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Northill Anchor

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I found a Northill Anchor for sale locally for $150.00 (Canadian) and was thinking of buying it to keep as a storm anchor. Especially after reading the posts quoted below. Then I read the last post from 'sailglobal' and it gave me pause. Has anyone else had the experience of a Northill Anchor falling apart on them? Is there a way to visually check for crevice corrosion (magnifying glass?) or check the grade of stainless steel onsite (in other words, in the chandlery)?


Our boat is 40' long and displaces about 18,000 lbs. or more depending on how much junk we have onboard.



I'd love to get a Luke 3-part too.

What you really want for your Big Bertha, IMHO, is a Northill... It's a shame there aren't more of them around, they're an awesome storm or difficult bottom anchor...


This is a folding stainless version, it's an absolute work of art... Weighs only about 35 lbs, 10 lbs. less than my Manson Supreme primary... A sharper but larger fluke area than the Luke/fisherman, even though lighter, it will still penetrate any bottom or weed...


It won't stow as compactly as a Luke, but it's far more manageable... With a storm anchor like the Luke being so dependent upon weight, the appropriate size for my boat would be a 75 lb. Luke... I simply can't imagine dealing with an anchor that cumbersome and heavy on my foredeck, especially in less than ideal conditions...


There was another stainless variant of the Northill called the Pekny, which broke down into separate parts much like the Luke... Another very elegant solution, Don Street in an article in SAIL perhaps 15 years ago, referred to it as "the finest anchor in the world"... If you ever come across one of those, give it a look, as well... They are extremely rare, unfortunately...




All very good but then this post:


Great looking anchor. I was told they were used as anchors on flying boats. We had one on Windward Passage back in tho old days. Set it in New Harbour on the SW coast of Tas in a sandy bottom and slight sea. It lasted about 15 minutes before one of the arms and a fluke became detached and we began to drag towards the beach. It was not 316SS and we ascertained that there may have been crevice corrosion due to it being stowed in a bag under the sail bins and was frequently damp. I'd be cautious using one unless it could be determined to be in "as new" condition.

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I carry a Northill since it sets very quickly (good for tight anchorages where we tie off to shore with anchor set out) and fairly easy to store in the lazarette. Mine is a galvanized casting, not SS like that one.

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