I have been cruising the Med for the last year and it is an ideal laboratory for studying anchors as the water
is clear and there are lots of boats. On many days I have been able to snorkel over and observe how 10 or 15 anchors have set on the boats around me.
I have been particularly interested because I am looking at getting a new anchor
myself. Probably a Rocna
55. Here are my observations arranged from the best to worst.
Not a common anchor
and I have only dived on half a dozen but they were all beautifully set and I never saw a boat with this anchor drag. I was particularly impressed by one boat that dropped what looked like a small anchor for a 45 foot yacht. They let out very little scope
. Despite this the anchor held considerable revs in reverse. I snorkeled over to the anchor and it was completely buried in hard packed sand. The scope
was so short that at times the chain was completely lifting off the seabed and we only had 5 to 10 knots of breeze. The wind
picked up to 30 knots during the day and there boat never moved despite the incredibly short scope. Very Impressive.
Bugel and copies
Set well and generally were more buried than other anchors (apart from the Spade) but I did see one boat drag with this anchor.
A very popular anchor in the med and was usually set much better than the plows at the same location. I saw boats drag with this anchor some due to operator error, but not all.
The copies did not do as well.
Surprisingly to me this was generally the next best set after the above anchors
Very variable results. Some set well others just lying on the side with marks where they had slid along the bottom. There didnít seem any difference between the genuine CQR
and the copies. My own plow dragged 4 times during the year.
Bruce and copies
A popular anchor but in my opinion the worst performer. I never saw one well buried. The only redeeming feature was that one fluke was always slightly buried offering some resistance where as the plow could be just sitting on the surface even if it had been dragged backwards.
The snorkeling results very generally observed on sand or sand and weed bottoms. If the chain was pilled in a heap and no force had been placed on the anchor no anchor will set and I ignored the appearnce . If the bottom was mud usually the water
visibility was too poor to feel like snorkeling or to find anchors if I did.
In general it was amazing how poor the anchoring
results were particularly in Croatia
. If the wind
picked up to only 25 Knots often 50% of the boats dragged .Observing 20 or so boats re-anchoring, often multiple times, gives a good indication of what anchors donít work. Some of this (perhaps half the boats that dragged ) was operator error, usually to short a scope and all the charter
boats had anchors that in my opinion were too small, although they were probably the manufacturers recommended size.
I only saw one boat with a Mason supreme and that was in a marina.
I think the above shows the new generation anchors are superior to the old school
designs. I could not observe a Rocna
, but the design looks right and despite the excellent observed performance of the spade I have some concerns over its small fluke area in soft mud.