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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For our first trip south next fall/winter (ICW, Keys, Bahamas) we're purchasing a new gen anchor (no discussion here which one).

Question is which of existing anchors to take as spare? We'll take the Fortress and then need to decide between the Delta (our current primary) and Bruce.

Second question is about chain/rode. Current set up from PO has spare rode same as primary with 125 ft of chain and then 3 strand line. Thinking that if we need to use the spare it's more likely that doing this by hand. Would it make sense to shorten the chain to make handling easier?
 

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For our first trip south next fall/winter (ICW, Keys, Bahamas) we're purchasing a new gen anchor (no discussion here which one).

Question is which of existing anchors to take as spare? We'll take the Fortress and then need to decide between the Delta (our current primary) and Bruce.

Second question is about chain/rode. Current set up from PO has spare rode same as primary with 125 ft of chain and then 3 strand line. Thinking that if we need to use the spare it's more likely that doing this by hand. Would it make sense to shorten the chain to make handling easier?
With one of the new generation anchors (Rockna/Manson/Spade and similar), you may find that you will have little need for a secondary anchor. That said, the Fortress is a wise choice for alternate bottom conditions, particularly very mushy/muddy bottoms. As for the Delta/Bruce choice it's likely 6 of one/a half dozen of the other. I would probably choose the one that is easier to handle since the function each is very close to the other.

As for the secondary rhode, if your primary anchor isn't suitable for a given bottom you might need to rely upon the secondary in which case I would want the rhode to be no less suitable/reliable than the primary rhode. With that, it is reasonable that both the primary and secondary rhode be the same. From your comment/question, I assume your anchor windlass cannot be used for your secondary rhode which must be handled manually. If so, that task would be greatly simplified by installing a chain lock inboard of your secondary bow roller. For example:



By passing your chain through this, the lock will take the strain of the chain between hoists, which can be timed to the fall of the bow. I/We used this method with both our primary and secondary rhode on our former yacht, which was not fitted with a windlass, to good advantage.

While some will argue that a short length of chain (equal to the length of the boat for example) will be sufficient, others, including me, feel more comfortable with a substantial length of chain between the rope rhode and the anchor if one is not fitted with all chain. For the Bahamas/Keys etc. you will likely find that, in other than exceptional conditions, 125 feet of chain is more than adequate for your needs.

FWIW...
 

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need to decide between the Delta (our current primary) and Bruce.
Sounds like you have the most faith in the Delta, so that seems like the best choice.

Second question is about chain/rode. Current set up from PO has spare rode same as primary with 125 ft of chain and then 3 strand line. Thinking that if we need to use the spare it's more likely that doing this by hand. Would it make sense to shorten the chain to make handling easier?
I would think the only time you would use the Delta is if you lose the primary. If you can fit it, carrying a second identical rode would make sense in case you lose your primary rode at the same time. Since you have both already, and are not likely to use either, just stick them both in the bilge or some other low spot if you can afford the room/weight.

Not sure if you already have a different rode for the Fortress, but personally I would keep that rigged and ready to go as a stern anchor with 10-20 feet of light, strong chain. You can use it is a lunch hook or kedge. If you need to use it instead of you next gen anchor due to bottom conditions, you can just put it on your primary rode and leave the next gen tied in the roller.
 

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Here's what we have, for full time cruising.
1) 88 # Rocna w/300' 3/8" chain
2) 65 # genuine CQR w/ 50' 3/8" chain and 350" 1" braided nylon
3) 45 # Northill s/s folding seaplane anchor w/ 150' 3/4" 3 strand nylon
4) 35 # Danforth w/20' chain & 175' 1" 3 strand nylon
5) 35 # rock anchor (grapnel) w/30' chain & 120' 1" 3 strand nylon
6) 45 # Bruce w/30' 3/8 chain and 150' 3/4" 3 strand nylon
I'd prefer 1/2" chain on main anchor.
Every anchor except the Bruce I have used with success. The Northill is the only anchor I'd use without chain.
I'm probably a bit overdoing it on this, but I've never lost or damaged an anchored boat, even in quite a few hurricanes.
 

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For our first trip south next fall/winter (ICW, Keys, Bahamas) we're purchasing a new gen anchor (no discussion here which one).
I don't think there is a clear winner between the Delta and the Bruce. If they are roughly the same size, I agree that easiest handling takes the day.

My choice is one you didn't offer: sell the Delta and the Bruce and get another new gen anchor, preferably one that breaks down (a Spade, a Raya Tempest, or a Rocna Stowable if you can find one).

Since your secondary is manual you can afford to cut the chain in half and shackle it back together when needed. You might even break it up into three pieces based on weight. Store the pieces in buckets or bags to make carrying them forward easier. Remember the boat may be bouncing around while you are trying to carry things around.

I have a stern anchor complete with roller and windlass. That said I wouldn't stage your Fortress there. I've kedged off lots of times but never from the stern, and used the stern anchor setup exactly once in eight years. That isn't to say you won't store your extra anchors and rode aft in a cockpit locker. Just don't think of it as a stern anchor. Make sure you can deploy from the bow without having to kill yourself in the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks - several good ideas that I hadn't considered. From this I think that our best bet will be to keep the existing second chain & rode and store it deep & low. Then add a new set up for the Fortress with a more manageable length of chain that we can keep more accessible for kedge or second anchor situations. Thanks for the advise. Many more questions to come as we begin this preparation.
 

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My choice is one you didn't offer: sell the Delta and the Bruce and get another new gen anchor, preferably one that breaks down
+1.

This is what I did. I sold of my old anchor and am going to eventually buy a Mantus for the bilge. The idea is this is a second bower in case the primary is ever lost. May never be used, but still nice to have if you will be going to remote areas where purchasing a new anchor is not likely.

I have not made this purchase yet, but probably will before we head to the Bahamas. I like the Mantus because it is (relatively) cheap, people love it, and it seems very easy to store compared to most next gen anchors.
 

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Glad you are taking anchoring seriously. During our Bahamas trip staying put via an anchor was early on my most consistent concern. Once I put on my storm anchor , a Manson Supreme and took off the Danforth we could sleep easy and visit islands as long as wanted. Hauling up the extra weight was a small price to pay for the security. Get two great anchors if you have the budget, plus you may need to anchor Bahamian style. Have fun.
 
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