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The holes finding is fascinating. I ended up getting a Sarca Excel this summer after I pulled up my Bruce one morning to find nothing hanging from the chain! A bit disconcerting given the tight anchorage I was at in Muscongous bay in Maine with granite 15 yards away on either side of me. Pretty sure it came off on retrieval. Even though I had planned on getting a Sarca for some time (before the SV Panope videos even came to be), I was still always a fan of my 45 pound Bruce. Given that anchor's propensity to hold mud, I am very curious to see if the holes eliminate that issue and turn this solid anchor into a fabulous one. Too bad you can't buy a genuine Bruce anymore! Very Very happy with the Sarca Excel though. Just yesterday morning I pulled into the Piscataqua river in the morning after sailing south all night from down east. There's an anchorage right at the mouth of the river that is out of the current, so I dropped the hook there to wait for the tide to switch over and catch some sleep. There was a 55' Chuck Paine cruiser already anchored there, and they weighed anchor a little bit before I did. When he got his hook up, it was a large Bruce, probably 60 lbs+, and he had a giant chunk of mud scooped up with it. When I got my anchor back up, it was shiny. I've also retrieved the Excel from a night's anchoring to find it perfectly clean, but with mud completely plugging the trip line holes drilled into the tip of the shank, speaking to how well set this anchor becomes. At any rate, I need to go diving next spring to get my Bruce back!

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When I started the anchor videos, it was just the underwater stuff and on-screen text.  Right away the accusations started flying that I was working for a particular anchor manufacturer.  Understandab

Winch testing commences.

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I think a Sarca Excel is sounding like a pretty good smart anchor. The steel/galv versions aren't that much more than a Manson Supreme. I wish that the alloy version was a bit cheaper, the take apart aspect would be really helpful on my boat, and a 12kg anchor with the holding power of a 24kg anchor since my boat will never have a windlass.

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On a related question: Does anyone have a means to characterize the seabed in terms of something like a fishfinder return?

Not just a single "depth" but something that shows the density of the bottom?

 

perhaps like this?

 

http://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1041&context=ccom_affil

 

It would make a lot of sense if one could use a CHIRP transducer to estimate the "hardness" and from that select best anchor/scope and setting technique.

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I think the holes release the suction, allowing the mud to slide off.

 

On tractor buckets and backhoe buckets, you will often find weld bead run at intervals at right angles to the expected "dirt flow". It is said to be done to keep sticky dirt from sticking to the bucket - as it slides the weld bead pushes it off a little, allows air in, lets it release.

 

I wonder if you could get the same effect as the holes by doing that on the anchor fluke. It has the advantage of not weakening the anchor.

 

Just to add to your workload :).

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I think the holes release the suction, allowing the mud to slide off.

 

On tractor buckets and backhoe buckets, you will often find weld bead run at intervals at right angles to the expected "dirt flow". It is said to be done to keep sticky dirt from sticking to the bucket - as it slides the weld bead pushes it off a little, allows air in, lets it release.

 

I wonder if you could get the same effect as the holes by doing that on the anchor fluke. It has the advantage of not weakening the anchor.

 

Just to add to your workload :).

 

Thanks for that weld bead idea. Perhaps I'll experiment with a bead of bondo so as to not further deface the anchor.

 

BTW, I finally got my Dinghy deployment video up on YouTube. I cannot find your dinghy video. Did I win the race?

 

Cheers,

 

Steve

 

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This is a very interesting battery of testing. It's amazing to see the behavior of anchors underwater, while the boat pulls. I think the methodology used (the torture) gives information about the extremes at when every single design would fail. That helps find minimum scope per power, but not necessarily tell if a design is unsufficient when safety parameter (not choosing a dumb anchorage, enough scope, etc.) are respected. why one would want to anchor on a 2:1 scope and face strong winds?

Thanks, psycho

 

My limit for sleeping at anchor is 3 to 1. If the wind pipes up and gets all the nearby boats settled into order, I add scope as able.

 

I executed some tests at extremely short scopes for research purposes only.

 

Steve

 

On Edit: what Alex W said above also.

 

 

 

Thanks, Panope.

 

Did you test anchors at 4:1 with your maximum rpm? Any design that is weak overall?

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Psycho, best way to answer your question is to watch this video and focus on my so called "Deep Set" testing starting at 30:25.

 

If you have not seen it, I recommend watching the whole thing as it summarizes the majority of my first 55 videos.

 

Steve

 

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Psycho, best way to answer your question is to watch this video and focus on my so called "Deep Set" testing starting at 30:25.

 

If you have not seen it, I recommend watching the whole thing as it summarizes the majority of my first 55 videos.

 

Steve

 

 

 

 

Thanks Steve, this compilation is very well done.

 

I have a 22lbs bruce for my boat, so far never failed me, but after the video I am growing some concerns.

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Thanks for that weld bead idea. Perhaps I'll experiment with a bead of bondo so as to not further deface the anchor.

 

BTW, I finally got my Dinghy deployment video up on YouTube. I cannot find your dinghy video. Did I win the race?

 

Cheers,

 

Steve

 

 

 

 

I think you beat me on launch and I beat you on recovery. But to be fair you need to put the motor on and uncover/cover it :).

 

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We had a forecast of 25 knot breezes the other day which made for some fine sailing. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to tossing an anchor over the side, the wind abated somewhat.


I really wanted to get some clear footage of the anchor in actual wind/wave conditions, but it appears this will be impossible as the waves seem to 'stir' up an incredible amount of organic material from the nearby beach.


Steve



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I dug up some long lost photos:


Launch day, Sept 1981. A shot of me setting Panope's anchor for the very first time (I was 12).

img149_zpsmqad3qdz.jpg


I have since changed EVERYTHING on that fore-deck. I can not remember what size genuine CQR we had (probably 45 lbs.). It required much patience to set. Once set, holding power was quite good. Anchor was lost to rode chafe in Baja 1989.

img094_zps6carl0t5.jpg

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Ha, I wish I grew up cruising Mexico. I was only there for a month during my fathers one year trip down the coast. Was fortunate enough to grow up cruising the Salish Sea. Launch site is Quilcene bay, about 20 miles south of PT.

 

Probably, Whidbey Island in background, early 1990's.

img012_zpsftou4gpy.jpg

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A speedy, rubber dink is certainly a very useful cruising tool. If I had a BIG boat I would have both a motorized and a rowing dink. But with room for only one, I'll stick with a: no theft, puncture proof, operable/drag-able by anyone (I've always got lots of kids around) - cheapo rower

 

Steve

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Rowing Dinghy is a Walker Bay 8. Almost forgot the best reason to have a hard dink: the sail rig. How else are the kids going to learn to sail?

 

I hear ya about the paddle board. Kids love them. Mine is an inflatable so not quite indestructible.

 

Steve

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Psycho, I'd like to, but have not had the chance to test a guardian. I suspect similar performance if compared to an FX of the same surface area. Guardian will be heavier - I notice that the shank is not tapered, per your "less machining steps" above.

 

Steve

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Anybody know if the Plastimo Kobra can be bought in the US and, if so, where?

Answering my own question, I found out that Bainbridge in MA is the US distributor for Plastimo products and placed a call (510-522-2886). I got a call back from a very helpful guy with an unfortunate speech impediment (Scottish accent, I think) who located two sources in California for me. These anchors interest me because you can go a couple of sizes smaller than the Bruce/Spade/Rocna series, and they have an impressive resume of endorsements from the European yachting establishment. Definitely something I want to check out.

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The Kobra looks a lot like a Delta to me - is the "you can go 2 sizes lighter" just marketing crap, or are there actually significant performance differences between it and a Delta?

 

At this point just relying on "Practical Sailor" February 2013 review which gave some credence and the sizng chart on the Plastimo web site. Other top candidate is the Spade at considerably higher cost and weight. I'm still waiting for a price quote for a 12 kg Kobra vs a 20kg Spade/Rocna/Excel to see if it makes $$$ sense.

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Hi kinardly,

 

I'm still waiting for a price quote for a 12 kg Kobra vs a 20kg Spade/Rocna/Excel to see if it makes $$$ sense.

 

a 12kg Kobra will never have the holding power of a 20kg Rocna. Is that a typo? At best, the Kobra would be on-par with Spade/Rocna etc.

 

Paul

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Thanks, Global.

 

I have not yet had my hands on a Delta. I agree, it would be a good comparison.

 

Steve

 

I still have a 20kg (I think) authentic delta down in Seattle if you are ever down this way. I don't think I am going to be up north in the near future for a drop off though...

 

Then again, racing will be done soon, so maybe me and the wife will road trip up to the peninsula too...

 

 

As an aside, and I don't think there is a good way to test this here, but the only time we ever had problems with our old Rocna dragging while cruising from the PNW to New Zealand was in a bay in Fiji. The bottom was sand mud mixture, and it was relatively shallow for that part of the world. (ie 20 ft) We would get some storms that would come up that would kicj up a pretty awesome square wave chop in there, say say 5-8 feet on average with peaks greater than that. Evan at 5:1 scope, which was the max we could really let out due to space, we drug a few times in conditions like that. A similar boat to our own with a similar anchor setup also drug under similar conditions. Out of the 2.5 years we were out, that was really the only place we ever had any issues at all, and we had theories as to why, but no conclusive proof...

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I'm still waiting for a price quote for a 12 kg Kobra vs a 20kg Spade/Rocna/Excel to see if it makes $$$ sense.

 

 

Having lived full time for several years on my anchor, unless the price difference is extremely drastic, saving money on your anchor is penny wise and pound foolish as our friends across the pond say. There is no perfect anchor, but getting the one that performs the best in the conditions you intend to use it on makes sense if you want to sleep well at night.

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Thanks, Global.

 

I have not yet had my hands on a Delta. I agree, it would be a good comparison.

 

Steve

 

I still have a 20kg (I think) authentic delta down in Seattle if you are ever down this way. I don't think I am going to be up north in the near future for a drop off though...

 

Then again, racing will be done soon, so maybe me and the wife will road trip up to the peninsula too..........

 

 

Thanks, Buchhla. I had not forgotten your previous offer to let me test your Delta. I just never got my act together to make it happen.

 

Alas, it is now too late as today, Panope was put on the hard for the winter. Perhaps next spring we can make it work.

 

I did manage to sneak in one more anchor test (concerning perforated flukes) over the weekend, but I have been too busy to edit/narrate/publish.

 

Steve

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Hi kinardly,

 

I'm still waiting for a price quote for a 12 kg Kobra vs a 20kg Spade/Rocna/Excel to see if it makes $$$ sense.

 

a 12kg Kobra will never have the holding power of a 20kg Rocna. Is that a typo? At best, the Kobra would be on-par with Spade/Rocna etc.

 

Paul

Well Mike, the Scottish gentleman at Bainbridge, said a 12 kg was the correct anchor for a 40', 15,000# boat, that was confirmed on the Plastimo web site and that pretty much coincides with what I read over on Practical Sailor but I will look for some more backup to bolster that claim. Truthfully, I don't see why it would be so much more efficient. The fluke area isn't all that different from the others based on what I see in the photos. I'm all for keeping weight off the bow, though, so I'm kinda hopeful the Tooth Fairy is real :P

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Hi kinardly,

 

you are right, the Plastimo charts show a 10kg Kobra for a 12m boat. So the 12kg is already "one up" with regard to that scale.

 

I have the 14kg Kobra for a 32 foot trimaran. I don't feel that this is oversized - I can still handle the 14kg quite well without an electric anchor winch (no chain, usually less than <4m water under the boat!) I think I couldn't cope with the 16kg model anymore.

 

I think there was a relevant jump in the "general holding power" vs "weight" ratio going from old generation anchors (CQR, Plough, ...) to new style anchors (Spade, Mantus, Rocna, ...), that allowed you to take an anchor "two sizes down" from what was used before. I don't think there has been that kind of jump afterwards - and the Kobra doesn't feature a more up-to-date design than new style anchors anyway.

 

Paul

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Nick Shaw of Ground Tackle Marine, offered to exchange my Super Sarca #5 for a #6. This is the perfect size for Panope.


Rather than another boring test of an anchor performing perfectly, I tried to make it fail by blocking the fluke slots (these slots perform the function preventing mud from sticking).


Alas, the test did not go as I had presumed it would............


Steve



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Thanks, Bob.

 

Sadly, that will be the last test aboard Panope for quite a while. I hauled the boat out of the water the other day, and have decided to bring her back to my house. This will save me some storage fee money. Additionally, I might just get a hair up my ass and tear into the boat for some more changes. It could get ugly.

 

Or pretty............

 

Steve

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Jake, are you asking about 'glass' as in 'fiberglass'? or window glass?

 

For window glass, I use GROVES GLASS in Port Hadlock. http://www.grovesglass.com/

 

I'm sure there are plenty of good 'fiberglass' persons but I am not up to speed in that department. The one outfit that always smelled of resin (Gold Star Marine) has changed hands and the new people are building aluminum powerboats.

 

Hard not to mention TURN POINT DESIGN http://www.turnpointdesign.com/ when talking about composites in P.T., but I think you might not need their cutting edge technology.

 

But, again, I know little to nothing about composites......

 

Steve

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Thanks steve,

 

TPD is probably overkill....but you never know.

Brandon and Carter at Turn Point Design are wonderful, extremely talented and in my experience reasonably priced.

I give them the highest possible recommendation.

Kim

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Thanks, Bob.

 

Sadly, that will be the last test aboard Panope for quite a while. I hauled the boat out of the water the other day, and have decided to bring her back to my house. This will save me some storage fee money. Additionally, I might just get a hair up my ass and tear into the boat for some more changes. It could get ugly.

 

Or pretty............

 

Steve

 

Well if you think I could be of some help just call I will show up. Fair to good fitter I am - some say gifted - but maybe not so good the aluminum welding part.

 

Kiwanda

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Thanks for the offer Kiwanda, but this next phase will not involve much metal work at all. Unless we call re-melting the ballast lead - 'metal work'.

 

Yes, I am considering chipping all the fucking cement (and lead) out of the keel and re-casting the pigs into shapes that fit the cavity perfectly. Should be able to get the ballast several inches lower and/or many feet more centralized. I'll re-bed the lead in epoxy and might even weld an aluminum plate "top" to seal it all away forever....

 

The other fantasy project is to rip out the entire forward 1/3 of the interior and replace it with a completely different layout (one that does not include a 'chastity v-berth').

 

In any case, it will be a project to savor, on my own time. I am one of those people that likes to built the boat as much as I do sailing it. Maybe more.....

 

Steve

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Anchor testing suspended.


I brought Panope to my house for the winter. I will likely start into some fairly 'deep' projects that may or may not be completed by spring time.


I appreciate all the participation/interest in this thread.


Cheers,


Steve


Home_zpshovkqttj.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
Since starting my anchor testing one year ago, I have received numerous requests to test various anchors, with the DELTA anchor generating the most requests.


Cruisers Forum member Cotemar offered up this 20 Kg / 44 lb. example in new, unused condition. It arrived by package delivery today. Thank you Cotemar.


As Panope is high and dry for at least the winter and much of spring, we will have to wait for a proper test under my normal protocol. That said, I might do some preliminary testing with a smaller boat sometime soon.


Steve


C8w81pe.jpg

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Since starting my anchor testing one year ago, I have received numerous requests to test various anchors, with the DELTA anchor generating the most requests.

 

Cruisers Forum member Cotemar offered up this 20 Kg / 44 lb. example in new, unused condition. It arrived by package delivery today. Thank you Cotemar.

 

As Panope is high and dry for at least the winter and much of spring, we will have to wait for a proper test under my normal protocol. That said, I might do some preliminary testing with a smaller boat sometime soon.

 

Steve

 

C8w81pe.jpg

Bring it down here Steve and we can give it a good pull with the brand new engine in my Shamrock.

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Cje, I'll definitely do a complete side by side with the Excel. I know a lot of people assume that the Excel performs similarly to the Delta. I'm sure that whatever results are obtained, It will be interesting.

 

Steve

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  • 5 months later...
Those that have been following my refit, saw that I created vast storage space under the new cabin sole. It easily swallows my disassemblable anchors. The Fortress even fits intact:


Aluminum Excel #5, 44 pound Spade, Fortress FX-16

bnmP62E.jpg




The highly anticipated test of the Delta anchor is only a 3 weeks away (my launch date is May 4th). I find it interesting that the small 'anchor tip guard' that I fabricated long ago for my Manson Supreme, works perfectly for the Delta and every other anchor that I have tested, regardless of size.


wXyLnhv.jpg

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Our launch date is about the same as yours.

 

Can't wait for the first test of the new 45 lbs Mantus, bought, partially because of your test videos. Thank you. I anticipate better sleep this summer

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Anchored:

Our anchor’s too big for our ship,
So we’re sittin’ here tryin’ to think.
If we leave it behind we’ll be lost.
If we haul it on board, we will sink.
If we sit and keep talkin’ about it,
It will soon be too late for our trip.
It sure can be rough on a sailor
When the anchor’s too big for the ship.

-Shel Silverstein

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  • 1 month later...

More excellent work, Steve, I've been waiting to see the Delta, because I hate mine, it's dragged on me a couple of times.

I guess I could temper that - I recently anchored in Clipper cove (SF Bay), because a south wind was forecast... It blew 30+ from the NE, the only unprotected direction (natch).  Rough night, but it held. 22 pound Delta, 15 feet of chain, the rest rope on a 7000# boat with a lot of scope.  

 

 

 

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Maybe the book on this anchor is don't rely on it in conditions calling for short scope? I have a feeling 7:1 or more and you might not see the seabed material lifting like that. For the record I'm not a fan of most plow anchors, Delta included. 

Many thanks, Steve, for your excellent contributions in this series. 

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6 hours ago, Kirwan said:

More excellent work, Steve, I've been waiting to see the Delta, because I hate mine, it's dragged on me a couple of times.

I guess I could temper that - I recently anchored in Clipper cove (SF Bay), because a south wind was forecast... It blew 30+ from the NE, the only unprotected direction (natch).  Rough night, but it held. 22 pound Delta, 15 feet of chain, the rest rope on a 7000# boat with a lot of scope.  

 

 

 

The Deltas are very popular for cruisers in Bahamas, and every charter boat in the BVIs has one.

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My 44# Delta would hold great in sand, but would often drag in the muddy parts of San Francisco Bay.  I went to a 66# Spade and so far it's been an improvement.  I haven't used either of these enough to give a truly fair report.

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My aging parents have recently bought a RIB with a console and big heavy outboard.  They were having a bitch of a time getting in and out of the standard RIB and felt that a console with seats, etc. would be better for them.  Now I have to tow this thing around (1 knot lost while towing) and also attempt to beach it.  With the tides in the PNW and the rocky beaches, I don't want to beach this 500 pound behemoth.  

I was at Golden Gardens beach about two years ago and I saw a guy row his dinghy near the beach and drop an anchor and then row to the beach.  He jumps out without getting wet and then he has another line that drags the dinghy out to the anchor, keeping the dinghy a bit off the beach but still retrievable without going from a swim.  It was not the "Anchor buddy" or any other elastic type thing.  He secured the other line to a point on the beach.  I saw him do this but didn't see how he did it.

Has anyone done this or seen how it is done?  It didn't look complicated, it looked...elegant actually.  Very nautical.  Google ain't much help with the method I saw.  Next time I see something that intrigues me, I think I should ask questions.   

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You have a block on the anchor stock or short chain and a continuous line of polypropylene attached to the bow and stern, loops to the anchor and back again.

if you want the rope to sink not float use the lead loaded polypropylene rope commercial fishers use.

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In addition to the "cloths line" method that olaf described,  I've successfully anchored a 6 or 7 hundred pound runabout by perching the anchor on the foredeck, rode neatly flaked and belayed.  A small line is then attached to the crown of the anchor with the coil in hand.  While standing at waters edge, give the boat the mightiest of shoves to seaward, when the boat is as far from shore as it will get, give the line a tug to deploy the anchor.  

Steve

 

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27 minutes ago, Panope said:

In addition to the "cloths line" method that olaf described,  I've successfully anchored a 6 or 7 hundred pound runabout by perching the anchor on the foredeck, rode neatly flaked and belayed.  A small line is then attached to the crown of the anchor with the coil in hand.  While standing at waters edge, give the boat the mightiest of shoves to seaward, when the boat is as far from shore as it will get, give the line a tug to deploy the anchor.  

Steve

 

Who swims for the boat when you want it again?

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Thank you for the Delta video.

Alternative method of anchoring a rhib off the beach.

Drop first anchor behind the shore break. Motor or row to beach paying out the rode. Get out, pull out stern anchor and plenty of rode. Walk up the beach until the rhib comes off the beach and far enough out that it will not touch bottom on the falling tide. When your content bed in the stern anchor into the beach.

It takes a bit of practice but after a few times you can judge how long the stern rode needs to be.

Advantages

Simple set up with no pulleys

Disadvantage 

Need a clear beach with nobody set up close to you.

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17 hours ago, olaf hart said:

You have a block on the anchor stock or short chain and a continuous line of polypropylene attached to the bow and stern, loops to the anchor and back again.

if you want the rope to sink not float use the lead loaded polypropylene rope commercial fishers use.

http://navigatorjoel.blogspot.com/2011/11/clothesline-anchoring-revisited.html

Thanks olaf!  I just had to know what to type into Google.  Clothesline anchoring did the trick.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to add a note of anchor interest - the owner of our boat managed to bend a #125 galvanized Mantus last week - He has no idea how he did it but can be a bit clueless at times.  Mantus was great with customer service - sent them a photo and called them and they had a new fluke in the mail to us the same day at no cost.  This may back up Panope's comments about the relative weakness of the Mantus design vs. some of the others, but we are really impressed with how Mantus handled it.

IMAG3396.jpg

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That's quite a feat. I've got their 85 pounder and have a hard time thinking of how I could do that kind of damage. Trying to set on a hard/rocky bottom while backing down at high speed?

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My thought was snagged under a rock and some aggressive throttle-jockeying in reverse trying to free it, but don't really know - owner said he didn't notice anything weird about the recovery and didn't even notice the bent tip until his 6 year old son told him "Daddy, the anchor's bent" - weather was pretty calm (< 10kts wind) that weekend too, so think it can't have been waves, but maybe - do you think if the tip got snagged under a rock and the current reversed 180 degrees it could have done something like that?

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On a more positive note, we finally got a chance to try out our new Mantus 45 over the weekend as we finally got launched on Friday.

Saturday night saw us anchored  in a muddy bottom with about 10 kts of wind. It did not take long and we had a good 4 boat raft going (our IP31, 2 CS30s and a CS34).  The raft finally split up later in the night.  By morning the wind increased to solid 20 - 25 knots with gusts into the mid 30s. (the highest  gust recorded at a local club was 39 kts).  W ehad good protection from wave action but go the full benefit of the wind.  Scope was maybe 6:1.  Through it all the anchor just held on and felt super solid. as an experiment, when retrieving the anchor I stopped at 2:1 scope for a few minutes while we took a bunch of good gusts and the boat hunted about quite energetically and the anchor still held.   I wonder whether it eventually would have let go, at such short scope but that's an experiment for another day.

It's only 1 data point but for now, I'm pretty impressed. I am pretty sure that the old Bruce style anchor would have been much more iiffy.

It was a pretty "nautical" day yesterday on our little lake.  We actually had a wave break over the transom corner on the way home and soak the cockpit.  That's a first!
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm sure some of you already saw that Steve got a very nice mention,  in the latest Good Old Boat magazine,  for his S/V Panope anchor testing videos on YouTube. Very cool

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