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Old 31-03-2012, 11:27   #1
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Spade Anchor Report

I'll share with CFers the latest chapter in my life-long quest to find the perfect cruiser's anchor.

I started my cruising life with a CQR, a nasty thing which gave me many gray hairs at it failed to set and/or dragged at the worst possible moments.

Then I bought a Spade when they first came out, and used this blissfully on the old boat. I was -- I'm not exaggerating -- afraid it would rip the windlass out of the deck when it set.

Then I bought a much bigger boat, which came with a 25kg Delta. The Delta didn't work very well in some of my favorite difficult anchorages.

A year later, I bought a massive 55kg Rocna. It set better than the Delta, but never set as well as the Spade on the old boat did. It always held, however -- in two years and many difficult situations, never dragged an inch. But it could be frustratingly hard to set sometimes, and never set hard and sharp like the Spade on the old boat did.

I returned my Rocna when I realized I had been sold something different from what was advertised. And I decided to go back to Spade. I wasn't sure that the Spade would set so much better than the Rocna, because I couldn't be sure that the experience scales up on a so much bigger boat. Besides that, I used the old boat on a different continent with different bottom conditions.

Well, I am writing this as I lie to the new Spade for the first time. I am in Worbarrow Bay, one of my favorite anchorages, on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset on the South Coast of England. An incredibly gorgeous place, but with a difficult, stony bottom, with a thin layer of sand on it. I have anchored here dozens of times. I couldn't even set the Delta, in the spot I'm in, despite a score of attempts. It just skipped over the top of the seabed. The Rocna always set here, but it often took some patience -- slow backing down to give the anchor a chance to dig in and sink into the seabed. Gradually letting out more and more chain.

Well, I was surprised and delighted to find out that the new Spade -- much bigger than the old one, and on a much bigger boat -- set just like the old one did. Wham! No mistaking the moment when it sets -- I worry about people on deck falling over. Just like on the old boat, despite the nasty seabed here. And didn't budge after five minutes of backing down at max RPM.

As a bonus, the new Spade is much easier to handle -- I opted for one size smaller than the old Rocna -- 44kg instead of 55. Still almost double the size of the original Delta.

Why does it set so much more aggressively than the Rocna did? I don't know. Maybe the fluke is sharper. The Spade has a big lead weight in the fluke, unlike the Rocna -- maybe it orients the fluke more accurately for better setting.

Someone asked me snidely when I complained about Rocna shenanigans over steel quality -- and what steel do you think the Spade is made of? I don't know, but the shank of the Spade is incredibly massive -- it is massive steel plate probably an inch thick, totally unlike the delicate, thin shank of the Rocna. They can afford to have a massive, thick shank because the fluke is lead-ballasted, preserving the center of gravity despite the heavy construction of the shank.

All in all, I am pleased as punch -- the second time already -- with the Spade. I think it's the dog's b*ll*cks for the cruising sailor.
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:35   #2
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Nice report!
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:51   #3
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

The shank on the Spade is a hollow triangular configuration. From their website:

Quote:
Hollow Triangular Shank Profile (Patented) – Extremely strong without upsetting weight distribution.
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:57   #4
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'll share with CFers the latest chapter in my life-long quest to find the perfect cruiser's anchor.

I started my cruising life with a CQR, a nasty thing which gave me many gray hairs at it failed to set and/or dragged at the worst possible moments.

Then I bought a Spade when they first came out, and used this blissfully on the old boat. I was -- I'm not exaggerating -- afraid it would rip the windlass out of the deck when it set.

Then I bought a much bigger boat, which came with a 25kg Delta. The Delta didn't work very well in some of my favorite difficult anchorages.

A year later, I bought a massive 55kg Rocna. It set better than the Delta, but never set as well as the Spade on the old boat did. It always held, however -- in two years and many difficult situations, never dragged an inch. But it could be frustratingly hard to set sometimes, and never set hard and sharp like the Spade on the old boat did.

I returned my Rocna when I realized I had been sold something different from what was advertised. And I decided to go back to Spade. I wasn't sure that the Spade would set so much better than the Rocna, because I couldn't be sure that the experience scales up on a so much bigger boat. Besides that, I used the old boat on a different continent with different bottom conditions.

Well, I am writing this as I lie to the new Spade for the first time. I am in Worbarrow Bay, one of my favorite anchorages, on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset on the South Coast of England. An incredibly gorgeous place, but with a difficult, stony bottom, with a thin layer of sand on it. I have anchored here dozens of times. I couldn't even set the Delta, in the spot I'm in, despite a score of attempts. It just skipped over the top of the seabed. The Rocna always set here, but it often took some patience -- slow backing down to give the anchor a chance to dig in and sink into the seabed. Gradually letting out more and more chain.

Well, I was surprised and delighted to find out that the new Spade -- much bigger than the old one, and on a much bigger boat -- set just like the old one did. Wham! No mistaking the moment when it sets -- I worry about people on deck falling over. Just like on the old boat, despite the nasty seabed here. And didn't budge after five minutes of backing down at max RPM.

As a bonus, the new Spade is much easier to handle -- I opted for one size smaller than the old Rocna -- 44kg instead of 55. Still almost double the size of the original Delta.

Why does it set so much more aggressively than the Rocna did? I don't know. Maybe the fluke is sharper. The Spade has a big lead weight in the fluke, unlike the Rocna -- maybe it orients the fluke more accurately for better setting.

Someone asked me snidely when I complained about Rocna shenanigans over steel quality -- and what steel do you think the Spade is made of? I don't know, but the shank of the Spade is incredibly massive -- it is massive steel plate probably an inch thick, totally unlike the delicate, thin shank of the Rocna. They can afford to have a massive, thick shank because the fluke is lead-ballasted, preserving the center of gravity despite the heavy construction of the shank.

All in all, I am pleased as punch -- the second time already -- with the Spade. I think it's the dog's b*ll*cks for the cruising sailor.
can you provide a picture/link of the spade?
thx
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:11   #5
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

I have similar although limited experience with the Rocna. You just have to let it settle to the bottom and find it's own setting. Don't be in a hurry to back up. Just let the wind or currents do it and it will set fine. Once you are sure it is set, then lay out more chain and use the engine to dig it in deeper. Once set it is really solid.
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:38   #6
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

My experience with the Rocna on a cat was very much like your experience with the Spade (another anchor I seriously considered). Of course, it is a real, Canadian-made Rocna before they went to China!

I had similar results with CQR and Delta, really no comparison, at least for me.

The really important thing, though, is that you have found what works great, for you! Great report, thanks for sharing.

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Old 31-03-2012, 15:09   #7
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by northwestsailor View Post
I have similar although limited experience with the Rocna. You just have to let it settle to the bottom and find it's own setting. Don't be in a hurry to back up. Just let the wind or currents do it and it will set fine. Once you are sure it is set, then lay out more chain and use the engine to dig it in deeper. Once set it is really solid.
Yes, that was exactly my experience with the Rocna. Rather fiddly to set, but once set, always held.
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Old 31-03-2012, 15:25   #8
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

6 years ago I bought the Spade A-140 thinking this was the best anchor made- certainly the most expensive at the time-after sailing a few thousand miles I was disappointed - It’s not good in weeds or hard sand- the big protrusion of lead on the bottom is hard to get into hard bottom- So I bought the Manson Supreme and have had it for many thousands of miles and it has worked every time in all conditions- So I keep the Spade as a second anchor- I have 4 anchors onboard , once in a while I will set second one if I’m on a rock bottom-
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Old 31-03-2012, 16:16   #9
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Ive used the Spade, and Danforth as a second, for to many years almost to count!! never had a problem setting the spade in a grassy bottom but have had the Danforth skip a bit in grass, for pure sand I still think my danforths work the best ! if ya sink em you can't pull em out !! if the wind shifts thats something else!! Been looking at the Manson supreme! sure looks good ! may try one on the new boat ! Just my 2 cents !!
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Old 15-04-2012, 15:42   #10
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Tried the Spade in another difficult anchorage; a place where my Delta used to just skip over the bottom and could be set only on the 5th or 6th attempt. My 121 pound Rocna would set there, but it took some coaxing -- gently backing down until the big Rocna gradually sunk into the seabed.

Once again, the Spade was something totally different -- set like a steel trap snapping shut, although the bottom there is very poor. I was -- seriously -- worried about my windlass being damaged by the pronounced jerk as 25 tons of boat was brought to a short, sharp, stop.

Now this experience has proven to be transferable, after all, between very different boats and bottom types. My previous Spade -- on a 38 foot cruiser in Florida -- behaved exactly the same way as the current one does. I didn't expect this.

As as nice bonus, the somewhat smaller Spade (100 pounds versus 121) is much easier to handle.
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Old 27-05-2012, 15:50   #11
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Another pleasant night lying to the new 100 pound Spade - in Yarmouth Roads, since the port was chockablock due to the Old Gaffers Festival there. This was the first place I anchored with my 121 pound Rocna - and I was surprised that it was so hard to set. I put it down to soft mud and forgot about it. But the Spade bit right in!

This aggressive setting behavior has a lot of benefits. For one thing, you can choose your spot with precision. By the time my old Rocna set, I was often far out of position, having drug the anchor halfway across the anchorage before it finally deigned to dig into the seabed. Another benefit is there is no question when the Spade sets! There's nothing subtle about it - you feel it! It's good to have this information.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:20   #12
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Hi Docjhead I am currently between buying a rocna spade or manson and looking first to the spade. I have a 15 ton 44 feet sailboat and a 60 lbs CQR at the moment. Which weight do you recommend for the spade S 120 or S 140 ? I have a solid hydraulic winch and 60 of 10 mm chain. Thanks for some info, i know bigger is better but how big ?
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:23   #13
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by CFR View Post
Hi Docjhead I am currently between buying a rocna spade or manson and looking first to the spade. I have a 15 ton 44 feet sailboat and a 60 lbs CQR at the moment. Which weight do you recommend for the spade S 120 or S 140 ? I have a solid hydraulic winch and 60 of 10 mm chain. Thanks for some info, i know bigger is better but how big ?
I have a Manson a DELTA and Danforth
Manson Recommend a 45lb anchor 45- 50lbs Next Generation - Manson Supreme anchor for sailing yachts



Manson Supreme recommended sizing specifications

Anchor sizing should be interpreted as a guide only. Many factors influence anchor size selection ie, whether the boat is a heavy displacement or a light displacement craft and how much windage the vessel has. The chain size, weight and length is critical to anchor performance and if in doubt use larger chain. Finally the vessel usage should also be factored in ie whether the anchor will only be used as a "lunch pick" in fair weather for day outings or indeed whether the vessel will be going on extended coastal or offshore cruising. If in any doubt about anchor selection always use a bigger anchor, in bad weather or motoring failure, it is the only thing you can rely on to save the lives of you and your crew. If you have any queries please don't hesitate to contact us for an exact recommendation for your vessel direct from the manufacturer on +64 9 835 0968.



Description GALV or SS
Recommended Boat Length (ft)
. Manson Supreme 5lb 0' - 15'
. Manson Supreme 10lb 15' - 22'
. Manson Supreme 15lb 18' - 30'
. Manson Supreme 25lb 25' - 35'
. Manson Supreme 35lb 35' - 40'
. Manson Supreme 45lb 40' - 45'
. Manson Supreme 60lb 45' - 55'
. Manson Supreme 80lb 50' - 60'
. Manson Supreme 100lb 55' - 70'
. Manson Supreme 125lb 65' - 75'
. Manson Supreme 150lb 70' - 80'
. Manson Supreme 175lb 75' - 90'
. Manson Supreme 225lb 80' - 100'

NOTE: The Supreme is a Super High Holding Power Anchor, so a size smaller than the Plough may be used - ie 30lb Plough may be replaced with a 25lb Supreme.
. Examples of boat size/style to recommended anchor selection
. Fiberglass Vindex 3000 launch, 30ft 5 tonne Supreme 25lb
. Fiberglass Mt Gay Racing Yacht, 30ft 3 tonne Supreme 15lb
. Riviera, 60ft 28 tonne Supreme 100lb

. Heavy Yacht with lots of windage, 55ft 43 tonne Supreme 125lb
. Beneteau 53, 53ft 25 tonne Supreme 60lb
. Racing Yacht, 40ft 8 tonne Supreme 35lb
. Cruising Yacht, 40ft 15 tonne Supreme 45lb
. Cruising Catamaran with big windage, 50ft Supreme 80lb
. Leightweight Racing Catamaran, 50ft Supreme 60lb
. Grand Banks, 72 ft Supreme 125lb (x2)
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:23   #14
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Re: Spade Anchor Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'll share with CFers the latest chapter in my life-long quest to find the perfect cruiser's anchor.

I started my cruising life with a CQR, a nasty thing which gave me many gray hairs at it failed to set and/or dragged at the worst possible moments.

Then I bought a Spade when they first came out, and used this blissfully on the old boat. I was -- I'm not exaggerating -- afraid it would rip the windlass out of the deck when it set.

Then I bought a much bigger boat, which came with a 25kg Delta. The Delta didn't work very well in some of my favorite difficult anchorages.

A year later, I bought a massive 55kg Rocna. It set better than the Delta, but never set as well as the Spade on the old boat did. It always held, however -- in two years and many difficult situations, never dragged an inch. But it could be frustratingly hard to set sometimes, and never set hard and sharp like the Spade on the old boat did.

I returned my Rocna when I realized I had been sold something different from what was advertised. And I decided to go back to Spade. I wasn't sure that the Spade would set so much better than the Rocna, because I couldn't be sure that the experience scales up on a so much bigger boat. Besides that, I used the old boat on a different continent with different bottom conditions.

Well, I am writing this as I lie to the new Spade for the first time. I am in Worbarrow Bay, one of my favorite anchorages, on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset on the South Coast of England. An incredibly gorgeous place, but with a difficult, stony bottom, with a thin layer of sand on it. I have anchored here dozens of times. I couldn't even set the Delta, in the spot I'm in, despite a score of attempts. It just skipped over the top of the seabed. The Rocna always set here, but it often took some patience -- slow backing down to give the anchor a chance to dig in and sink into the seabed. Gradually letting out more and more chain.

Well, I was surprised and delighted to find out that the new Spade -- much bigger than the old one, and on a much bigger boat -- set just like the old one did. Wham! No mistaking the moment when it sets -- I worry about people on deck falling over. Just like on the old boat, despite the nasty seabed here. And didn't budge after five minutes of backing down at max RPM.

As a bonus, the new Spade is much easier to handle -- I opted for one size smaller than the old Rocna -- 44kg instead of 55. Still almost double the size of the original Delta.

Why does it set so much more aggressively than the Rocna did? I don't know. Maybe the fluke is sharper. The Spade has a big lead weight in the fluke, unlike the Rocna -- maybe it orients the fluke more accurately for better setting.

Someone asked me snidely when I complained about Rocna shenanigans over steel quality -- and what steel do you think the Spade is made of? I don't know, but the shank of the Spade is incredibly massive -- it is massive steel plate probably an inch thick, totally unlike the delicate, thin shank of the Rocna. They can afford to have a massive, thick shank because the fluke is lead-ballasted, preserving the center of gravity despite the heavy construction of the shank.

All in all, I am pleased as punch -- the second time already -- with the Spade. I think it's the dog's b*ll*cks for the cruising sailor.
Spades are great anchors I own both an aluminum version and steel version. The aluminum version has trouble setting in harder bottoms the steel version does significantly better.

I still choose my BC built Rocna and keep my steel Spade as my back up. The Rocna, & Manson Supreme have given us better performance for our sailing waters. Different areas different performances I guess but neither anchor is a slouch and all three Manson Supreme, Rocna and Spade are excellent anchors...

I suspect Spade has changed their manufacturing because our shanks on both the aluminum and steel Spades (built under Alain Poiraud's reign) are hollow shanks, not solid? IIRC from conversations with Alain that they were specifically built hollow to aid in setting orientation. I wonder if they are now solid what that will do to setting orientation..?
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