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Old 31-01-2010, 14:08   #1
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Delta Anchor, Set in Sand, with Pictures

So, I took these today of my 44# Delta FastSet. This is in hard sand/grass at Staniel Cay, Exumas. I pulled back on with the engine for after letting the light wind stretch the chain. After pulling it back for perhaps 20 feet, it stopped cold, and I increased rpms to 1500 for 20 seconds and it didn't budge.

Comments on how well this is set?
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Old 31-01-2010, 14:33   #2
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It looks reasonably well set. Its difficult to get an anchor to bury a long way with engine power alone if it is a hard surface.
The second and third shots show scrape marks behind where the anchor has slid forwards when setting. The photos finish before the end of these drag marks which is a pitty as they let you know how far the anchor took to set.
The Delta does seem to set resonably well, but offers less resistance than some other designs even when set. I have snorkeled over several Delta anchors that were dragging even though they remained well burried.
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Old 31-01-2010, 18:50   #3
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I agree with the post above that the set is reasonably good. In a really good set, the anchor will be fully buried to get the maximum holding power. I do not know what your engine and prop setup are like on your boat but as a general comment, I feel that many people kid themselves as to how much throttle to give it to ensure it is truly set. 30 knots of wind exerts an awful lot of force on a boat and to simulate that with the engine, many people have to rev up to 2/3 throttle. It may be that your setup puts the equivalent of 30 or 40 knots with only 1500 rpm and in that case, the anchor would be set well from the standpoint of holding you there in the expected breeze.

It is too bad that the ultimate holding power of the deltas is on the low side since they do set well in most cases.
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Old 31-01-2010, 19:01   #4
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I like deltas...but I would bet you snagged a rock by the looks of the depth of set...nothing there says "I'm ready hold in a blow" IMO...the problem with plow type anchors is just as their name implies...they plow...and your pictures shows me one that is ready to do just that.

IF you have the time and are willing?...when you decide to move could you swim down and excavate the tip for me?...I would love to be proven wrong that its not on corral or rock and stoped dead in its tracks as is.....as Like I said i like deltas.
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Old 31-01-2010, 20:21   #5
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I would agree with Stillraining a bit. I've pulled up my Delta with mud still clinging on the shank but it's only a 10 kg anchor. Maybe it takes more power to sink a larger anchor. I mostly use the 15 kg Claw and reserve the Delta for short term or as a secondary anchor, which stopped us from dragging in a 30 kt blow one night. That's when I decided to put on 60' of chain on the Claw from then on.
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Old 31-01-2010, 20:46   #6
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It doesn't look well set to me.

I don't like my Delta much. Just haven't bought another anchor yet.

It digs through the mud with grass till a ball is there and then that bounces merrily along, or it just does not bite through the hard sand/shell and dig.

On the backing down.

I don't understand that much as I don't think simply reversing can put much "pull" on the system.

I set by backing down and then motor forward for a bunch of slack and reverse hard going to neutral just as the rode gets tight - twice.

I believe this puts a lot more strain on the anchor and is a better indicator of the anchor being actually set to hold if things "pick up".
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Old 31-01-2010, 21:28   #7
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Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
I like deltas...but I would bet you snagged a rock by the looks of the depth of set...
Stillraining - We've anchored in the Staniel Cay area many times. There aren't many rocks, that's just how the bottom is. Our 44lb. Delta has never drug there, including riding out a norther gusting 40 knots.
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Old 31-01-2010, 21:55   #8
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When I set our 70 pound Beugel anchor on Exit Only, I go with both engines in full reverse, and when the Beugel has dug in, it stops our 20,000 pounds with a mighty jerk as the stretch comes out of the bridle. If I don't feel the strong jerk, I don't consider Exit Only to be anchored. If I don't use full reverse on both engines, I don't consider Exit Only to be anchored. (I have three blade fixed props).
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Old 31-01-2010, 21:59   #9
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Stillraining - We've anchored in the Staniel Cay area many times. There aren't many rocks, that's just how the bottom is. Our 44lb. Delta has never drug there, including riding out a norther gusting 40 knots.
Fair enough...
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Old 31-01-2010, 22:08   #10
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---On the backing down.

I don't understand that much as I don't think simply reversing can put much "pull" on the system.

I set by backing down and then motor forward for a bunch of slack and reverse hard going to neutral just as the rode gets tight - twice.

I believe this puts a lot more strain on the anchor and is a better indicator of the anchor being actually set to hold if things "pick up".
While I'm here I might as well put Therapy into shock (and probably a few others as well).
Unless the winds are almost calm, we rarely back down on our anchors when setting them. We normally anchor in shallow water on the Florida east coast and the Bahamas. Our working anchor is a 44lb. Delta on 50' of 3/8 chain attached to 100' of line. We normally lower the anchor to the bottom with the boat stopped in the water, then pay out the chain manually as the wind blows the boat backwards. We stop the chain (after a few more feet deploy) to pull the anchor straight so we can feel it start to hook up. As the boat drifts back we periodically tension the chain going out to ensure that the rode is lying straight out from the boat. When we get to the end of the chain we pay out enough line to have 20' +/- past the anchor roller. When we do that we take a wrap on the cleat while holding the line firmly about waist level. When the slack comes out of the rode it yanks the line out of our hands. We have done this so often that's normally all we need to feel secure. The idea of not backing down is that it gives the anchor an opportunity to settle in to the bottom as the boat moves at anchor. I think this may enable plow type anchors to hook up more securely than backing down on them, which frequently seems to cause them to "plow".
Have we ever dragged anchor? Rarely, but yes. Usually due to human error. Anybody who's never drug anchor just hasn't anchored enough, with the possible exception of those who use triple oversize ground tackle.
Have we ever had a hard time getting our anchor to bite? Yes again. When we do we move or change gear/tactics. Once while running from a tropical storm warning up the St. Johns river (NE Florida) we found that our wonderfully protected spot had a bottom composed of such soupy mud that not only did the Delta drag (no surprise in that stuff), but so did our equally large Danforth. We were using the motors to back down that time, since it was calm and we didn't want any surprises. A local sailor came to our rescue with the offer of an extremely well protected dock. Now that's a plan B.
Obviously this whole scenario is impractical in some different conditions, such as anchoring in 100' of water with an all chain rode.
Just wanted to show you a different way of thinking about things.
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Old 31-01-2010, 22:21   #11
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Mike since your boat is valued 3 to 4 times mine I will concede to your point and comfort level how ever It suits you...I will however continue to back down at full throttle on mine however.. and I have been known to impose the "Therapy" jerk as a test myself now and again...half the time it fails.......carry on....
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Old 01-02-2010, 13:30   #12
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Quote:
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IF you have the time and are willing?...when you decide to move could you swim down and excavate the tip for me?...I would love to be proven wrong that its not on corral or rock and stoped dead in its tracks as is.....as Like I said i like deltas.
I did jump in, but without the camera. As another reply said, "thats just the way it is down here".... no rocks, no coral on tip. Just more HARD sand and grass.

FWIW, I sat out 48hrs of steady 22kts gust 30 not far from here, and the Delta never budged. When I left, I jumped in to look before weighing anchor, and it looked just like these pictures. I do use all chain 3/8 BBB chain, which helps for sure. Also, that blow was all from one direction.

I posted the pictures because I too don't think this is a very well set anchor. But in the 2 months I've been down here, it never has buried deeper than this. I would try not sit out any real weather like this, but it does show how little grab one needs to sit tight in prevailing 15-20kts.
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Old 01-02-2010, 13:49   #13
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Cool...and thanks for the check out dive and the honest answer..

I have thought of replacing my Bruce with a Delta as my secondary ( lunch hook )
to my yet to be purchased primary Manson Supreme for the sail boat..The Bruce was a great improvement over the fluke on our 27' Sea Ray but I have my doubts about it holding 3x the weight that the sail boat is.

I think the Manson or Ronca is way overkill for a lunch hook..I have heard stories of them setting so well they are hard to break out sometimes..and the added mess to clean up a large dollop of goo as wel just for a short stop... I may keep my eyes open for a good deal on a used Delta now if the Bruce proves ineffective... I once had 2 other boats rafted on me and the Bruce was not dragging in 15 kts so we will see.. it might be just fine for a lunch hook as well but its only 33kg.
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Old 01-02-2010, 14:34   #14
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I have a 55 lb delta as my primary anchor, and have used it in the Bahamas. The delta does not tend to bury itself all the way in grass on the initial set. They tend to look pretty much the way they do in the picture. I was stuck behind white key in the berry's during a 30 kt+ blow for three days once and the anchor set about the way shown in the picture, but as the boat swung and the tides changed it dug in so deep that you couldn't even see the shank anymore. There were 4 boats hiding in there and we were the only one that didn't drag. I prefer to anchor in "worm" sand rather than grass if possible. This is sand that is being heavily worked by marine worms. When you look at it from above it has mounds and depressions and does not look especially clean. The worms keep the sand relatively loose and it allows the anchor to dig in very deeply yet is still relatively easy to pull out. It is also very good for danforth types. I've seen deltas hold cats in this stuff in 50 knots and not budge an inch. My delta does drag in soft mud so I try to avoud that if at all possible. I'm looking to get a danforth type for that.
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Old 24-07-2011, 01:01   #15
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Re: Delta Anchor, Set in Sand, with Pictures

I like the Delta in 'hard' bottoms such as sand clay and even grass. However in any soft bottoms such as found around Opua, Russel and Te Puna Inlet (New Zealand) the Delta just won't set. We have tried everything long scope short scope, waiting a while before backing - just no good.
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