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Thread: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

  1. #1
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    Default Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    I own a 30' LOD, 18,000lb Lyle Hess cutter, sistership to Taleisin. I finally installed a windlass on a stand that allows the bowsprit to run underneath and independent of it, saving on slip cost. This has taken some time since we bought her almost 3 years ago (long story in itself). As a result and being new to cruising, we haven't had a chance to practice anchoring. We're eager to but anxious about our gear.

    I replaced the 45lb CQR that came with the boat, with a 35lb Delta because I was informed the Delta will perform better in most bottoms. She has 300' of 3/8" triple B chain and an equal amount of line.

    My question to the Forum: would more chain compensate for having a lighter hook, not ridiculously light of course? Say, as in my case 10lbs lighter. Design of the anchor I realize is of course another factor. It would make an interesting study which I'm sure has been done somewhere. Comments about anchor to chain relationship and Delta anchors appreciated. I'm probably opening up an age old can O' worms.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyGaffer View Post
    I own a 30' LOD, 18,000lb Lyle Hess cutter, sistership to Taleisin. I finally installed a windlass on a stand that allows the bowsprit to run underneath and independent of it, saving on slip cost. This has taken some time since we bought her almost 3 years ago (long story in itself). As a result and being new to cruising, we haven't had a chance to practice anchoring. We're eager to but anxious about our gear.

    I replaced the 45lb CQR that came with the boat, with a 35lb Delta because I was informed the Delta will perform better in most bottoms. She has 300' of 3/8" triple B chain and an equal amount of line.

    My question to the Forum: would more chain compensate for having a lighter hook, not ridiculously light of course? Say, as in my case 10lbs lighter. Design of the anchor I realize is of course another factor. It would make an interesting study which I'm sure has been done somewhere. Comments about anchor to chain relationship and Delta anchors appreciated. I'm probably opening up an age old can O' worms.

    Use rope and chain. Chain does not stretch.
    Use chain for areas with rock on the bottom.
    Always get local knowledge.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Newer design anchors are sometimes improvements. The CQR was certainly a quatum leap past what was before. I still use them. I hear good things about the Delta but do not know. What I do know is that a 35# CQR on chain would not be disbustingly light for your boat. Might not be the best for a storm anchor, but for most conditions up to a Strong Gale, Force 9, assuming a good set it should hold.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by donald branscom View Post
    Use rope and chain. Chain does not stretch.
    Use chain for areas with rock on the bottom.
    Always get local knowledge.
    But chain does hang in a catenary, which is better than stretch.
    A modern anchor may well be more efficient than an older design like the CQR so your difference in weight may not be an issue.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Sounds like the right weight anchor and scope to me for most anchoring , and I'm not in the delta camp. In fact you have a lot of chain, plenty of it. When the rode is chain you don't need to put as much out as if it were the old boat and half length of chain, and rope rule. A snubber line and hook is a good thing to have , if only to de-stress the sampson post or windlass.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Watch this video and see what you think. In my mind anchoring in a soft bottom is the true test.
    https://www.passagemaker.com/web-ext...deos-web-extra
    https://youtu.be/c5ODGArRx34
    Last edited by navydog; 04-15-2018 at 06:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    SaltyGaffer,
    To answer your question, yes.
    I hope you kept the larger anchor as a second.
    It could be a can-of-worms but it's all simpler than most make it out to be.
    Scope is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood variables, especially when setting the hook.
    Read up on ground tackle and you'll be a much better/safer mariner for it.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    I see yer in California, what kind of anchoring are you seeing in the future?
    I recall some Mexican anchorages , Zeewot, fer example...80 feet deep with boats 50 feet away.
    I switched over 2 years ago from 45lb CQRs to 45lb Delta and 45lb Manson...both are better in that they set faster. I cant say they hold better once set, but they set faster, and in modern crowded anchorages, that is huge.
    It does no good to save your own boat if it drags 75 feet and smashes up someone else's.
    300 feet is a lotta chain in one piece for a boat your size (mine is 20 % bigger, I carry 200' on one, 35' on the other)
    My 'lectric windlass can just manage to pick up chain in 80 feet deep. The breaker will trip about 2/3rds up.
    You did not mention if you have an electric or manual windlass?

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    What do you think of the Delta , Bruce , I've watched a lot of people in trouble with those so don't think much of them . Of course , it may well be scope.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    I took the OP's "replaced" to mean the 45# is gone. Pity that, as any boat with pretensions to cruising should have three or four different anchors minimum. Here's an example of what happens with overconfidence, leaving the boat on one hook in a narrow tickle and finding, a few hours later, that the gentle wind reversed.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Go on Ian , admit it. You did that on purpose to consolidate your position as admiral of the kedgers club.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Not really a true test,but I set up a 35 CQR and an 35 Simpson Lawrence Delta(original,not Lewmar) on equal amounts of chain, off the bucket of my loader.
    In the sandy grass at the back of my shop,the Delta was buried in about 10',while the CQR just slid along on it's side.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    John B, let us just say that I did scrub the bottom . . .

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    heh heh.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Mighty pretty boat.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Oh the Delta and Manson set faster here in the Caribbean, no doubt.
    Like I say though, I tend to be in a crowded place most of the time,so fast setting is important.
    I watched charter bare boats using them for years and realized there has GOT to be something more than beginners luck.
    I carry the two 45 pounders in cats on each side of my bowsprit. Manual windlass to stbd, lectric to port.
    23 lb Fortress on the aft deck wirh 20 feet of chain.
    100 lb fisherman midships, port or stbd, depending on wether were goin north or south(tradewinds).
    I have a 35CQR and a 60 lb generic plow stored below with another half ton of chain in the bilge not hooked up to anything.
    I have the 100 pounder and the 45 delta down now. I almost always use two. Even the 100lb can have a bad day, fishing boat chop it etc.Crowded and close in to the beach

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Good to hear, some of my friends love them. I put a light for the boat ( well , lower end of the threshold) Rocna on 10 years ago and its been faultless.
    Maybe its because I always see new boats and new people dragging and they inevitably have a delta on . I think a lot of the Euro boats have them because they're quite neat and stow well, and Lewmar have perhaps done a high falutin' deal to get them on there.
    Of the anchoring hell we experienced at christmas 4 out of 5 draggers had deltas on and one even had a rocna on. Most if not all were tragically short on scope.
    Get this . One 46 ft Bene had 40 metres of chain shackled off at the bitter end and thats all, say 130 ft . Anchored in 7 M dragging into 15 metres depth, 40 through 70 knots. I spent 18 hours on watch just because of him and another 3 boats that couldn't stay put.

    We had 4 close calls with boats dragging onto us and two of them 100% would have hit us if I didn't spotlight them and blow that aerosol air horn until it needed a new canister.
    Last edited by John B; 04-15-2018 at 09:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    I see yer in California, what kind of anchoring are you seeing in the future?
    I recall some Mexican anchorages , Zeewot, fer example...80 feet deep with boats 50 feet away.
    I switched over 2 years ago from 45lb CQRs to 45lb Delta and 45lb Manson...both are better in that they set faster. I cant say they hold better once set, but they set faster, and in modern crowded anchorages, that is huge.
    It does no good to save your own boat if it drags 75 feet and smashes up someone else's.
    300 feet is a lotta chain in one piece for a boat your size (mine is 20 % bigger, I carry 200' on one, 35' on the other)
    My 'lectric windlass can just manage to pick up chain in 80 feet deep. The breaker will trip about 2/3rds up.
    You did not mention if you have an electric or manual windlass?
    Yes, boat kept in Oxnard, Channel Island Marina. So initially at least will be anchoring at Channel Islands N. P.. I have a Manual windlass which is slow going I know...

    Thanks for your advice and input.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Thank you Ian. Yeah I still see a lot of folks using CQR's. Don't understand why such a bad rap on them if still so abundant. Scope seems so important which is why I didn't reduce the chain length and added 300' of line.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Newer design anchors are sometimes improvements. The CQR was certainly a quatum leap past what was before. I still use them. I hear good things about the Delta but do not know. What I do know is that a 35# CQR on chain would not be disbustingly light for your boat. Might not be the best for a storm anchor, but for most conditions up to a Strong Gale, Force 9, assuming a good set it should hold.

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Wow quite and inventory. What is your displacement, full keel or partial?
    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Oh the Delta and Manson set faster here in the Caribbean, no doubt.
    Like I say though, I tend to be in a crowded place most of the time,so fast setting is important.
    I watched charter bare boats using them for years and realized there has GOT to be something more than beginners luck.
    I carry the two 45 pounders in cats on each side of my bowsprit. Manual windlass to stbd, lectric to port.
    23 lb Fortress on the aft deck wirh 20 feet of chain.
    100 lb fisherman midships, port or stbd, depending on wether were goin north or south(tradewinds).
    I have a 35CQR and a 60 lb generic plow stored below with another half ton of chain in the bilge not hooked up to anything.
    I have the 100 pounder and the 45 delta down now. I almost always use two. Even the 100lb can have a bad day, fishing boat chop it etc.Crowded and close in to the beach

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Yikes - glad you didn't get bumped in the night but what a hassle. I feel more assured carrying 600' of rode, half of which is chain. Basic rule I would think for most mariners. Whether you can use it in a tight anchorage is another issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Good to hear, some of my friends love them. I put a light for the boat ( well , lower end of the threshold) Rocna on 10 years ago and its been faultless.
    Maybe its because I always see new boats and new people dragging and they inevitably have a delta on . I think a lot of the Euro boats have them because they're quite neat and stow well, and Lewmar have perhaps done a high falutin' deal to get them on there.
    Of the anchoring hell we experienced at christmas 4 out of 5 draggers had deltas on and one even had a rocna on. Most if not all were tragically short on scope.
    Get this . One 46 ft Bene had 40 metres of chain shackled off at the bitter end and thats all, say 130 ft . Anchored in 7 M dragging into 15 metres depth, 40 through 70 knots. I spent 18 hours on watch just because of him and another 3 boats that couldn't stay put.

    We had 4 close calls with boats dragging onto us and two of them 100% would have hit us if I didn't spotlight them and blow that aerosol air horn until it needed a new canister.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Great videos. Very informative. Why do you consider a soft mud bottom a true test?
    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Watch this video and see what you think. In my mind anchoring in a soft bottom is the true test.
    https://www.passagemaker.com/web-ext...deos-web-extra
    https://youtu.be/c5ODGArRx34

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    I still have the 45lb CQR. I also have a Fortress for mud and a 85lb Fisherman for a storm. I agree about the scope. I would think if you have the room, the more the better. 5:1 minimum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Christie View Post
    SaltyGaffer,
    To answer your question, yes.
    I hope you kept the larger anchor as a second.
    It could be a can-of-worms but it's all simpler than most make it out to be.
    Scope is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood variables, especially when setting the hook.
    Read up on ground tackle and you'll be a much better/safer mariner for it.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    That's what I've heard about the CQR's - they can flop over and not set.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Williamson View Post
    Not really a true test,but I set up a 35 CQR and an 35 Simpson Lawrence Delta(original,not Lewmar) on equal amounts of chain, off the bucket of my loader.
    In the sandy grass at the back of my shop,the Delta was buried in about 10',while the CQR just slid along on it's side.
    R

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Can't say I agree that soft mud is a true test of an anchor.
    In soft ground the anchor with the most surface area will have the most holding power. If that's your criteria then a fortress is your anchor.
    I'm a big fan of the next generation Spade, Rocna type.
    If you need something that will set fast and dig deep these are the way to go.
    To my eye a Delta is just a cheaper mass production version of a CQR.
    My typical anchoring covers a mix of hard and soft sand, mud shingle and rock.
    My boating is coastal cruising and i'm not interested in carrying 6 different anchors and changing them over each time I stop so I need one that works across a mix of bottoms. I have the main anchor 35lb spade on 3/8 chain plus a grapple on 15 mtr 5/16 chain and 200' rope as a lunch hook for fishing. We do have an old CQR sitting under the forward Vee bunk as a spare for the last 20 years.
    Zane

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Soft mud bottoms offer the least resistance to dragging. An anchor's ability to drive downward into firmer sediments and hold is critical. Obviously not all anchors achieve the same performance levels. The linked video clearly shows thete are a lot of variables.

    Smooth ledges of rock present other challenges to anchoring, if that's the bottom you boat in I'd plan accordingly.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyGaffer View Post
    Wow quite and inventory. What is your displacement, full keel or partial?
    34' Venus Ketch.12 tons, full keel. Colin Archer "style".


    Our main "cruise" was between 88 and 95,we were full time, sailed 40,000 miles with a small rope start diesel. My wife couldn't not start it, so if I was not aboard we were virtually engineless. This led to my use of oversize ground tackle, a nasty habit that is harder to break than the mary iguana weedles.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    The "mooring circle" is one of the amusing imponderables of not knowing how much scope your neighbor has out. I often anchor in about two fathoms of water so, adding another fathom for the height of the bow, I need an average of 90' of chain out and that means my theoretical no-drag circle around the hook has a radius of 88'. Add 47' feet for the boat and we take up 135' radius circle. If the wind veers or backs steadily the anchor will carve its own turn in the bottom but if the wind goes dead and then reverses (picture post #10), the boat will pass the rode over the hook and eventually flop the anchor over (if it des not foul) and will need a bit of space to reset.

    Different boats respond to conditions differently. One night in that channel leading to Katama a power boat dropped her hook a little closer than I might have but looked ok. About 0300 we were awakened to the sound of shattering glass as Goblin put her bowsprit thro lough the power boats large side window. The light wind was pushing the power boat one way while the strong reversing current had other ideas for Goblin.

    In narrow areas when I anticipate trouble, I'll set two anchors in line with the space and the boat in between with just enough slack that when pulling straight on one anchor the other rode is slack enough to lie under the keel. The problem with this, of course, is that if there's a bit of circling the two rodes will be wound up.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    I use a weight on the rode, a sentinel, or killick. It acts as a shock absorber and stops the anchor from getting sudden jerks.

    And it helps you sleep the night through in a place where the scope is limited.

    You can get or make a saddle arrangement that works for chain.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Just to add some complexity, there are more and more places where the environmental damage dragging an anchor chain around the bottom has become an issue. This is not much of an issue for shingle, sand, mud, and clay bottoms that do not have plant growth. Most of the shellfish, worms, crabs, and such that live in or on those bottoms are able to shift past a bit of moving chain. But plant growth is another matter. To avoid turning those areas into a desert, some advocate floating rodes with chafe protection for a few feet nearest the hook or a short (1 fathom) leader chain with a small float at the rode/chain connection that can just pick up about half the chain. This, of course eliminates the spring effect of a cantery and very much favors anchors designed for short scope.

    Many like to have the lightest most efficient anchor that will hold their boat. I personally favor efficient design, yes, but also I favor the heaviest rig you can manage to handle.

    An example: The real Danforth was a huge design breakthrough, originally for seaplanes where less weight matters. It's subtle, by the way, with blade angle and exact shape/proportion mattering. Danforth works better. Anyway, the aluminum Fortress is faithful to the Danforth patent in those matters. Assuming a good set, a steel Danforth and an aluminum Fortress of similar dimensions have equivalent holding power in the bottoms where they excell: sand and mud. Once set, it's blade area, not weight, that matters. But that's assuming a good set. I have seen a Fortress attempt in a current where the flukes angled up and the anchor planed stubbornly along the surface. We often have mud covered by weed. The lighter Fortress has a hard time getting below the weed into the mud. While both can have a sort of blade jam of weed getting in the slot and preventing correct blade angle, this is more likely with the lighter Fortress as it will drag further.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    To be sure, one needs to take care dropping the hook. It might get scratched!
    My own experience is that there is no best anchor. Out here in the muddy East Coast estuaries, I favor a Bruce.

    -Dave

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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    34' Venus Ketch.12 tons, full keel. Colin Archer "style".


    Our main "cruise" was between 88 and 95,we were full time, sailed 40,000 miles with a small rope start diesel. My wife couldn't not start it, so if I was not aboard we were virtually engineless. This led to my use of oversize ground tackle, a nasty habit that is harder to break than the mary iguana weedles.
    It must be a good habit to have.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Just to add some complexity, there are more and more places where the environmental damage dragging an anchor chain around the bottom has become an issue. This is not much of an issue for shingle, sand, mud, and clay bottoms that do not have plant growth. Most of the shellfish, worms, crabs, and such that live in or on those bottoms are able to shift past a bit of moving chain. But plant growth is another matter. To avoid turning those areas into a desert, some advocate floating rodes with chafe protection for a few feet nearest the hook or a short (1 fathom) leader chain with a small float at the rode/chain connection that can just pick up about half the chain. This, of course eliminates the spring effect of a cantery and very much favors anchors designed for short scope.

    .
    I wouldn't like to see that trend continue, it won't be long before for environmental reasons they will close the anchorages.

    They will stop all dredging for clams and scallops. Nobody can move a shovel full of mud in a slip now without a boat load of permits and money.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Just to add some complexity, there are more and more places where the environmental damage dragging an anchor chain around the bottom has become an issue. This is not much of an issue for shingle, sand, mud, and clay bottoms that do not have plant growth. Most of the shellfish, worms, crabs, and such that live in or on those bottoms are able to shift past a bit of moving chain. But plant growth is another matter. To avoid turning those areas into a desert, some advocate floating rodes with chafe protection for a few feet nearest the hook or a short (1 fathom) leader chain with a small float at the rode/chain connection that can just pick up about half the chain. This, of course eliminates the spring effect of a cantery and very much favors anchors designed for short scope.

    .
    I wouldn't like to see that trend continue, it won't be long before for environmental reasons they will close the anchorages.

    They will stop all dredging for clams and scallops. Nobody can move a shovel full of mud in a slip now without a boat load of permits and money.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Anchor weight/type and chain relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyGaffer View Post

    My question to the Forum: would more chain compensate for having a lighter hook, not ridiculously light of course? Say, as in my case 10lbs lighter. Design of the anchor I realize is of course another factor. It would make an interesting study which I'm sure has been done somewhere. Comments about anchor to chain relationship and Delta anchors appreciated. I'm probably opening up an age old can O' worms.
    No, chain does not compensate for a lighter anchor, nor does a kellet.

    After 20-30’ of chain, which I believe is mandatory, the benefit fit of all chain is abrasion resistance and insurance from someone motoring over your line and cutting it. Generally if you want all chain for those reasons, you are better off going with lighter and stronger like G40 so you can reduce weight of the chain and put it into the anchor.

    As someone mentioned early on, scope is a significant factor. Read this. http://www.petersmith.net.nz/boat-anchors/catenary.php

    I always like the Dashew test for anchor size. If someone walking down the dock starts laughing at the size of your anchor, it’s probably big enough. Larger anchor=more surface area=better holding, all else equal.

    In terms of which anchor, I would recommend watching the videos that SV Panope has done. In short modern anchors are better, and there are certain shapes that are better for different bottom conditions. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy1...fcf4asEG_bulHA

    for reference and full disclosure, I have a 60# Manson supreme on 5/16 g40 all chain with double 3/8” by 20’ nylon snubber with chain hook for a 43’, 30,000# powerboat. I was ambivalent between Manson, Rocha, Spade and Mantus. My secondary anchor is a Fortress FX55 with 30’ of 3/8 chain and 300’ of 3 strand.

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