I don’t really understand the dispute that BryceGTX thinks he is having. A Danforth is a great anchor — for the right conditions. Mud, sand, soft clay… basically any substrate where it can penetrate and set its flukes is where it will outperform most others.
But as anyone who has actual anchoring experience in a wide variety of locations, conditions and durations will tell you, a Danforth-style is NOT the best anchor much of the time. Harder bottoms, weeds, very soupy, or areas of rapid directional change … these are areas the danforth-style will struggle with.
I used (and still carry) a Danforth. I used it as a bower for many years, but did so in combination with a bower CQR. I carried both off the bow holder and would switch between them depending on my assessment of the bottom. This combination worked great.
A few years ago I moved to a new-gen style anchor (Rocna in my case, but I put them all in the same category). This single anchor covers pretty much the same range of bottom conditions as my previous danforth/cqr combo did. This is why it is a better anchor for those of us who cruise in varied locations and spend a lot of time swinging from our own hooks.
I also carry a large Danforth, a Bruce, and a large Fortress (as my storm anchor). All are great anchors, but the Rocna is best as a bower. If I was only cruising in areas of sand/mud bottoms with little debris or weeds, a Danforth could be the best choice.
And yes, always anchor with plenty of chain. Rope/chain is fine as long as you have enough chain. All-chain is best for the widest range of conditions as long as your boat can manage the weight. If it can’t, then all-chain is NOT the best choice.
In my observation, most small to mid-sized powerboats do use danforths as their bower. In my observation, most of these boats rarely anchor at all. The few that do, spend small amounts of time anchored.
Actually, it’s been a source of concern and sometimes amusement to watch some of these power boaters try to anchor with their tiny danforths in conditions that simply aren’t appropriate. I can’t tell you the number of power boats I’ve seen drag away, and this includes whole rafts them (why do powerboats love to raft so much??).
Here is a group of four that let loose on our recent cruise. The whole group was headed out to sea. Luckily there were a few people on board that sorted things out. I didn’t have to go rescue this group (as I’ve done a number of times).