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You can have the latest greatest anchor but if you ain't got the chain and scope you ain't holding.
 
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If you have a history of anchoring with all chain for over 23 years with the original CQR... and never dragged.... would you upgrade to a new anchor?
 

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Isn't one of the primary considerations with anchors that it matters what type of sea bed you will be anchoring in? There is no one size fits all with anchors, is there? For example, some anchors are better for sandy bottoms, others for muck. Some you would not want to use in rocky areas and others less likely to get stuck. Then of course the load on the anchor could rule out some not suitable for a heavy boat or poor conditions.
 

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Old soul
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If you have a history of anchoring with all chain for over 23 years with the original CQR... and never dragged.... would you upgrade to a new anchor?
Yes... in fact I did exactly that. Went from a genuine CQR to a Rocna. Never looked back.

There's nothing wrong with the older style anchors. They're just not as good as the newer ones. It doesn't mean your CQR isn't good. It just means there are better options now.

Personally, I think having anchored with CQRs for the first decade of my cruising taught me to be a better anchorer. The one down side of the newer anchors is that they are so good, people can get away with worse technique. But this eventually comes back to bite.
 

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1980 Endeavour 32
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The one down side of the newer anchors is that they are so good, people can get away with worse technique. But this eventually comes back to bite.
I also think this is true. I literally seem to be able to just toss (well, heave maybe) my Rocna over the side and throw the line after it. Let the boat drift where it wants. When the wind picks up it digs in like the proverbial Alabama tick !

But yes, this is no subsitute for proper techniques and adequate scope of chain and/or rode.
 

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If you have a history of anchoring with all chain for over 23 years with the original CQR... and never dragged.... would you upgrade to a new anchor?
I have an interest in anchors and frequently talk to other cruising sailors about their anchor gear and experiences.

As Mike has reported, many have upgraded from older designs to newer models and these people are always astonished at the improvement.

Occasionally I meet someone who is anchoring frequently, still using a CQR, and is happy with no desire to upgrade. Often the explanation is they confine their cruising to a relatively small geographic area with a substrate where the CQR performs well (a medium soft bottom).

There is another small group that cruise areas with more variable substrates including some anchorages with hard substrates where the CQR works poorly. Interestingly, these people while happy with their CQR accept the limitations. When talking about anchorages they rule out many locations “the holding is very poor in that bay” or set quite restrictive conditions “that is day time anchorage only”, “don’t anchor there if the forecast is over 25 knots” etc etc.

Both of these groups are safe and rarely drag, but nevertheless their anchoring gear is not performing as well as modern equipment and at least in some situations this is imposing limitations on what they can do.
Plant Plant community Ecoregion Water Natural landscape
 

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The one down side of the newer anchors is that they are so good, people can get away with worse technique. But this eventually comes back to bite.
Sometimes it works in one's favor. We returned to the US yesterday. It was a clear, hot day as we reached the inlet in Georgia and began sailing up the river. Suddenly the horizon had a black wall on it, and we knew that was a line squall/derecho and these are moving fast, so I got the sails down and engines on just as the temperature was dropping quickly. The wind went to 35kt as we motored at high speed to get to the side of the river where we could drop anchor. With rapidly increasing winds and losing control of boat attitude, I dumped as much chain as I could before the boat skidding back ripped it off the windlass, threw on the chain hook just as the 50-60kt wall of wind hit us. There was no time to set the anchor, or even properly lay out chain - it was all just dumped in the water. That anchor grabbed instantly on ~3:1 scope, the chain went bar tight, and the boat stopped dead with a bit lurch. There was no way to get the bridle on at that time, so we rode on just the chain in 50kts for 30-40min until the wind got back down to 30kts where the bridle could be deployed.

If that anchor didn't grab like it did, we would not have had sufficient control of the boat to prevent it from going ashore. Having spent many years with a CQR and a Delta, I have no doubts that both of those anchors would not have bit instantly, or even set at all when summarily dumped with a pile of chain on top of them. The downside was that I think this was the deepest we have ever buried an anchor because it was a real bear to get back out.

Forgot to mention that the anchor is a Rocna sized to the boat according to the manufacturer's sizing chart (ie, not oversized like many tend to do).

Mark
 

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I too have dumped an anchor in haste, not as dramatic but stil I was appreciative of the quick set. We have an oversized anchor and have been glad of it a few times. Sometimes thr bottom is just really bad, lots of look rock. We have picked up rocks before, had them plunk back into the water. And one place there was just a skim of sand over some hard pack, therebthe conditions were light and we were really only laying to the weight of the chain and anchor.

I have found anchoring in Newfoundland challenging at times, smooth rock ledges covered with light mud or loosely stuck weed.

When we got our big boat it had a 45lb CQR, I found that to be a joke I some Chesapeake locations, it would just pull through the thin mud, not enough surface area or weight to dig in.

The other tricky situation is in crowded anchorages, it tends to push you to short scope. I want all the holding I can have.

I just don't see the justification to not get the best and heaviest anchor you can. I saw a video of a guy with a Mantus storm anchor. He had to ride out a hurricane so he assembled this oversized Mantus, they can be stored broke down, and survived 70 knots. I am not fond of that solution but he had the solution he needed.
 

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I too have dumped an anchor in haste, not as dramatic but stil I was appreciative of the quick set. We have an oversized anchor and have been glad of it a few times. Sometimes thr bottom is just really bad, lots of look rock. We have picked up rocks before, had them plunk back into the water. And one place there was just a skim of sand over some hard pack, therebthe conditions were light and we were really only laying to the weight of the chain and anchor.

I have found anchoring in Newfoundland challenging at times, smooth rock ledges covered with light mud or loosely stuck weed.

When we got our big boat it had a 45lb CQR, I found that to be a joke I some Chesapeake locations, it would just pull through the thin mud, not enough surface area or weight to dig in.

The other tricky situation is in crowded anchorages, it tends to push you to short scope. I want all the holding I can have.

I just don't see the justification to not get the best and heaviest anchor you can. I saw a video of a guy with a Mantus storm anchor. He had to ride out a hurricane so he assembled this oversized Mantus, they can be stored broke down, and survived 70 knots. I am not fond of that solution but he had the solution he needed.
I suppose you get the anchor for the bottoms you will be anchoring. Nowadays anchoring on the bottoms of LIS southern NE a CQR does the job. Eel grass is hard to anchor in. A nextgen anchor is certainly a good upgrade. But a nexgen is no excuse for not knowing how to anchor your boat. If I were to cruise and do a wide range of bottoms... I would replace my anchor. Chessie may need a nexgen anchor... dunno.
 

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Old soul
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Quick-setting and the ability to hang off a shorter scope are indeed some of the great benefits of these newer anchors. No doubt about it.

But I do credit my years of working with older-style anchors (CQR, Danforth, Bruce) with having helped me develop good anchoring technique. I still apply the same technique to anchoring with my Rocna.

One of the other great benefits of these newer anchors is that they are not only better, but they cover a greater range of substrate. Where I used to routinely switch between a plow (mostly CQR) and a Danforth, the Rocna now does it all (or most of it).

BTW, I think there are better anchors than Rocna now. If I were buying a new anchor today it would be a Sarca Excel. And I'd probably buy a Mantus to be my spare.
 

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Nearby is a BIG new sloop, maybe 80 feet. The bow roller is massive, high polished stainless. The anchor is a highly polished stainless CQR of no substantial size. My guess is they NEVER anchor.

But then, for all our focus on anchor designs, I see lots of fishermen using homemade grapnel anchors. On boats up to 65 feet, heavy boats. But I guess their use case is very different. Don't know. They don't seem to be afflicted with a sailors anchor obsession.
 

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bell ringer
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If you look at boats in marinas and boatyards it is easy to pick out the cruisers from others just by the anchors.
 

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I always feel like the anchor discussion could be decomposed a bit:

Q1: I need to buy a new anchor - what should I buy?

Most likely the answer to this is to buy a new design.

Q2: I am happy with the anchor I have - should I change?

People who trust their current anchor may be loath to change. Also, anchors change quickly - now the rollbar designs are not the newest - should I replace the rollbar anchor I just bought 2 years ago?

Q3: If I carry a second anchor, does it make sense to carry a different type?
 
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