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Old 20-07-2012, 11:32   #46
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Thanks for the details.
With two anchors I believe you really need to set each one seperatly. It's very hard to ensure an even pull on both otherwise.
It is possible the Danforth was setting first, taking the full load of the motor and wind. When this anchor let go the full force comes on the Fortress. Suddenly applying a large force to unset anchor usually causes it slide and drag.
The secret to setting an anchor properly is to apply a slow progressive force. As the anchor buries deeper more force can be applied. This can be hard to do with two anchors at the same time.

Anyway, it's a possibility to consider along with Brian's pivoting fluke explanation.
My message would don't give up on the Fortress, particarly for a CQR, with some adjustments I think you may find it can work well.
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Old 20-07-2012, 11:42   #47
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

True story: Before I took a sailboat out the first time I'd never been on one...what I'm trying to say is I knew less-than-nothing about boats and even less about sailboats and at a tertiary was in the hole when it came to little things like anchoring and stuff. What I did was join this and several other Forums and started reading everything I could about anchoring (well and other stuff),

For my first test I bought a cutter/ketch rigged Islander Freeport 41 that weighed...oh... about a million lbs give or take a gallon. Somebody mentioned that you're only real insurance is your anchor set up. So, our first night out, we got caught in 65 mph winds up near Anacortes, Wa. (Note: I hadn't studied weather yet). Fortunately I listened to my betters and in the driving rain/wind with the admiral at the steering wheel thing...putt-putted on up and dropped my birthday gift over the bow...fortunately it was a 60lb Manson Supreme with 150' of all 3/8"HT chain.

The wind blew, the tides changed and after watching things for about an hour got bored and went to bed...or aft captains cabin as the place maybe. Woke up in the morning, still blowing...blew for another day and a half before it eased off. I'm happy to report nothing happened. Engaged the windless, pulled up the mud covered Manson and went on gunkholing around...happy as clams. My review is one of the first the first on the West Marine site concerning Manson anchors. There are better anchors out there I'm sure....I don't care.
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Old 20-07-2012, 12:34   #48
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Thanks for the details.
With two anchors I believe you really need to set each one seperatly. It's very hard to ensure an even pull on both otherwise.
It is possible the Danforth was setting first, taking the full load of the motor and wind. When this anchor let go the full force comes on the Fortress. Suddenly applying a large force to unset anchor usually causes it slide and drag.
The secret to setting an anchor properly is to apply a slow progressive force. As the anchor buries deeper more force can be applied. This can be hard to do with two anchors at the same time.

Anyway, it's a possibility to consider along with Brian's pivoting fluke explanation.
My message would don't give up on the Fortress, particarly for a CQR, with some adjustments I think you may find it can work well.


Nolex, We always set our anchors separately. In this case, we set the Danforth first off the bow and the Fortress from the dink. We always anchor rather than going into a marina when cruising and have been through innumerable "blows" on the hook and the aforementioned story was the first time we have ever seriously dragged in over 20 years. It is a very uncomfortable feeling when your vessel is seriously out of control with the distinct prospect of hitting another vessel in a crowded anchorage. I can guarantee you with all the assurances of previous respondants concerning the efficacy of a Fortress, I would never set one in mud again. We were lucky. The vessels anchored next to us were lucky. I do not like to base my life on luck. The Fortress has been relegated to #3 in my bag of tricks.
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Old 21-07-2012, 03:48   #49
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Sound like there's a terminology overshoot here concerning the precise meaning of "setting" an anchor.

Seems to me Noelex77 is talking about the process of settling the anchor into the bottom with judicious, increasingly muscular, but nevertheless intermittent applications of 'bollard pull' (which cannot be done from a dinghy) whereas rognvald might be using it (some would say equally validly) to refer to the laying out of the anchor and warp on the sea floor.

It's probably obvious, but in case any lurkers are mystified: to do what Noelex77 is referring to, for more than one anchor, you should preferably lay out both anchors first (unless using a dinghy to lay one out)

and then and only then snug each one into the bottom in turn, WHILE KEEPING THE OTHER WARP SLACK (but not getting it wrapped around anything !)

The gold standard if you're going to be leaving the boat, or if you expect wind from a variety of directions, is to lay out, and then set, three large anchors with 120 degrees between each pair.

Ideally, a single (preferably larger) dropper chain will connect to a massive swivel at the junction of the three chains/warps.

Otherwise you might just end up re-enacting an amusing scene a family member witnessed in the Med: some friends had resorted to three anchors but were not able to implement the single dropper/swivel.

The expected winds led the boat a merry dance. Mercifully it was not enough to wind the warps so tight as to winch them bar taut like a "spanish windlass' - this can happen !
but it did take them HOURS to untangle, and the foredeck was, for the duration, virtually invisible....

Finally, having uncoupled the bitter end of a couple of the warps and untangled everything, they got everything stowed.

Next anchorage was one of those magic, sheltered sanctuaries, and they were early enough to get the prime spot, still bathed in the full glare of the baking sun. They watched with considerable satisfaction as the chain snaked across the foredeck and arrowed satisfyingly into the crystal depths. They were so mesmerised (and worn out) they took no preliminary steps to slow it or halt it.... and suddenly it vanished with barely a 'plop' and everything was eerily quiet.

Don't let this happen to you!

(PS: I recommend having a nylon rope pendant at the end of any all-chain warp, with a hard eye shackled to a strong eyebolt at the aft end of the chain locker, above chain level where it can be inspected... the pendant being long enough to
a) take out the shock if you have to use the anchor as an emergency running moor/ unattended handbrake, and

b) long enough to bring the bitter end of the chain to a convenient place on the foredeck, generally just inboard of the roller, where you can clip on a recovery buoy if you are forced to "cut and run" (which was originally a sailing ship term)
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Old 21-07-2012, 04:20   #50
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
.............
However I have to disagree with some of what you say when the Fortress is subject to a large change in the direction of pull. I have seen the effect underwater. The problem is that if the direction of pull changes dramatically the anchor develops a bank like all all anchors do. The long stock of the fortress is then forced deeper down in the substraite, on one side, if this puts it into firmer ground the stock is locked and the whole anchor pivots around this point which forces it to the surface.

If you ever get the chance to test the anchor with a flattened stock rather than the thin round section I believe this would be an improvement and would make a great anchor better. A flat horizontal sectional of aluminium with a sharpened leading edge would be ideal.
It would be an easy "upgade" that could be made available to existing owners.
Anyway feel free to use the idea (or file it in the round metal filing cabinet below every desk )
I seem to keep coming back to this thread like a tongue worrying a roughened tooth.... I'll try and make this my last for a while, give someone else a turn on the handlebars!

I wonder if Noelex77's interesting suggestion might have a further beneficial side-effect
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Old 21-07-2012, 04:23   #51
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Sound like there's a terminology overshoot here concerning the precise meaning of "setting" an anchor.

Seems to me Noelex77 is talking about the process of settling the anchor into the bottom with judicious, increasingly muscular, but nevertheless intermittent applications of 'bollard pull'
yes I agree with this by setting I mean using some force ( usually with the engine in reverse) to bury the flukes of the anchor into the substraite. This cannot be done from a dingy.
An "unset" anchor will sometimes set itself as the wind gradually builds up, providing the force to drive it under the surface of the seabed. However in many circumstances, particularly if a load is suddenly applied to the anchor. An " unset anchor" will start dragging and never set. With two anchors it is particularly important to set both anchors.
One, I think likely, possibility for Rognvald's difficulty with the Fortress was that it was unset. The Danforth was set and taking the bulk of the strain, when the Danforth let go with the increasing wind the unset Fortress dragged.
As I was not there its only a guess, but the theory does explain the poor performance of the Fortress. All anchors need to be set to hold reliably the lightweight Fortress even more so.
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Old 21-07-2012, 04:43   #52
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
I seem to keep coming back to this thread like a tongue worrying a roughened tooth.... I'll try and make this my last for a while, give someone else a turn on the handlebars!

I wonder if Noelex77's interesting suggestion might have a further beneficial side-effect
Thanks for that.
These things are only ideas and some experimentation would be needed. The Brittany anchor is very similar to the Danforth design and manages without any stock at all. The only stable position for Danforth is flat on seabed.
As I said I think the long stock "trips up" the lightweight Fortress if there is a major change in the direction of pull. I have observed this diving several times.
Making the stock shorter and/or flatter, or at least changing the design I think holds some promise for increasing the holding power of the Fortress When the pull direction changes.
One of these days I will have to make some different stocks for my little 1kg Gardian and drag them around the beach in shallow water to see the effect. I can think of worse ways to spend a summers day.
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Old 21-07-2012, 06:04   #53
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

We have used 3 anchors on our boats for ever ! 1 danforth 60lbs, 1 CQR 60 lbs, 1 Old Rock Hook 50 lbs All we ever used the cqr for was a lunch hook! the Danforth was are main anchor. the rock hook we used when we had to anchor in rocks or coral, we had all chain about 400 ft. I put that danforth so far down in the mud even my Hyd windless would not pull it out!! never had a problem dragging with it !! ya drop it slowly backing up till ya have about 3 times the depth and stop for a few minutes by then she should have settled in ! back down just a little and let out 5 or 6 or7 scope, and back it down at full throttle!! make sure it's not draggin ! Ive had them come loose in a 100 deg wind change, but never had one drag if the wind stays semi steady !! Im just saying sometimes it's not the anchors fault !! its the method used setting it !! many anchors need to settle in some before ya really set em !!
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Old 21-07-2012, 07:44   #54
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Sound like there's a terminology overshoot here concerning the precise meaning of "setting" an anchor.

Seems to me Noelex77 is talking about the process of settling the anchor into the bottom with judicious, increasingly muscular, but nevertheless intermittent applications of 'bollard pull' (which cannot be done from a dinghy) whereas rognvald might be using it (some would say equally validly) to refer to the laying out of the anchor and warp on the sea floor.

It's probably obvious, but in case any lurkers are mystified: to do what Noelex77 is referring to, for more than one anchor, you should preferably lay out both anchors first (unless using a dinghy to lay one out)

and then and only then snug each one into the bottom in turn, WHILE KEEPING THE OTHER WARP SLACK (but not getting it wrapped around anything !)

The gold standard if you're going to be leaving the boat, or if you expect wind from a variety of directions, is to lay out, and then set, three large anchors with 120 degrees between each pair.

Ideally, a single (preferably larger) dropper chain will connect to a massive swivel at the junction of the three chains/warps.

Otherwise you might just end up re-enacting an amusing scene a family member witnessed in the Med: some friends had resorted to three anchors but were not able to implement the single dropper/swivel.

The expected winds led the boat a merry dance. Mercifully it was not enough to wind the warps so tight as to winch them bar taut like a "spanish windlass' - this can happen !
but it did take them HOURS to untangle, and the foredeck was, for the duration, virtually invisible....

Finally, having uncoupled the bitter end of a couple of the warps and untangled everything, they got everything stowed.

Next anchorage was one of those magic, sheltered sanctuaries, and they were early enough to get the prime spot, still bathed in the full glare of the baking sun. They watched with considerable satisfaction as the chain snaked across the foredeck and arrowed satisfyingly into the crystal depths. They were so mesmerised (and worn out) they took no preliminary steps to slow it or halt it.... and suddenly it vanished with barely a 'plop' and everything was eerily quiet.

Don't let this happen to you!

(PS: I recommend having a nylon rope pendant at the end of any all-chain warp, with a hard eye shackled to a strong eyebolt at the aft end of the chain locker, above chain level where it can be inspected... the pendant being long enough to
a) take out the shock if you have to use the anchor as an emergency running moor/ unattended handbrake, and

b) long enough to bring the bitter end of the chain to a convenient place on the foredeck, generally just inboard of the roller, where you can clip on a recovery buoy if you are forced to "cut and run" (which was originally a sailing ship term)
Andrew,
We always set both anchors under power. We however lay out our second anchor by dink for a more precise positioning. I thought that was clear. Sorry.
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Old 21-07-2012, 07:56   #55
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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We have used 3 anchors on our boats for ever ! 1 danforth 60lbs, 1 CQR 60 lbs, 1 Old Rock Hook 50 lbs All we ever used the cqr for was a lunch hook! the Danforth was are main anchor. the rock hook we used when we had to anchor in rocks or coral, we had all chain about 400 ft. I put that danforth so far down in the mud even my Hyd windless would not pull it out!! never had a problem dragging with it !! ya drop it slowly backing up till ya have about 3 times the depth and stop for a few minutes by then she should have settled in ! back down just a little and let out 5 or 6 or7 scope, and back it down at full throttle!! make sure it's not draggin ! Ive had them come loose in a 100 deg wind change, but never had one drag if the wind stays semi steady !! Im just saying sometimes it's not the anchors fault !! its the method used setting it !! many anchors need to settle in some before ya really set em !!
There is no substitute proper technique.
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Old 11-08-2012, 18:37   #56
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Anchored with an FX 23 for 20 years all conditions Even one Huricane,Never backed down on the Anchor.Always had a 10 to 1 scope with 15 ft 5/16 chain.Never drug anchor The anchor IMO will set itself given time I,have watched other back down and pull the Anchor out,before it had a chance to set.12,000 lb 36 ft Mono
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:29   #57
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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Anchored with an FX 23 for 20 years all conditions Even one Huricane,Never backed down on the Anchor.Always had a 10 to 1 scope with 15 ft 5/16 chain.Never drug anchor The anchor IMO will set itself given time I,have watched other back down and pull the Anchor out,before it had a chance to set.12,000 lb 36 ft Mono
I would not suggest anyone change something that has worked for 20 years, but I would not suggest anyone copy this technique.

There are a couple of risks not setting the anchor.

1. Even new generation anchors occasional do set, usually due to debris. It's rare for my Rocna not to set first time, but it can happen. I always like to dive and find out why, usually you can see the drag marks and see where the anchor landed. Last time it landed on a tree. Yes a tree. I know they ar supposed to float, but this was sitting on the bottom.
If I had not backed down and tested the anchor. I would have never have known the anchor had almost zero holding power.

2. Wind / current action will normally set an unset anchor well, but not always. Anchors like to set reasonably slowly. Pull quickly and rapidly and sometimes they will set, but with a hard bottom the anchor will sometimes not dig in. As the anchor drags it gathers speed and finds it harder to dig in. In adittion it picks up weed etc that fouls he flukes.
If you get a rapid increase in wind strength on an unset anchor the boat can gather signifficant speed and momentum as the chain slides back. This creates the ideal conditions for an unset anchor to start slidding and it will never set. The same conditions do not create a problem for an anchor has already buried because of progressive reverse power applied by the engine after the anchor is dropped.

3. An extra risk with a Fortress (or Danforth) is that debris like a small rock can jam the flukes in the closed, or only partial open position. It's important to find this out when you have just dropped the anchor rather than 3am ( and he wind always arrives in the middle of the night )
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:14   #58
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Going back to the OP's question, I think it is important that you do NOT listen to the manufacturer's recommendations in the case of a cat. They always list their recommendations on the basis of displacement, not windage. Fortress also lists boat length which is pretty much irrelevant for a cat.

A cat will pull on the anchor on the basis of its windage, not its displacement, nor its length. So you need to use your own judgement and go up 2 or 3 sizes.

Our 40' cat weighs 5.5 t, so accordnig to Fortress, we should use an FX23. I wanted an FX55, but could only get hold of an FX37 at the time. So far, so good, but I use more scope (min of 7:1, often 10:1 +) to take into account our tremendous windage. If I could get hold of an FX55 here, I would buy it asap.


YMMV
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:35   #59
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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Going back to the OP's question, I think it is important that you do NOT listen to the manufacturer's recommendations in the case of a cat. They always list their recommendations on the basis of displacement, not windage. Fortress also lists boat length which is pretty much irrelevant for a cat.

A cat will pull on the anchor on the basis of its windage, not its displacement, nor its length. So you need to use your own judgement and go up 2 or 3 sizes.

Our 40' cat weighs 5.5 t, so accordnig to Fortress, we should use an FX23. I wanted an FX55, but could only get hold of an FX37 at the time. So far, so good, but I use more scope (min of 7:1, often 10:1 +) to take into account our tremendous windage. If I could get hold of an FX55 here, I would buy it asap.


YMMV
We loaned our FX-37 to a 50 foot cat that had dragged and cut away their 70Lb main anchor. It held in 50K so you may be underestimating the Fortress.
Still bigger is always better and I too would sleep better with FX-55.
They dismantle and pack down to a surprisingly small and light packaging so usually it feasable to ship them. Crusing we buy most stuff fom overseas and have it shipped to the nearest courier office.
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Old 14-08-2012, 07:51   #60
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

I feel a heavier chain 5/16 will make a huge difference and more of it preferably all chain otherwise the motion of the boat and springy nylon warp is just jerking the anchor around with very little dampening every motion is almost being transferred to the anchor you that chain weight also. There is one thing that will keep a sailor awake at night is a lack of trust in his tackle ground tackle that is. More weight with a steady motion good scope and a good length of chain. Mitch
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