Anchor talk - Old vs. New Generation
It might be fair to say that nothing stirs up more controversy and differing opinions in boating forums around the world than a discussion about anchors.
The most heated of all topics appears to be when the "old" generation anchors are compared with the "new" generation models.
The "old" generation CQR seems to take the worst beating from those who are touting the "new" generation models.
As a competitive anchor manufacturer, I'd like to toss in my two cents worth:
Yes, the CQR did not perform admirably well in two extensive and independently verified tests that Fortress was involved with years ago in the sand bottoms of Miami and in the soft mud bottoms of San Francisco Bay.......
I have personally spoken with hundreds, if not thousands of CQR and other "old" generation (i.e. Bruce, Delta, Danforth) anchor owners who have been very satisfied by the performance of their anchors in a wide variety of wind & bottom conditions that they have encountered all over the world.
In fact, two widely respected boating experts, Elbert Maloney and Tom Neale, have both successfully used CQRs aboard their boats for decades.
Elbert Maloney, 91 years young, was the long time author of Chapman Piloting & Seamanship, and Tom Neale is also a noted author who has lived aboard since 1979 with his wife Mel, and they log 3,000-5,000 miles per year.
I suspect that based upon their first hand "real world" experiences, both of these gentleman would take issue with anyone who disparaged the CQR anchor.
With the above in mind, I have nothing but a deep respect for ALL of the "old" generation anchors.
May I humbly suggest to the "new" generation anchor manufacturers that they offer the same?
Fortress Marine Anchors
I'm on the "old" side, using a Fortress and a CQR, with a fisherman third. Some of the new anchors are interesting, but most are very expensive. I looked at the website of one highly touted high tech anchor. They recommend a 60+ lb anchor for my boat (39'). That's no advantage over the fisherman.
Talk: On my 30 ft sailboat I have a 15# danforth, fortress 16 and 37, 15 kg bruce and a 15 kg rocna. I also own a 35# CQR. For my area, super soft mud off the Neuse River, the 37 is my storm anchor. I have helped anchor and recover many boats for storms. I have seen different types fail due to, IMHO, operator error. Learning what a well set anchor feels like is hard to describe, it must be learned. I have also anchored 100’s of times from the Chesapeake to Key West. The bruce has been the best all around anchor I have used. Easy to deploy, easy to feel, not perfect but what anchor is? I have not used the rocna yet but will be using it on my up coming trip south and will evaluate its performance.
I have found the CQR to be hard to feel. I believe an anchor can be to large/heavy. Gasp. Maybe the issue here.
In general the shape of the new generation anchors, and for that matter the danforth/fortress and bruce, just make more sense to me than the plow, CQR/delta. The CQR is staying home for this next trip. Everyone’s experience is different but how will we ever know unless we try some of the new designs?
Dan S/V Marian Claire
I'd point out that if the CQR, Bruce, Claw, etc., were all that effective, there would have been no need for the newer, more effective designs. I'd also point out that given the very wide breadth of boat designs, anchoring philosophies and requirements, that what may be perfectly satisfactory for one person may not suit another at all.
For instance, I don't believe in the idea that you should be carrying a "storm" anchor. I believe that your primary anchor should be sufficient for any reasonable, or even slightly unreasonable, storm condition you might run across. The reason I don't believe in carrying a storm anchor, is that by the time you realize you may need to deploy it, the conditions have usually deteriorated to the point where deploying it could present a risk to you or your boat. If the primary anchor is properly sized to handle storms, then you don't need to deploy one if the weather turns for the worse.
The CQR was at one time the standard anchor for an offshore cruiser. Compared to its competition at that time it stood out. But times change and at this time there are new generation anchors like the Rocna, its Manson copy, and others that do a better all around job. Anchors like the Fortress or Danforth are great as stern anchors but as many have experienced they often don't reset properly on a tide change.
Many experienced cruisers have not used a new generation anchor yet. While they may love their CQRs, without trying a Rocna or similar their statements aren't that valid.
As far as the new anchors being more expensive, price a Lewmar CQR. Copies are less expensive but never as good as the original. A modern anchor like a Rocna is competitive. And if you read their sizing recommendations you will also find that they need not be quite as heavy as some of their competition.
No affiliation - just a happy customer.
If I am not mistaken it it the third generic thread about anchors on two years or so. Modern testing made by European magazines and some American ones had done everything to clarify the issue:
They have tried all the anchors, in all the seabeds, noted the pressure that was necessary for each type of anchor to come lose in different seabeds with different chain lengths, they dived just to see what happened and to separate the ones that slowly moved under extreme pressure from the ones that come lose and didn't hold again. They tested to pull from opposite sides simulating a wind rotation to see what happened and they have put everything in black and white.
So, why talk more about it, at least before a new generation of anchors appears to be tested against the better ones?
Sorry for the slight hijack but I want to clarify my “storm anchor” comment. I spend the hurricane/storm season near the Neuse River. The fortress is IMO the best anchor for the soft mud found in that area. The fact that you can disassemble and store the anchor makes it easy to keep on the boat. We have plenty of warning and time to anchor for a named storm. This has been very handy when other boats have drug down and my anchoring system has ended up holding both boats.
I think if you look at the size of my other anchors, bruce, FX 16, rocna you will see that they are all slightly over sized. The 16 and bruce have proven capable of handling sustained blows and squalls. Will be testing the rocna soon. When I travel I anchor out 99% of the time. I am the windlass so having all my anchors sized for hurricanes would be very hard on my back. Dan S/V Marian Claire
I'd be surprised if you need the FX37 for very much, given how much holding power the Rocna 15 (33 lbs) has. BTW, I'm very familiar with the Rocna 15, as that's the primary anchor on my boat. :D
I have used both old and new generation anchors. I have also observed anchors performance on the sea-bed. There is no doubt in my mind that the new generation anchors are superior, in some bottom types vastly superior to the old generation anchors.
Yes we managed with the old generation anchors in much the same way cruisers managed without GPS, LED lighting and (a bit before my time) reliable diesel auxiliary engines. However these additions and others like them, have made cruising safer and easier.
Good point. I just posted the below on a different forum in response to a "new" generation anchor manufacturer. This holding power test pitted "new" vs. "old" generation anchors:
The 40,000 member Swedish Cruising Association has been conducting anchor holding power tests off of their coast for over 20 years. They take boating very seriously over there, as 1 in 7 Swedes owns a boat.
Below is a link to a page with the results of a test that they conducted this past summer in a clay bottom near their shoreline:
As you will note, the new generation Ultra and Rocna anchors only achieved 2 stars out of a possible 5.
The other roll bar anchor, a Bugel, which I guess is an old generation anchor since its design has been copied, achieved 3 stars, as did the old generation Danforth anchor.
You might find the results of the other anchors tested to be of interest as well. I am working on an English translation and I hope to provide one shortly.
Fortress Marine Anchors
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