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Old 16-03-2013, 07:21   #1
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What happened to Bruce almighty?

The Knox anchor thread reminded me of a question I wonder if anyone has any insight on. Why didn't Bruce sell the rights, tooling, design, etc. to someone when they stopped making Bruce anchors? Or did they?



I am not a personal fan of Bruce anchors, but obviously many were and some still are, and there are many knock offs indicating that there is still a market for such a design. However, there are no real Bruce anchors being made, utilizing the original design, materials, etc. (From what I hear and see, many of the knock off anchors are not well built and don't perform as well as the originals.)

It just seems odd to me that a well-known brand like that would just disappear. And, yes, I understand they still make commercial anchors for oil rigs and such, but why not at least sell the naming rights to some anchor company? Other venerable brands have been preserved like CQR and Danforth, even though the original companies no longer make them.
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Old 16-03-2013, 08:53   #2
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

By the way, here's a link to the test Beth and Evans did down in Chile on the Manson Ray, which apparently is one of the few really well built Bruce look-alikes.
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Old 16-03-2013, 09:09   #3
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

Maybe their patent ran out and the competition was just too sharp to maintain good profits? I'm not a fan either, but up here in the PNW where it is often sandy/rocky I would consider one for sure. Looking at the copies by Lewmar... it seems to me the flukes are narrower than the original... maybe just my eyes.... but I always thought the Bruce could have been improved by a little more area and a little more angle/area presented to the sand.... The Ray in the above mentioned test is rather Bruce-ish with this additional area.
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Old 16-03-2013, 09:13   #4
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

Even though the patent ran out, the trademarked name would still be protected. Trademarks can be renewed forever, and apparently someone is doing that with the name, but not licensing it for use by anyone. There are still genuine CQRs and Danforths being made and sold, apparently using the original designs and materials. It's odd you can buy a Claw or a Ray, but not a Bruce.
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Old 16-03-2013, 10:09   #5
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

From the West Marine online catalog:

A Manson Ray, sized for my boat (44lbs. Not BIB) costs $949.99.

A Manson Supreme sized for my boat (35lbs. Not BIB) cost $409.99

Perhaps the higher manufacturing costs of the Bruce type cannot compete with the newer anchors.

Steve
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Old 16-03-2013, 10:24   #6
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

I don't believe the Ray is made the same way the original Bruce was. Earl Hinz described the Bruce's construction as being a "one-piece heat-treated steel casting." Manson says the Ray is "fabricated from the highest strength/quality steel or stainless steel." Lewmar certainly sells its cast Claw anchors cheaply enough. That same WM online catalog lists a 44 lb. Claw at $149.99. Lewmar describes its construction as "manufactured from high-grade steel, single piece cast."
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Old 16-03-2013, 10:35   #7
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

The Bruce anchor has a real love / hate reputation among crusing sailors.

I suspect this dichotomy is due to the unique properties.
For an older generation anchor it sets very reliably (apart from weed) but rarely sets very deeply. It also works very well at very short scopes. This is one area where new generation anchors have not improved on the older generation anchors. The Bruce is still a top performer if you need to anchor to at 2:1, or less.
It also very reliable in medium wind speeds say 30-35K, but it less holding than the new generation anchors and is less reliable in stronger winds.

Another possible explanation for the differing views is that it works much better in larger models. This "scale effect" applies to most anchors, but is particuarly noticeable in the Bruce.

The copies seem to work much less well.

I may be wrong but I thought Lewmar actually paid some money to produce new "official" versions of the Bruce.
They renamed it the Ray altered the construction and geometry, so if they did pay money I am not sure why they bothered.

RIP Bruce
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:00   #8
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

The Lewmar version is called the Claw. The Ray version is made by Manson.
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:05   #9
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
I don't believe the Ray is made the same way the original Bruce was. Earl Hinz described the Bruce's construction as being a "one-piece heat-treated steel casting." Manson says the Ray is "fabricated from the highest strength/quality steel or stainless steel." Lewmar certainly sells its cast Claw anchors cheaply enough. That same WM online catalog lists a 44 lb. Claw at $149.99. Lewmar describes its construction as "manufactured from high-grade steel, single piece cast."

Yes, I have noticed the wide range of prices among Bruce copies. The cheap ones on the shelf at West marine are so poorly made that I kwould not consider one for anything marine related.

Do any of you old timers recall how genuine Bruce anchors were priced back in the day?

Steve
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:09   #10
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

Since I now do have the official Old Timer T-shirt, I seem to recall that Bruce was very competitive price-wise with CQR. I think they were just about the same, and they weren't cheap. I recall that back in the 1980s CQRs were about $10 per pound, if you shopped around.
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:11   #11
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

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The Lewmar version is called the Claw. The Ray version is made by Manson.
Yes sorry you are correct.
Does anyone know if Lewmar has any official licence agreements with Bruce.
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:18   #12
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

I was poorer then, but both Bruce and CQR fell into the " bloody expensive" category.
New generation anchor are often criticised as expensive, but they much better perforformace for less money (in real terms)

Part of the problem is that its hard to drop $500+ into the deep blue, but it worth considering that this is what is stopping you ending up on the rocks.
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:19   #13
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

Someone who used to post here a lot posted this on another forum. I have no reason to doubt it isn't an actual quote from Bruce:

Quote:
"At first glance the genuine Bruce anchor and the look-alikes that have flooded the market appear to be the same anchor. Close inspection will reveal that the look-alike is different in a number of disturbing ways. If you line up a row of the look-alikes you will find further disturbing features: whereas the genuine Bruce anchor has the same geometry throughout the anchor range, the look-alikes have shank angles that vary widely throughout the anchor range and even between same-size look-alikes…" – Bruce Anchor Group, representing an unfortunate example of a copied type, as the multitude of copies have resulted in the genuine anchor no longer being produced. The knock-offs now available are all of inferior quality. Bruce have one parting shot: "Would you leap from a plane with a haversack on your back because it looks like the real thing and comes at a rock bottom price? Remember an anchor is a safety device upon which the survival of you and your boat may ultimately depend."
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Old 16-03-2013, 12:58   #14
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

I wonder what share Bruce had of the market at the end...? Not big I dont imagine.
I think the Bruce could have used a little different shank angle personally. They are well known to drag rapidly at times through sand.... thus the "Buy 2 sizes larger than normal" philosophy.... seen embedde in sand, there is very little area restricting movement.
Their other propensity is for chain to wrap around one tip after a wind/current direction change... restricting the ability to dig in. I've seen more than one boat nearly beached ....and when the anchor was pulled up, there was the chain wrapped around a tip. Hard to believe it does it really... but it does. One boat was saved in LaPaz after doing the LaPaz waltz and the owners not aboard, I helped.
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Old 16-03-2013, 13:19   #15
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

In 2006 I did an informal survey of the anchors on the bows of boats in Shelter Bay Marina near the entrance to the Panama Canal. There were 54 anchors on the bows of 35 boats and the leading type was the plow at 25 with Bruce second at 11 and Fortress third at 5. On the East Coast of the USA you still see a lot of genuine Bruce anchors and more Bruce knock offs. I would venture to guess I see more Bruce-types on bows than new-gen anchors. I should add that the East Coast in general and New England in particular are very conservative in their boating choices--if it ain't broke they aren't likely to change it.
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