Real world anchor sizing

I’ve been happily sailing my fc and have loved my Rocna anchor but times they are a changing. I started out with a brand new CQR 25 which was so worthless I threw it in the recycle bin not wanting anyone to end up being stuck with a hunk of metal better suited for plowing fields than holding my dream ship fast. I switched to a 22lb delta which I loved in every way and it rarely failed me but wasn’t perfect. I was so attached to it that when I was offered a new Rocna I turned the offer down highly doubting it could be any better. With much coercion I took the anchor and love, love, love it.

Today I’m deep in the process of negotiating a new larger Hess. It’s a long shot and may be falling through. If it does go the way of the Dodo bird there is no other boat on the planet that I would choose over my little FC which brings me to the topic of anchor size. The Rocna 25 hangs on my bowsprit shroud perfectly. Before hanging it there I consulted with lin Pardey and she confirmed that they hung thier anchor the same way on Seraffyn with no issues for 50,000 Miles. I really love the design of the Spade anchor which comes in 21 and 33 lbs. the 21 should be perfect but I can’t help but to wonder if it’s too small. Nothing irks me more than oversized anchors and they scream neophyte, a label I don’t really want hanging from my bow. I’ve heard that Gary Felton has a 22 lb delta as his primary anchor on his BCC so I’m looking into a little insight as to real world primary bower size for sustained winds up to 40 knots.

Shaula has used a 35 lb CQR since 1982, about 60k miles on the sum log. We use it with an all chain rode. It didn’t work well in an anchorage with shallow sand over coral rock (QLD), or in a rocky bottom covered with lots of kelp (Lopez Island). Probably we shouldn’t have been anchored at either place. The CQR fits well on the roller mounted on the bowsprit forward of the gammon iron which I love.

The Rocna of equivalent size may be better, I don’t know, having never tried it. Easy anchor storage, release and retrieval are important.

I have friends that swear by the CQR 35 it must be a weight thing, the 25 not so much for me :slight_smile:

Zygote carried a 16 kg (35 lb) CQR as her best bower for 13 years. Dragged twice in exceptional circumstances (e.g. a flooded river, with a raft of drift timber caught on the anchor rode at 03 hours; what was interesting to me was that the CQR re-set by itself). I was quite happy with the performance of the CQR: it was after all the best small anchor design on the market in the 1930s!

Without wanting to get into the sort of anchor flame-wars that seem to have characterised the advertising delivery on-line forums I rhyme as ‘’ (famous for abuse directed at the claims made Peter Smith, the designer of the Rocna, prompting to Smith to counter in the same ilk) and ‘’, I reckon:

  1. the Delta is an improvement over the CQR, meaning I’m confident that a Delta of the same mass as a CQR does a better job. That better job is partly because of:

(a) the Delta does away with the hinge in shaft/fluke join of the CQR (the pin of the hinge wears with use and the performance of the CQR drops as that hinge pin wears creating slop in the hinge);

(b) one the big innovations introduced by the designers of the Delta was its self-righting shank, a shank shaped to make the anchor unstable when upside down. Upside down or sideways CQRs are remarkably stable, in contrast; and

(c) redistribution of mass from the drop-forged shank of the CQR to the fluke, meaning that the equivalent Delta has a larger fluke than the CQR.

  1. However I reckon that the Delta is the not the best anchor you can buy today. I’ve sailed on a friend’s yacht, a European richman’s toy production yacht that comes from the factory with a Delta. And I was clear from my friend that the reason that factory gives away a Delta with every yacht is that the Delta is in Europe a relatively inexpensive anchor. My friend’s further experience on his 54 ft high windage monster was that newer anchor designs (Spade, Rocna, Manson Supreme, Mantus etc) perform even better than a Delta. And greater fluke area for the same anchor mass is one of the reasons for the even better job that those newer designs do.

  2. I changed Zygote’s best bower to a 15 kg (33 lb) Rocna with 1,030 cm2 (160 in2) of fluke area in 2013. My experience is that the Rocna sets harder than the CQR (I connect a nylon snubbing line to the chain anchor rode before power-setting the Rocna. With the CQR, I power-set it first, then connected a nylon snubbing line). And recovery of the Rocna is more difficult than of the CQR (more force required to haul the Rocna out of the bottom than with the CQR - and I figure that greater recovery force must also mean that the Rocna is more resistant to the forces associated with the veering of the rode due to changes in direction of wind and tide, and so on).

  3. I recognise that the roll bar of the Rocna makes storing the anchor in anchor rollers at bow, ready for self-launching, almost impossible. That’s not a problem for me. I did occasionally store the CQR in the self launching position on the anchor rollers. I very occasionally stored the CQR and the Rocna in the temporary position hooked around the bobstay (I usually only do that in flat water, such as when moving from one part of a protected anchorage to another, and do not like having the anchor hooked on the bobstay in a seaway). Roger Olson convinced me that a BCC sails better without anchor mass at the bow. I followed Roger’s model and, for any passage, stored the CQR on the deck, roughly in line with the mast, so its mass is away from the bow (on Zygote the CQR is on starbd deck, a Danforth and its chain pendant on port deck). That removes any chance that an anchor on the bow could contribute to hobby-horsing. It does mean that:

(a) the deck has a potential toe-stubber (and the larger fluke area of the Rocna means a greater toe-stub potential than with the CQR. A Mantus, with its greater fluke area, would increase the toe-stub potential even further!); and

(b) the fore-deck crew (meaning me) has to unlash the anchor and carry it forward to the bow, then lower it using a tag-line until it is past the point at which it could bash the hull. Similarly, recovery means using a boat hook to snag the tag line, then lift the anchor to the deck, stow the anchor, and lash it in place).