Plows do work well in many scenarios but not in all. In softer bottoms, they are able to penetrate well and set quite quickly. In a bottom such as hard sand, they are unable to penetrate and the anchor is useless. Due to their good results in many bottoms, many people like them but if you live in a place with a hard to penetrate bottom, the anchor will not work consistently. As important as setting ability is resetting. If the tide or wind
changes in the middle of the night, there is a good chance that your anchor will come out and its ability to quickly reset before you end up on the beach is important. Some modern anchors such as the Rocna
actually spin in place while staying embedded and do not need to reset which is best.
The other thing to look at is holding power. Plows tend to have really small surface area for a given weight (this is why danforths have such high holding power to weight). In addition, their shape makes them cut through the bottom well meaning that their holding power is not as great as some of the newer anchors.
In my opinion, the first question you have to answer is what the role of the anchor is. Do you do all day sailing
and anchor at a beach for lunch 3 times a year or do you hate marinas
and always anchor out at night. In the first case, I would recommend sticking with the plow at first and seeing how it works whereas in the second one, I would think about a new generation anchor. The other thing that you have to consider is what your storm plans are. If you get over 2 or 3 miles from your mooring
, you will get caught in a thunderstorm sooner or later and the question is whether you plan to ride it out at anchor or another way. Also, if you do distance cruising where you might be a few days sail from your berth, you need to be prepared to anchor through a real storm. It is up to you to decide the role that the anchor plays and that will dictate whether buying
another anchor is necessary.