New Anchor

On a cruising sailboat, a good anchor set can make the difference between a sleepless, stressful night and a good nights sleep. Lately we have been having some sleepless nights. If the anchor drags or the worse – fails – the boat could easily drift into another boat, or worse end up on the shore. Needless to say, anchors are one of the most important pieces of equipment on a cruising sailboat.

Up until the 1990′s the available anchors tended to work better on one surface or another. If a sailor planned to travel outside their home range, they usually needed to carry two or three anchors to suit the conditions they expected to encounter. Sea Change II came with a  Bruce and CQR on the dual bow rollers and the Delta hung off the stern.

We used the Delta the first time we used the boat when the engine quit and we found ourselves without power in a narrow channel heading straight towards a luxury motor yacht. We dropped it off the stern and it stopped the boat in it’s tracks. The Delta is a good, light weight easy to store anchor but it has the reputation of being more prone to mechanical failure than some of the other anchors.

The CQR was a good anchor on sandy, hard and weedy bottoms of Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  However, we have found the CQR hard to set (sometimes it takes two or three tries before it sets). We also have found it less than reliable in situations where the wind or tide reverses during the night. In these cases, the anchor needs to pivot up to  180 degrees and then reset itself. For this reason we have only used it occasionally on the US east coast where we are commonly anchored in tidal areas.

Our Bruce anchor excels on the muddy bottoms on which we found ourselves anchored most of the time along the US east coast. We love it. It has held us in 40 knot sustained winds, and through tidal changes in swift currents. It seldom dragged and was always there for us. However, since arriving in South Florida we have found it harder to set and hold. The reason for this is that has a tendency to skip along the harder surfaces on which we now find ourselves anchored.

Both the CQR and Bruce anchors were premium anchors when Sea Change II took her her voyages in the 1990′s. Since then some new all round anchors have been released. These anchors are especially good at setting and resetting themselves. Some include roll bars to prevent the anchor lying on it’s side.

Today we purchased a state-of-the-art Manson Supreme anchor. Our new Manson Supreme has a self righting roll bar and a reputation for fast setting/resetting. We are going to retire our CQR and… if we can get them both to fit snugly… keep both the Manson and the Bruce on the bow. The Bruce works better on soft bottoms than the Manson.

We are hoping for more restful nights!

4 thoughts on “New Anchor

  1. Troy Roush

    Hey Guys, me and Lisa, left out of Deltaville Thursday, (it’s been a cold ride) we will put into Oriental, tonight, top the tanks and head out the Beauford outlet tomorrow (assuming forecast holds) If winds remain fair we should make Fort Lauderdale area Wednesday, evening…. Didn’t know how soon you were crossing to the Bahama’s? We will likely head for Marathon, and stay there till after Xmas.

    Best to all!!!

    Troy and Lisa
    S/V Cantankerous

    1. Shane Dennis Post author

      Hey Troy and Lisa, Good to hear your boat still floated when you put it in the water. We are heading to Miami tomorrow afternoon. Will be in Miami until mid December then head to the Keys. Will be joined in Marathon over Christmas by my two daughters. Plan to cross to the Bahamas after Jan 5th. Look forward to seeing you again. Shane and Mary

  2. Troy Roush

    Sounds great, We owe you and Mary dinner for looking after our floating house. If we don’t run into you in Miami we will catch up in Marathon. Might just buddy boat with you across to Bimini.

    And yeah she still floats, used her for an ice breaker Friday! Not kidding…. Got the video too prove it! Funny stuff. At sea tonight off Cape Fear, wind looks more southerly then forecast indicated yesterday so we will likely be delayed, where is a good northerly when you need one!?! Don’t use all the heat and sunshine up before we get there!

    Hey just had a though… We will likely leave our boat, in Boot Key Harbor on a ball over Xmas. Your daughter and you guys are more then welcome to use her to stay on, cook on, celebrate your holiday what ever…I would really appreciate having someone staying on board looking after her while we are gone! I’m heading home around the 15th and we won’t be back till late in the evening on the 27th.

    Cheers, Troy

    1. Shane Dennis Post author

      Thanks so much for the offer Troy. Good chance we will take you up in it. At the least we will keep an eye on your boat. Mary has to make a quick trip to Australia so won’t be leaving Miami before the 14th.

      Hope you guys are not freezing to death out in the Atlantic tonight. It’s warmer down here. Promise. Make tracks!

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