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Old 22-02-2013, 04:23   #241
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Re: Sarca Excel

The skepticism from cruisers in the northern hemisphere is understandable:
1) Many have spent the last decade becoming convinced - in most cases after personal experience - that the new generation of concave anchors outperform the older convex designs like the Delta, CQR, etc, as well as the Bruce.
2) The Sarca Excel looks very much like a Delta anchor and other convex ploughs.
3) Notwithstanding #2, some smart Aussies claim that with a few tweaks to the angle and shape, the formerly humble, convex, Delta-type design actually outperforms the Supreme, Rocna, Spade, etc.

We've all grown skeptical of anchor tests and videos. People rarely change their convictions overnight. Still, this thread has been remarkably informative and successful.
a. A number of cruisers from Oz and NZ have made a good case here on CF.
b. Most on CF seem to be considering the Sarca Excel with an open mind.
c. Many would like to try one. Or at least they'd like to see their neighbor try one.

A big thanks to those Down Under who've shared their knowledge and experience.
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Old 22-02-2013, 05:15   #242
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Re: Sarca Excel

cfarrar, your comments are true, a few tweaks, yes that is what it looks like but those few tweaks took three years to tweak, you are correct it will take some convincing, never mind this forum has been excellent for Anchor Right Australia and the ones that have been using the Excel have more than rewarded me, you will all know soon enough how well our anchors work in ( your ) real world as demand is ramping up now in many countries.
But thanks for acknowledging some of the great input form all on this thread.
Regards Rex.
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Old 22-02-2013, 06:51   #243
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Re: Sarca Excel

[QUOTE=JonJo;1165151]
Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The Bugal is a very simple anchor to fabricate. Despite its simple construction it works well. The main limitation is that it uses a simple flat blade fluke. This does not provide as high holding power as the concave blades and the simple geometry restricts the fluke area. It still performs better than all but the concave anchors.

Quote

1 A cheap Bugel made from thin mild steel is an accident waiting to happen.

2 When you have tried a CONVEX Excel you will be qualified to comment (you might be right, but many would disagree, - in the meantime you have no idea, at all, about what you are talking.
A FLAT or CONCAVE will sustain a much higher holding force than the CONVEX.

This video clearly shows what a convex anchor does in action.

CONVEX anchors tend to push the seabed to the sides which will give you unwanted movement

Next Generation Anchor Environment Destruction - YouTube
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Old 22-02-2013, 08:21   #244
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Re: Sarca Excel

Thats fantastic cotemar - it clearly shows how the excel is not a plough. Excellent work - clearly demonstrates the excel burying where a plough - ploughs and a concave leaves a big trench.
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Old 22-02-2013, 14:50   #245
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Re: Sarca Excel

Quote:
Originally Posted by congo View Post
Alchemy further to your enquiry,availability of Excel anchors in the U.S.

Bobofthenorth on this link is trying to put together a pallet load if you are interested.

Sarca Excel - Page 4 - Trawler Forum

Regards Rex
Just read this today, Rex...Yes, your offer is a good one indeed and I have been in contact with BoboftheNorth. Logistics and freight prices will play a big part in the decision, but your offer of wholesale prices is both generous and intriguing. I guess we will try to see if it makes sense.
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Old 22-02-2013, 15:44   #246
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Re: Sarca Excel

Cotemar - This statement is incorrect "CONVEX anchors tend to push the seabed to the sides which will give you unwanted movement"

The exact opposite is true. Please take another look at the video, right to the end.

As Factor mentioned the convex anchors as shown in the video bury themselves causing minimal environmental damage whilst the plough and concave anchors are the ones that carve out a trench.
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Old 22-02-2013, 16:05   #247
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Re: Sarca Excel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozbullwinkle View Post
Cotemar - This statement is incorrect "CONVEX anchors tend to push the seabed to the sides which will give you unwanted movement"

The exact opposite is true. Please take another look at the video, right to the end.

As Factor mentioned the convex anchors as shown in the video bury themselves causing minimal environmental damage whilst the plough and concave anchors are the ones that carve out a trench.
Here is what I see.
Does dragging a big borrowing hole and pushing the seabed to the sides mean minimal environmental damage.

It’s still pushing the seabed to the sides on its borrowing trail.

Wouldn’t it be better to just use a CONCAVE anchor that bury’s instantly and deep and stops.
Not disturbing much, but building a nice compressed wall of seabed in front of the anchor.
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Old 22-02-2013, 16:34   #248
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Re: Sarca Excel

Cotemar - the Excel in the photos you have posted has hardly disturbed the seabed at all so there is very little environmental damage. If you put a concave anchor under the same test conditions & load until it dragged then it would gouge out a trench like the plough in the other photo.

From all of the numerous comments of Excel users they also say that their anchors set instantly and deep and stop just like you say that the concave anchors do.

I'm sure that you are intrigued enough that you would love to have the opportunity to try an Excel for yourself and see how they really perform. So why don't you suggest that one of you mates that need an anchor puts one on the pallet or even better get one for yourself to put up against your new Mantus on your Mahe.
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Old 22-02-2013, 17:42   #249
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Re: Sarca Excel

The idea of trying to convert ideas so entrenched looks to be a complete waste of time.

So I wondered about an alternative and possibly more educational foray into anchors and anchoring, but still focussed on the Excel.

Way back in the distant past it was suggested, on this thread, that USL practices for determining anchor weight is wrong and that anchors should be bigger than recommended (and if you read the attached link, 2 sizes bigger). If you have the time and patience you will find that the concept (of bigger is better) did not enjoy universal support but dissent did not enjoy much support either.

I hope I have pasted the link correctly!

One Big Anchor Better Than Multiple Anchors In Almost All Situations

Simplistically the argument is that if your are to cruise to less well frequented areas (where anchorages are not well documented and support distant) then you should use as your primary anchor one that is 2 sizes bigger than the USL code might recommend. This recommendation is on the basis of using a modern, efficient, high holding power anchor (which happens to be a Rocna, the same choice of anchor as the individual recommending the same course of action on this thread).

I find the concept slightly contradictory, someone who currently uses the correct sized, say genuine Bruce or Delta, of say 20kg wants to upgrade to a better anchor. They are OKish with the current ground tackle - but want something a bit better (and they are going to cruise Patagonia, Tasmania, Newfoundland or Alaska). The Delta is rated a High Holding Power anchor by Lloyds. He chooses say a Supreme, rated Super High Holding Power, by Lloyds (so 2 times as good as the same weight Delta) - but the recommendation on the basis of the link - is that he should buy a 33kg anchor (and, these are now my comments, maybe thicker link chain, a new gypsy and a new winch? - little point in having that extra holding capacity and a wimpy chain).

If you think I might simplify too much or be suspicious of my summary then check the link - and post a correction. I'm not inviting criticism of my summary - just a correction.

So I wonder: Of those who have Excels

1 Do you feel that the USL code recommendations (which are basically the same recommendations that all anchor makers use) are about right.

2 If you have the correct sized Excel, based on the USL codes, have you ever felt 'insecure' and if you have - what have you done about it.

3 Apart from lining the pockets of anchor, chain and windlass suppliers are there obvious disadvantages to carry a '2 sizes bigger' anchor (given that the anchor is not significant compared to the weight of chain).

It would be interesting if anyone who posts mentions their vessel type, size and weight and size of anchor.

We have mentioned it previously but we have a 38' cat, 6t cruising weight, 16kg Excel, 8mm chain. We have deployed a second anchor Fortress FX 23 or Spade A80 (in addition to the Excel) but primarily to stop veering in a very tight anchorage (we have also tied to trees, easier with a cat). I do recall someone who has posted on this thread and has a sister yacht to ours carries a 13kg Excel (and we used a 13kg Excel without problems - but only locally and not under Gale or Storm force winds).

Finally, the results have not been published (so minimal detail) but an anchor maker, not AR, tested one of their modern 15kg anchors recently using a 90t tug and achieved holding capacities of 5t (they had need to upsize chain and shackles). The tests are hardly independent and the seabed was presumably chosen to prove a point - but impressive none the less.

Jon
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Old 22-02-2013, 18:12   #250
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Re: Sarca Excel

[QUOTE=Cotemar;1165255]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonJo View Post

A FLAT or CONCAVE will sustain a much higher holding force than the CONVEX.

This video clearly shows what a convex anchor does in action.

CONVEX anchors tend to push the seabed to the sides which will give you unwanted movement

Next Generation Anchor Environment Destruction - YouTube
Clearly Cotemar you are not a farmer.

Farmers use ploughs to turn the soil over aerating it as in the 1st photo.

Clearly the seabed/soil in photo 2 is not turning over and aerating as in No1.

They are two diferent anchors.
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Old 22-02-2013, 19:04   #251
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Re: Sarca Excel

Jon,

The linked piece by John Harries recommends a single anchor "at least one size larger than the manufacturer's recommendation." Of course, recommendations vary. For example, I carry a 25 Kg Rocna that's one size larger than the 20Kg CQR provided by the boat builder. However, 25 Kg is recommended by Rocna, and I feel comfortable because their tables are fairly conservative. If I were to follow John Harries to Labrador and Greenland I would probably upgrade one size more, but then again I would get a different boat, too! Anyway, rather than get wrapped up in manufacturer's charts and USL / Lloyd's appendices, let's just say that the "one anchor" strategy advocated by John Harries, the Dashews, and many others assumes a best bower that performs reliably more than 99% of the time. In their view this means that bigger is better, within reason.

For many cruisers, upgrading the anchor one size will not require upgrading the chain and gypsy. After all, the goal is not to increase ultimate holding power in ideal bottoms like dense mud. The point is to increase holding power in less-than-ideal bottom types: soft mud, thick weed, loose gravel, etc. Also, if your windlass can't handle an extra 5 Kg that's a problem. I'd warrant that most who burn out their windlasses use them incorrectly - to pull the boat up to the anchor or break it out.

I know you understand all this even better than most of us, and you're asking a great question: do you really need to use a "bigger" anchor to achieve adequate holding more than 99% of the time? You make an interesting argument about smaller anchors: they bite deeper than a large anchor, assuming the same force is applied. Maybe you'll find that theory works particularly well with the Sarca Excel. Of course, the counterargument is that once the force is increased beyond that required to bury the smaller anchor, the larger anchor fully buries itself, too, and its larger surface area offers even greater holding power. This would be especially useful in soft mud or loose substrates. Also, the larger anchor may offer an advantage in thick weed. Call this one unresolved. Then there's the issue of scaling. That's also beyond my expertise.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what your fellow Sarca Excel owners report about anchor sizing. Please don't take offense if I keep my 25 Kg anchor while waiting to hear your report.
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Old 22-02-2013, 19:17   #252
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Re: Sarca Excel

Broken electric windlasses were among the most common repair/replacement items in Cartagena, right after refrigeration. One disadvantage of the extra-large anchor is how do you get the darn thing up after the windlass is broken? We met a couple on a large trawler that had lost their windlass and they couldn't manhandle their main anchor by themselves. A bunch of cruisers helped them haul it up one last time in the San Blas and they were off, hopefully non-stop, to Shelter Bay marina to search for a repair. If they had to drop the hook they had one shot at it then would have to cut it free.
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Old 22-02-2013, 19:28   #253
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Re: Sarca Excel

A good point, Kettlewell, though I'm not sure that "one size larger" is the deal breaker in the broken windlass scenario. Let's say I've got 30 feet of chain and a 25 Kg anchor to hoist by hand. Total weight is 40 Kg (less water displacement). Does it really matter if the whole mess weighs 5 Kg more? Maybe, maybe not.
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Old 22-02-2013, 19:38   #254
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Re: Sarca Excel

5 kg feels like a lot when you're hauling it up from 40 or 50 feet, but my main point is that once you get up to anchor size that holds your boat reliably in say 40-50 knots of wind, in most cases that same anchor is good for a lot more. There is a law of diminishing returns, assuming the bottom is good holding. I've struggled for half a day to gradually retrieve a couple of FX-23 aluminum Fortress anchors that had penetrated very deeply into thick mud after a hurricane. Nothing would have dislodged those anchors--something would have broken first. Where the extra big anchor can be a lifesaver is when holding is very iffy or non-existent. I have hung for a couple of days on the sheer weight of anchors and chain, and maybe some help at the sharp points, with no blade penetration at all off the coast of Mexico. The bottom was just inches of sand over hard rock.
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Old 22-02-2013, 19:44   #255
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Re: Sarca Excel

Quote:
Once you get up to anchor size that holds your boat reliably in say 40-50 knots of wind, in most cases that same anchor is good for a lot more. There is a law of diminishing returns, assuming the bottom is good holding. ...Where the extra big anchor can be a lifesaver is when holding is very iffy or non-existent.
An important distinction, and a great point.
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