Many years ago we hid from a predicted gale in Roscoe Bay, in Canada's Desolation Sound. Several boats were already there, and more came in as the afternoon progressed. I started by setting an anchor about in the middle of the narrow bay, and backed toward the shore where I put a line around a tree as a stern line. Pretty much standard pratice in that area.
In the early evening, a 50'+ powerboat with an older (about the age I am now) couple on board pulled in a began to anchor in the middle of the bay. All the boats around us watched them carefully, because all of our anchors were about in that area. The gentleman was on the bow, and the wife sat in the drifting boat calling out the depths. He let the anchor out to the depth
she called out (as deduced from their converations), went inside and shut down his engines. Oh oh, I thought.
It was dead calm until late, when the wind
started up. There were powerful willawahs bouncing off the surrounding mountains and hitting the bay from all directions. It was pitch
dark, and the many anchor lights, in varying heights and brightnesses, made it very difficult to tell where anyone was. Almost as soon as the wind
started, the powerboat started wandering around the cove, and the couple aboard was on the radio
, scared to death (which seemed a real possibility). A couple of guys from other boats rowed to them, helped them reset their anchor, and stayed with them until daylight.
Meanwhile, We were being held abeam to the wind by our stern line and anchor, and our anchor was dragging. I decided to move my stern line off of the stern cleat and move it forward to the bow. This let us weathercock with the shifting winds, and eased the pressure on the anchor which reset.
During all of this I was worried about a 3 sailboat raft to windward, and sure enough, they started dragging toward us almost as soon as we got ourselves stabilized. I shone our spotlight on them, but never got a response (the wind in the trees around us was so loud that shouting wasn't an option, and I wasn't about to go out in the skiff to try and raise them). They eventually drifting into our shoreline, which provided enough easing that their anchor was able to hold them, about 20' off the steep rocky shore.
Come morning, they rose and glared at me, as if I had somehow been responsible for their dragging.
Each boat has an anchor/rode combination that works best for them, and each area has different needs for sand, mud, rock, reef, etc. To imply that one is better than another is counter productive. Use an anchor one or two sizes larger than the tables tell you is needed, and use as much chain as you can carry.
Our anchor on our 102 ton power boat
is a 650# Navy
, and we use all chain, 1" crosslinked. We do not drag. However, when we move on to our next boat (probably a trimaran) I know I can't use the same approach.