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Old 04-05-2017, 12:34   #16
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Re: Fortress Anchors customer support

I don't know about customer service; however, I have nothing but praise for Fortress. I used a FX-55 as the primary anchor on my 50ft 36K pound sailing boat for Hurricane Matthew when it passed through Beaufort SC. The hurricane anchoring system I used was given to me by a marina owner in North Carolina.

Matthew was a CAT 2-3. It arrived from the east, moved north at the worst, and died in the west. Expected surge was above three feet.

I anchored in 10ft of water with a Rocna to the east on 220 ft of 3/8"G4 chain, backed down at full throttle with very long snubbers. With the worst of the wind expected from the north, I used my Fortress on deepset with 28 ft of 7/16" 1x19 stainless steel cable and 200 ft of 3/4' 8-braid nylon rode. The theory is that the cable enables the anchor to go deeper since it slices through the mud. Chain does not. I wasn't able to get this anchor into position so it was dropped from a powerboat, the stack taken up, and tied off--it was not pulled in!

Five days later, I returned. I pulled the Rocna first by taking up slack and going forwards. It pulled right away. The Fortress took 1.3 hours to break out. The small amount of cable out of the water meant the anchor had dug in very deeply. The boat could not move it. I ended up taking a line from the end of the steel cable back to the genoa winch (Lewmar 66) and taking up the slack. The rising tide did the heaving lifting.

The anchor came up muddy with no damage. Kudos to Fortress.
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Old 04-05-2017, 13:09   #17
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Re: Fortress Anchors customer support

I also will vote for the Fortress. It is my second anchor.
When i was poor, I bought a Guardian, a simpler, cheaper version.
Yet another boat had a healthy size Fortress.
Present boat has Fortress on the second roller as a lunch hook, works well.
Put me down as a fan.
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Old 04-05-2017, 13:24   #18
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Re: Fortress Anchors customer support

Same story for me also.

Bought second hand Fortress that was missing parts. Brian sent new pieces imeadiatly.

1st class service.

Steve
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Old 08-05-2017, 19:38   #19
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Re: Fortress Anchors customer support

Good customer support is worth its weight in gold. And will help sell your product. Case in point:
(Rant On) I have a very popular anchor brand (not a Fortress, but I will likely go that way after reading this thread) that is oversized for my boat according to the manufacturers web page (up to 20 kts wind, it says....sheesh). Well I just finished welding it back into some sort of normal position after several of their welds let go while it was in use and it bent like crazy and my boat dragged. It will not be used on my boat again. It should be OK for a small fishing boat.
Their "lifetime warranty" involved me sending them back the actual anchor so they could "inspect the welds", even after I sent excellent photographs. While that is not an unreasonable request, the cost to send this anchor across the country (and into the States) was on the order of 85% of the new cost of the same anchor....
I asked if I could pay for the difference to upgrade to a larger/stronger model and they said no...they could only replace what I have. They didn't care that it bent, even though their website clearly states it is over-sized for my current boat.
I have attached a picture to give you an idea about the kind of obvious damage which clearly was the result of poor welding. You can see that the weld bead slid along the surface it should have been bonded to.
When I emailed them to let them know that I would not be sending the anchor back for a return but that I would send it to them at their cost without a replacement if they actually wanted to "inspect the welds", they said no and closed the file.
What a sham. (Rant Off)
Stories like I have read here about the Fortress and their service give me some hope. So now I am on the lookout for a Fortress to replace the old standby. And with confidence that if the thing gets twisted like a pretzel at some point that the company will back up their product without silly hoops in the way.
So a question...how big is too big? Is the FX-37 too large for say a 45' boat?
This will mainly be a backup anchor, but I will want it to work and work well when it needs to. Primary is a Mantus 35, and the other is a large Luke.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Dave
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Old 08-05-2017, 20:03   #20
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Re: Fortress Anchors customer support

Dave,

Your question about the FX-37 beng to large for a 45' boat is kind of like asking, should I turn down a job because they were offering more than I needed or asked. If you can handle an anchor on your boat and the weight doesn't disturb the boat's balance, it isn't to large.

But, Most of the anchoring I do is fairly light duty - lunch, overnight in moderate weather or predictable conditions and such. For these conditions, I prefer a Bruce-type anchor since that type of anchor more easily fits my bow roller and is more easily accommodated by my windless.

But, I never leave home without a Fortress! If bad conditions are expected, or I am anchoring in a heavily tidal are that changes, or there are lots of boat wakes, or I'm just scared; I shackel the Fortress to the trip point on the "front" of the Bruce (or whatever). The Bruce sets easily now with the Fortress acting as a drogue to keep it lined up. If the wind suddenly shifts, the Bruce acts as a weight to keep the rhode from the Fortress close to the bottom, reducing the tendency to trip.

I believe the combination of an adequate Bruce on a bow roller and a Fortress shackled about 6' further from the boat than the Bruce provides th best combination of handling and safety.

I used an FX-37 as the drogue anchor on my voyage 43 with a Bruce 25 as the primary anchor - it worked when the boats around me dragged.
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:06   #21
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Re: Fortress Anchors customer support

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSaunders View Post

So a question...how big is too big? Is the FX-37 too large for say a 45' boat?

This will mainly be a backup anchor, but I will want it to work and work well when it needs to. Primary is a Mantus 35, and the other is a large Luke.

Give Brian at Fortress a call, he'll help you pick the right anchor for your needs. In my case I have a heavy Morgan 462, with a big Rocna primary anchor. I wanted a good backup that could easily be stowed out of the way, an anchor that would be good in a storm. I ended up with an FX-55, with about 25ft of 3/8 chain and 300ft of 3/4" nylon rode.

Regards,
David
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:50   #22
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Re: Fortress Anchors customer support

Here is the Fortress Anchor sizing guide.

They recommend using one or two sizes larger for storm conditions, so I went two sizes larger on mine. One more than one occasion that has paid off big time.


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Old 09-05-2017, 11:26   #23
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Re: Fortress Anchors customer support

Thanks to everyone for the additional positive comments, they are greatly appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
And, not to induce topic creep, but they probably do more legitimate anchor testing that any other brand.

Chuck
Alerion Express 38 with a Fortress FX-23
Chuck, you would certainly know, since you were aboard for tests that were conducted almost 25 years apart and on opposite coasts (SF Bay in 1990, Chesapeake Bay in 2014)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
I don't know about customer service; however, I have nothing but praise for Fortress. I used a FX-55 as the primary anchor on my 50ft 36K pound sailing boat for Hurricane Matthew when it passed through Beaufort SC. The hurricane anchoring system I used was given to me by a marina owner in North Carolina.
Wallaby, I suspect that the marina owner might have been Jet Matthews of Matthews Point Marina in Havelock. Several years ago it seemed as though the state of North Carolina had the bulls eye target on it for hurricanes since during 1996-2005, they were hit 9 times!

Obviously, Jet had to learn about hurricane anchoring to keep the boats safe that were under his care and I know that he developed an anchoring system using cable (as you mentioned) which proved to be very successful in the local soft mud bottoms.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSaunders View Post
So a question...how big is too big? Is the FX-37 too large for say a 45' boat?
This will mainly be a backup anchor, but I will want it to work and work well when it needs to. Primary is a Mantus 35, and the other is a large Luke.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Dave
Dave, sorry to hear about the issue with the other manufacturer.

Regarding the FX-37, that is probably the most-battled tested anchor model that we manufacture, as it has been superb performer in both controlled and real world tests for almost 30 years.

Whether it is the right model for your boat depends on the sea bottom and wind conditions that you are likely to encounter while anchoring. Please send me a PM or e-mail and let's discuss specifics.

My address: brian@fortressanchors.com

Thanks again!

Safe anchoring,
Brian
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