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Old 10-08-2011, 09:49   #16
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
Ha well I am 53
but figure especially when crusing I need some excerise, did I mention my bad back?
If you're 53 and lugging all that with a bad back, it's not your back that's weak.

I suggest cycling and swimming as better exersize!

------------------------

Back to the topic. If the kedge is used as a secondary anchor, there is no reason not to shorten the chain and set it at very long scope; swing is not a factor. If it is used to "kedge" the boat very long scope is normal. I use an FX-16 as a kedge in the OP's meaning. I use ~ 10 feet of chain to allow me to use it without a windlass.

I'ld stay with the G-37 unless there has been a problem. Clearly this depends on the bottom, but it should be enough for a secondary (no changes in direction of pull) and your back is worth something.

Additionally, if you are setting 2 anchors, both with rode in a well at the bow, the tangles you get when the boat spins must be epic. I use a separate rode (only as long as I need) with the bitter end attached to the main rode several feet away from the snubber; this way there is no twisting.

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Old 10-08-2011, 10:06   #17
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

An FX 37 is practically a storm anchor for a 40' boat. Bend on 12'-18' of 5/16" G4 chain and you've got plenty of anchor/chain for almost any bottom conditions that fits this anchor. With that short a length of chain, should be able to break it out using the rope gypsy on your windlass in almost any situation.

A kedge anchor should be an easily deployed anchor that you can row out with a dinghy to self recover from a grounding or use in an emergency condition. The bigger and heavier (more than required for the size of the boat) the anchor and the more chain, the harder it is to deploy, the slower you'll get it out, and the more difficulties you'll have because you didn't deploy it quickly. Use the FX37 with a shorter length of chain. Use the longer length of chain on your backup/storm anchor or stern anchor.

I don't know if you've had the pleasure of trying to retrieve a Danforth Pattern anchor that has been well set in the typical mud bottom but it isn't fun even with a windlass. In fact, getting this type of anchor out, without some wave action to assist, borders on the impossible. More than once I've had to dive in, physically dig down to the anchor and pull it out backwards when used to kedge off from a grounding in the ICW. The anchor buried itself so well that two men cranking on cross linked Lewmar 40 winches couldn't budge a Danforth 20H (FX-16??) on a 35' boat. The holding power of these anchors is awesome in most bottoms. If it weren't for the fact that they can have problems resetting, are finger crunchers, difficult to haul around the deck, and don't stow well on an anchor roller, they'd be good primary anchors.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:44   #18
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

Bash,

I think that Roverhi and Klem made some very good points and I would opt to use the 37 with a shorter length of chain.

The FX-55, while somewhat manageable at 32 lbs, is a beast to handle size-wise, as it is about 4-ft tall (shank), 3 1/2-ft wide (stock), and has two 27" inch long flukes.

I would rule it out for that reason and because of what Roverhi mentioned in regards to the difficulty in pulling it out of a sea bottom.

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Old 10-08-2011, 14:22   #19
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

In this case I would tend to disagree with "Fortress". Getting a FX-55 out is a lot easier than a FX-37 or smaller Fortress anchor.
- - First off, I use 50 feet of chain followed by 3/4" 3-strand on my Fortress FX-55 for two reasons. One, to get the thing to the bottom quickly; and the other to provide abrasion resistance so the 3-strand doesn't get abraided.
- - Once firmly set Fortress rarely ever pulls free, although the larger the Fortress the easier it pulls free.
- - With a large boat, the smaller Fortress digs in and makes for the center of the earth when under good load and soft bottom. I have been known to take an hour and a half to get a Fortress FX-37 out while the bigger FX-55 comes up fairly easily. The bigger bladed FX-55 does not need to dig as deep to get a good load bearing set.
- - With the Fortress the weight of the anchor is minimally effective, but the size of the flukes when dug in give enormous holding power.
- - These are real life observations from my experiences using both anchors in the Bahamas, D.R. and Caribbean. I typically use the smaller Fortress as a stern anchor and it has been known to take the entire load of the boat during a squall without budging. Problem is getting it back up again.
- - Used as a Kledge anchor I would go with the largest anchor as the objective is to pull the boat off whatever it is stuck on. For that you need serious blade size and/or weight. During a serious squall many years ago, my CQR did not hold and made like a delightful farmer's plow. I ended up in 2.5 feet of water. Using my FX-55 (a reserve anchor back then) and a 66# Bruce I was able to winch the boat back into deep water. It took 8 hours to do it but those two anchors grabbed and held.
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Old 10-08-2011, 16:53   #20
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

So...i think youre saying the larger flukes prevent the large one from digging so deep.....interesting th eory. I used to have a dan style anchor with a slotted shank, so you could pull it out backwards.
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Old 10-08-2011, 17:11   #21
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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In this case I would tend to disagree with "Fortress". Getting a FX-55 out is a lot easier than a FX-37 or smaller Fortress anchor.
I've been thinking along these lines, but it's nice to hear some actual experience backing up the theory.

Stowing the FX-55 would not be a problem in my chain locker. It would seem to me that it will be easier setting a chainless FX-55 via dink than setting an FX-37 with 50' of chain. And retrieval would be easier because I can use the nylon rode on the windlass all the way up.

Last week, when I set the FX-37 as a stern anchor, I set it using one of the spinnaker primaries in the cockpit. I kept grinding and grinding because it was hard to tell when the darn thing was fully set, probably because the holding ground was silt. But two days later, when I tried to get it back up, it really didn't want to come.

Nothing worse than heaving on muddy chain when the windlass is no longer helping.
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Old 10-08-2011, 18:03   #22
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
So...i think youre saying the larger flukes prevent the large one from digging so deep.....interesting th eory. I used to have a dan style anchor with a slotted shank, so you could pull it out backwards.
Having dove on the two different size Fortress I have, the little one really digs in to the point of being totally buried. Of course I am putting an extreme load on the little anchor with a large boat and being smaller it can wiggle between obstacles that would stop the larger anchor. The FX-55 only digs in enough to resist the pull you are putting on it and then stops. Visually underwater it is rarely over halfway buried.
- - However, in soft mud like in Luperon, the big Fortress is the way to go as the little one tends to get dragged through the loose mud unless it hits an under-mud rock. Remember the Fortress version has two settings: normal and soft mud. The Guardian version only has one setting.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:31   #23
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

osirissail,

You make an interesting point. As Bob Taylor, former US Navy anchor design & soil mechanics expert, once told me: A larger anchor is better only if you have the means of being able to bury it deeper, i.e. a powerful enough motor to back down hard and "power set" it.

A harder, rocky type of bottom might make it more difficult to bury a larger anchor as well.

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