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Old 19-10-2015, 12:19   #106
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Yet another thing I learned was that the Fortress anchor has amazing holding power. I knew it was good, but this did surprise me. True, the bottom, silty mud, was ideal, but still -- it was somewhat undersized for my boat (it's just a kedge), and it held about 70 tons of boats in a strong tidal current while the first steel fishing boat was tangled up with me, far above the call of duty, in my opinion.

I had a hell of a time pulling it back up again the next morning -- once well buried, it does not release as easily as a normal anchor.

And in the process I bent the shank So I guess I'm going to have to buy another one
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Old 19-10-2015, 12:34   #107
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Fortress has a lifetime guarantee. Shouldn't cost you anything if you contact them.
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Old 19-10-2015, 12:42   #108
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Fortress has a lifetime guarantee. Shouldn't cost you anything if you contact them.
Yes, but for a bent shank? Can't imagine that would be covered.

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Old 19-10-2015, 12:56   #109
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Back a few years ago we were avid bikers. We belonged to a BMW group here on the net, very similar to this forum. A constant topic was how to prevent being hit from the rear through improved lighting installations. What was determined was that many things seemed logical and many implemented all of them. We studied all available information and researched every asset available.
In the end we determined that it was incredible how many police, ambulance, and fire engines were rear ended while displaying full emergency lights at accident scenes. There seems to be an element of the population who just are not paying attention at all. It was scary when the typical response was, "just did not see you". This condition was the primary reason we no longer ride, as certain death was the typical outcome of being rear ended on a bike.

We do display mast top anchor light. In addition we also use LED lanterns fore and stern, and anchor with all chain.

So sorry to hear of your problems Dockhead.
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Old 19-10-2015, 12:58   #110

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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Fortress might find some PR value in having your testimonial to the extreme holding power and strength of their anchor. Enough so that they might just be very generous about "warranty" replacement.
Cheap enough to email them, and send a link to this thread.
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Old 19-10-2015, 13:16   #111
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

The folks from Fortress, who often post here on CF will indeed replace the bent shank if they follow their stated policy... and have done so in the past. I think that you are ok on that minor part of the repair bill, DH.

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Old 19-10-2015, 13:25   #112
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Yes, but for a bent shank? Can't imagine that would be covered.

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Old 19-10-2015, 13:39   #113
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Yes, but for a bent shank? Can't imagine that would be covered.

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Even for a bent shank, they stand behind their product.

Have read that here on CF. Fortress posted in response to member's comment about a bent Fortress anchor.

Because of that I now have one standing by on the pulpit next to my Manson main anchor.
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Old 19-10-2015, 14:06   #114
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Even for a bent shank, they stand behind their product.

Have read that here on CF. Fortress posted in response to member's comment about a bent Fortress anchor.

Because of that I now have one standing by on the pulpit next to my Manson main anchor.
Cool. Well, as I've written here several times over the years, it is certainly an excellent product. Not only excellent performance, but beautifully made and lovely to look at -- unlike most anchors including my much beloved Spade main bower. It has no competition at all for a kedge, in my opinion. That same anchor -- undersized for my boat as a bower -- which held my boat plus a 50 ton steel f/v, can be picked up and launched by me by hand. I have -- IIRC -- an FX37. It only weighs 10kg.
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Old 19-10-2015, 14:14   #115
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Re: #25 (Dockhead)

I use a Coleman lantern, very similar to the one you show. My approach is simple: Use the masthead light cos it makes you compliant. Then forget about about it, and focus on safety. My Coleman is battery powered (rechargeable "D" cells) and run up on the forestay to just above head-height, say 8 feet. If there is any traffic I leave the deck light on. There is no mistaking the illuminated foredeck and house for anything else. A curtain under the translucent forehatch lets us sleep.

An insistence that other skippers must be as competent as yourself is absolutely bound to lead to trouble. Practice "defensive boating". The men who make a living on the water have enuff to worry about without having to pay attention to Sunday-sailors, so I stay WELL out of their way, even when by the strict application of "the rules", they are privileged. As someone else said, "do something silly" to call attention to yourself. Whether it's a 12K ton ferry coming out of Active Pass or a towboat with three log booms strung out for half a mile behind him, I like to do two tight 360s in succession, then skive off for half a mile with my tail between my legs, away from the commercial traffic, then turn to face him and lie dead in the water till I'm sure we've understood each other.

Sailing at night in these waters I like to indicate, when necessary, that I'm a sailing vessel by the simple expedient of shining a torch onto the mainsail.

Around here, many anchorages have cans laid out permanently. I have never tangled with, or been interfered with, by fishing gear, but twice I've picked up a sunken, abandoned can. Such things are foreseeable, so it only makes common sense to have sufficient hoisting capacity, and sufficient cutting capacity, to deal with it, even if you only have the problem once in a decade.

TrentePieds
Using the Coleman is a good idea. I have one similar but I've not used it that way. Does it survive OK in the rain?
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Old 19-10-2015, 14:28   #116
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Yes, but for a bent shank? Can't imagine that would be covered.

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It has been a few years (20?) since I have had to have a Fortress replaced, but both times I had an FX37 catastrophically fail (separate incidents on different vessels- years apart) the company replaced the anchor with no questions asked. But, they wanted the failed anchors back for analysis. (One broke a shank, the other had a fluke bent 180 degrees and resembled an elf's shoe after it broke loose and sailed before catching in the rocks...) Both times a different anchor had to be deployed as the Fortress broke.

Fortress is a great company and make a convenient anchor for manual deployment from the stern or a dinghy. Also if used as main anchor in non-inclement conditions.

I still have 2 FX37's on board for their handling value as a kedge and med moor anchor.

Everyone's mileage will vary.

Cheers!




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Old 19-10-2015, 15:23   #117
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Lessons learned:

1. Never, ever again, will I rely on a mast-top anchor light.
Because the guy that hit you told you he couldn't see your light?

  • I wonder if that is why the fishing boat's radar wasn't working too?
  • Maybe the Watch Keeper on the Fishing Boat didn't se you in the dark.
  • Maybe they just figured no one would be using anchors in an anchorage.
  • Of course they had lots of credibility since they were trying to get you to falsify an insurance report.
Not seeing your anchor light on the top of the mast is a myth as long as it was properly installed and visible 360 degrees (Not hidden by TV Antennas or other things on the masthead)...

Don't believe me get in your dinghy after dark and drive a mile away and then drive back to your boat...

My anchor light is 65 feet off the water and you can see it 2 miles away and as close as 20 feet from the boat.

As a precaution, I also place solar garden lights on the bow, midship and stern, which act as marker lights.

For insurance purposes the person that adheres to the USCG Rules is the one who will be found not at fault. Mounting an Anchor light on you vessel's mast is about as good as it gets.
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Old 19-10-2015, 17:41   #118
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

We always have the anchor light (LED bulb) attached to the inner forestay, which lights up the bow, letting others know which way we are swinging. Also have an anchor ball when in ports.
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Old 19-10-2015, 19:48   #119
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Having been T-boned by another sailboat in broad daylight, and displaying our anchor ball, I'll just mention one needs a force field to protect oneself against fools and drunks [who may be the same people].

Dockhead's case is sadder, in a way, someone wanting to come help--and kablowie! what a shame.

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Old 19-10-2015, 20:03   #120
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post

For insurance purposes the person that adheres to the USCG Rules is the one who will be found not at fault. Mounting an Anchor light on you vessel's mast is about as good as it gets.
I doubt that USCG Rules have much bearing in the Solent
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