My wife and I have cruised extensively over the past 15 years, spending on average 4 months per year on our boat with a good 80% at anchor. Over the years, it all ads up to almost 4 years relying on our Anchor. For 11 of these years we have relied on an oversized Spade anchor and it is fair to say we would not have traded our Spade for anything available on the market then. That anchor never let us down, tho only objections we had were essentially cosmetic: The Spade stood quite vertical on our stemmed and for years we stared a flaking yellow paint
and some rust due to the poor galvanisation of the spade and the difficulties to get it re galvanised. When we bought ordered a new yacht in 2017 we got tempted to spring the money
for s stainless steel
Spade but then became interested in the Ultra. Our Spade had been so good to us that looking at another anchor felt a little bit like cheating on her but in the end with some degree of trepidation we took the plunge for an oversized Ultra (60kg for a 58 ft yacht). After 4 years and 16,000 nM of cruising relying on our Ultra, I estimate the number of nights we have relied on our new anchor at about 365 or a year. The Ultra is a much better fit on our stem-head, the fluke sits much more horizontally under the stem-head and the stem sits more parallel to the deck
as opposed to the arched Spade. In terms or performance our Ultra has been as reliable as the Spade with not one instance where it dragged on us despite going through extreme weather
at anchor. in all sorts of sea bottoms. While it is had to make comparisons based on subjective assessments, we feel that our Ultra is probably a bit quicker at biting into the seabed, it appears to be setting over a short distance vs the Spade. We can't fault the holding power of the Ultra as it never failed us either even in shifting current
and winds the Ultra like our Spade appears to rotate on itself, staying buried without ever needing to reset. Once the stem of the Ultra rests on the sea bottom, with its fluke completely buried, the Ultra rarely goes in deeper. By comparison the Spade with its arch stem often went as deep as only sowing the curved top of its fluke and therefore appears to go a bit deeper but this does not seem to make any difference in terms of holding, once the Ultra has its stem resting on the bottom it is rock solid. Retrieval is similar and when the Ultra the is fully buried we often use the swell to pull it out of the seabed. My wife and I joke saying: It was like pulling a teeth today, with a smile of reassurance on our face. The Ultra does make it easier to tie our anchor buoy with the big arch ahead of the fluke versus the tiny hole in the fluke of the spade. Retrieval of the Ultra is a breeze with the one size larger than standard (for that size anchor) swivel. Our first Ultra products were a swivel we used with our Spade and an Ultra hook for snagged anchor / chains. All in all we are impressed with our Ultra and would definitely get another one if we had to do it all over again. The Ultra is a pricey anchor and with it we purchased the corresponding anchor ring which saved the day on the two occasions we had to deploy it. This piece of kit is quite heavy but it does work
, we can vouch for that.
We are currently looking at getting an 80 m Ultra Flat Rope
Reel with Dyneema
for its strength and the fact that it floats for those nights where we want to tie the stern to shore.
We are also looking at upgrading our chain grab for the Ultra UCG 13
Lastly we ate also considering to replace or 100m 12mm galvanised chain with the high grade 12mm Ultra SS anchor chain:
For all the obvious reasons a good discount on this product would make our purchase
decision that much easier.