It is aways interesting to see what the response is to an anchoring
question. Always a reason for a lively discussion.
Regarding your initial question on a big anchor
. Yes, you should always over-spec your ground tackle. If you consider the value and importance of your boat (not to mention your life), this is one thing one should never skimp on - and many people unfortunately do.
The advice you have been given by many of the posts is very good indeed. Having done considerable research
and having co-written "the book" (Happy Hooking - the Art of Anchoring) with my wife, my advice would concur with my predecessors, and perhaps go a step or two further:
Go out and buy one (or better two) of the new generation anchors. Use any older type anchor
, Fisherman, Bruce, etc) as a lawn ornament, or at best as a dinghy mooring
- this is what we relegated our 80# CQR
to. Our Luke and second Fisherman are on our lawn and we use the Delta
for our small launch when going to a local island for a picnic.
We have two spade type anchors on board: a Rocna
and it has served us very well; we also have an Ultra, which is very similar and works equally well. They set very fast and hold very well in most types of bottom. If you buy an Manson, please do not use the long rock slot, as this could render the anchor useless in a 180 degree turn. We have not used a Spade, but have heard it performs just like the Rocna
would trust it as well. For mud, we do also have a Fortress
on board, which has held our boat firmly in a storm with 180 degree wind
The only caveat we would have with these new anchors, is that you realistically need a strong windlas and preferably a washdown pump, as they do dig deep, are hard to extricate from the bottom, and also bring up loads of muck, hard clay or whatever they have dug into (No complaint here). Though we do not recommend this, these anchors also allow you to use less scope
we have 'converted' two very different boats to using these anchors and have had no problems with the bow rollers. The anchors fit very nicely in each case.
Regarding using multiple anchors to hold your boat: your (primary) anchor should be strong enough ot hold your boat in almost any condition. failing this, we would favour a tandem rig.
I hope this helps in your decision making.