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Old 31-10-2016, 05:52   #31
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

Rocna, Manson Supreme, or similar anchor. The Chesapeake is silty mud everywhere I anchored there. Silty/soupy to the point it was really hard to run aground where our boat couldn't just sail out of it.
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Old 31-10-2016, 07:07   #32
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

The results of 60 pull tests, 5x per anchor, over the course of 4 days. Each anchor was pulled in a fresh, close proximity sea bed using the exact same distance, speed and time.

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This testing was witnessed by various members of the boating media and some of their articles and comments, along with videos from each day of the testing, can be found at the link below:

Chesapeake Bay Anchor Test - The World's Best Anchors!

While many were surprised at the performance of some of the anchors, particularly the highly-touted "new generation" models, our consultant Bob Taylor was not. He has close to 50 years of experience as an anchor design and soil mechanics expert while working with the US Navy and offshore industries, and he stated afterwards that "anchors which are designed and optimized for harder soils will oftentimes only have a holding ratio (holding capacity divided by anchor weight) of 10-15x when used in softer soils."

This is almost exactly what we found in the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, the capability of adjusting the Fortress (which weighed 50+% less than most of the steel models) to a wider shank / fluke angle allowed this anchor to bury much deeper into the soft mud, resulting in far superior holding capacity.

While Fortress holds a US patent on the crown of the anchor (center part) which allows for the adjustable 32 / 45 shank / fluke angle, using a wider shank / fluke angle for improving performance in soft mud is no secret, as large manufacturers such as Bruce, the US Navy, and Vryhof all make anchors with this feature.
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Old 31-10-2016, 07:39   #33
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

I've done just fine with a 33 lb "claw" (Bruce) anchor with 30' of 5/16 chain and the rest rope. I don't live on the Bay but I've cruised it for several months.


I think technique is as important as the anchor itself so if you don't know how to set an anchor or don't use enough scope, you're going to have problems no matter what you use. Perhaps some of the more modern anchors help to make up for poor technique.
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Old 31-10-2016, 07:54   #34
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
The setup I mentioned is currently specifically for single-handing on the ICW where depths are moderate yet the ability to stop the boat fairly quickly is an important safety measure. It's advantages are anchor is about 3' away from my hands, next to a canvas bucket of chain and rode. It can be deployed in about 10 seconds, payed out by hand and hand set with a turn on the cleat.

In general, outside of the ICW, if I'm passing through an area with faster moving water and need to stop, I'm going to use my primary.
The problem I have with the stern brake is that it has a limited chance of actually working, and if it does not, you've wasted valuable time and at least 200 feet before you know the stern anchor failed. If you had that much time and distance, it wasn't actually an emergency.

By the way, I've singlehanded a lot for 30 years, and most of these failures have happened to me. Never a collision and never any damage.

What actually happened?
  • Someone stopped in front of you? Use reverse. Don't jam it in. Take a few moments for the engine to idle down, and then shift, then throttle up. Engine dies at the same moment? Not likely.
  • Engine dies? First of all, engines don't randomly stall. Generally if you warm up long enough it will stall at the dock or before you enter close quarters. Use your momentum to swing into the wind and drop anchor. Very likely, you will NEED this windward distance to give you room to drift back down. Don't hesitate long; you have only momentum to maneuver with.
  • Run aground. With mud in the ICW, this is not always a bad plan, particularly if you can slow down or just drift into it.
  • Lose speed with a quick 180 and grab a piling.
  • Wound a rope in the prop? You probably just left the dock and are not moving much. A stern brake isn't going to help much. And vow to watch the lines more carefully.
I've been reviewing my past engine failures, and a stern brake was never the right answer. In every case it would have caused a collision. Normally the answer is to avoid wasting time trying to re-start the engine and doing the right thing deliberately.
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Old 31-10-2016, 08:15   #35
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

I was having an issue in Florida's St. John's River with the muddy bottom and my Danforth was dragging. It was not severe at first, but it seems that the bottom itself is moving, just at a slower rate than the water above it!

In any case, I added this second anchor that someone at the dock offered, and it worked fine until I could sink a mooring device:


Now, this is what we once called a Navy Anchor, but I don't know what the official term for it actually is (may actually BE a Navy Anchor!). It is pretty heavy to tug up from mud, and held moderately well alone, but very will if placed in the water on a separate rode from the Danforth. That may have been a function of multiple anchors, too, though. It is also heavier than my Danforth (which I think is about 25 pounds or so) and the pair, as stated, held my H27 (7,000 lbs +) pretty well.

Yeah, I know those sewage hoses look pretty gnarly.. Working on it...
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Old 31-10-2016, 10:00   #36
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

I've done fine on the St Johns River as well with my claw anchor.
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Old 31-10-2016, 21:03   #37
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

The St. John's seems to be a layer of mud deposited over a layer of something else, maybe clay? The mud peels up in a layer when the Danforth gets about a foot under it, and I pull up a sheet of black stinky muck. The Danforth stuck to it, but pulled the sheet of mud loose from the differently composed substrate bottom, rather than sliced then slipped through the layer like plow anchors are supposedly guilty of. That was the condition where I tended to moor in any case.
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