I would like to comment on the Ultra anchor from a different perspective than an anchor tester. Namely, as a CRUISER!
I just finished a three week cruise
aboard Panope while using the Ultra as my primary bow anchor. We traveled within the State of Washington
between the San Juan
Islands and Hood Canal
. We anchored in a different spot every night except once. Some days I anchored multiple times (lunch stops, repositions, etc).
Most of the anchorages
offered routine bottoms with good protection. Several places were a bit more of a challenge:
This narrow cove was not wide enough for full 360 degree swinging at a scope of more than 3 to 1. Weather forecast
called of a chance of wind
at 25 to 35 kts overnight so I chose a good night's sleep over worrying about bumping into the rocks at 3:00 am.
I suppose that if I held the title of "Shore tie video expert" I would have scaled the rock walls with long strings of polypropylene in my teeth and tied off to the trees. As it is, being some sort of "Anchor Freak", I felt destined to immobilize the boat using ground tackle only.
Plan was to set three anchors, one off the bow and two of the stern in a wide "V". First, I attempted to set the Ultra in the "shallow" end of the cove (5 feet at low tide) but the anchor did not produce more than about 200 pounds of holding power. On retrieval, strands of eel grass
were present on the fluke.
Ultra was then set in the "deep" end of the cove without problem. I then payed out an extra hundred feet of rode
so that I could drop my big Forfjord (65 lb) in the same spot where the Ultra dragged. Now, the Forfjord is an old-school pivoting fluke "Navy" style anchor of very low sophistication. What it does have going for it is MASS. Enough mass apparently, to shove its way through the grass
and set, holding the 3 or 4 hundred pounds of reverse power that I applied. Forfjord rode
for that portion) was then transfered to a stern quarter.
Third anchor (Fortress FX-16, 10lb.) was easily paddled out to a spot with a depth
slightly deeper that where the weeds were thickest and set right away.
Boat secure, in a lovely spot, with no other boats.
In this next anchorage, I sat for 2 days waiting for a rare (for August) 2 day blow to ease (30 kts. at times).
A low spit of land gave good wave protection but no protection from the wind
. The challenge with this spot is water depth
. Just beyond Panope, water is 150 feet deep. Just in foreground, depth is zero. Ultra anchor is set on a fairly steep "side hill" in about 30 feet of water.
Wind was steady from a direction parallel to the shore. If wind had blown toward shore, boat would have grounded. If wind had blown off shore, anchor would likely have dragged as almost no amount of scope will overcome "steep slope short scope". The result was that the Ultra did not move. I slept fine.
Like in the rocky cove above, the less than ideal anchoring
conditions and a forecast
of wind, meant that I was all alone in a beautiful spot.