I used to think I was quite good at anchoring
and happily spent the night with my 32ft cat riding to a 7.5KG CQR
. If it looked like it might get a bit blowy I'd go for the bigger 12KG CQR
-both had about 10 Mtrs of chain and the rest of the rode
was three strand nylon rope
. The anchor
always set first time and never dragged. That was in the Solent where the mud offers fabulous holding.
Then I chartered in the Med around Greece
and found that you could gently plough backwards overnight and finish some distance from where you started. With the anchor
nicely dug in. On some charter
boats the anchor was so awful and the holding so poor that no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get the anchor to set leading to some hilarious (for those observing) escapades as I tried to moor stern to the shore and slowly pulled the anchor hand over hand through the mud.
I decided that when I moved my boat south what I needed would be a fortress
because clearly the key to success was surface area. Arriving in southern France
having brought my new boat through the canals I went to anchor with my nice shiny and very large Fortress
. It wasn't that wonderful an experience as the bottom was stony and it didn't have the mass to bite. So back to the britanny anchor supplied as original equipment
The moral of my story? I don't think there is one anchor for all conditions - as evidenced by the variance in tests carried out in the yachting press. Therefore you need to carry what's appropriate for the local seabed, or a range of anchors if your cruising area is extensive. If you have a big monohull
and can afford the weight of a massive anchor as well as the extra load of the chain and windlass
to go with it then maybe you can get a one size fits all solution. It won't work for me though.
I'm currently deciding between a Manson Supreme and a Spade for the south of France
. There's a big price
difference. Looking round the marinas
in my new cruising area the Spade seems to be the most popular choice of next gen anchor - although whether that says more about the anchor being french is open to question. It's also demountable so it will fit inside a locker when not in use. Which, given the price
, is an important consideration. I doubt if anyone would walk off with a rusty old CQR but a nice shiny Spade?
So I'll aim to have a a big Fortress for soupy mud and as a kedge. A Spade/Manson as the Bower anchor used in normal conditions and a Brittany anchor to use in emergencies (if I lose the main anchor).