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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having used a CQR plow anchor for many years I have been reading numerours articles on how "great" other styles are. My questions is what anchor is more reliable then a CQR based on actual, not theoretical situtations. All different anchors will shine in at least one type of bottom, but as a cruiser I have found the CQR to be the best holding in all types of botttoms. This assumes a anchor of correct size, at least 50 feet of chain and Line to equal at least 7 to 1 scope.
 

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Walt 123,
I have only cruised the Great Lakes so I have no experience with coral. My experience with Bruce anchors has been very good. In one instance I was anchored in a small harbor 50 feet deep, 6 feet of chain and 200 feet of nylon rode. The wind rose to 35 knots and we held fast. Four other boats did not. In sand a Bruce anchor will hold fast even on a slightly downsloping bottom: sometimes I anchor at South Manitou on this downsloping bottom and have no problem. So overall I am very pleased with Bruce Anchors but have had two situations in which they held only because there was little wind. One was in a cove of a small island in the middle of the North Channel where the bottom was round rock about 12 inches in diameter and the other was at Garden Island, north of Beaver Island, where the bottom was so hard the Bruce would not penetrate it. The CQR has much more weight and a point so maybe it would have gotten a bite in the round rocks and the super hard bottom, what do you think? I sail a small boat,have to bring up anchors as I need them and have to pull them out of the water by hand so I use the Bruce because it is much lighter and is really easy to clean. I have two Bruce 11 pounders. If I had a boat with an elecric windlass I would try one CQR and one Bruce if weight were not a problem otherwise I would go with one CQR.
 

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I HAVE HAD EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE WITH THE CQR IN JUST ABOUT ALL TYPES OF BOTTOM. I USE A 35lbCQR AS MY NORMAL ANCHOR AND HOLD A 45lb IN RESERVE. I DO USE AN ALL CHAIN RODE ON THESE ANCHORS SINCE MY BOAT GROSSES OUT AT 18 TONS. IN ADDITION I USE A FORTRESS AS A LUNCH HOOK AND AS A KEDGE. I HAVE 15ft OF 3/8ths CHAIN AND 300 FEET OF 3/4" NYLON ON THE FORTRESS. I HAVE USED THE FORTRESS IN THE INTER COASTAL AS A KEDGE AND AM ALWAYS AMAZED AT HOW QUICKLY IT SETS AND THE INCREDIBLE HOLDING POWER IT HAS. AT TIMES I HAVE HAD DIFFICULTY IN BREAKING IT OUT OF THE MUD ONCE FIRMLY SET. PRACTICAL SAILOR RAN A RECENT ARTICLE ON ANCHORS AND THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSESYOU MIGHT WANT TO GET A COPY. HOWEVER YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE AND THE TYPES OF BOTTOM YOU ARE NORMALLY EXPOSED TO WILL DICTATE THE TYPE OF ANCHOR YOU MAY WANT TO USE. I WOULD ALSO POINT OUT THAT ITS VERY RARE THAT YOU WOULD USE A 7:1 SCOPE. ITS NICE TO HAVE AN ADEQUATE AMOUNT OF RODE ON BOARD TO PROVIDE FOR THAT AMOUNT OF SCOPE IN YOUR NORMAL CRUISING AREAS BUT LACK OF SWING ROOM IS PROBALY GOING TO DICTATE THE AMOUNT OF SCOPE YOU USE. THATS WHY AN ALL CHAIN RODE,IF YOU CAN ACCOMODATE IT IS GREAT TO HAVE, LESS SCOPE REQUIRED FOR HOLDING POWER.
 

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Hi, I also swear by my 35# CQR. Three trips to FL on the ICW,never ever dragged.I feel that technique has as much to do with it as the anchor type. Because I sail alone most of the time,I set the anchor by hand,just using the boats natural drift back. I learned to feel the anchor actually setting,or not.I usually use a 5,6:1 scope initially,then adjust as needed. I have 40'' of chain& 200'' 5/8" rode. My 2nd anchor is a Fortress. That seems to work equally as well. I''ve had them both out for up to 2 weeks at a time,never a problem. One other thing on technique,after setting I back down,very gently,then let the anchor dig in naturally from wind & wave action. Works for me. I have a PDQ36 catamaran.
Marc
 

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Walt et al, do you have any experience or opinion on the relatively new (French built) Spade anchor? I''m considering it as a replacement for, or addition to a CQR. It did very, very well in the recent Practical Sailor anchor tests.
http://www.spade-anchor.com/Site%20anglais/US/default_US.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have never seen this anchor..but it seems to be a take off on a bruce. Bruces are excellent anchors and no doubt the French in there always humble opinions may have made a better mouse trap. Once they appear at local marinas and we have some real life tests we should know.
 

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I agree that technique is nearly as important as selection. I prefer a Danforth in the muddy bottom along the New Jersey intercoastal. But, I had to learn the hard way on a charter boat in Greece how techniques vary by anchor types. My charter boat only had a single CQR. When we first reached the island of Kithnos, the wind outside the harbor was strong. Inside, the water was flat but much to my surprise, the wind was actually stronger than outside. It seemed to boil down the lee of the island and pick up speed. The harbor bottom was white sand and grass. After several failed attempts (I was the afternoon''s entertainment I can tell you) I adjusted my technique - I began taking very soft sets almost immediately after the CQR hit the bottom, letting the boat drift back a boat length at a time then repeating the soft set. Otherwise, the CQR simply fell on its side and dragged along. Once set, it buried deep and held perfectly for two days.
 

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I use my CQR as the primary anchor. It works most of the time (poor on grass and on and off for rocky bottoms) but if I could only have 1 anchor on board, it would be a fisherman. It holds to any type of bottom and is a great heavy weather anchor. If it weren''t so awkward to use, I''d use it regularly.
 

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I refuse to have a cqr on the boat! They are called a plow for a reason: they dig on and keep on moving, plowing right on through. Mud especially! Bruce''s are much better, Max is great, old style fisherman is great for grass and rocks, Danforth for extra. Have them all on S/V Dragonseeker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Short and sweet,
I also have all the popular anchors except the delta and I have hung on my bruce 33 (12,000 disp) more than once
in near gale with gale gusts. (20'' of 3/8 G3)
Praise be to bruce. And sleep well!

Dennis L.
 

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I have had very good luck with the CQR on my old boat.(Some good storms blew through and it held). I now have the SPADE about 1 1/2 years and I am happy with it. It is like an inverted Delta/CQR so that its face is concave as opposed to convex. So instead of "plowing" through like a Delta/CQR it "scoops" up the bottom like a Bruce or Max. The one similarities with the Delta/CQR is that it still has a pointy tip (that is heavily weighted I might add). Which will tend to dig in through a hard bottom or weeds better that most anchors
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have used a Bruce for many years and was well satified with it until I tried to anchor in weedy or grassy bottoms. It was very difficlt to get the Bruce to penetrate through the weeds. I replaced it with a Delta and have had excelent luck with it. It sets as fast as a Bruce but hold like a CQR. I have used CQR''s on charter boats in the past and have had trouble setting them in srtong winds. The Plow head tends to cock to the side if it gets draged across the bottom at the speeds encountered in strong winds. Once they are in they are in for good though. The Delta seems to combine the best attributes of both anchors.
 

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Here in Long Island Sound, nearly every boat has some kind of plow-type anchor hanging on the bow. That''s because even the sand bottoms are very hard here, so a heavy anchor with a penetrating point is necessary.

The CQR seems to be the most popular LI Sound anchor. I have the similar Delta myself, which I''ve never even had to reset in three seasons of use.

However, sailors in the Chesapeake Bay would probably be disappointed by CQRs and Deltas dragging in the softer bottoms there.

So, I don''t think that there''s any anchor that is more reliable than another, except in a limited context. I have read a couple of anchor trials ("hook-offs?"), one performed by West Marine, but anyone who understands statistics would consider their experimental designs pretty pathetic and their data inconclusive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Every bodys talking anchors... and thats cool but how about stating the length and displacement of your boat. And mabey mention the size(lb) of the anchors your using. What about depth, scope, chain size and length? If somone says their CQR (or whatever) held in a storm, it doesn''t mean much if it turns out that in reality it was a 35LB CQR anchor with thirty feet of one half inch chain, eighty feet of rode in seven feet of water with a twenty foot day sailer.

Dennis
 

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Dennis,

That''s an excellent point. There are many factors that go into effective ground tackle, and the anchor type is only one of them. Thanks for inserting that reality check in there.

Duane
 

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I too have a bruce 33# but use the Delta or danforth for most light work. Dennis''s point about technique is spot on. Setting the hook is a bit of an art, then the science takes over. At times though, the bruce is a bit awkward to handle and for sure plows have key advantages.
 

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I purchased two anchors for my Catalina 22 based on research from "Practical Sailor" and Fortress Anchors. It seems that fluke anchors set best in mud and sand, and plow anchors in harder stuff: I ended up with a 7.5 kg Bruce and a Fortress FX-11 (7 lbs) which are recommended for boats weighing 3x as much. The Bruce supposedly will re-set itself if a tidal flood or wind reversal shifts the boat 180 in the night. This after reading alot of accounts of dragged anchors from either being inappropriate or undersized. I also calculated a 3x safety factor on the rode components for wind force on a C-22 at 42 knots (800 lbs), and that included the strength of wet nylon vs dry (-15%), and the type of knot used to connect the rode. For what it''s worth.
 
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