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Old 20-09-2013, 21:44   #1
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Anchor Choice for Bahamas and Surrounds

Sorry about yet another anchor question, but I'm a Brit and new to the US side of the pond and thinking of cruising out to the Bahamas, Abacos etc for a couple of months next year. Our new to us sailboat came with a claw type anchor in bright polished stainless steel which looks good maybe in a marina slip but I have no idea how it might perform in reality, The boat is a Beneteau Ocanis 36CC with a 5.5ft draft, the anchor says '15kgs' so 33lbs?? Is a claw any good in the islands ? I have been a big fan of Delta anchors on the other side of the pond and would have used a 45lb one of those over there on this boat as being suitable for anchoring for most bottom types in normal cruising conditions.

I don't want to set off yet another anchor debate but am interested to see what those who know the islands would think is a good choice for cruising there. I know size matters and so does the rode length but I'm assuming the Bahamas etc are shallow enough that super long rodes are not needed. I have yet to discover exactly what chain we have beyond the length of S/S chain that is between the existing anchor and the windlass. I have always preferred an all chain rode too. The previous owner we have discovered was a kleptomaniac so he may well have pocketed the bulk of the chain and /or warp, which would be consistent with the other stuff that he 'took' off right before handover and which was listed on the broker inventory, my fault for being so trusting and for not being present to check when our delivery crew took over the boat for us and brought it up to us from Fort Lauderdale to Daytona Beach.

Since we are now coming towards the end of a comprehensive refit we may as well get the anchoring system up to our liking as well, chain does no good in the locker just like money does little good in the bank, so spend it now when negotiating is easier with the boss lady rather than wait until we find out we are under specified and getting agreement might be harder??
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Old 20-09-2013, 21:59   #2
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

I have no Bahamas experience, but we are going soon and I have been reading all the old threads on this. My research seemed to indicate that it is unlikely you will ever need more than 150' of rode in the Bahamas, so no reason to buy/carry more than 150' of chain. I am sure a few will disagree with this, but I feel confident this is the majority opinion based on reading the many old threads about this.

As for anchor choice...... I dare not go there.
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Old 20-09-2013, 22:08   #3
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

I've never used a Claw so I can't comment on that. I live in Miami and it looks to me that the most popular anchor around here is a Delta. Most boats in Miami travel to the Bahamas. A good friend of mine rode out a hurricane with Delta a holding his boat off a dock after a piling broke.

I suspect any of the modern anchors will work well in the Bahamas.
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Old 20-09-2013, 22:49   #4
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

"Sorry about yet another anchor question"

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Old 21-09-2013, 02:36   #5
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

Have anchored 100s of times in the Bahamas, about half the time with a Delta 55, then changed to a Rocna 44 (lbs not kgs)
Both were good, perhaps the Rocna 1 notch better and faster holding.
Dragged with a CQR 35.
100' of chain should be plenty
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Old 21-09-2013, 04:25   #6
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

In the Northern Bahamas you will be anchoring in sand and dealing with wind shifts, not reversing tides. As you go further south particularly the Exumas you will be anchoring in cuts with reversing tidal flows which may require two anchors or at least one that will easily reset and not foul on its rode. The claw is good in rocks, you will need a good sand anchor, your choice. Be prepared for thou hast fanned the flames of the dreaded "Anchor Thread". Much advice to follow!
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Old 21-09-2013, 04:34   #7
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

Ultra Anchor is a modern design which does well in a sandy bottom and is a great all around choice.
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Old 21-09-2013, 04:45   #8
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

I too am a transplanted Brit who lives in Miami an therefore I have spent a lot of time in the Bahamas and Keys. The word to describe the bottom is 'unreliable' In some places you are in good deep sand but the Keys and Banks are often coral with a layer of sand.

I had a delta and a fortress on my banks boat, a lightening fast tri. They held me well in the tide changing cuts but when you dive on them on the banks you find the tip just caught on a little coral.

My cruising boat has a 122 lb rochna on 250 ft of 7/16 chain an even that is unreliable in squalls in the Keys and the Banks. Even when I set long scope of chain, 40 knot squalls are relatively frequent. We pulled badly in a 50 knot squall.

I would go with a rochna (better than a delta) on all chain and a fortress with at least 50 ft chain. chain. I found Marine Warehouse in Miami had good Acco chain and anchors at acceptable prices.

Good Luck a Yorkshireman.
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Old 21-09-2013, 05:11   #9
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In the Northern Bahamas you will be anchoring in sand and dealing with wind shifts, not reversing tides. As you go further south particularly the Exumas you will be anchoring in cuts with reversing tidal flows which may require two anchors or at least one that will easily reset and not foul on its rode. The claw is good in rocks, you will need a good sand anchor, your choice. Be prepared for thou hast fanned the flames of the dreaded "Anchor Thread". Much advice to follow!

+1. I think a good way to avoid a raging anchor debate is just to say you need a good "sand" anchor or two in the Bahamas. As suggested you will need two in many locations so you can set up a Bahamian Moor. (The Exumas are a great cruising ground...certainly one of my favorites).

That said, I will try to offer some more detailed opinions without fanning the flames (hopefully others will cooperate).

Danforth style anchors, like Fortress, have tremendous straight line holding power in sand, but dont veer well. They can certainly be useful in setting a Bahamian Moor, but once you leave the Bahamas you will likely find them much less useful. Plow style anchors tend to do exactly that in soft bottom types. So my suggestion is to carry two good sand anchors, either a danforth style and "something else", or two of "something else". If you plan to visit other sandy bottom venues after the Bahamas, like Florida or other GOM coastal states, then having a danforth style anchor aboard will be useful...otherwise not so much.

(...excuse me Ive got to go load up on marshmellows for the flames...) ;-)
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Old 21-09-2013, 05:16   #10
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

I am planning to go south to the keys and Bahamas. I have a claw (33lb) as a primary anchor and a Fortress as a secondary. I had thought of replacing the claw with a Rocna but the claw has never ever failed me in any bottom type found in the Great Lakes.
Any thoughts on the claw anchor in the Bahamas?
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Old 21-09-2013, 05:19   #11
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pirate Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

If I may suggest... sell the SS anchor a SS chain to a 'Marina Queen' and use the money towards your new set up... maybe an appropriate style Fortress and... this is where it could get controversial as I'm a Bruce fan... a good Claw anchor.. there's a few on the market... but be wary of ROCNA's unless made in Canada..
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Old 21-09-2013, 05:25   #12
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The Bahamas have fast changing tides with alot of current in some places. This necessitates having a very fast setting anchor everytime your boat switches directions. Sadly most claws di not do this. If you Bahamian moor, it should be ok be we rarely.did that. We had great luck with our Manson supreme.
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Old 21-09-2013, 05:34   #13
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

I think Moondancer's rig is a bit overkill for a boat your size. My primary anchor is a 55 lb delta on 200ft of 5/16 chain. I have never had all the chain out in the Bahamas. The deepest water I've anchored in is about 25ft in Georgetown, Exuma. In the Abacos its usually less that 12. My secondary anchor is an original Bruce 20 kg with 30 ft of 3/8 chain and 200 ft of 3/4" rope. It holds quite well and of course is the orginal claw type. I have a friend with a 30 foot Maine Cat with a 25 lb delta with 20 ft of chain and 150ft of 1/2" nylon. He has a lot more windage than you but probably doesn't weigh as much. I've been on his boat quite a bit in the Bahamas and in some pretty strong squalls and he has never dragged. Some of the Stainless claws have a reputaion as not holding as well as the original bruce but I would think it will be adequate for the Bahamas. When anchoring there do not look for nice white sand patches. They usually indicate a thin layer of sand over hard rock. What you want is "worm" sand. This is bottom that is well worked by marine worms and is characterized by mounds of sand 1 to 2 feet in diameter and perhaps 6 inches to a foot high. It makes the bottom look quite lumpy and there is little grass. These worms require deep sand to make their burrows and you will have good holding. Usually my delta completely disappears in worm sand. I've actually only used the bruce once in worm sand but it held just as well (I had to do some work on my windlass and couldn't deploy the all chain rode on the delta). Enjoy your trip. You did not mention when you were going next year, but in my opinion the Abacos do not get warm enough before late April or Early May.
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Old 21-09-2013, 05:43   #14
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

Boatman's point is well taken. About 5 yrs ago Rochna transferred the manufacturing to China and an inferior steel was used. West Marine even offered full refunds. New ones are now made in Canada...do not buy a second hand Rochna.
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Old 21-09-2013, 05:51   #15
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Re: anchor choice for Bahamas and surrounds

Have traveled the Bahamas for Decades. Never Drug or had a mishap once Fortress Arrived.
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