 01-08-2010
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I have a similar boat. My primary anchor is a 25 lb. hinged plow with 25' of 1/4" chain and 125' of nylon three strand. I use a trip line and messenger.

Second is a 26lb Danforth type with similar rig.

Third is a 10 lb mushroom off the stern for use in narrower waterways or near shallow water.

The plow has held in 55 knot wind with one knot plus tidal current in good sandy bottom. I didn't intend to be there! I had the second anchor out but it never took up. I didn't sleep much though!

If you have a prop in the water or any other projections on the hull I wouldn't use a trip line but they make it nice if you can use it safely.
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Old 01-08-2010
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[QUOTE=mitiempo;557893]By fluke do you mean a Danforth type anchor? QUOTE]

Yes, "fluke" in my original post refers to the Danforth type (similar to Fortress as well) anchor.
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Old 01-08-2010
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I agree with JRP's inclination towards the Bruce, if you really think you'll run into some rocks as you mentioned. We have the Rocna, and really love it here on the Chesapeake. But it's more expensive, and not very easy to stow without a bow roller. That's probably true of Delta, Bruce, and plow anchors as well, but they don't have the "roll-bar", which I think makes stowage that much more difficult. For us, the Rocna is not a problem because we have the roller.

As a kid, my family had an O'Day 28. We also had two Danforths, but then added a large Bruce, which we kept in the cockpit locker (no bow roller either). It was a good anchor. Since anchor choices tend to be such a hot topic, my recommendation is really my gut instinct--that the Bruce would be a good choice if rocks are a concern, and a nice balance with the Danforths.

As for rode, I second the comments that you need two sets of chain/rope. Perhaps the existing can me made the secondary, then a new set would be primary. I would also recommend 25 - 30' chain and 200 feet of rope. Perhaps 1/4" chain and 1/2" rope. With your 120' now, you're limited in depths and conditions in which you can anchor.

I'm no anchor engineer, so this is just what I would do if I had a similar boat/set-up. Of course, I'd probably look to see if I could get a bow roller installed so I could put a Rocna on the bow, but now I'm getting dreamy.

Good luck with your trip!
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Old 01-08-2010
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You need to decide what the purpose of the anchor is. If you plan on only hanging to your hook in decent weather, you can get away with a much smaller anchor. Be aware that if you are on the hook and something like a squall comes through and you chose the small anchor, you can have a lot of problems since the anchor won't hold but is hard to raise and you might not have the engine power to push into the wind. However, if you like to spend the night at anchor most of the time, you should get a very large anchor. In addition, all anchors serve the purpose of a last resort when you are having problems and need to keep the boat off of the shore. Steve Dashew said something along the lines of an anchor is properly sized once people walking down the dock start laughing.

The delta's have a good reputation for setting in sand and mud but their holding power is limited. If you will be dealing with rocks mostly though, something like a claw anchor might be a better all around anchor. Be aware that either anchor has low holding power for its weight. Manufacturers have a bad habit of rating anchors for 25-30knots of wind, no sizeable waves and good holding bottom. If you anchor out, you will encounter conditions much worse than this from time to time. In my opinion, the only reasonable chart that I know of is the one that Rocna publishes. You will notice that they recommend heavier anchors in addition to their anchors generally having much higher holding power.

When I purchased ground tackle for my 10,000lb 30' boat, I bought a 33lb rocna with 30' of 3/8" chain and 200' of 5/8" line because I get far enough away from my mooring that I can't run home for a bad blow. If I had a windlass I probably would have purchased the 44lb model.
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Old 01-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klem View Post
When I purchased ground tackle for my 10,000lb 30' boat, I bought a 33lb rocna with 30' of 3/8" chain and 200' of 5/8" line because I get far enough away from my mooring that I can't run home for a bad blow. If I had a windlass I probably would have purchased the 44lb model.
We have the same anchor on our 11,000 lb boat and love it. Also no windlass.
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Old 01-08-2010
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I agree with Klem's thoughts and am leaning towards the 33lb Rocna as I don't know how comfortable I'd be with a Rocna at 22lbs vs my current 25lb CQR. I believe in a good anchoring system and always use the heavier one aboard as a main anchor. The Bruce (although just copies are available now like the Lewmar Claw), Delta, CQR and Rocna are superior anchors. The Danforth type, one of which I own as it came with the boat, are my least favorite. This is because of their lack of holding in any bottom except sand or mud and their inability to store on a roller. A Danforth is also the only anchor I have ever bent. A mushroom anchor really has no holding power except its weight. More of a paperweight in the size that is easy to carry and deploy from a small boat.
Most would anchor with a 4 or 5 to one scope but for better holding 7 to 1 should be allowed for. Your 120' (chain plus nylon) is 7 to 1 only in 17' of water or less so a longer rode is a good idea. It's comforting in a blow to have the scope to let out if you have room. The only way around 7 to 1 in a blow is with a considerably larger anchor. Steve Dashew was mentioned by klem. Steve thinks manufacturers sizing recommendations are a joke and suggests a 60lb anchor for those venturing far in a 30' to 40' boat and assumes all chain and a modern anchor like a Rocna or Spade.

Mechsmith suggests using a trip line. If the trip line is only a bit longer than the water is deep and buoyed with a fender it shouldn't get near the prop.
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Old 01-08-2010
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Hmm...lots to think about, as I knew there would be once I started another anchor thread.

Budget is a factor, and therefore I don't think a Rocna or Manson Supreme will be realistic this season. I anticipate that 75% of the time we'll be anchoring in sand/mud/weeds. The remaining 25% of the time might be in rocks/boulders. Does a claw (Lewmar Horizon) still make sense? I've read that claws have one of the lowest holding powers. However, Mauri Pro sells the 33lbs Lewmar claw (rated for 30' to 40') for only $88. A 22lbs Delta is $178 (rated for 25' to 41').

So I guess my real question is would a 33lbs claw/Bruce be reasonable, even if 75% of my anchoring is in sand/mud? Or would it be worth the extra $100 for a 22lbs Delta that supposedly holds & sets better in sand/mud? I know I want something in addition to my two Danforth-style anchors, but I want the best bang for my limited buck.

Thanks for all the great input so far!
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