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Old 15-07-2006, 02:10   #1
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just Fortress and fortress only

NOTE: One anchor and one only is the focus of the question.

Why do so many people like fortress anchors?

Personally from what I have seen and used I struggle to see why so many like them. It's not like I hate them just they don't excite me in anyway.

Am I missing something?
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Old 15-07-2006, 03:04   #2
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They like them because they are light, but have great holding power.
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Old 15-07-2006, 03:06   #3
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I like the excellent Size to Weight ratio the “Fortress” offers. If you’re going to use a “lightweight” anchor; why not go really light?
I used a FX23 on “Southbound” (C&C 29). It was as “big” as a 25 lb steel “Danforth” fluke type - but at only 15 lbs., I could handle it with one hand. That’s a lot of “barn door” buried in the sand.
Mounted on my pulpit, the lower weight helped offset the burden of the 35 Lb “Delta” and 22 Lb “Bruce" I also carried. As you might imagine, I was a little concerned with weight, on a 28.5 footer.
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Old 15-07-2006, 06:13   #4
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As I recall this style of anchor was originally designed for seaplanes where weight was of primary importance.
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Old 15-07-2006, 07:51   #5
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Cool

If you need to deploy an anchor from an inflatable dinghy (perhaps as second anchor or maybe stern anchor?), the Fortress is the way to go. It really saves hernias. However, we have found that it is almost vital to use a tripping line. In cases when we have been in a hurry and neglected to use a tripping line, we have found it useful to later don a scuba tank and add one.
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Old 15-07-2006, 11:45   #6
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Fortress holds great

I've used Fortresses for many years as secondary or kedge anchors. They follow the classic Danforth geometry perfectly, therefore they offer great holding power/weight. I believe they almost always score near the top in holding power vs. weight. I know that several times I've used them in storms and hurricanes and they held perfectly. They have very sharp flukes, which tend to bite better than other Danforth knock offs. The light weight is a real boon when taking an anchor out in the dinghy, or snorkeling one out. They don't rust. The biggest disadvantage is that they don't always reset when the boat swings, and the lightweight vs. area means they can sail above the bottom if they pop out suddenly. Therefore I think their use is limited to secondary anchors, kedges, or in combination with another anchor.
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Old 15-07-2006, 14:12   #7
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Our primary anchor is a Delta, which works great in sand. But for muddy bottoms like most of the Chesapeake, the Fortress is superior. And with its lack of weight, we can store it on the bow without worry (we're on a cat).
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Old 15-07-2006, 22:29   #8
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Weight and holding seems to be the common answer. Actually I have yet to hear of any other reason, interesting.

The weight I can see but I personally have issues over the 'great holding' tag they have except in certain bottoms types.

To me that is not a good enough reason to get as excited as many too over Fortress's especially if you drop the price of them in to the mix.

Is it just that simple, weight and holding?
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Old 15-07-2006, 23:00   #9
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Check out "the Complete Book of Anchoring and Mooring" by Earl R. Hinz. There are several charts of independent bodies testing anchors for various traits - one of them holding power. At the top of the list, yet at the lightest in weight is the fortress, except different ones have differing angles, the best one with the greatest angle for the flukes. I just looked it up (holding power in sea bed - p. 165).

Bruce spade - 46 pounds, holding around 250 pounds
CQR 47 pounds, holding power at around 450 pounds
Delta Plow 32 pounds, holding power at around 475 pounds
Dandforth J-1800 33 lbs, about 700 pounds
Danforth, deepset pivoting flukes, 30 pounds, holding around 750 pounds
Fortress FX-37 (32 degree angle), 19 lbs about about 750 pounds
Danforth Deepset VSB-3600, 30 lbs about 1250 pounds
Fortress FX-37 (45 degree angle, aluminum pivot flukes, 19 pounds, holding at 2,250 pounds
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Old 16-07-2006, 00:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn48
Check out "the Complete Book of Anchoring and Mooring" by Earl R. Hinz. There are several charts of independent bodies testing anchors for various traits - one of them holding power. At the top of the list, yet at the lightest in weight is the fortress, except different ones have differing angles, the best one with the greatest angle for the flukes. I just looked it up (holding power in sea bed - p. 165).

Bruce spade - 46 pounds, holding around 250 pounds
CQR 47 pounds, holding power at around 450 pounds
Delta Plow 32 pounds, holding power at around 475 pounds
Dandforth J-1800 33 lbs, about 700 pounds
Danforth, deepset pivoting flukes, 30 pounds, holding around 750 pounds
Fortress FX-37 (32 degree angle), 19 lbs about about 750 pounds
Danforth Deepset VSB-3600, 30 lbs about 1250 pounds
Fortress FX-37 (45 degree angle, aluminum pivot flukes, 19 pounds, holding at 2,250 pounds
Yes but what was the bottom and how did they do it? There is also many inderpentant tests which say otherwise.

As a matter of interest I got in a hard packed sand with some broken shell bottom with a 8:1 scope on a good bit of chain with rope behind and load cell:
CQR 25lb over 1000lb
Delta 10kg (22lb) over 1120lb
No flat anchors i.e danforth pattern came close, some did not even set.
Other types were above, some a lot, and others below, some a lot.
Which makes the above numbers look very very low and very very high.
So what was the differance? I'd suggest bottom type and the way we did it. My target was to see the highest number I could get in that bottom type which is quite common around here.

I'd suggest the above numbers from Earls book are done in a very soft bottom types otherwise the plows would have done better and the danforths worse judging by our tests. We don't make anchors but spec them and don't believe marketing so do our own 'just to see', quite interesting with a smidgen of 'holy crap that's spooky!!!!'

All tests must be tagged with bottom type and method or they don't mean much really.

I'm not saying the Fortress is bad and I do know it holds very well in very soft stuff and not so in hard stuff.

I just can't figure out why they are so popular. Could be what we call 'Sarca Syndrome' if people see enough of them (Sarca has very clever marketing) everyone else just assumes they must be good.

There must be more to it than that, surely.

We can roughly put a lot of people into certain groups by the anchor/s they use (what a can of worms comment that is I know but we can to a point ) and from that have a better idea of the gear they would prefer to use in the system with said anchor. We can also pin (this is all quite a 'generally' thing but helps us help our people) people down to geographical areas, boat types and a few other things. It is quite interesting to see this all put togeather and definately shows anchors and anchoring technics are common amongst certain groups defined by area, mono V's multi and so on. Age is also in there where we see a pattern as well. All good stuff.

I'm just trying to get a handle on Fortress users and their thinking.
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Old 16-07-2006, 05:56   #11
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What else is there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMac
To me that is not a good enough reason to get as excited as many too over Fortress's especially if you drop the price of them in to the mix.

Is it just that simple, weight and holding?
If you consider how fast the anchor resets, etc as part of holding what else is there to consider about an anchor other then being able to stow it easily?

I am also curious what other gear conclusions one might draw about a fortress user and how that information might be benificial.

I've been following these anchor threads recently because I have to upgrade before going cruising in a little over a year. I have to say thanks to all who have contributed. So far it seems that anchoring technique and practice seems to be as important as the to chunk of metal on bottom. (Something underlying in all threads but not openly discussed often enough.) years ago my wife came back from a "First Mate Training" with our local cruising club believing that anchoring is pressing the winch button. Something is wrong with that.

I won't be buying a Fortress because have three Danforths now but I feel that having that type of anchor is a necessary part of any boat's ground tackle inventory.
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Old 16-07-2006, 07:55   #12
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Different types of anchor work better in different types of holding. I would definitely not have 3 of the same type of anchor.

The fortress really comes into its own if you need to deploy a kedge anchor, where its weight/holding is particularly significant.

I like a plough style (I have a delta, but am not against any of the more modern types like the rocna etc.) and I also have a danforth type (a KLI).

If you are going to be anchoring in a rocky area, even the old style fisherman has its advocates (probably cause if you lose it its relatively cheap to replace!

If there is a lot of weed on the bottom, anchor choice becomes much more important, because most will not cut through the weed, and just skate over the surface (bruce is very bad at this.
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Old 16-07-2006, 10:11   #13
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Like the man says, it depends on the bottom type.

Here in East Central Florida we have soft sand and mud. I own 3 Fortress FX-11 anchors and use them at the 45 degree angle setting (mud setting). They hold so well, my twin diesels have a hard time retrieving them.

The man asked "weight and holding power" the reason people like them.

I will respond, a qualified YES!!

Isn't that what anchors are for?

Rick in Florida
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Old 16-07-2006, 11:44   #14
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Other charts in the book are "drag distance to fully set" and "Destruction Tests." For me, drag distance is more important here in the Pacific North West and BC coastal regions. We anchor in deeper water than in many places and the drop off can be dramatic in a very short distance. The reason the Rocna appeals to me is the short setting distance it requires but I am assuming its holding power if tested would be around the same as the Delta, which isn't bad but isn't great either, if you look at the chart above. In my head, setting is the most important first since who cares what the holding power is, if the d--- thing doesn't set. The shortest drag distance in the books chart is the fortress FX-23 at 16 feet (this is excessive in my books) and the longest are the FOB HP, 16 kg at 130 feet, the Britany, 20 kg at 165 feet, and FOB light, E220 at 200 feet.

Pura Vida asks what else is important in anchor considerations, well how will the anchor stand up to abuse is revealed in the Destruction tests. Also don't forget how "rooted" an anchor "veers" is also important, especially if you have one of those puppies that takes forever to set, like the FOB's discussed above.
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Old 16-07-2006, 12:02   #15
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I like the life time warrenty feature. I also like that it can be disassembled and stored in a VERY small space.


$300 for an FX-37 is a lot for 20 lbs of metal, but... what can one say.


Keith
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