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Old 15-12-2018, 11:40   #46
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Re: Budget anchoring (?)

Being a low or more times then not, a no budget cruiser, I might recommend buying a 20' length of chain and keep your two anchors. They are a bit under sized, but really not a thing wrong with them.

For the nice days just use the 10kg bruce. For Storms (ie winds over 25 knots and /or long fetch anchorages, take that 20' of chain, connect one end to the bruce clevis and the other to the danforth and set both anchors in series. That will do quite well and not break the bank.

You will want a chain hook to connect to the chain link when retreaving the two anchors. It's one way the old timers use to do it with two anchors.

I've used the Mantus and its probably the best anchor out there. It is a bit spendy for the no budget cruiser. It's also a PITB when a snap eats it.

Thing is every anchor will drag sometimes. Anchor tests are lovely but in no way represent real world anchoring in any way. In it's day, the Bruce was the best anchor out there. Pretty sure in 15 years folks will be changing their mantus out for the newest "Best" anchor that comes along.

Currently for my 34' boat (7 ton) I use a 44# (20kg) Bruce clone for 1/3 the price of a mantus. I've found that it holds rather well. Well enough that I sleep well even when the wind blows.

If you have the funds, you could buy a used 15 or 20kg bruce from someone, and sleep well on your 31' boat.

A windlass is nice but I anchored for 9 years without one. It's a bitch to retrieve, though when the winds are up. Best of luck to you.
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Old 15-12-2018, 12:27   #47
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Re: Budget anchoring (?)

I see a UK seller on fleabay with a 12v Kobra windlass for $577 plus $100 shipping to U.S., and a "Make Offer" button. It's a stretch for a poor working stiff, but eating beans and rice for a month ought tto pay for it.

<EDIT>There WAS another one for $450 + $25 shipping, US seller, but I snapped it up for a spare. Snark snark!
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Old 15-12-2018, 13:29   #48
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Re: Budget anchoring (?)

Here's how to row out a heavy anchor without having to pick it up and heave it over when you're ready to drop it. Suspend it under the dinghy with some line and tie it up with a slip knot. When you're ready to drop, just trip the slip knot. This is called "boating an anchor."
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Old 15-12-2018, 17:00   #49
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Re: Budget anchoring (?)

Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post

Thing is every anchor will drag sometimes. .
I disagree
If you had a 100lb ,"new gen" anchor do you think your 34 ft boat could ever drag?

Even a plough can do well if stupidly oversized
A mate with a similar sized boat to ours swears by them but I wouldn't trust my dinghy to one.
He has a 300lb plough and has never dragged, Weight not necessarily design
We have a 150lb supreme and have never dragged either but have deformed the chain in a blow. Design not necessarily weight.
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Old 15-12-2018, 23:05   #50
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Re: Budget anchoring (?)

Originally Posted by jonassundbom View Post

I've been reading on this forum for a while but this is the first time posting.

Anyway, I got a 31 ft Beason (more info here), a Swedish-built sailboat from the late '70s that I'm fitting for an Atlantic Crossing next year. The plan is to sail from Europe to the Caribbean and then cruise around for at least a year.

This is on a tight budget and I am now considering anchor options.

I currently own a 10kg Bruce and a 10kg Danforth anchor, 5 meters of chain and some anchor rope. No windlass.

I've been thinking about two options:
  1. Expensive option:

    Keep the Bruce as a stern anchor, scrap the Danforth and invest in something like a Mantus anchor which I then would up-size + 50 meters of chain and a Windlass to use in any anchoring situation. Would an up-sized Mantus anchor be enough in stormy weather?

  2. Or the cheaper option:

    Keep both of my current anchors. Buy a 10 kg Delta anchor, 20 meters of chain, and around 30 meters of rope. This option is way cheaper and I wouldn't need a windlass either.

Those idéas might be really bad, I don't know. Do you guys have any input? Any better idéas?

I have no experience of cruising, sailing by the swedish coast is something completley different than what I'm planning so any help is more than welcome!


So for the length and beam of your boat you can expect about 2000lb of anchoring loads in the worst cast. That’s from the ABYC anchor load table interpolated for your dimensions using 42kt wind loads.

For that load 1/4” (6mm) G43 chain and 1/2” (12mm) nylon line would hold fine. If you went with BBB or G30 chain you would need to go up a size and the price would be similar to the G43 chain but it would be heavier.

If you don’t have a windlass you can get away without a bow roller. Keep in mind that even pulling up by hand the bow roller makes the work much easier.

Inboard from the roller should be a chain stopper. If you don’t have a bow roller you don’t need the stopper. Even if you have a windlass you should have the stopper, the windlass should only be loaded to raise or lower the anchor. With a stopper it’s reasonable to motor up to the anchor and raise it by hand; you can sit on the foredeck and pull up a length of rode and the stopper will hold the load while you lean forward for the next pull or just catch you breath. The chain stopper, and all cleats on the boat should have over-sized backing plates under them with cleats held down by 4 bolts.

Whether you have a windlass or not you should motor or sail up to the anchor.

I would keep the 2 anchors you have, the Bruce as a backup and the Danforth for ultimate holding power in a storm or in really soft bottoms where it will hold better than even the NewGen anchors.

The old anchors are not bad or crap, they just aren’t as good as new anchors by reasonable margins. To a point you can trade money for weight in choosing an anchor. Chose an older heavier anchor for less money over a new lighter anchor for more money. As an example a 35lb (15kg) Delta retails for $226 vs a 26lb (12kg) Vulcan (Rocna sub-brand) for $320, both at West Marine. Is one of these anchor going to hold better than the other? I doubt the Vulcan will hold much better than the Delta if at all. The Vulcan is 1 size up from recommendation the Delta is 1.5-2 sizes up.
The "up to a point" caveat relates to how heavy an anchor you could pull up. If you are pulling up by hand, a 44lb (20kg) anchor is probably as big as I would want to deal with on a regular basis with a windlass. The 20kg Delta probably would hold significantly better than a 12kg Vulcan at a cost of $344, $24 over the 12kg Vulcan.

For anchoring I prefer to use mostly chain unless I am absolutely sure that there is nothing to chafe line on the bottom. Since chain does not stretch like nylon and centenary is pretty much gone by the time the wind gets to 30kt I want some line out to prevent shock loading the points where the rode attaches to the boat, the chain stopper or a cleat.

For my primary rode I would use 100' (30m) of chain and 200' (60m) of line. For a 3' bow height that would let me anchor in about 21' with 5:1 scope with the rope-chain joint 3' clear above the seabed in dead calm, no current conditions or 29' with 4:1 scope.
With 190' of line out in heavy conditions I could have 7:1 scope in 38.5' of water or 10:1 in 26' of water, or 5:1 in 55' depth.

All that said, I would want more anchors on my boat than just these 3 and would sacrifice a number of amenities in order to afford them. There would be no wind instruments, no CodeZero, no refrigeration until I got my 4th anchor.

You may not want to talk about what else you are putting on the boat because of the amount of abuse that people will heap on you for not having this or that item which they think is absolutely necessary or why are you wasting your money on some gizmo they think is absolutely worthless.
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Old 06-01-2019, 15:55   #51
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Re: Budget anchoring (?)

Originally Posted by Tylermartinsail View Post
I actually have lots of experience with both anchors, and trust me the Mantus does make a huge difference! In certain bottoms the Delta is OK, but the Mantus performs excellent in all bottoms except rock shelf of course. I run a charter company in Key West, and put Mantus Anchors on all our boats. They never drag, ever. There is no substitute for a Mantus. It’s worth the money.

Mantus do not set in hard mud.
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Old 06-01-2019, 16:55   #52
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Re: Budget anchoring (?)

For what it is worth, I lived for nineteen years on a Hunter Cherubini 33. This was divided, more or less equally, between California and the west coast of Mexico. My primary anchor was a Bruce 33 (15 kilos), my secondary was a Danforth Plow (rare but they made them). I also had a danforth 12 lb high tensile and a Fortress FX 37 as a storm anchor. I worked up to 220 feet of 1/4 inch HT chain, with two additional 50 foot lengths that I could join with a connector that was a strong as the chain. I had a good roller, with a snubber pawl right behind it, but no windlass. I simply sat down, with the chain locker between my legs and leaned forward and rocked backward to lift the chain. If the wind was up, I put my engine in gear with just enough throttle to keep the boat in position. Otherwise it was strictly by hand, and not that tough. I habitually anchored in 35 plus feet, but considered 55 feet to be "on". This was a very simple system that never gave me any trouble. If I was using the engine, I had my autopilot remote beside me for when the anchor came off the bottom.

What were the actual results? The Bruce never dragged, not even once. I used the Danforth a couple of times as a stern anchor. I never touched the plow. I prepped the Fortress for use, once, but never actually used it. What were the conditions? Standard California (quite a bit of wind) and Sea of Cortez (strong "Norte's", chubascos and gusts, and also light wind. Best test? How about Hurricane Marty, whose eye passed directly overhead of Puerto Escondido, where we were. It was category 1, borderline 2, and my boat was one of those that didn't budge (on the Bruce) and wasn't damaged. I also lived at anchor for several years, which included having to go ashore to work, so I had to trust everything. And, I did. On my current boat, a 46 foot cat, I use a Spade A200, which is a huge anchor, but I continue to have great faith in the genuine Bruce, particularly for a smaller boat where it won't be to heavy. At one point it was the latest thing, and to this day, it is most certainly NOT junk, in actual practice.
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