Tips on Choosing an Anchor For Your Boat
You’ve just purchased that “new” 44 foot Albin Sundeck trawler and she’s everything you needed in a trawler. You need to upgrade her electronics and then she will be ready for some cruising. You cannot wait to set the anchor and enjoy the water.
But before you charge into it, is the anchor the right one? It came with the trawler so it should be, shouldn’t it? So what is the best anchor for you new trawler? I get asked that often and the response is that Brand Anchor the type of bottom will determine the right anchor be it rock, sand, or grass.
The size of your vessel will also play a role. And some places may even call for more than one anchor to be used.
Wind conditions will also be involved in how well an anchor holds; every time the wind speed doubles, the force on the boat and her anchor will increase by four times.
Sizing an anchor for your boat reinforces, the “bigger is better” concept; you truly cannot have too much anchor. If your diesel engine fails and you are drifting toward an open inlet, having a appropriately sized anchor ready could save you and your boat. But anchor selection has some practical issues to keep in mind; pulling a heavy anchor by hand with no windlass would be difficult if not impossible.
Anchors must develop enough resistance in the sea bed to endure the environmental forces on the boat,the wind and the tides. And the anchor’s ability to function is completely dependent on its capability to penetrate the sea floor. The selection of an appropriate bottom for anchoring is a great deal more of a critical factor than the style of the anchor. You must take the anticipated bottom conditions into account when selecting your anchor.
Aboard my trawler the Patricia Ann, I use a 35 lb. Lewmar CQR. It has held in sand and mud bottoms in my cruising area without ever pulling free. And it sets quite easily.
Here is a breakdown of potential options, based on the sea bed conditions:
Sand: Fine-grained sand is easy for anchors to penetrate and provides very good holding power with foreseeable results. Fluke anchors offer the best results in sand.
Mud: Mud has low shear strength, and requires an anchor design with a broad shank. This permits the anchor to penetrate deeper into mud where there is greater sheer strength. Mud bottoms are often only a thin layer of mud over clay, so anchors that can penetrate through the mud to the underlying material will hold better. Hinged plow anchors and CQR anchors function best in this setting.
Rock and Coral: Where you drop your anchor determines the holding power. Plow type anchors, with high structural strength to sustain the high point loads, normally work the best in rock or coral. These anchors include the Claw, CQR, and Delta Shale, clay, and grassy bottoms: These are difficult bottoms for all anchor designs, with the weight of the anchor being the most important factor in determining penetration and holding power. CQR and Delta anchors are found to be good due to their capability for penetrating vegetation. These conditions, however, have a high failure rate from anchors catching on roots or dragging on the surface, rather than grabbing something solid.