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Old 12-04-2007, 12:53   #1
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Danforth vs Fortress vs WM Performance

The Danforth Deepset II Hi-Tensile 25 pounder is $289 (Defender).

The Fortress FX-23 is $275 (Defender).

The West Marine Performance 25 pounder is $210.

First question. Why would I purchase a Danforth over a WM Performance considering the 38% increase in price? Is the design better, metal better, welds stronger? What? (I think it's the warranty; see below.)

Second question. Why not the Fortress?

I'll admit that I'm biased in favor of Fortress, even though this anchor will not be stored dismantled. She will be stored in the cockpit on the stanchions. I currently have a Fortress FX-37 dismantled and stored at the bottom of the cockpit lazarette. I'm looking for second fluke type anchor and my FX-16 off the old boat is too small. It must be replaced.

I like the Fortress because it has the longest stock of the three, which helps to prevent the tendency of these anchor types to corkscrew under load. I think that's why Fortress tends to test out so well under heavy loads. IIRC, one of WM's 'improvements' to the Danforth version is that WM has longer stocks than Danforth, albeit less than the Fortress.

I also like the Fortress's light weight, as deployment from the dinghy will be the primary purpose of this anchor.

A debit with Fortress is that it is mechanically put together instead of welded. I conclude that this is a more theoritical risk than real, as I have never heard of a Fortress coming apart underwater. If you have, let me know.

As best I can tell, both the steel and alloy fluke types will sail underwater if the boat is moving, so they all share this liability.

I've read of Fortresses being damage in tests but only after holding extremely high loads, higher than the other anchors. And I've never heard of a cruiser actually bending a Fortress in real life. If you have, let me know. I have seen bent WM and Danforths in marinas, so I would think that Fortresses get bent too.

IIRC, both Danforth and Fortress carry lifetime warranties, whereas the WM Performance is only five years. This fact alone might explain and justify the price differential.

Fortress never has to be regalvanized. This is a very minor plus, as I doubt I'll ever use this anchor enough to wear out the galvanization unless the stanchions rub it off.

If I opt to look for used gear, the odds are that I'll find a steel fluke type anchor.

Thoughts and comments, please. I'm vacillating here.
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Old 12-04-2007, 13:46   #2
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The Fortress is a wonderful anchor. I have an FX-37 on my bow.

Forget the Danforth Deepset. It was a poor design. The shank is much too lightweight, bends under load. Look for a used Danforth High Tensile 35H in good shape.

JMHO, and over 40 years experience with the Danforth and 20 years with the Fortress.

These anchors are unexcelled for hard sand, mud, etc. The Fortress is the best for soft mud and silt, especially with the wider fluke angle setting. They're not much good for rock, coral, etc., where the CQR and some of the newer anchors are much better.

Bill
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Old 12-04-2007, 13:54   #3
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Hmm, dunno.

I have 2 Fortress Anchors, a FX-55 for hurricane use: Dismantled and stored under cockpit, and a FX-23 for secondary main anchor, in chocks on the cabin top.

Did some limited research before I bought these anchors and found lots of good "results" in various tests: Huge holding power in hard sand, 16,000 lbs for the 55, equall to the factory displacement of my boat....

That being said, I have never had to use my Fortress anchors: Bought them for the low weight and ease of dinking out if the need arrises.

For primary on the bow I have a 55 lbs Delta, a great everyday anchor, but when I dragged up on a reef last year due to extreme poor holding condtitons and my stupidity, I had a devil of a time rowing out that big Delta in my rubber dink, with all chain rode dragging behind and sinking down, pulling be backwards...
(That was a day I would rather forget)

Ended up swimming out my stern anchor: A 12 lbs Danforth H/T anchor instead, and that little hook took a lot of pressure from the windlass and me cranking the rode tight as a guitar string to keep us from being washed further up.

So, uh the moral of the story is: The Danforth H/T is great with excellent holding power.
So are probably the Fortress anchors, but never tried them yet.

As for the West Marine Performance?
I had a 40 lbs one of them on the boat, but sold it and put on the FX-23 instead due to the heavy weight.

For my use, I would not change a thing right now, but been eye-balling the Rocna anchors, if the truth are as good as the claims, I may sell the 55 Delta and get me a 55 Rocna....No rush however, depends on price and more feedback from owners of the Rocna.
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Old 12-04-2007, 13:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors
These anchors are . . . not much good for rock, coral, etc., where the CQR and some of the newer anchors are much better.Bill
Bill,

Yes, my main two anchors are both Spades, 44# and 66#. Two Spades and two fluke types, that's what I'm aiming for.
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Old 12-04-2007, 14:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man
Ended up swimming out my stern anchor: A 12 lbs Danforth H/T anchor.
I have sailing friend who cruises the San Juans in a racing type boat, 35 footer. I believe that little 12 lbs anchor you describe is his MAIN anchor--and he never drags. He used a larger Danforth for a while and complained that it dragged, so he went back to his old little dinky-winky Danforth and has been happy ever since.

Go figure.
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Old 12-04-2007, 14:53   #6
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so he went back to his old little dinky-winky Danforth and has been happy ever since.
Yeah, that little 12 lbs H/T have save my bacon a couple of times.

First time was when we motored out of Lake Sylvia in Ft. Lauderdale and got a blanket wrapped around the prop.
Had to shut the engine down, and raised the stay-sail to get some steering and control.
Sailed towards a dock, between mega-yachts, eased the sail and told my wife to get the stern anchor ready for deployment, at the right moment we dropped the 12 and stopped and docked between the big boats as the anchor dug in...Perfect thanks to the little anchor.
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Old 12-04-2007, 19:18   #7
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[quote=Hiracer] Why would I purchase a Danforth over a WM Performance,
Why not the Fortress?
quote]

I find the question rather "limited".

I would rather ask: Should I buy a "long term experienced anchor", a "Last century" anchor or a "new modern" anchor??
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Old 16-04-2007, 11:39   #8
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Alain:

I want a lightweight anchor that stores well in or near the cockpit. Neither of my Spade anchors serve that function very well.
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Old 16-04-2007, 12:21   #9
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The fortress is a great anchor IN A STRAIGHT PULL. That style was afterall, designed to haul WWII landing craft off the beach.BUT, Seems an oyster shell can foul a Danforth type anchor. Something about getting wedged between the shank and the fluke. I believe it was Practical Sailor's test that it fouled. If the wind does a 180 you're almost 100% garanteed it will break out. For an anchor that resists break out use a Bruce or CQR or similar type. You'll several types depending on bottom conditions. Ask locals for info where you plan to anchor.
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Old 16-04-2007, 12:39   #10
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Perhaps I have not made myself clear.

This is NOT a thread about which type of anchor to use.

It is a thread about three makes of a single type of anchor, specifically the Danforth, the Fortress and the West Marine.

Among those three, pick which one and why.
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Old 16-04-2007, 13:49   #11
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Hiracer

I have an old proven Navy (1944) 33# Danforth style I'll sell for $50. Still in good shape, if your interested.
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Old 16-04-2007, 15:41   #12
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Thanks, but unfortunately that is above my self-imposed limit of 25#.
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Old 16-04-2007, 18:58   #13
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Thumbs up No one anchor is the answer.

For a fluke anchor you cannot beat the Fortress, but it is not the best anchor for all conditions. I carry a Bruce as main, CQR as secondary on bow with a Fortress as back-up.
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Old 16-04-2007, 19:33   #14
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Because the Bruce is "the best anchor for all conditions"? Oh that's fighting talk...



The Fortress is clearly the best Danforth type. Just, don't think of it as a general purpose anchor.
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Old 16-04-2007, 21:18   #15
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I carry a Bruce as main,
Bruce got the lowest holding power of all of them..?

1800 lbs for a 44#

3500lbs for a Delta 44.

Check out the Dashew Bible..They talk in lenghts about anchors and the Bruce.
They actually recommend the Bruce, but tell folks to double the size due to the lack of holding power.

(Not flame - bait here guys, I have owned a 66# Bruce in the past for hurricane hook, but fortunately never had to get it wet.)
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