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Old 22-10-2016, 12:09   #1
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Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

Hi,

Apologies if this question has been beaten to death.

I am researching for the best primary anchor for Beneteau 38 primarily sailing in Chesapeake Bay.

Currently I have factory installed Fortress (I think). My dealer advised to use Delta 35. Other experts advised to use Bruce type.

What would be your recommendations for this area? Also what size/type of the secondary anchor would you suggest?

Thanks
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Old 22-10-2016, 12:20   #2
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

In the northern part of the bay the bottom is thick with silt and anchors tend to drag there. The fortress is your best bet there, just hope and oyster shell doesn't lodge between the flukes. I use a Delta and it slowly plows thru the silt in strong winds. Further south in sandy bottom areas anything works well.
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Old 22-10-2016, 13:02   #3
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by jserge View Post
Hi,

Apologies if this question has been beaten to death.

I am researching for the best primary anchor for Beneteau 38 primarily sailing in Chesapeake Bay.

Currently I have factory installed Fortress (I think). My dealer advised to use Delta 35. Other experts advised to use Bruce type.

What would be your recommendations for this area? Also what size/type of the secondary anchor would you suggest?

Thanks
My 34' cat has about the same, or slightly greater windage as your 38, so...

A Fortress FX 16 or FX-23 is great as kedge or 2nd anchor for very soft mud areas. I have one and love it. Easy to take out in the dinghy. But not the best primary.

As for general use, Fortress does not track well with changes, and is poor in weed and shells. A Rocna/Mantus/Manson/Spade 35 or 45 pounds is what you want for the primary. The dealer is WAY behind the times, or maybe he has Deltas in stock. I had a Delta and it is well known to be poor in soft mud. Same with the Claw unless 20 pounds heavier.

Other things will work, but if you are buying new, these are the smart choices for this area.
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Old 22-10-2016, 14:06   #4
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

From Tangier south on both sides of the bay, the 20 lb CQR on my boat has saved me a number of times.

Although I grew up here, I never had to depend on an anchor to save my boat.

This one has on several occasions with onshore winds up to 30 knots and only 30-70 yards of decent depth to leeward held without dragging

This is my first "big" boat. My other 12 boats were all 14'- 20' where there wouldn't be a problem coming off anchor. (my last 4 sailboats never had anchors or engines)

My boat came with 4 other anchors but as of yet, I haven't used them.

Although on one occasion, I did rig my big Bruce and hooked it up to my spare heavy chain and rode because it was so rough anchored at Kiptopeke one night with a heavy SSE Wind.

I didn't deploy it though because I thought it might foul the CQR
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Old 22-10-2016, 16:59   #5
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

Used CQRs are a dime a dozen at consignment shops, for a reason. Most have moved on to modern anchors.
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Old 22-10-2016, 19:25   #6
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

get a rocna or a manson supreme if they fit on your bow. You wont regret it. I have a rocna and have never once dragged in the Chesapeake. Sets first time in any bottom I have found in the bay and stays stuck there. Really, any modern anchor is pretty good.

Your fortress won't be bad at all though. It will work fine in the usual mud bottom though it wont reset like a modern one would.
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Old 22-10-2016, 20:38   #7
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
My 34' cat has about the same, or slightly greater windage as your 38, so...

A Rocna/Mantus/Manson/Spade 35 or 45 pounds is what you want for the primary. The dealer is WAY behind the times, or maybe he has Deltas in stock. I had a Delta and it is well known to be poor in soft mud. Same with the Claw unless 20 pounds heavier.

Other things will work, but if you are buying new, these are the smart choices for this area.
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Good recommendations in my experience. I have used nothing but Spade or Rocna for the last 15 years. They are wonderful anchors. Which ever one you choose, get the heaviest that you can handle.
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Old 23-10-2016, 04:42   #8
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

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Used CQRs are a dime a dozen at consignment shops, for a reason. Most have moved on to modern anchors.
I've heard this before, also

But, I've had zero problems with this 20 lb CQR in the five years I've owned the boat. I don't even use the engine to set it. I'm usually idling in the last bit finding the spot I want then my 5 hp outboard goes to neutral

I then go forward deploy the anchor with plenty of scope while the boat is still moving and cleat it off. Sometimes I'll pull it in a bit to see if it is set but that's about it usually for the next three days

Evidently the PO used this anchor on his cruise down the coast from Massachusetts, in and around Florida, and throughout the Bahama Islands since it was on the bow when I bought the boat

His backup Bruce with new spare 250' rode and heavy chain were never even rigged up

On all seven of my small power boats, I used Danforth fluke anchors and anchored in much deeper water while fishing. These worked well also. This from Tangier south
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Old 23-10-2016, 04:59   #9
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

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Originally Posted by jserge View Post
I am researching for the best primary anchor for Beneteau 38 primarily sailing in Chesapeake Bay.

What would be your recommendations for this area? Also what size/type of the secondary anchor would you suggest?



Here in the upper Chesapeake, we've mostly found mud -- sometimes hard mud, but usually soft mud, sometimes slimy mud or ooze -- and we had great success with the Fortress FX-37 (28K boat, dry; high-ish windage since we can't take a reef in our flybridge). It set easily (just follow maker's directions), never had problems with directional resets, always held.

Since then, we've repurposed that Fortress to spare/kedge because it stows so well, dismantled, and because we could switch our main anchor to an adjustable SuperMAX 17 (~50 lbs) once I got the electric windlass installed to deal with the weight. This anchor works great, sets quickly and positively, and I've not yet ever even needed to adjust it to the "real no-kidding mud" setting. Designed for most various holding ground/substrates, so it's not just for mud. Not particularly "pretty" -- looks like a big back-hoe bucket, and kinda works that way, too.

I don't know your boat, but these are the two anchors I'd recommend.. and then you could pick sizes from the maker's website charts.

FWIW, we also switched to a combination rope/chain rode when we came back to the Chesapeake from Florida... because of the mud. Doesn't take as long to clean the mud out of the links on our 25' of chain leader... than it did when we used all chain.

We've used a toe-weighted 35-lb Delta up here in the past, and found it sometimes wanting in slime (although the first time, that happened because our raft simply overloaded the anchor). Otherwise it worked well enough, easy to deploy, "sets" OK (or seems to), no moving parts, and they're quite common around here on all the boats that don't actually anchor out very often or in poor conditions... but I wouldn't choose it again.

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Old 23-10-2016, 08:56   #10
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

Our experience in the Chesapeake is that throwing a tennis shoe overboard is likely to keep you attached to the bottom, nearly always. It's the "nearly" that's the rub.
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Old 23-10-2016, 10:02   #11
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
My 34' cat has about the same, or slightly greater windage as your 38, so...

A Fortress FX 16 or FX-23 is great as kedge or 2nd anchor for very soft mud areas. I have one and love it. Easy to take out in the dinghy. But not the best primary.

As for general use, Fortress does not track well with changes, and is poor in weed and shells. A Rocna/Mantus/Manson/Spade 35 or 45 pounds is what you want for the primary. The dealer is WAY behind the times, or maybe he has Deltas in stock. I had a Delta and it is well known to be poor in soft mud. Same with the Claw unless 20 pounds heavier.

Other things will work, but if you are buying new, these are the smart choices for this area.

Good advice.
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Old 23-10-2016, 10:40   #12
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

Our boats are different but I have two 'old fashion' anchors up at the bow on our 46' Cal ketch... a 44 lb Bruce is primary with up to 150' of chain. So far it has NEVER dragged here in Chesapeake. The #2 is a 45 lb CQR used mostly in Caribbean. It did drag down there and up here from time to time setting it. But once it was really set, never had it drag either.
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Old 23-10-2016, 11:16   #13
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

Used a 55 lb Rocna all over the middle bay with a 100% set rate.
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Old 23-10-2016, 18:48   #14
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

I have a Cal-40 and have come to love my Spade 125s I think it's 55lbs. I use all 3/8 chain. The Spade sets very fast and digs deep. I have completed a solo circumnavigate using this as my primary anchor with never a problem with mud, sand, kelp, or rock bottoms . Unless it's storm or Gail winds I set at 5:1 scope most often . Also I have 35 lb lead weight that I attach to the anchor chain halfway between the anchor and vessel in extreme foul weather. This weight helps to keep the chain down in wind gusts.
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Old 23-10-2016, 19:19   #15
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Re: Anchor choice for Chesapeake Bay

+1 on the Rocna as another Chesapeake cruiser. Would never go back to my old Danforth type. Bacons in Annapolis have good stock and great pricing. Good luck.
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