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  #101  
Old 01-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windwardbow View Post
Brian,
I have a lot of respect for you, your company, and the type of anchor you sell. As I mentioned earlier, I use a fluke anchor as my primary anchor. That said please do not take offence at my questions. I use a 17lb. Danforth style anchor on a 4500lb 25' sailboat (I know it's overkill, but I like overkill). I paid $70 for it at a local boat dealer. Why does yours cost five times that? I am not trying to be a butt, is there that much difference in the type of material or design? They look very similar. Defender has your 15lb for $324.99, and Defender is usually the cheapest place for almost anything that has the word "marine" (which is code for really expensive) on it.
Windwardbow,

Thanks for your kind words, and you are not being a "butt" for your fair question.

The anchor we recommend for a 25' sailboat in normal wind and bottom conditions is the 4 lb. FX-7, which costs $109.99 at Defender.

Danforth makes 3 different anchor model versions: Standard, Deepset II, and High Tensile, which basically translates to good, better, best.

If you compare recommended anchors for specific boat sizes, you should find the Fortress to be in the ballpark price-wise with the Danforth Deepset II and High Tensile anchors.

I could not find a 17 lb model in their charts, and I suspect that you have a 16 lb Standard model, which sells for $79.99 at Defender.

The closest Fortress anchor in size to that 16 lb Standard model is the 10 lb FX-16, which sells for $212.99 at Defender.

While Danforth and Fortress share a similar anchor design (fluke type) and have similar dimensions, their differences are significant:

1. Danforth anchors are made from steel and are galvanized, while Fortress anchors are made from an aluminum alloy and are anodized, so the Fortress is obviously much lighter and it will not rust.

2. Danforth anchors are welded permanently together, while Fortress anchors are made from aluminum extrusions, so Fortress anchors can be disassembled for easy storage or for parts replacement.

3. Danforth anchors have a 32 degree shank / fluke angle only, while the Fortress has an adjustable 32° or 45° shank / fluke angle. The 45° angle will dramatically increase the anchor's holding power in soft mud, and it is an exclusive & patented feature with the Fortress.

4. Danforth anchors are dull-edged, while the Fortress anchors are precision-machined to be very sharp for faster and deeper soil penetration. Kind of like a dull knife compared to a razor.

This is absolutely one of the key reasons why a lighter Fortress aluminum anchor will out-perform a heavier Danforth steel anchor. The weight that is on top of the anchor from being deeply buried, rather than the weight of the anchor itself, is what will determine the anchor's holding power.

5. Danforth anchors have some form of a limited warranty, while Fortress anchors offer what I believe is the most painless warranty in the marine industry. It is called a Lifetime Parts Replacement Warranty, and we never require the customer to produce a sales receipt or to register the purchase with us, or even send back the damaged anchor parts.

If a customer damages an anchor part, no matter what the circumstance, we send them a new anchor part for free, they just pay S & H. Since the parts are light and we ship via the US Postal Service, this cost is usually nominal, and likely to be minimal.

I hope that this information has been helpful.

Thanks again!

Brian Sheehan
Fortress Marine Anchors
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  #102  
Old 01-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC320 View Post
BrianFortress,

Apart from the different angle of attack settings, why does the Fortress of a given/same size as a Danforth or WM Performance have so much more holding power. They look very similar in dimensions and design.

On the Fortress, the anchor can be disassembled for storage (good), but you have only one little aluminum strap holding the outer edge of each fluke to the round/straight righting bar. Somehow that just doesn't look right to me, yet people claim the Fortress will hold when the welds on the Danforth types fail. Also, that aluminum righting bar is bent on several boats in my marina, which is kind of what I would expect vs. a steel bar of the same size on the Danforth. Not saying your anchor isnt a really good one, but I'd feel better about buying one if I understood these things.
NCC320,

Thanks for your inquiry. I think I covered the answers to most of your questions with my reply to Windwardbow.

Regarding the bent bars you have seen, which we call the stock, let me say this:

• The good news about Fortress anchors is that since they are so sharp, they will bury deeper than steel anchors for incredible holding power.

• The bad news about Fortress anchors is that since they are so sharp, they will bury so deeply that they sometimes get stuck in rocks, dinosaur bones, fossils, etc. and the stock might get bent during retrieval.

We have fattened up the stocks and tapered them to add strength over the years, but bending a stock is still not impossible.

By the way, we drill a hole in the crown (center piece) for which you can attach a separate line for a buoy, which would then enable you to pull the anchor out from behind in case the anchor gets stuck.

• Regarding the two aluminum straps, they keep the stock from moving. Once they are tightened, the stock is not moving anywhere.

The flukes slide into slots on both sides of the re-enforced crown, and they are not moving anywhere either once they are tightened to the stock with those wide clips.

• Fortress does have a weld-free design, and during the US Navy tests, not only did the Fortress anchors provide far greater holding power than the Danforth anchors tested, but they held up better structurally as well.

Geez, I am really starting to sound like a commercial.

Apologies,
Brian

Fortress Marine Anchors
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  #103  
Old 01-09-2011
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Note: If you decide to use wire rope for an Anchor Rode then you should have a drum to wind that cable onto. This is the best way to stow wire rope (the only way) and the easyest way to pay it out on a brake. Electric or hydraulic motor for the operation of that winch. You don't want to do it by hand. But that would be a back up if you lose power.
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  #104  
Old 01-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianFortress View Post

If a customer damages an anchor part, no matter what the circumstance, we send them a new anchor part for free, they just pay S & H. Since the parts are light and we ship via the US Postal Service, this cost is usually nominal, and likely to be minimal.
I have spoken to other cruising sailors who have been amazed that that Fortress have sent out parts for an old anchor at no charge, when it was purchased by a PO and damaged because it got caught under rocks.
Fortress are the only company (anchor or otherwise) that stand by there product like this.
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  #105  
Old 01-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LinekinBayCD View Post
Why don't you post a translation of the Italian test and at least the video of the Fortress if you cant post the other makes. What year was the test? That is the type of info that whould be helpful for people making anchor decisions.
LinekinBayCD,

I found the test online and it provided only a summary and no video. It was conducted in 2001, and I will see if I can get it translated and the Fortress video portion posted.

A quick glance at what happened: The diver was standing on the sandy bottom near the anchors being tested. He zoomed in with his camera so you could clearly see the name of each anchor.

Apparently, a signal was given to the testing boat above to motor forward at idle speed. The flukes of the Fortress immediately engaged the bottom, and the anchor & chain were completely buried within seconds. The bottom rumbled like there was an earthquake as the anchor buried deeper and deeper.

The plow types performed quite differently, as they initially flopped to one side and kicked up a dust storm as the boat idled forward. The single fluke finally engaged the bottom off in the distance.

Regards,
Brian

Fortress Marine Anchors
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  #106  
Old 01-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LinekinBayCD View Post
Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree. What real world experience information have we received in this discussion? What use are second hand comments about someone using a CQR for a long time without knowing where it was used, what scope was used, what was the force exerted when the anchor draged or was damaged? And without being able to compare the one anchor being used with others and how they would perform in the same conditions.

Why do you think the tests are not "real world?"All the tests I have read are "real world" tests, real anchors. real water, real bottoms, real boats pulling on the anchors, repeated over and over with many types of anchors. Its is just that the objective results are measured and recorded. They are not hypothetical mathamatical exercises. Its prety hard to measure the fifference between subjective comments. That is why I believe controled tests are far more valuable. That is why they crash test cars, have test pilots test planes, do drug tests and studies. Real world comments while of value cant be controlled or measured.

BTW never saw a test where the CQR was even close to the top.
I am dumbfounded by the fact that these other anchor manufacturers provide little, if any, of their own test performance data on their anchors. I cannot comprehend manufacturing such an important piece of safety equipment as an anchor, and not provide the public with this critical information.

I shudder to think that they have not provided it because maybe they don't even have it.

As an example, we provide hard sand and soft mud holding power numbers. This will give you a responsible "best case, worse case" performance scenario.

Regards,
Brian Sheehan

Fortress Marine Anchors

Last edited by BrianFortress; 01-10-2011 at 05:41 AM.
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  #107  
Old 01-10-2011
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Referring to "real world" or "real life" examples of what readers might want to see when considering an anchor, may I humbly submit the following e-mail message that I received a few years back:

From: "WDB6054@.com"
Date: 06 Apr 2004 23:30:00 -0000
To: "brian@fortressanchors.com"
Subject: Testimonial

TESTIMONIAL - FORTRESS ANCHOR

I was sailing into Conch Cut leading into Georgetown, Exumas in the Bahamas. Just as I was passing over the reef bar, I switched off my autopilot to hand steer over the bar and into the deeper channel when I heard a "pop" and my wheel steering spun freely.

I had the full Genoa out, and without rudder steering, the bow fell off heading straight for the nearby island of Channel Cay. I immediately diagnosed the problem of a failed steering cable and released the jib sheet and cut the motor.

In my horror, I realized that my boat, an Irwin 37 foot ketch, my only home, was completely out-of-control and headed for the rocks in just seconds. As a matter of routine I always keep at least one anchor ready to go, but in 30 years of sailing experience I had yet to do an emergency anchor deployment.

I raced forward, terrified as the island cliff was rising before me, and immediately released my Fortress FX-23 with 50 feet of new stainless steel chain and about ten feet of 5/8" nylon rode that was already secured to a cleat.

As the chain was rapidly running out I said a quick prayer that the anchor would bite first time, there would be no time for a re-set before the impending shipwreck disaster! My heart was pounding!

I gripped the bow pulpit and braced, watching the rapidly approaching cliff which was now a mere 100 feet away, as the chain ran out. Suddenly all 22,000 pounds of my sailboat came to a stop and executed a 180 degree turn in 2 seconds.

We were now safely at anchor in 15 feet of water in a 3-4 swell with the stern of my boat JUST 30 FEET FROM THE CLIFF!

The Fortress anchor had saved my life and my boat!

Several passing boats radioed and offered assistance. After letting my heart rate come back down to normal range. I was able to motor up and retrieve the somewhat bent anchor, and used the autopilot (which attaches directly to the rudder quadrant) to "fly by wire" to a safe anchorage in Elizabeth Harbor, Georgetown.

I have returned this beloved anchor to Fortress in Ft Lauderdale and they have replaced it with no hassle.

Sincerely, Capt Joe Greno - s/v SAGA Georgetown., Bahamas

Last edited by BrianFortress; 01-13-2011 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Took out full customer e-mail address
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  #108  
Old 01-10-2011
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Cable on Anchor: In the case that I saw it used, the boat owner simply put a loop of cable perhaps 6 feet long (end to end of loop) with the stainless steel cable passing through a shackle at the anchor and shackled at the other end to the chain (chain and rope rode). I've only known him to use it in named storms. It's easy to remove and or re-install for storms, but is a real bear (according to him) to get up as the anchor is totally buried when the cable is used. It held in at least one major storm when the same anchor allowed the boat to drag ashore in the previous year's storm. As reported for Matthews Point, the bottom is very deep soft mud or mud/sand mixture.
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  #109  
Old 01-10-2011
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I"d point out that while an aluminum anchor may not rust, it can corrode. This would especially be the case if someone were to use a stainless steel shackle or swivel on it.
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  #110  
Old 01-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I"d point out that while an aluminum anchor may not rust, it can corrode. This would especially be the case if someone were to use a stainless steel shackle or swivel on it.
True. Extremely rare, but not impossible.

Thanks,
Brian

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