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Old 07-03-2010, 13:58   #1
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Conflicting Info About Size of Second Anchor...

Hi. Maybe I just don't understand, but I'm looking for a second anchor. I was advised to add a Danforth, since the boat's only anchor right now is a delta plow anchor. I suspect the Delta is undersized, even though it held well under less-than-stressful conditions during a cruise last season. But that's another story.

My question is this: I've been told to purchase an anchor one size up from the recommended size for my boat. Well, the recommended Danforth size according to Defender is 8.5 lbs. My assumption is that I should buy the 13 lb. version. I went into West Marine yesterday, however, and their Danforth-style anchor recommendation was 22 lbs. for my boat's size. The thing was a monster. It wouldn't even fit in my anchor locker. I can't imagine what the next size up would be.

Any advice?
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Old 07-03-2010, 14:23   #2
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What size Delta do you have? we use a 10kg Delta (22lbs) on our 31 footer and it is a good anchor. We also have a Fortress FX11 as a spare which folds and lives under a forward bunk. They are quite popular combinations btw.

The manufacturers have hopefully done there homework, so unless you are heading down to Drakes Passage why not stick with what they recommend. On our sized yachts I can lift the anchor by hand if I need too
I have just noticed that Defender have the sizes wrong for the Delta range of anchors on their website. Makes me wonder about the Danforths then?

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Old 07-03-2010, 14:26   #3
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Thanks, Pete. I have no choice but to lift the anchors by hand. And I'm sorry but I don't know what size the Delta is. I looked at it today to try to find a size indication on it, but to no avail.

I just checked out the FX11, and I see that the 10-lb. version is one step up from the recommended size for my boat. It looks very promising.
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Old 07-03-2010, 14:41   #4
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Dennis, all is not lost (and I am willing to bet a beer its the 22lb version) because Lewmar give the sizes on their website:

Lewmar

The Fortress is really good for folding down and stowing away, only down size is the cost but you are only going to buy one of them. Searching the forums suggests Fortresses like lots of scope, so pick up a long length of rope & chain to go with it, we have probably 15m of chain and 40m of rope.

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Old 07-03-2010, 14:45   #5
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Great advice, Pete. Thanks again. I think I'll buy the Fortress.
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Old 07-03-2010, 15:01   #6
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Great advice, Pete. Thanks again. I think I'll buy the Fortress.
Dennis, no problem, had to Google an Ericson 32-200 btw as I wasn't sure what they were like, nice yacht

The one other anchor that might be worth thinking about is the Rocna which seem to have an excellent reputation but where are you going to store it? I suspect you will have the same problem as us and thats space.

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Old 07-03-2010, 15:41   #7
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I checked out the Rocna yesterday, Pete, and I was hoping there would be a more affordable solution. I think the Fortress is a great solution.

I followed your lead and Googled the Moody 31. You too, sir, are in possession of a fine vessel.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-03-2010, 16:02   #8
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The combination that you are proposing is quite popular and has worked well for a lot of people. Selecting an anchor size is not an exact science and if you ever find out that you bought too small of an anchor, it will be at exactly the right time.

You should look at what you feel the anchor's role is on your boat. Do you simply daysail and occasionally anchor for lunch or do you spend a lot of nights on the hook? Do you ever get far enough from your own mooring that if a big storm were in the forecast, you would be forced to ride it out on your hook? How do you plan to deal with thunderstorms, does that plan involve anchoring ever and if not, what happens if you are already anchored? If any of your answers to these questions suggest that you will be anchored in a blow at any point, getting a much larger anchor is preferable.

Generally speaking, danforth type anchors do well in a straight line pull but are less than ideal if the wind direction is going to shift. They also have by far the highest holding power per pound in the straight line pull. For these reasons, they are popular storm anchors because of their high holding power and less popular for an overnight anchor because of the issues with wind and current shifts. When deploying multiple anchors, it is very difficult to distribute the load across them very well so you almost always end up with all the strain on 1 anchor which means that anchor needs to be large enough for the conditions. If your main anchor is small, then your storm anchor needs to be pretty big.

It is also worth noting how anchors are rated. Most manufacturers rate their anchors based on 30 knots of wind, no significant wave action and good holding bottom. In my opinion, this is how you would size a lunch hook and not something that you will actually depend on in less than ideal situations. The only manufacturer that has a reasonable rating system in my view is Rocna who rates for 50 knot winds and average holding conditions.

When was the last time someone said to you that their storm anchor was too large?
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Old 07-03-2010, 17:16   #9
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Good post klem!
Hi Dennis, A Delta 14# should be total 23" long, a delta 22#
should be 27" long...might help sizing up your Delta.
For the most part walking around our local marinas and
observing what is hanging off the bows of the average boat
scares me! On average they look about half the size they should
be...and I keep that in mind when I anchor.
Now for specifics...I sail a 30ft./ 8,500 lb boat, that totals about
10,000 lbs with tankage, provisions and crew...I use approx
a 16 lb Danforth type anchor for most calm nights in protected
waters ( to light by about 5-6 lbs in my opinion) but that affords
me to fit and carry (in my small anchor locker) a 35 lb. Delta
with about 50 ft. of chain that I use when conditions warrant.
Both anchor are ready to deploy immediately.
If your going to cruise even coastal you can never go wrong with
the biggest you can carry...even if you have to carry on your bow
rail or even your stern rail (running up to the bow.
As expensive as they are, they become real cheap insurance.
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Old 07-03-2010, 17:36   #10
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You can measure, or just weigh yours - 14 is 14 kg, roughly 30 pounds.

For comparison:

- my boat roughly 8,800 lb loaded, my anchor roughly 22 lb (Bruce), I would use same weight Delta, same weight Danforth (exceptf Fortress or Guardian which are alloy and you can go with a lighter one).

- if you invest in the real stuff (Spade, Rocna, Mason, etc.) then 15 kg (33 lb) is probably the max you want - and it would be the ultimate rig.

b.
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Old 07-03-2010, 17:57   #11
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What size Delta do you have? we use a 10kg Delta (22lbs) on our 31 footer and it is a good anchor.
I have used a Delta 55# (25KG) for 8 years on my 33 footer and found it to be just right:

It is a storm anchor, a working anchor and a lunch hook rolled into one big fat ball.

Only had a problem once, but that was in bad holding and my fault. (Should not have anchored there in the first place AND should not have used an anchor/spring line to get the boat perpendicular to the wind but into the waves...Honeymoon Harbor, Bahamas)

Dragged that one time, but hundreds of other anchoring situations with the big Delta has been positive and I really like the Delta.

Always go a size or 2 up from the manuafactors recommedation: They are not on your boat when you get hit by a squall @ 0200 blowing 40 to 50 and the engine won't start because you went cheap on the batteries 3 years ago...

Nowadays I got the next generation, a Rocna 44# (20Kg) and found the holding power to be better than the 55 Delta.

Before I go to bed I night I try to abuse the anchor: Short scope and full power in reverse.
If the anchor can hold without dragging I will sleep really, really good.
After the power test I let out more scope...just in case.

Having been a liveaboard in the hurricane belt with no boat insurance for years, I take my anchors seriously and I sure as heck don't listen to no manufactors recommedation for size. (They go light to make their anchor size for your boat look cheap and make a sale...30 knots.)
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:56   #12
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Are you recommending a 25kg anchor Dennis doesn't have a windlass so has to manually haul what ever goes over the side. Even Rocna are only recommending a 10 kg (22 lb) anchor for our size of yachts. I would be pushed to bench press 25kgs with 40 meters of chain and its a lot of weight permanently up the sharp end of a small yacht. It is also going to be a real pain using an anchor of that size day in day out. If the exisiting Delta is 10kg (next size up is 16kg btw), then this is an ideal size as a working anchor for the vast majority of his needs. Incase it is fouled up he is asking what should the spare be? The requirement:

Be lifted by hand
Suitable for coastal NY / Eastern Seaboard sailing area?
Cost effective

I agree, if we do decide to do more adventurous sailing then I would consider replacing the Delta with a Rocna, probably the same size at 10 kg, however just because the expensive Rocna came along doesn't mean the Delta is now a poor anchor, the RNLI fit them for a reason. However at present for coastal and x channel sailing we have no shortages of weather forecasts on this side of the pond. I presume the US seaboard is similar so the chances of being caught out with a major storm are slim. We might get hit by a storm but will be safely tucked up in a marina when it comes through rather than a mangrove swamp or exposed beach.

As I said in my first post, assuming you are not heading down to Drakes Passage, then go with the manufacturers recommendations. Otherwise your anchor will be so big you will never feel like using it and if you apply that logic to other areas, do you up the size of the rigging? full offshore liferaft with extra space for any possible visitors? double water & fuel tanks incase one leaks? You couldn't go sailing, the thing would sink as soon as you untied it from the dock

In conclusion then, I think Dennis needs to check what size his existing Delta is and decide were he want to anchor, sheltered anchorages away from wave, tides and currents, or an exposed location. If the existing Delta its 10kgs then thats a great working anchor and should be kept on the bow. If its 6kg, then sell it and buy something else. If its 16kg, can it be easily lifted and therefore used as a working anchor, day in day out? if not then off to the bilges with it and replace with a more suitable manageable working anchor. Its likely to be the 10kg size, so I think a suitable spare that meets the requirement is the Fortress either FX11 or possibly the FX16 but that is huge.

Pete
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:14   #13
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Thanks everyone. Your dialogue about possible uses, sizes, and setting situations is exactly what I was hoping for. At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, my plans are to cruise only the east coast of the U.S.

My plan for this season is to head to Castine, Maine, in June, possibly Nova Scotia, if all the godz are willing. And if there is any bad weather in the forecast, I'm going to be looking for the safest place I can hide.
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Old 25-03-2010, 18:18   #14
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Just another view. I have three anchors forward. One heavy storm anchor aft. Over the last 50 years or so I have come to believe in a bit of overkill on ground tackle.

My general rule of thumb on the anchor it's self is one pound to the foot of boat. I then use ample heavy chain twice the length of the boat and an anchorline of heavy enough line that I'm sure it will do what I want four times the length of the boat. For instance, my 36 foot sailboat had a 40# claw and two Danforths. One was about 35# and the lunch hook was a 22# version. My main rhode was 1" but I also had a 3/4 line for daily use with the smaller anchors. Even at night I mostly used the lighter anchors and held the heavies back in case of a sudden storm or if I drug anchor.

Now I have a 57+ footer. At 39 tons she is fomidable for any anchor to hold. I have 4 anchors, Three near 60 pounds and the heavy storm anchor. All with plenty of heavy chain and rhode. When we drop the hook I want to be in the same place in the morning or whenever I decide to leave.
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