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29cascadefixer 26-04-2003 19:37

When I finally get my lawn decoration of 12 years ready to float, what anchor works best in the Great Lakes area? I have a Danforth but have read that these don't set in grass very well and they won't reset. I have considered carrying an additional anchor of the Bruce type. What would you folks recommend as to anchor type and most common rode length ?

GordMay 26-04-2003 20:47

Anchors & Rode
Grass is tough on ALL anchors.
I've used, & liked: Delta, Bruce, & Fortress in Lake Superior (lots of rock & heavy mud/clay).
In Bahamas sand, I liked Fortress & Delta.
Bigger is always better.
Suggest minimum rode length of: (maximum anchoring depth + freeboard) x 10 = total MIN. rode.
I've used anchors with 10' (on Fortress), 20' & 50' of chain, and I always use sentinal weights.
What type & displacement boat are you anchoring, and what bow araingement?

29cascadefixer 28-04-2003 18:30

Ahhhhh- hmmm
Sorry for the late reply, been busy. I tried to find the displacement of my 29 foot Cascade, but can't find it. In the 12 years I've worked on this thing I've never needed to know ! I would say around 3 tons. As far as anchoring depth, I don't think that anyone really anchors in more than 30 feet do they ? Using your formula for anchor rode, that would equate to about 300 feet, right ? As far as bow equipment, I have a standard (?) stem head fitting- no rollers, winches or other accoutrements. Just two grooves in the stem head fitting, one each side of forestay anchorpoint. In my work I normally lift 40 - 50 pounds , so I guess that if I wanted , I could go to that weight anchor and not have to use a winch.

GordMay 28-04-2003 19:47

Anchor Rodes
29 Footer @ 6,000# (sounds a little light), anchoring in 30 Foot Maximum water depth + about 4 Ft. freeboard @ bow = 34' O/All.

34 x 10' = 340 Ft. rode deployed - perhaps 400 Ft. total rode length available.

34' O/All x 5' = 170' deployed - 200' available.

Your boat sounds similar to my C&C29 (6800# dry).
I seldom anchor in more than 12' water depth in Lk. Superior. Often anchor bow to tree on shore, /w stern anchor deployed (we have steep to shore lines)

I carried:

Fortress FX23 (clipped on bow rail) c/w 10' of 3/8" High Test
Chain + 200' of 5/8" Three-Strand Nylon. My all-round first choice, weighs only 15 Lbs, /w incredible holding power.

35# Delta (on bow roller) c/w 50' of 3/8" H.T. chain & 200' 3-Strand 5/8" Nylon.

22# Bruce (in anchor locker) c/w 20' of H.T. chain & 150' 1/2" Double Braid Nylon. Worked well in Superior, but not so well in Bahamas. Replaced /w second FX23 (saved Bruce, but never used again).

Two "extra" storm rodes @ 150' each (bend on as required).

In heavy weather, I always deploy 15 Lb "Sentinal" (Kedge) weights, suspended a few feet above bottom.

Excepting the Bruce, these all worked very well in the Bahamas as well.

Hope this is helpfull, don't hesitate further query.

GordMay 28-04-2003 20:28

Re: anchor re-setting.
No anchor will really re-set, in a new direction, properly.
You will want to set multiple anchors, to account for directional pull changes.

The Bahamian moor works well , in 180 degree change circumstances., such as occur in 'tidal' waters.
'Clocking' winds are more likely in the Lakes, so a 60 - 90 degree "VEE" off the bow should work.

Re: Bow accoutrements.
You need somewhere to stow your anchor, ready for deployment, but secure. The Fortress is light enough to clip onto your bow rail (pulpit).

Make certain that your rode has a fair lead from it's secure cleat to the water.


Sonosailor 18-03-2004 10:11

I have posted a picture of one of my two 44 lb "Made In France" anchors in the gallery:

Anybody know what these should be called? Danforths on stearoids?

I presently have two of these, each with 100' of 3/8" chain, on my 35' cat. I believe a retrofit is in order. I intend to start with a bridle, 25' each side from my bows. From there, I will have a swivel shackle to catch a chain or eyelet.

I intend to take one of the 100' of chain and cut it up. 55' will remain on the primary anchor, 25' will be used on the secondary anchor, and the last bit will be used on a third, yet to be determined anchor. I also intend to set all three anchors up with 150-200' of 5/8" or 3/4" nylon 3-twist. I'll take the second 100' hunk of chain off the boat.

1. What do you think?
2. How can I make the bridle hook-up work with lengths of nylon? I expect that the 55' of chain with the bridle will satisfy my needs 90% of the time, but I have no ideas yet for the 10% of the time when I will be connected at lengths longer than 55' (plus bridle)
3. Given my two anchors, and that it is a cat, and that I am bound for the Caribbean, what would you choose (and what weight) for the third anchor?

Thanks in advance for both your sage advice and two-bit opinions. Bring it on, please. :confused:

BC Mike 18-03-2004 10:32

Cascade 29
LOA 29' LWL 24' Beam 8'2" Draft 4'9" Sail area 405 sq.ft. Ballast 2375 Displacement 8500 lbs.

Tanzer 8.5 LOA 29' LWL 24' Beam 9'6" Draft 4'6" Sail area 400 sq ft Ballast 3000 Displacement 7400 lbs

Michael Casling

GordMay 18-03-2004 16:00

“Tuning an Anchor Rode” from
Al’s Software Sailing Page
is an EXCELLENT tutorial, describing (in detail) the forces that act upon a boat and it’s anchoring system. The author focuses on the rode behavior, with special emphasis on a generally underestimated problem: the dynamic behavior of various types of rode under wind gusts, and provides a synthetic spreadsheet to approximately size the anchor and the rode, given the anchorage conditions.

I''ve not yet fully digested and analyzed the information presented,; but I'm certain that I need to re-examine (and confirm or modify) my opinions (in light of his presentation).

In all humility,
A very opinionated Gord

sjs 19-03-2004 07:21

Sonosailor, with respect to bridles, no sage advice but a recent incident demonstrating my own incomplete knowledge.

We were hiding out from a heavy blow in a harbor and so were a lot of others. No room to swing if you used enough scope to hold so we used a mooring but the size of the mooring pendant eye and the pendant itself precluded the use the chocks and cleats on the boat. I rigged a bridle to use the mooring and kept checking it because of the high wind, the heavy swells and the changing wind direction.

A plow type anchor was fixed on a stem roller and I thought I had the bridle rigged to avoid chafing on it but as the boat swung repeatedly around, one side of the bridle or the other would rise higher than I expected and rub on a part of the anchor. There was some initial chaffing in a short time. After a few attempts to adjust it I finally got the briddle long enough and low enough off the bows that it no longer rubbed, but then it was so low that it rubbed on the top edge of the bottom paint. A little stain on the line and a little less bottom paint but at least safe.

That was the last night of my charter so I never did figure out the proper solution for that situation, other than moving the anchor, which I wanted to avoid. Not sure what lesson is to be learned from that other than have properly sized hardware on deck and experiment with the bridle rig before you go to sleep and rely on it.

As for the discussion of grass, it may have been mentioned already but I have heard that the old fisherman's anchor worked in grass. I have never used one myself.

Sonosailor 19-03-2004 13:13

Fisherman's anchor
Still interested in everybody's opinion on my plans, but, SJS's comment on fisherman's anchors gets my attention. I have noticed those fishermans anchors that break down into pieces, and they seem a neat option for a third anchor. Anybody try these?

CSY Man 19-03-2004 14:19

Meh thinks the old fisherman anchors are for "rocky" bottoms.
Not much of that in the islands where sand, mud and grass is in vogue.

Another option is the Fortress Aluminum anchors, they also collapse, or come apart for easy stowage.

Got one myself, a 55 stored under the cockpit sole.
The manufactor claims it has 16,000 lbs of holding power in good sand.

Will be happy to get half of that, even so, impressive numbers.
Keep it hidden away for possible hurricane conditions, but of course if the big one hits, no guarantes even with an anchor from USS Nimitz..

For primary I use a Delta 55 with all chain.....Very happy with that one. Never dragged...yet.
Always set it with 2000 RPM plus in reverse...Probably equal to a 40 knot breeze...If I expect more than that, run the Perkins to 3000 in reverse.

"Just because ya are not paranoid does not mean something is not out to get ya".

:D :D :D

Skylark 19-03-2004 17:38

Quickset anchors are inexpensive and are a good delta type anchor, made in Canada.

For your boat, the 22 lb Quickset would be a good anchor, but you would want something more in a blow. If you get a Danforth type anchor of more than 10 lbs, you could shackle it with about 20 to 40 ft of chain to the tail of the Quickset and you would have a very good holding combination.

Its always nice to have a heavier anchor too. A 35lb plow or delta type anchor would be good to have as well.

Some links and thoughts on anchoring here:

Do you have a bow roller? It is very important for hauling the anchor easily. Anything over 25lbs starts to be difficult without a bow roller.

GordMay 21-03-2004 03:57

Anchor Bridle for Cat's

All Multihulls should use a bridle, secured to both hulls. Each leg should be a minimum of two and a half times the beam of the boat.

The bridle legs MUST be attached to both hulls. WARNING - Some catamarans have a centrally located anchor roller situated midbeam on the weakest part of the boat - the aluminum crossbar that supports the trampoline. On these boats leading one of the bridle legs there MUST NOT BE DONE. It is not braced like a mast and attaching to it can lead to failure of the crossbar, capsize and loss of life.

Make sure cleats or pad eyes have substantial backing plates. You must use substantial chafe protection, be prepared to check for chafe often, and let some rode out if experiencing chafe. You might consider the use of chain or wire-rope bridles, if chafe is a particular problem on your set-up.

You can shackle the bridles to the hulls using thimbled-eye rode ends and shackles. This eliminates the need for chafe gear provided the bridle legs are not rubbing on any part of the boat.

One bridle leg could be fixed, or both adjustable which will allow you to change the angle on the bow for a more comfortable ride. Be aware of chafe and check for it often.

There are three main methods of assembling the bridle/main rode junction:

THREE PART: Thimbles in the ends of each bridle leg and the end of the main rode - make sure you use one shackle on each bridle leg. Do not attach all three thimbled ends to one shackle as the thimbled ends will bind against each other. This setup allows flexibility in that you have three ropes to work with if you need them for other uses.

TWO PART: Thimble in the end of the main rode and a "Y" bridle which is attached to the main rode with one shackle. This type of bridle is best made with single braid rope as it can be threaded through itself and can not separate.

SINGLE PART: The Direct Spliced Bridle is a main rode/bridle as one unit. The main rode goes from the Anchor to the boat and one bridle leg is spliced into the rode at the bridle leg length from the boat. Imagine a huge dock loop which has been cut in two. Again, this type of bridle setup is best made with single braid rope.

And then there's this:

1. You indicate 2 x 25' bridles = 50' Total, which should be adequate for about 20' beam (50 / 2.5).

2. You indicate 100' of 3/8" chain; which you'll divide into a 55' & 25' (/w 20' spare) - and eliminating the other 100' length.
I’d suggest you consider dividing the first chain into (2) 50' lengths (for 2 PRIMARY ANCHORS), and retaining about 25' from the second chain (then liquidating the remaining 75').
Because weight is such a big issue with Cat’s, and I’m suggesting 3 anchor + rode set-ups (2 primaries) - An even better solution would be (2) NEW 50' Transport grade (G-7) chains @ 1/4". These would have a WLL of 3150# (vs 2650# for 3/8" P.C.), and would have half the weight @ about 70# total (vs 132# for 3/8" P.C.). Even 1/4" ‘G-4' High Test will match the WLL of 3/8" Proof Coil, at a mere 60# weight (100').

3. You indicate 150-200' of 5/8" or 3/4" Three-Strand Nylon.
You should feel comfortable anchoring, in all but the very worst conditions, in up to 30 foot depths with 200' Nylon + 50' chain.
A fourth Nylon Rode (shackled in as needed) will provide the ability to anchor in deeper waters, and might prove useful as a drogue-line, tow-warp, or ...

4. I’ve never used the French “”Danforths on Stearoids” you picture - so I can only offer an intuitive opinion that they look “gimicky”. I’m not impressed with the design, but at 44#, they should suffice.
I’d certainly like to hear some experienced opinions.

I’d highly recommend (large) “Fortress” anchors, particularly on Catamarans (weight considerations). The ‘FX-55' only weighs about 32#, and has a 27" long fluke (vs 18" on your French hook?). The ‘FX-85' weighs in @ 47#, and has a 30" long fluke. These compare favourably to 60# steel “Danforths”.

Hope this helps,

Sonosailor 25-03-2004 04:53

Bridle Connection
Thanks for the input, Gord. All quite logical, and easy to do. I especially like your options for the bridle. I can see opportunities in the options.

One question, though. Do you have ideas as to how to acquire flexibility in the length of rode (beyond the deployment of the 50 feet of chain) with the bridle connection? Knotting to the end of the bridle seems to be the only way; and if so, what knots?

I acknowledge that 90% of the time, I will be QRP'ing to the chain with a quick-release swivel shackle (with a safety loop on the chain or line inboard), but the other times, when I am beyond the chain, how should I connect?



exposure 25-03-2004 05:22

How about using your shackle on a figure eight knot on a bight of the anchor rode. The figure eight can be untied even if it has been heavily loaded.

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