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Old 17-08-2012, 06:42   #61
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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Originally Posted by rocksculpter View Post
My primary anchor is a 33# Bruce and all 5/16 BBB, but for mud over bedrock I use a Fortress. It works well in that situation where the Bruce doesn't have enough fluke area. I think that what makes my Fortress work for me is the 20+ feet of 5/16 BBB that has the weight that makes the shank angle low while setting. Another factor could be the angle of the adustable flukes. I prefer the larger angle. The biggest reason I choose the Fortress over a Danforth style is the ease of storing the lighter anchor in brackets on the bow pulpit.

Barry
I have the following anchors and I am trying to figure out what the best combination and location would be on my Slocum 37 Double Ender. She weighs in at approx. 28K pounds. Right now on the bow rollers I am planning on using a 33 lb Bruce as a lunch hook with 30-50’ of 5/16th HT and 150’ 5/8” rode. The primary anchor is a 47 lb CQR with 200’ of 3/8” BBB. I also plan on setting up a 20 lb Hi-Tensile Danforth as a stern anchor on the stern rail. I am thinking of using the same set up as the Bruce. I also have a large Fortress (too big for the bow rollers and 90 lb 2 piece Fisherman). Thinking of putting the Fortress chocked to the cabin roof and use only as a storm anchor. The Fisherman….? I don’t see a need for the Fisherman in South Florida or the Bahamas. Down Island may be a different story but she takes up a lot of space and where do I store it?

Any suggestions would be appreciated….

RT
PS BTW I would like to anchor on the St. Lucie River (my wife won’t go off shore), which is soft mud. I’ve used a Danforth without a problem. Will the Bruce do the job for an overnight stay?
PPS I am keeping a Danforth 35 lb Hi-Tensile plow as a spar in case I lose the CQR. Has anyone had any experience with this anchor? It is discontinued.
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Old 17-08-2012, 07:30   #62
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

I lash a spare 45 lb Brittany to the outside of my granny rails at the mast and it seems to stay out of the way of everything. I have seen anchors also lashed vertically on deck at the base of the mast shrouds providing they don't foul with your sheets. This gives easy access and allows you to set it up in a hurry before you untie it and use it without the risk of losing it overboard or struggling on deck with it in a rolling sea and risking to yourself or the boat! Mitch
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Old 17-08-2012, 09:37   #63
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

In mud with weeds you want compact and heavy in your anchor in order to penetrate the weeds to get down to the mud holding ground. I personally wouldn't recommend less than a 35-lb main anchor on any boat over 30 feet, and the primary should be the sort that won't be fouled and is very unlikely to trip out if the wind changes direction dramatically: Rocna, Manson, Mantus, CQR, Delta are all in this category. However, a Fortress does make a fantastic secondary anchor and that is how I use my two FX-23s that I have onboard. Numerous times these have held either my current boat or previous boats in strong blows in mud bottoms, including Hurricane Bob and what I think was a tornado in the Chesapeake. After Bob, muddy bottom with weeds in Cuttyhunk, it took me the better part of a day to gradually work those anchors out of the bottom. Nothing was going to pull those anchors loose short of breakage. I have found there is a certain type of mud in parts of the Chesapeake that has the consistency of jello and lightweight anchors with lots of surface area, like the Fortress, seem to float on the surface and it is very hard to get them to dive down to decent holding ground. In those areas I find it is best to drop your heaviest, most dense anchor design and then let it sit for as long as possible before backing down--the weight will let it gradually sink through the jello down to firmer ground.
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Old 17-08-2012, 14:00   #64
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
I have the following anchors ... 33 lb Bruce as a lunch hook ... a 20 lb Hi-Tensile Danforth as a stern anchor ... I don’t see a need for the Fisherman in South Florida or the Bahamas. ... she takes up a lot of space and where do I store it?

Any suggestions would be appreciated….

RT
PS BTW I would like to anchor on the St. Lucie River (my wife won’t go off shore), which is soft mud. I’ve used a Danforth without a problem. Will the Bruce do the job for an overnight stay?
....
The Bruce is a bit small for anchoring overnight if judged solely against your displacement, but I'm guessing your windage is low in proportion to displacement, so provided you don't snatch at it, it may well be OK as long as you're on board.


Bruce anchors in "small sizes" (some say less than 45lb, others 35lb) have received a bad rap lately on the www.

I did a lot of anchoring over many years on a 23' boat with a 20lb genuine Bruce, and the only time it dragged was in a very shallow anchorage in very soft mud, where in the course of a windy night it dragged 6 feet.

As I was moving ashore to mind a house for a friend (overlooking the boat) I laid out a big Bruce (66lb, with 5/8" chain) as a portable mooring, expecting that would be definitive. Over the next two weeks, which included a couple of storms, it dragged 4 feet (I'd put down a marker buoy at the toe so I could check) which REALLY surprised me, but vindicated the 'small' Bruce somewhat. And confirmed my thoughts about the challenges of very shallow anchorages (the yacht had a lift keel and was in the shallowest water possible to get inside a mooring field). To put things in perspective, at least one "Real" (certified) mooring in the same bay moved during this period.


I wonder if people who cast aspersions at small Bruces are perhaps basing this on anchors which are actually small in relation to the vessel, which is a somewhat different question.

My experience suggests to me that a "small" Bruce can still be a good anchor provided it's generously sized in relation to the vessel.

Having said that, soft mud is where Danforth style anchors shine, provided you don't swing on them.

One way to ascertain how well the Bruce will hold would be to set it in the mud in question, then row the Danforth out astern and set that. Gentle them both in for a while by snugging and loosening either rode. Then wait a while for nature to do some further work.

After a few hours, apply some serious load from a winch and see which anchor comes back on board. (Remember the bow anchor is taking the vector sum of wind and current load, in addition to the load taken by the stern anchor)

Fisherman anchors are often stowed (disassembled) in chocks on internal bulkheads, under the cabin sole, or (particularly on bigger boats) against the hull.

Incidentally it was interesting going on board the accurate replica of Capt James Cook's exploration sailing ship "Endeavour" some years ago: it seemed almost everywhere you looked down below spare anchors (huge fisherman types) were tucked away, built into nooks and crannies. When you've no engines, and no charts (he was drawing them as he went) and there's too much breeze to tow the boat with the longboats, your anchors are all you have.
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Old 18-08-2012, 06:42   #65
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Thanks for your relys. It seems for off the Florida coast the Bahamas and whereever there is a sandy bottom the Bruce would do just fine as a lunch hook. In mud a Danforth would be a better choice. I assume the CQR would work under all conditions and I could sleep tight.

RT
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Old 18-08-2012, 07:33   #66
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

If you have a windlass, just forego the whole idea of a "lunch hook" and get rid of any anchor you planned to use as such. The concept of a lunch hook was back when most boats did not have a windlass and one wanted a lighter anchor/rode combo for short stops because they didn't want to go through the aerobics necessary for the main anchoring gear. You are always better off with your best anchor gear in every anchoring situation and, with a windlass, would be foolish to not use your best at all times.

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Old 18-08-2012, 07:43   #67
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Depends on the boat. If your a light Tri having a decent second hook with mostly rope is correct. On a 44 foot mono I have a primary that is always used big chain length etc... And ample second gear. Plus a fortress. No lunch hook. Really it will very by boat and location. My peterson can carry this well. A smaller cruiser would want to balance this different.
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Old 18-08-2012, 08:09   #68
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

I didn't mean to imply not to have a secondary lightweight anchor with mostly rope. We have that also. I just meant to say that the OP should consider the idea of a "lunch hook" invalid if he has a windlass. I also didn't mean to imply that rope was bad - just that the concept of undersized anchoring gear for short stays was bad.

Personally, I think the concept of the lunch hook was always a mostly bad idea - even in the old days of no windlass - unless the time spent on anchor was short and the boat was always occupied by someone able to haul the anchor and sail the boat away from any problems.

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Old 18-08-2012, 09:28   #69
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

Advice concerning lunch hook is duly noted. I do have a windlass. I assume a 33 lb Bruce would not be sufficient as a secondary anchor for my boat that displaces 28K lbs? Not even on sandy bottoms?

RT
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:43   #70
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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I assume the CQR would work under all conditions and I could sleep tight.
I have a CQR and a Bruce on the bow. Never used the Bruce and it doesn't appear that the PO did either. The CQR is on 300ft of 5/16 G4 chain.

The CQR is absolutely wonderful in sand despite what all the 'modern' anchor tests show. It has a real hard time in grass and thin sand over hard marl like at Morgans Bluff.

We went through some really nasty Northwest blows this year in the Bahamas (West side of Flamingo Cay and Highborne Cay) and the CQR was rock solid in sand. Went through several snubbers due to chafe but the CQR did not drag at all.
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:48   #71
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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I have a CQR and a Bruce on the bow. Never used the Bruce and it doesn't appear that the PO did either. The CQR is on 300ft of 5/16 G4 chain.

The CQR is absolutely wonderful in sand despite what all the 'modern' anchor tests show. It has a real hard time in grass and thin sand over hard marl like at Morgans Bluff.

We went through some really nasty Northwest blows this year in the Bahamas (West side of Flamingo Cay and Highborne Cay) and the CQR was rock solid in sand. Went through several snubbers due to chafe but the CQR did not drag at all.
The Tayana is similar in design to my Slocum. What weight Bruce and CQR do you have? Your displacement?

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Old 18-08-2012, 09:52   #72
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

45lb CQR. Right at 30,000lbs is the design displacement but travel lift gauges show closer to 40,000lbs. So somewhere between 30K and 40K.

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Old 18-08-2012, 16:50   #73
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

I do think a CQR is unfairly maligned by many--because it is probably the single most popular anchor design on cruising boats it also has experienced the most failures. However, lots of these can be attributed to poor technique, and quite a few can be attributed to the anchor not being a genuine CQR, and some can be attributed to its known weaknesses. Its main problem is that it can be hard to set at times, so I think often people give up and call it a day, retire below to have a few cocktails, and then when it drags during the 2 am thunderstorm they blame the CQR. Many, many times, possibly more than a hundred, I have hung on nothing but a CQR in muddy and weedy Cuttyhunk harbor when violent thunderstorms have come through with dramatic wind shifts and I did not move, despite the fact I was on a CQR--but mine was well dug in, backed down on, backed up by plenty of chain. I no longer use a CQR as it is difficult to set at times, and some of the newer anchors set quickly and more reliably. And I have witnessed dragging boats pulling up the latest and greatest anchors as they sail away down wind. There is more to anchoring than purchasing the latest and greatest.

But, back to the Fortress. Someone said that it is only good in mud. Au contraire! I have used it numerous times in sandy bottoms, and that is where it demonstrates the absolute maximum holding power. Given the right sand, nothing beats a Fortress. And, sometimes its very sharp flukes are the only way to get any sort of hook in extremely hard bottoms. I have dove on a Fortress where nothing but the very tips of the flukes was dug in because the bottom was almost like concrete, but it still held through some serious wind when I just couldn't get other anchors to penetrate at all.
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Old 18-08-2012, 17:35   #74
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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Originally Posted by jcapo View Post
45lb CQR. Right at 30,000lbs is the design displacement but travel lift gauges show closer to 40,000lbs. So somewhere between 30K and 40K.

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:49   #75
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Re: Fortress Anchor in Mud

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Ron,


Also... IF you use a boatlength long bridle, (tied to the rode with a rolling hitch), as ALL multihulls should, it cuts the load on the hook by > 50%. It is the monohull style "sawing around" that creates such huge loads. I can physically pull our boat forward in 35 knots of wind, IF pointed STRAIGHT into the wind, which the bridle assures. If it falls off 10 degrees, not so! Most multihullers use TOO SHORT a bridle.

M.
I'm sitting on a mooring right now with a short bridle 'cause the moorings are pretty close together. It's blowing 15-20 knots and I'm looking at all the mono hulls around me "sawing around". So now I'm curious why they do this? Can anyone shed light? They really look like they're sailing to windward, then coming up against the mooring line and "tacking". Could their hull shape be acting like a sail? Any other explanations?

And, yes I believe I'm using too short a bridle. Mine is 16' (on a 32'cat) and I'll increase to 32' next season.

Thanks again to everyone for your comments.
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