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Old 30-05-2009, 02:44   #16
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Originally Posted by GMac View Post
... If working on the same safety margin of 4:1, the industry standard worldwide, US G4 excepted -
5/16" G43 has a WLL of 2425lb
3/8" BBB G30 has a WLL of 2650lb (that actually makes it a G33 but what's 3 between mates )

If a 4:1 margin is applied to a 5/16" chain with a WLL of 3900lb, that makes it a G65.

Just watch for that one. The elevated WLL of the G4 is purely due to a reduction of the safety margin. A playing with numbers thing...
Thanks for all the great information !!!

NACM (North American) states that neither Proof Test nor Minimum Breaking Force is to be used as criteria for “service and design purposes”; which seems very counterintuitive, to me. After all, these are the base data; to which judgement is then applied.

Do you know of any technical reasons why a G43 High Test chain should be rated (WLL) at a higher ratio* (1/3 of Breaking) of it’s Proof or Breaking force, than is a G30 chain (1/4 of Breaking)?

* LOWER Safety Margin

Note that the more critical Hoisting Chains (G80/G100) also use a 4:1 Breaking:WLL ratio.

Apparently, this (irrational?) practice is not followed in New Zealand and Europe.

See the NACM specs:

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Old 30-05-2009, 12:57   #17
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No idea Gord. About all we can come up with is that it is a cunning bit of marketing. If you look here and around it certainly has, generally US boaters only, going up to G40's where most of the world anchoring users use G30's.

Using G4 is far from a bad thing but many have gone that way when G3 would have been perfectly fine and all based on the elevated WLL.

There are a few chains with funny WLL's but all bar the High-Test are specialised or in a special use application. WLL's can vary in some cases based on use.

Yeap, this quirky High-Test thing is US only. The rest of us still have and use G4's (even though most use G3) but we don't fiddle with the safety margin.

The issue we see is boaters thinking they have got some super chain so go down a size too much and put themselves in a position where they are pushing limits a lot more than they realise in nasty weather. Also they loose some of the goodness chain brings to an anchor system. That's probably why the phrase 'use the biggest possible anchor' had to be created

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Old 30-05-2009, 13:27   #18
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We had a 45# CQR with 3/8" HT chain on our 22,000# plus Westsail 32. Never had a problem anchoring including a tropical depression with 50+ mph winds. Using a 45# CQR on a 28,000# boat with it's added windage seems too light to me. I would also go for 3/8" chain. The weight of the chain will help to keep the chain from straightening out and losing the shock absorbing value of the catenary. Have 5/16" on my 13,000# boat which seems to work fine. It's not so much the breaking strenght of the chain but the weight of the chain itself. In any case, use a rope snubber to take the load off the windlass and provide additional elasticity in the rode.

We only used all of our 230' chain once. Know there are some places where that wouldn't be enough but those are few and far between. If I needed extra rode would bend on rope.

The new Spade and it's clones are supposedly the best all around anchor available now. No anchor is good for all conditions however. The Danforth and clones are great for soft mud like the Chesapeake but don't set well in hard or weed bottoms. They also do not reset well when the angle of pull changes, btdt.

If you have to change the windlass, haunt Craig's List and Ebay. Good windlasses turn up regularly and a way to recoup some of the cost by selling your old windlass.

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Old 03-06-2009, 08:15   #19
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We ended up buying a Rocna anchor with the 5/16 HT chain. Should we use a swivel or is just a shackle sufficient?
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:36   #20
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I'm a believer in a high quality, strong swivel.
I wish I'd done this sooner!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:59   #21
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Fortress as primary anchor

Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
The Fortress works very well for a straight pull in soft sand or soft mud, but is difficult to set in even moderately hard sand, let alone weed or rock. If you are in a a reversing tide or current against wind situation, the Fortress cannot be counted on to reset. Its a good second anchor, but a poor primary one. We actually carry a FX37 as a third anchor because it is easy to stow disassembled, but have never used it.
Hard to follow this thinking Don. Our product is precision-machined to be very sharp, and it should bury much faster and deeper than heavier, dull-edged steel anchors...exceptions being in grass, weeds or rocks, where no anchor is 100% dependable.

A customer brought back an FX-37 after Hurricane Andrew hit south of Miami years ago. This anchor was one of three that were deployed, and the only one that held a 42' Silverton in 140 mph winds that lasted for several hours. We all know that hurricanes do not blow from only one direction.

Practical Sailor did a "re-setting" test a few years ago, and I think you would be surprised by the results.

After Hurricane Andrew, the FX-37 did get bent during retrieval, as it took the Silverton owner almost a day to get the anchor back out. The joke was that there was a Chinese gardener attached to it when it finally came loose.

Under our Lifetime Parts Replacement Warranty, the customer walked away with new parts for free.

Don't use the Fortress as a primary anchor? Sheesh, the US Coast Guard has been using them for years as a primary anchor: the FX-37 for their 40+ foot patrol boats, the FX-85 for their 87 footers, and the FX-125 for their 110 footers.

The FX-37 has also been chosen for their new 45' RBM and the FX-125 for their new 153' FRC vessels.

Sorry for the commercial guys, but I think a 2nd opinion on the topic is worth considering.

Best regards,
Brian Sheehan

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Old 04-06-2009, 09:20   #22
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I have always used Fortress Anchors.... granted, I always use one that is one size larger than called a personal preference....and I have never had a problem. I have a 60 lb CQR and the Fortress FX 37 on my bow. The FX 37 is my primary choice. Resetting has never been a problem here in FL in various bottoms.....

As far as the the manufacturer...and if its a new windlass, they may well exchange the part for little or nothing even just the cost of the shipping. A neighbor went through the same kind of process and the manufacturer exchanged the capstan happily to resolve the problem.
Forrest Gump was a true philosopher...
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:30   #23
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An FX37 Saved my Passport 47 from the beach in the Biscayne area in 70+ MPH winds. I just tossed it over the side when the other one broke out and it dug in! Having said that, I think it's pretty common knowledge that the Danforth syle of anchors are superb in a straight pull but do not reset well in a major wind shift. However, few anchors do reset well. The CQR has beed widely used by cruisers all over the world for many many years. Yes they do lay on their side alot. It's hard to argue with 30-40 years of round the world results though. Time will tell if the Rocna/Manson approach is a real improvment.... but it looks promising...
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:37   #24
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Greetings, and welcome aboard Brian.

I'm certain we all look forward to a productive dialogue with you on anchors, anchoring, and the the Fortress anchor, in particular.
Gord May
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:42   #25
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Good point Cheechako. Since no anchor will reset 100% of the time, we say in all of our Safe Anchoring Guide literature that if you anticipate a wind shift, then set two anchors just to be sure.

Also, I have been talking with CQR owners for years, and the new anchor manufacturers better tread lightly in putting down either that anchor or the Bruce.

Telling a CQR or Bruce owner that their anchor is a poor performer because of some recent anchor test does not sit well with a boater who has used one successfully for many years in a wide variety of difficult wind & bottom conditions.
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