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Old 29-03-2010, 18:43   #1
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Anchors - Brand Name vs Non-Brand Name

OK I've seen some discussions on Anchors talking specific brands. My boat came with three anchors

A Danforth Type
A Plow (CQR Type)
A claw (Bruce Type)

Does the brand matter that they are not actually CQR or Bruce? The design to me looks identical so why would brand name matter.

These three anchors should be plenty? I have not done any anchoring so would want to probably use 2 the Plow and Claw since they are both on my bowspirit. Have 30' of chain rode with 200-400' of rope for each. That should be plenty

If i let out 7:1 scope should that not hold me even in a storm? I have a C&C 27 5,500 lbs displacement
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Old 29-03-2010, 19:02   #2
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Sorry wanted to add:

I know i'm new to boating, but find the cost of Marine related equipment outrageous.

a few hundred dollars for a hunch of metal for an anchor is *$(&(#$ ridiculous. How can it possibly cost that much to manufacture.

I was looking at various blocks considering installing some lines to adjust my travellar since I don't have any and for these little blocks with cleats on them $40. That is ridiculous.

It makes boating and owning a boat less reachable for the non wealthy. Which is unfortunate since it is such an enjoyment.

Like to rant sometimes.
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Old 29-03-2010, 19:07   #3
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Well, you don't mention the size or weight of the anchors which is an important bit of info to answer your question.

In general it is difficult to say if a non brand name anchor is as good as the "real" thing. First of all depends on the quality of the anchor and how well made it is. Will it be as strong, even if is built to the shape?

There are Danforth knockoffs that are as good or better than the original. I hear a lot of claw anchors don't measure up to the original Bruce.

However, the bottom line is that none of these will do as good a job as the new generation anchors. Rocna, Manson Supreme, Spade and other newer designs in most bottom types will hold better than the older designs.
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Old 29-03-2010, 20:23   #4
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The Bruce clones are not good at all. Most stories about Bruce anchors not working are about the cheap knock offs instead of Bruce.

The original CQR has enough trouble so I wouldn't even think about the design but I guess the knock offs are pretty much same as original.

I would start by dumping the CQR and replacing it with a Rocna or Manson clone or a steel Spade and choose one size up from the manufacturers "storm size" recommendation except maybe Rocna who seem to give a realistic storm size recommendation.

cheers,
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Old 29-03-2010, 20:26   #5
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There are examples of improvements to the original design and really poor knockoffs. The two things to look for are whether the shape of the anchor has changed as how it is constructed. The shape will determine how well the anchor sets and holds. Generally, it is pretty tough to beat the original shape of the anchor with the one obvious exception being that danforth style anchors have been improved upon in certain cases. The construction of the anchor has to do with how durable it is. There are some horror stories out there of cheap knock-off anchors that were cast having catastrophic failures although it is unclear as to how common this is.

You don't mention the weights of the anchors but generally speaking, many people feel that you have a very good combination that will work for almost all bottoms. The newer generation anchors are nice because they generate high holding power for their weight and work in a wider range of bottom type.
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Old 29-03-2010, 21:39   #6
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I know this goes against most of the conventional wisdom on CF, but FWIW I haven't dragged yet with my Bruce clone (touch wood)- a lewmar SL claw. This was the one that didn't rate well in one of those boating magazine's reviews, but I've never had an issue. I've probably anchored 50 times with it, usually mud bottom, sometimes sandy, and sometimes mixed with some shell. I'm using the 20 kg model with 100 ft chain (200 ft rope rode), usually on a scope 5-7x the depth of water. Usual depth 20-40 ft of water. Worst conditions so far were 35-40 kts steady wind, 2-3 ft waves at the anchorage.
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Old 29-03-2010, 22:57   #7
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The problem with the Bruce clones is the shape and surface area of the claws. The Bruce anchor was actually the first anchor that was the result of scientific research for anchoring oil platforms etc. I have seen Bruce anchors that were 40' long (no kidding!). The shape of the claws they came up with is actually not cheap to manufacture and the clones use a simplified shape that is cheaper to do, but not based on any scientific approach to that shape, just to look like a Bruce a bit. The clones also tend to bend the shaft.

If you buy an anchor today, I see no reason to buy anything other than a proven new generation anchor. Some like to go down in size but I would keep it the same size as the old anchor (at least) and enjoy the extra holding power.

cheers,
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Old 30-03-2010, 07:32   #8
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one of the problems with the claws (bruce clones) is that they don't set well in vegetation.
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Old 30-03-2010, 08:30   #9
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Brand Name vs Non-Brand Name

Thank you for the replies. I am not particularly in the market for a new anchor, nor do I want to spend $$ .

If these anchors have been used for years with no issues, I don't see the need to replace.

I guess I will have to see how they hold up on Lake Ontario
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Old 30-03-2010, 08:47   #10
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Hi Outdoor,

I appreciate that you're not in the market for a new anchor, you've just spent quite a bit on a new (to you) boat. As you are new to sailing it may be that you are not going to be spending nights away from the dock, so your anchoring is possibly going to be limited to dropping the hook for lunch or a swim. If that's the case, then the anchors you have will probably be fine. You'll learn along the way what works and what gives problems. The anchor dragging during the day, when everyone is up and around seldom causes problems (though it might). Anchoring overnight is a totally different ball game. A wind getting up at zero zero dark and blowing you onto a lee shore is everyone's nightmare. When that happens the biggest, most efficient anchor you can manage is your best friend. It's the only brake you have It's been said many times on this forum, when people say that your anchor is too big, then it's probably about the right size for those panic moments.

P.
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Old 30-03-2010, 09:01   #11
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I do plan on overnight, but the previous owner singlehanded this boat from Lake Ontario all the way to Bahamas and I assume anchored overnight along the way and while there.

I guess time will tell. The books I've read, though older 70s rate these types as the best. If they were considered the best back then, I'm not always into getting the newest only because they are newer and yes obviously improved. But if the old ones worked.....

If I were buying a new boat then obviously you buy today best. But I also believe a couple hundred dollars for a hunch of metal is ridiculous. You can't tell me the time and materials that goes into the manufacture of one is that much.
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Old 30-03-2010, 09:49   #12
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Hi Outdoor,

I am not familiar with anchoring on lake Ontario and the bottom type there might be easy enough for most anchors to work successfully. Ask around with boats who's anchors look like they have actually been used a lot. You might well be just fine with what you have. If it's clay, mud (not too soft) or sand, the Bruce knock off might do well. I think the CQR only does well in sand but others still rave about the design for any bottom type.

The fact that your boat came with these anchors doesn't mean that they have been used for years with no issues. I see boats that always drag, even in "mild" 25 knot conditions. The owner often states he thinks his anchors are just fine and the problem lies elsewhere, like bottom type or the tide or the wife who didn't set it right etc. The real issue in those cases is lack of money to buy something bigger/better or the wish to use that money for more time in bars etc. or just the believe that dragging anchor is part of the experience.

The anchoring technique is important and I see most boats doing it wrong so there is much to gain in reading up on the subject and practicing it. The two biggest mistakes I see are using "electric down" instead of the clutch and not setting the anchor good enough. The "electric down" mistake is mostly found with US sailors and the not setting it good enough is mostly found with EU sailors ;-)

I think that you tried to find support for the anchors you have with your post, because you are not sure of their performance. I understand that you don't really want to spend money on new anchors... no one likes that. But the type of anchor and brand vs knock off really make a difference and what you have isn't near equal to other options so just keep that in mind when you start anchoring. The good news is that your anchors might work fine in Lake Ontario and that you know you can get better if they don't.

You have probably been reading some posts like Rocna vs Manson etc. that only add to the confusion. I think these two will both work just fine... it's the same anchor (It makes me think of the faucets made by both Hans Grohe and Friedrich Grohe...)

Ignore all that and go out and anchor. make sure you have markers on the rode every 60' or so. Never use less than 60' no matter how shallow it is. Prepare the anchor before "final approach" and go as slow as possible without loosing steering. When there are other boats nearby, never drop your anchor besides them... when it is busy, drop it just behind another boat. Stop the boat quickly once on the right spot and drop the anchor fast but don't let more rode fly out uncontrolled after the anchor hits bottom. Let the boat fall back (no engine use after it has started moving back) while paying out more rode (not pulling on the anchor) until you have 3 times water depth out. Put a little friction on while paying out further (tighten the clutch a little bit) until you get to 5 times the depth and at that point slowly but decisively tighten the clutch. Hold on as the anchor should set and pull the boat straight and forward again. Put the engine in dead-slow reverse and wait until everything stabilizes. Feel the rode with hand or bare foot: it will tell you if the anchor is set or dragging. Put a snubber on (take tension off windlass) and increase rpm to 1200 or so and take bearings to shore/other boats to see if you're holding for at least 5 minutes. From there on you need experience to know if you can/should pull harder. Try it out. On soft bottoms the anchor might need time to settle deeper while it should set 100% on sand immediately.

When you're good, adjust the scope to whatever you want. We normally match the scope of boats around us (a little shorter because we are often the longer boat) or go 5:1 if there's enough room. As you have a chain/rope rode you'll want a bit more scope like 7:1 if there's enough room. We have used 3:1 in 40 knots without trouble.

If the anchor is set for a day or so, you should be able to give full reverse without dragging. If you do drag when trying that, you will drag in a storm too. Don't be afraid (or ashamed) to test that... you must to get the feel of your gear.

Some bottom types are just trouble, like rock or (dead) coral or a thin layer of sand over rock or coral. We do anchor on that if there is no alternative but don't consider the boat anchored, ie. stay aboard and keep anchor watch.

After all of our years of anchoring, we sometimes decide to practice it again. I remember a day in Rodney Bay, St Lucia when the wind was blowing at 35 knots and there was a lot of room around a mooring buoy. We picked up the anchor and practiced anchoring right behind that buoy (as close as possible). The difficulty is controlling the boat to go slow enough without the wind picking you up and throwing you around. We spend an hour practicing the approach with both me and Josie behind the wheel. One of the tricks to master is moving sideways to the side you want by tacking the bow through the wind with just enough forward thrust (no bow thruster). Next we anchored there 3 or 4 times, which can get exciting with the boat going fast while paying out rode (look out for you fingers around the rode!).
Everyone was looking at us and one came over with the dinghy to ask if we needed assistance ;-) During happy hour we were the subject of conversation and jokes and we laughed with them until they finally asked what went wrong. I then explained and said we were now confident we could anchor in any exact spot we wanted in a crowded anchorage even with 50 knots of wind. The consensus was that we were crazy to practice that... some even didn't believe we were practicing ;-))

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 30-03-2010, 10:10   #13
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Quote:
a few hundred dollars for a hunch of metal for an anchor is *$(&(#$ ridiculous. How can it possibly cost that much to manufacture.
Well, we'd all like everything to cost less, of course, but there is more to an anchor than a hunk of metal and more to the costs of producing, marketing and distributing than just manufacturing. Also, VALUE and price are two different things.

How much do shoes cost? Or food?

You just have to weigh your own priorities in there with what's available, prices, and more. For me personally, while I'd love it if the new anchor, windlass, and rode I'm about to buy only came to a couple hundred bucks, in the long run, the feeling of security as well as the ease of using the new equipment outweigh the money considerations so that I feel great appreciation for the variety of choices available to me. And even appreciation for all my past experience using a cheap knock-off anchor and hauling it all up by hand.

How you choose to look at it all can make for a thoroughly pleasant experience. Or not.

blessings,
R
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Old 30-03-2010, 11:37   #14
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When comparing the cost of "similar" anchors, take into account the manufacturing process. For example, the original CQR is forged but my Plastimo plow knockoff is cast (steel, not iron!), some others are welded. Casting is generally cheaper than forging, even when heat-processed for stress relieving. It's improbable that a poorly cast anchor would break under the cable tension but a shock on rocky bottom could do it.

Also take into account the steel grade. High-tensile steel is expensive in itself and much more difficult and costly to work than ordinary steel. If you look carefully at other boats, you will see many anchors with the flukes bent out of true. I wouldn't rely on them.

Alain
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Old 30-03-2010, 20:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The anchoring technique is important and I see most boats doing it wrong so there is much to gain in reading up on the subject and practicing it. The two biggest mistakes I see are using "electric down" instead of the clutch ...
I agree that when deploying the anchor you should just release the clutch and let it free fall for several reasons, but I'm not sure I understand why you think that impacts whether the anchor gets set properly.
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