I am not familiar with anchoring on lake Ontario
and the bottom type there might be easy enough for most anchors to work successfully. Ask around with boats who's anchors look like they have actually been used a lot. You might well be just fine with what you have. If it's clay, mud (not too soft) or sand, the Bruce knock off might do well. I think the CQR only does well in sand but others still rave about the design for any bottom type.
The fact that your boat came with these anchors doesn't mean that they have been used for years with no issues. I see boats that always drag, even in "mild" 25 knot
conditions. The owner often states he thinks his anchors are just fine and the problem lies elsewhere, like bottom type or the tide or the wife who didn't set it right etc. The real issue in those cases is lack of money
to buy something bigger/better or the wish to use that money
for more time in bars etc. or just the believe that dragging anchor is part of the experience.
The anchoring technique is important and I see most boats doing it wrong so there is much to gain in reading up on the subject and practicing it. The two biggest mistakes
I see are using "electric down" instead of the clutch
and not setting the anchor good enough. The "electric down" mistake is mostly found with US sailors and the not setting it good enough is mostly found with EU sailors ;-)
I think that you tried to find support for the anchors you have with your post, because you are not sure of their performance. I understand that you don't really want to spend money on new anchors... no one likes that. But the type of anchor and brand vs knock off really make a difference and what you have isn't near equal to other options so just keep that in mind when you start anchoring. The good news is that your anchors might work fine in Lake Ontario
and that you know you can get better if they don't.
You have probably been reading some posts like Rocna vs Manson etc. that only add to the confusion. I think these two will both work just fine... it's the same anchor (It makes me think of the faucets made by both Hans Grohe and Friedrich Grohe...)
Ignore all that and go out and anchor. make sure you have markers on the rode
every 60' or so. Never use less than 60' no matter how shallow it is. Prepare the anchor before "final approach" and go as slow as possible without loosing steering
. When there are other boats nearby, never drop your anchor besides them... when it is busy, drop it just behind another boat. Stop the boat quickly once on the right spot and drop the anchor fast but don't let more rode fly out uncontrolled after the anchor hits bottom. Let the boat fall back (no engine
use after it has started moving back) while paying out more rode (not pulling on the anchor) until you have 3 times water depth out. Put a little friction on while paying out further (tighten the clutch
a little bit) until you get to 5 times the depth and at that point slowly but decisively tighten the clutch. Hold on as the anchor should set and pull the boat straight and forward again. Put the engine
in dead-slow reverse and wait until everything stabilizes. Feel the rode with hand or bare foot: it will tell you if the anchor is set or dragging. Put a snubber on (take tension off windlass) and increase rpm
to 1200 or so and take bearings to shore/other boats to see if you're holding for at least 5 minutes. From there on you need experience to know if you can/should pull harder. Try it out. On soft bottoms the anchor might need time to settle deeper while it should set 100% on sand immediately.
When you're good, adjust the scope to whatever you want. We normally match the scope of boats around us (a little shorter because we are often the longer boat) or go 5:1 if there's enough room. As you have a chain/rope rode you'll want a bit more scope like 7:1 if there's enough room. We have used 3:1 in 40 knots without trouble.
If the anchor is set for a day or so, you should be able to give full reverse without dragging. If you do drag when trying that, you will drag in a storm too. Don't be afraid (or ashamed) to test that... you must to get the feel of your gear
Some bottom types are just trouble, like rock or (dead) coral
or a thin layer of sand over rock or coral
. We do anchor on that if there is no alternative but don't consider the boat anchored, ie. stay aboard and keep anchor watch.
After all of our years of anchoring, we sometimes decide to practice it again. I remember a day in Rodney Bay, St Lucia
when the wind was blowing at 35 knots and there was a lot of room around a mooring
buoy. We picked up the anchor and practiced anchoring right behind that buoy (as close as possible). The difficulty is controlling the boat to go slow enough without the wind picking you up and throwing you around. We spend an hour practicing the approach with both me and Josie behind the wheel
. One of the tricks to master is moving sideways to the side you want by tacking the bow through the wind with just enough forward thrust (no bow thruster). Next we anchored there 3 or 4 times, which can get exciting with the boat going fast while paying out rode (look out for you fingers around the rode!).
Everyone was looking at us and one came over with the dinghy
to ask if we needed assistance ;-) During happy hour we were the subject of conversation and jokes and we laughed with them until they finally asked what went wrong. I then explained and said we were now confident we could anchor in any exact spot we wanted in a crowded anchorage even with 50 knots of wind. The consensus was that we were crazy to practice that... some even didn't believe we were practicing ;-))