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Old 24-02-2013, 08:33   #1
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Super SARCA

During my circumnavigation I stopped at Fremantle Australia and being not completely happy with the anchors I already had, a CQR, Northill Utility and FOB, all 45 pounds, I added a SARCA 45 lb to my inventory. Since then I have used it in many anchorages between Western Australia and Toronto Canada.

All anchors work in good holding conditions but in tougher bottoms, like hard dense stuff with a shallow layer of silt on top, the SARCA has the best chance of catching hold. Flat patterns like the FOB or Danforth have no chance at all because there is not enough weight on the point to penetrate. I have often dived to check how well my anchor has dug in and when you see for yourself it is clear why it works so well. The SARCA design puts virtually the entire weight of the anchor on the point to maximise the chance of digging in and the large surface area accumulates additional weight as it digs. Plough patterns do not do this. In softer stuff like sand and mud the large surface area gives plenty of holding power.

My SARCA is by far my best all around anchor. There is another brand of anchor that has become quite popular here in Florida that has a similar design but it lacks a slotted shank which makes it more likely to become permanently lodged under a ledge of rock or coral.

I have no interest in or relationship with Anchor Right of Australia, I just think that when you find good gear that works you should let others know about it. Ground tackle is one of the most important pieces of gear on a cruising boat. SARCAs don't seem to be very common in this part of the world but I highly recommend people check them out. Anchor Right does not advertise much and their business strategy is to make good gear and let the word spread from satisfied users, and I am one.
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Old 24-02-2013, 08:49   #2
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

One of the problems is that Anchor Right products are not distributed in North America.
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Old 24-02-2013, 08:55   #3
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

Well, I was just thinking this morning about why something so good was so little known about in this part of the world, one of the biggest markets for marine equipment. If they have no North American distributor that explains it, but I wonder why not.
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Old 24-02-2013, 09:02   #4
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

Someone on another forum is trying to organize a group purchase of Anchor Right products in order to get a bulk shipping rate from Australia. Personally, I think they seem to be excellent from many accounts I read on here and the company owner, who also posts here, is very good about answering questions and explaining his products; however, there are other good anchors already available through normal marine channels in the USA, and probably at better prices than if ordered direct from Australia. Are Anchor Right products so good they are worth going through the trouble, delay, and cost of special ordering from Australia?
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Old 24-02-2013, 09:19   #5
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

I really can't say how the SARCA would compare with all other anchors on the market because my experience is limited to the half dozen or so that I've actually used. That other design I mentioned looks good to me, but I have no personal experience with it, you probably know which one I'm referring to. Because it looks so similar to a SARCA it probably performs similarly. I like the slot in the shaft of the SARCA though, because getting your anchor caught in wrecks and rocks and things does happen and being able to pull the anchor backwards (without diving) is a very good feature. I tend to be conservative with marine things and stick to what I know will work, and I know that my SARCA works.
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Old 24-02-2013, 09:29   #6
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

So, do you use the slot regularly? What keeps you from pulling out the anchor backwards when the wind shifts in the middle of the night? You are one of the first people I've heard of who reports actually using the slot on a cruising-sized boat. Personally, I wouldn't take the chance, except possibly if I was just day anchoring with a known foul bottom.
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Old 24-02-2013, 11:28   #7
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

The slotted shank is something you can't see working (unless the water is shallow and clear) so you can't be sure if it was working as designed or not. With the SARCA if the anchor is jammed into something and you pull in the opposite direction the shackle can slide down to the fluke end and pull it the other way, you wouldn't know if that's how you got it free but you would be happily on your way without losing the anchor. People used to use a trip line by tying the anchor rode to the fluke end and lashing to the eye on the fluke, the idea was that if the anchor got jammed you could break the lashing and pull it out backwards. I never thought it was a very good idea and never tried it.
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Old 24-02-2013, 11:43   #8
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

"...You wouldn't know if that's how you got it free but you would be happily on your way way" in the middle of the night, after a windshift, with you asleep in your bunk...
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Old 24-02-2013, 12:00   #9
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

Any anchor will break out and hopefully reset if there's an abrupt 180 degree change in the direction of pull, such as in a tidal river. But it is a good argument for something like the FOB which is designed to turn with minimal breakout. But you need a good holding bottom for that type.

If you are still asleep when the wind/tide has changed and you're dragging anchor, you must have a few too many sundowners.
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Old 24-02-2013, 12:55   #10
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertLeask View Post
Any anchor will break out and hopefully reset if there's an abrupt 180 degree change in the direction of pull, such as in a tidal river.
Modern anchors do not generally "break out". They remain buried when changing direction, even over 180 degrees.

If they "break out" and have to reset the usual fault is the design is poor and not suited to a main anchor.
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Old 24-02-2013, 13:11   #11
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

I would think it would have to be an awfully abrupt wind or tidal shift to cause the anchor to break out when using the slotted shank. Otherwise the boat would presumably keep the the end of the shank tensioned as it swings. Nevertheless, it seems imprudent to use the slot unless an anchor watch can be maintained and there's room to maneuver.
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Old 24-02-2013, 13:12   #12
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

We're talking about different things now. As I said earlier, any anchor works in a good bottom. If it gets buried deep enough it will turn without breaking out. Sometimes when an anchor has been set in deep sand for a very long time, or through a storm, it will be in so deep it's hard to get out.

What makes the SARCA such a good all round anchor is how it works in tough bottoms. If you only plan to anchor in good holding places get any old anchor, CQR, Danforth High Tensile, Bruce or whatever, and they will all dig in deep and hold. Those anchors will not turn with the tide in hard bottom conditions, for the simple reason that they won't get hold in the first place.
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Old 24-02-2013, 13:15   #13
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

Any anchor will break out and hopefully reset if there's an abrupt 180 degree change in the direction of pull, such as in a tidal river. But it is a good argument for something like the FOB which is designed to turn with minimal breakout. But you need a good holding bottom for that type.

If you are still asleep when the wind/tide has changed and you're dragging anchor, you must have a few too many sundowners.
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Old 24-02-2013, 13:16   #14
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

Quote:
...you must have a few too many sundowners.
Indeed, sometimes that happens! And we get 180 degree shifts almost every night, sometimes twice (10-12 foot tides). Fortunately the anchor usually holds!

I'm just not sure about using the slotted shank as a regular practice. I could be wrong, and maybe it's no big deal, as you say.
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Old 24-02-2013, 13:20   #15
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Re: SARCA/super SARCA

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I would think it would have to be an awfully abrupt wind or tidal shift to cause the anchor to break out when using the slotted shank. Otherwise the boat would presumably keep the the end of the shank tensioned as it swings. Nevertheless, it seems imprudent to use the slot unless an anchor watch can be maintained and there's room to maneuver.
The "slotted shank" is an unknown. I have never seen a cruising yacht use this slot and I see over 1000 anchors a year in use.
It is only used by boats that are anchoring for a short time, like boats fishing.
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