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Old 08-08-2011, 17:56   #1
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Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

My current kedge is a G-37 backed up by 51' of chain. I generally set it from the bow, even when using it as a stern anchor, and it does a great job until I get to the chain when retrieving it. The way my horizontal windlass is set up, it's not feasible to switch the chain to the gypsy side of the windlass that usually supports the primary anchor on its all-chain rode.

So, the question is whether it would be better to use either a G-55 or an FX-55 without chain than to use the G-37 with the chain for my kedge?
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Old 08-08-2011, 18:00   #2
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Bash I'm confused. If your kedging your basically pulling the boat somewhere using the anchor. Light retrievable would be the optimum. But I think your describing something else.
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Old 08-08-2011, 20:02   #3
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Re: Question about a Fortress/Guardian Kedge

Why not just use less chain? Seems like using 10 - 15 feet should allow you to break the anchor out on rope and then pull the rest in by hand.

Fortress recommends 6' of chain for 25' water depth for normal anchoring, so a shorter length should work fine, especially as a kedge. Plus if you need to dinghy it out, it will be much easier with 10' of chain than with 50'.
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Old 08-08-2011, 20:52   #4
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Re: Question about a Fortress/Guardian Kedge

I'm confused. Why does a kedge need all chain? What type of windlass are we talking about? On my Lofrans, you can deal with rope on one side and chain on the other, and the last 12-15 feet of chain on the kedge is easy to just bring in by hand.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:04   #5
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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Originally Posted by sabray View Post
Bash I'm confused. If your kedging your basically pulling the boat somewhere using the anchor. Light retrievable would be the optimum. But I think your describing something else.
You are correct that "kedge" can be a verb. But the word can also function as a noun. In common parlance, the kedge is a smaller utility anchor. In our boat there are three anchors: primary, storm, and kedge.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:07   #6
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Re: Question about a Fortress/Guardian Kedge

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Why not just use less chain? Seems like using 10 - 15 feet should allow you to break the anchor out on rope and then pull the rest in by hand.

Fortress recommends 6' of chain for 25' water depth for normal anchoring, so a shorter length should work fine, especially as a kedge. Plus if you need to dinghy it out, it will be much easier with 10' of chain than with 50'.
Interesting point. I just checked the FAQs on the Fortress site, and they recommend a fathom of chain for each 25' of water depth. So backing up the FX-55 with a fathom of chain wouldn't be too strenuous, although the FX-55 weighs 32 pounds without the chain. Using a short length of 3/8" chain would bring that up to almost 40 pounds.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:18   #7
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

I hand retrieve a 45lb manson with 40' (50lbs) of 3/8'' chain not as bad as it sounds , one is not lifting all the weight at on time just the anchor and a length of chain equal to the depth of the water
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:23   #8
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

Not all of us are young supermen (sorry, superpersons) so windlass's are pretty important. But still with the Fortress series, if you don't use a significant amount of chain the lightness of the anchor inhibits its setting quickly when backing down.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:27   #9
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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Not all of us are young supermen (sorry, superpersons) so windlass's are pretty important. But still with the Fortress series, if you don't use a significant amount of chain the lightness of the anchor inhibits its setting quickly when backing down.
Yes, this is why I'm asking the question. By moving from the FX-37 to the FX-55 I would be gaining in terms of holding power, but loosing in terms of chain. Would this trade-off work in my favor, or against me?

(With my boat I would not trust an FX-37 to have enough holding power without at least 50' of chain.)
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:34   #10
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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Not all of us are young supermen (sorry, superpersons) so windlass's are pretty important. But still with the Fortress series, if you don't use a significant amount of chain the lightness of the anchor inhibits its setting quickly when backing down.
Ha well I am 53
but figure especially when crusing I need some excerise, did I mention my bad back?
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:36   #11
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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Yes, this is why I'm asking the question. By moving from the FX-37 to the FX-55 I would be gaining in terms of holding power, but loosing in terms of chain. Would this trade-off work in my favor, or against me?

(With my boat I would not trust an FX-37 to have enough holding power without at least 50' of chain.)
That fx-37 is a good anchor the only issue I ever had was resetting when The tide shifts, typical of that style of anchor
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:43   #12
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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That fx-37 is a good anchor the only issue I ever had was resetting when The tide shifts, typical of that style of anchor
Shifting tide would never be an issue here, since it would be used mostly as a stern anchor. Setting the anchor would be, because it would often be set as a kedge via the tender.

Please, this is not about whether Fortress makes a good anchor. The question is about trading an FX-37 with 51" of chain with an FX-55 with either no chain or 6" of chain.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:55   #13
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

I would use at least 20 ft of chain, regardless of what Fortress says. It's not that heavy. For the use intended the FX37 should have a huge amount of holding power.... probably more than your other anchors. Either anchor doesnt weigh that much though. A hastily deployed (literally thrown over the bow!) FX 55 saved my 47 ft boat once.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:24   #14
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

Is your concern about setting ability or holding power or something else? If your concern is holding power, there is no question that the bigger anchor with less chain will have more holding power. If your current holding power is enough, then decreasing the amount of chain with the current anchor should still leave you with enough holding power unless you like really short scope. If chafe is a concern, then more chain is definitely the way to go.

If the question is setting ability, chain can be both good and bad. Brian from Fortress made an interesting point here recently that too heavy of chain can actually cause the anchor not to set in a very soft bottom because it causes the flukes to invert. Fortress doesn't recommend a lot of chain and it really shouldn't be necessary.

How about trying your current 37 with reduced chain and seeing how it does. I suspect that it would work just as well as before.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:38   #15
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Re: Question About a Fortress / Guardian Kedge

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Is your concern about setting ability or holding power or something else?
The concern is retrieval. Last week I set the FX-37 as a stern anchor in a silty bottom for a few days. After bringing up the primary (Rocna 25k) we swang the boat around to take up the kedge on the windlass, using the winch side rather than the gypsy side. When I finally got to the chain section, I could not get the anchor up, and had to resort to a nylon snubber with a chain hook to break the kedge free.

The FX-37 is recommended for boats 46'-51'. My boat comes in right at the low end of this. The FX-55 is recommended for boats 52'-58', which makes me think that it might be correctly sized for a kedge on my boat without chain. It would certainly be easier to deal with, both launching and retrieving, without the chain. (Or with minimal chain.)

I would point out that I've twice had the FX-37 stern anchor fail to hold in these situations up in the San Joaquin Delta. The Rocna has never dragged, but it's on an all-chain rode.
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