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Old 04-10-2008, 00:31   #1
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Anchor observations

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.

Spade
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.

Delta and copies
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.

Danforth
Surprisingly to me this was generally the next best set after the above anchors

Plow
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.

Disclaimer
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.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:08   #2
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Aloha Noelex,
Your input is really great! Thanks. Very helpful.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 04-10-2008, 14:53   #3
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That is a great post. Thanks Noelex.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:43   #4
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Interesting post, Noelex.

Here in the Caribbean, most anchorages have nice sandy bottoms, but some have grass and some have a thin sand layer over hardpan. The latter is bad news for any anchor. The majority of the dragging that I've seen is by charter boats with too little scope on too small an anchor. I've always stayed clear of them, and even sometimes moved if one anchors upwind.

My Delta with all-chain rode has performed well here. I used to dive to check it's set, but got lazy after seeing time after time that it had dug well in after just a few feet of initial dragging. I do still check in the anchorages with questionable holding.

Thanks for sharing your observations with us!
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Old 05-10-2008, 19:34   #5
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I have 4 anchors onboard-all oversized-none of them work well in all places in the Med-I have the a140 Spade,($900usd) 140' of chain then 350 ft, of 3/4 nylon on the back of the chain -

I bought the Spade-as my primary and quickly found out it did not go thru weeds at all or hard packed sand well and its useless in rocks-so I bought Manson Sub (haha) prime 45lbs about-($500+) I found out this does not work well in weeds but but better than the Spade over all-so i have been using it as my main

I also bought an ABC 10 pounder ($300) that works only in mud or soft sand, and recently I have done what all the local boats have done and bought a Grapeling type anchor 48lbs for less than $100 and find it works very well in weeds and rocks, and thats about 50% of the bottom in Greece
I use ample scope -
pound for pound and for the $ the cheap local one is the best buy!
ANyone want to buy a spade or ABC at half price? 2 years old
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Old 05-10-2008, 23:18   #6
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I've sailed with the beugal anchor and a spade and as Ram said did not like the way the spade set. I had to reancor twice one night off the coast of florida because the spade just pulled out of the bottom even with ample scope. I prefer the beugal anchor because it won't end up on its back and it digs in and stays, we had winds of 30 knots one day when we rented a boat for the weekend and while the boats around us drged we just sat there and didn't move.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:17   #7
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I think the real world experience of people that have used 2 or more anchors is very useful. Thanks to Ram and little Otter and keep them coming.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:14   #8
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Dear Ron
Yours is the first slightly negative comment I have read about the Rocna/Manson supreme anchor ( I find it hard to believe there is any difference in performance of these 2 similar anchors, but I believe the statements from Criss about the Manson being a copy and I would prefer to pay the extra for the Rocna to cover R&D, unless the cost difference becomes excessive). I think often negative comments about a new product can often be more illuminating than the positive comments. Human nature is such that we don’t like admitting, even to ourselves, that we have spent a considerable amount of money on something that was not an improvement.
On the plus side I note you rate a 45lb Manson supreme better a 60lb spade and that it is your primary anchor.
I have a few supplementary questions if you have the time to answer.

How would you rate the performance of the Manson to the older plows and Bruce etc ?
What size is your Cat ?
What sort of grapnel have you got where was it purchased ?

The weed her in the Med can be tough and a cheap Grapnel is a good solution. My plow anchor is failing to set even in sand and I need a better primary anchor. I am still hoping an oversize Rocna with my 13mm chain will work well enough in weed, but if not I would be interested in the details of the grapnel.
Does anyone want to buy an 80lb plow or a 45lb genuine CQR ? If I get a new grapnel as well as the Rocna I will have 5 anchors if I don’t sell one.(I also have a Fortrss FX37 which is a great kedge)
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77
Human nature is such that we donít like admitting, even to ourselves, that we have spent a considerable amount of money on something that was not an improvement.
Ain't THAT the truth!!!

It's like the people who spend money on some snake-oil gas mileage improver. No matter that all the science and controlled testing proves that it does nothing, almost all of the people who spend money on these things will SWEAR that they have gotten an improvement in gas mileage! Or the guy I knew who spent hundreds of dollars on super-large-gauge speaker wires for his stereo. He was CERTAIN that he could hear a difference between his wires and my wires (which cost a fraction of his, but were of large enough gauge to transmit 100% of the audible signal).

But, as you say, it's human nature. If you've just spent $400 for a set of over-sized wires then you ARE going to hear a difference, no matter if it is REALLY there or not! And likewise, if you have just spent a bundle of money on a fancy new anchor you ARE going to believe that it holds better, whether it REALLY does or not!
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Old 06-10-2008, 13:06   #10
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Quote:
Or the guy I knew who spent hundreds of dollars on super-large-gauge speaker wires for his stereo.
Oh that "fools and their money being departed" comes to mind with that. But hey, it gives me a great idea. They sell speaker wire with Arrows printed on it. It is called Directionalised copper wire. You connect it from Amplifier to speakers in the direction of the arrows because the electrons are supposed to flow better that way. I guess no one told them the the signal is AC huh? Anyway, why don't we simply stamp an arrow onto the flukes of the anchor and call it directionalised steel with the claim that the steel cuts down into the seabed better in that direction.
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Old 06-10-2008, 13:55   #11
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Actually the speaker wire does make a difference. Specifically the wire has to be O2 free. on a very good setup you can hear the difference in a ringing tendancy at the high end. I only have a Marantz / Paradigm setup but a buddy of mine who recently spent 4k on a turntable showed me the difference.
Now is the difference worth it? No
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Old 06-10-2008, 15:10   #12
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Hey wheels good idea, if you do that you will make millions, BTW (remind me never to buy anything from wheels that has arrows stamped on it!)
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Old 06-10-2008, 15:16   #13
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LOL....Wheels...I think amytom may be interested in your unobtainium connectors!
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Old 06-10-2008, 21:23   #14
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Noelex77 , btw my name is Ram
its 6am here in Ketheria, Greece and ive been stuck here waiting on wind to change a bit its been blowing 35=40 knots for days , in the wrong direction and im off on a 800 mile passage to Algeria when day breaks, so , im up took this picture of the Grapel type anchor that is very common in the Med, , this works better in weeds/rocks than anything I have so far and is by far the cheapest,less than $100 My cat is 38 feet and it has held well in 40-50 knot blows
, I think the Mason Subprime is built very strong and I think the chain would fail or something eles would break before it did, I had to enlarge the hole in the hull where the primary anchor lay for it to fit right, it may not fit in all boat designs
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Old 07-10-2008, 00:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
Anyway, why don't we simply stamp an arrow onto the flukes of the anchor and call it directionalised steel with the claim that the steel cuts down into the seabed better in that direction.
Too late big fella, someone's beaten you too it. Check out Rams photo above, it's the flash model with 4 arrows
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