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Old 26-01-2010, 07:17   #1
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Plow Anchors

Hi folks, I'm looking at buying a 36 ft sloop that a friend ownes and his primary anchor is a plow anchor. Now I personally don't care for them but at the same time I know little about them. My questions are, if they are good anchors after all or are they only good in certain places or conditions?
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Old 26-01-2010, 07:38   #2
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hi there i've allways used them and never had a problem .there great in sand and mud i wouldnt use it in coral or anything like that other wise u might have to go for a swim to retrive it. my anchor is 2 sizes bigger than the recomended that way i allways sleep well at night. cheers markus
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Old 26-01-2010, 07:46   #3
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A friend of mine recently bought a Rocna anchor......they are amazing. Not cheap, not good looking, but they work like a dream. I want one now!
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Old 26-01-2010, 07:56   #4
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For more on Plow anchors see CQR
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Old 26-01-2010, 08:00   #5
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The plow anchors I have used in sand and mud tend to do just that, plow a furrow across the bottom. For sand and mud I have had better success with Danforth type anchors like a Fortress.

You will find there are more opinions on anchors than there are types of anchors. Whats best is what works best for you.
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Old 26-01-2010, 08:16   #6
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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.
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Old 26-01-2010, 09:50   #7
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My primary anchor is a Delta. I have found it holds well in sand and firm mud or clay. I've never had a problem plowing in sand. It has a bit of trouble setting in grass but once it sets it holds well. The only problems I've had are in soft mud. If the wind comes up over 25 it will plow a furrow, but my boat has an extreme amount of windage. I've had no trouble in rocky areas such as loose coral but I have buoyed the anchor so I can pull it out backwards if I need to. I've only actually done that once. I've got a friend with a CQR and he has more problems than I have with the Delta but some people swear by them. One thing to note is that the local marine consignment shop is full of CQRs but you hardly ever see a delta in there.
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Old 26-01-2010, 10:49   #8
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plow's

the plow is the most universally accepted anchor for cruising. most tests have proven that no anchor will hold more in a straight line than a Danforth style on a sand, shell or similar bottom. Unfortunately the real world is not a straight line or always a nice consistant bottom material. The plow is a good compromise for most bottoms, easier to handle and less prone to damage. New design anchors are reportedly doing very well, unfortunately, they dont seem to fit on boats! It's kind of like if you invented a new tire that would outlast the car, but just happens to be square...
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Old 26-01-2010, 11:35   #9
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Surprised more people have not clarified it is always going to be horses for courses- and worth it (if you can) to carry anchors that suit the conditions you find.

We've used all varieties except the most modern Ronca style - and all work - or don't work well - dependent on the bottom and conditions.

Personally we've graduated to an oversized Delta and oversized chain.

We find it works for us 99% of the time and I'd not replace it without an argument.

But we also carry a Danforth if we were to anchor overnight in shallow sand, and a conventional Admiralty Pattern old style if we found ourselves in deep weed or big rocks.

Hope this helps

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Old 26-01-2010, 12:12   #10
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If you are going to be using the boat in your local waters, you might walk around the marinas and get a sense of whats hanging off the bow...but more importantly talk to
those who are actually using their anchors in less than ideal conditions...maybe the
commercial fishermen. Then decide whats makes sense for you...because some people
will tell you what they are using is the best no matter what.
Important as the anchor is your chain, length and connections.
I use a Danforth as my primary and a 35lb Delta as my storm anchor on my 30' 8,500 pd.
boat in mostly sand and mud... works for me in my area.
If I were going cruising, I would seriously consider one of the new type anchors.
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Old 26-01-2010, 13:27   #11
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We sleep well with our Delta type. The only time it plowed was in deep soupy mud and it took days of high wind broadside to the boat to do it(4 kt tide and full keel). We live on anchor 95% or more of the time.
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Old 26-01-2010, 19:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugosalt View Post
If you are going to be using the boat in your local waters, you might walk around the marinas and get a sense of whats hanging off the bow...but more importantly talk to
those who are actually using their anchors in less than ideal conditions...maybe the
commercial fishermen. Then decide whats makes sense for you...because some people
will tell you what they are using is the best no matter what.
Important as the anchor is your chain, length and connections.
I use a Danforth as my primary and a 35lb Delta as my storm anchor on my 30' 8,500 pd.
boat in mostly sand and mud... works for me in my area.
If I were going cruising, I would seriously consider one of the new type anchors.
Most here have danforths including me for my little 28 footer, but if u don't see those you see rocnas, but to tell yu the truth, I wouldn't trust any of the opinions from hese clowns...they never leave the marina!!!
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Old 26-01-2010, 20:00   #13
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you mean those anchors on the bow aren't to knock people in the head when they walk by in the marina? geez... I thought they were for entertainment while sipping a sundowner! :>)
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Old 26-01-2010, 20:33   #14
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My 2 cents

We often stern tie, so setting the plow (even on a rocky bottom) will not come loose and have to reset. I've found that while deploying... I hold the rode while "She Who Must Be Obeyed" backs the boat down - I can feel what the anchor is doing down there, and if I start out with less scope (2 to 1), it tends to grab better in hard grassy bottoms. Then let out the scope and back down on it.
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Old 26-01-2010, 22:36   #15
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The plow/CQR is a great anchor. I use it for my primary anchor while cruising, but I would not be without my Danforth or Bruce, and I wish I had a Rocna. It depends on the bottom where you anchor.
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