Date: Mon Sep 4, 2000 10:22 am

Talking about anchors... On Voyager we carry a 35# CQR on 175' 5/16 HT chain as our main anchor on the bow roller to stb'd. To port we have a Fortress FX-23 on 30' chain and 350 feet of nylon. I also built a divider and all of this stows fine.

I also cut a hole on the stern, on that 6 inch wide flat area aft of the cockpit that the stern pulpit bolts to, and put a hawsehole there. A 22# danforth lives on the rail using one of those fancy slip-in anchor holders. A bit of chain and 400' of 3/4 nylon goes down the hole. The trick to this arrangement is that the line connects to the chain with a snap shackle, so in seconds it can be a towing line, a warp for running in heavy seas (thus the 3/4 heavy rode), or a long stern line to tie to a tree!

A final 22# danforth lives in a cockpit locker as a spare. I'm planning to replace the 35# CQR with a 45# as sometimes the 35 is reluctant to set.

Date: Tue Sep 5, 2000 12:14 pm

I like the stern anchor set-up: sounds practical and clean.

Date: Sun Sep 10, 2000 4:55 pm

Very interesting stern anchor/storm line/towline arrangement. How do you close the hole and prevent chafing. My fax/phone is 914-967 4970 in case you have a picture or sketch, thanks in advance.

As to upgrading your 35# CQR to 45#, please consider a 35# Delta, more stable and better setting, for less weight far ahead. I know many cruisers swear by their CQR but have had many setting problems on charter boats with the CQRs dragging on their side on many types of bottoms other than the dreaded grass. I found many such experiences among a number of cruisers encountered around the Atlantic, confirming the soundness of my decision to have a Delta 35 and, for day anchor, a 22lb Claw (1/3 the price of the Bruce and very similar, some tests showing even better). The 22lb Claw/Bruce sets much better than CQRs, but has very mediocre holding power, as per tests and my own xperience. I resolved that by substituting 30' of 3/8" chain to the old 8' and have not dragged ever since.

The Delta 150' 1/4" HT chain + 150' 1/2"nylon rode goes into the full chain well, no partition for better unwinding/stowing. I took off the aluminum plate with hawser and cover, and installed a heavy plexiglass blind plate instead, which gives me good lighting. The 3/4" nylon (plus 30' 3/8" chain) rode of the Claw is stowed on deck, on the port side against the lifelines, inside a simple canvas fold that I unfold down when readying that anchor. This protects the line from sunrays and holds it in place

Date: Tue Sep 12, 2000 11:45 am

The stern anchor sits in a mount on the stbd side stern pulpit. I cut a hawsehole in that 6 inch wide flat area of the fiberglass just below the stern rail, the "high spot" aft of the cockpit, just before the topsides start. A standard hawsepipe, bought from West, covers the hole and keeps water out.

In use I tie the line to a stern cleat. These are both the standard-issue Seawind style, and are both high and out of the way so that, to date, there's been no real chafe problem. I did get some leather scraps at the Atlantic City boat show last January that are ready in case some chafe prevention becomes needed, though.

Date: Tue Feb 27, 2001 12:32 pm Is there a website, and email, or a US rep for acquiring a Spade anchor, besides the tel/fax in your article?

As to the Claw/Bruce type, I can confirm the poor holding of my 22lb Claw (test reports provided by Simpson-Lawrence showed it to be equal or better to the Bruce of same size, for 1/3 of the price...) with the 8ft of 3/8" chain that had served well with my 22lb Danforth.

However, when I replaced that with 28 ft of 3/8" chain (keeping the same 150' of 1" nylon), I was able to use that 22lb Claw as my main tackle instead of an unreliable day hook, on many bottoms from sand to mud to corral during my year around the Atlantic. I got stuck once under a big rock (in Las Palmas), and dragged once in Salt Whistle Bay, on a continuous carpet of aluminum beer cans gently rolling with the tide... Shame on beer guzzling cruiser that do not espouse the clean wake policy of Seven Seas Cruising Association. I could have practically mothballed my Delta 35 on 100' of chain and 200' nylon!

Date: Wed Feb 28, 2001 2:20 pm

1. Your anchor and dragging studies (from your website: are superb, I am proud to be a French engineer (and a US manager! although blessedly retired). I am copying this letter to my Allied Seawind II group.

2. Note the last paragraph under Unstable Anchors is repeating the 5th paragraph above it. There is an extra D at the beginning of the next section.

3. Back to the text, your test results show two stable anchors, D and B besides the Spade. Could you confirm that D is a Delta and B is a Bruce (or a German anchor? I saw one on a German cruiser in the Canaries that looked a bit like yours)?

4. I own a Seawind II ketch, 31.5' long with bowsprit, 25.7' at the waterline, but heavy (15000lb, 6.5 tonnes). I use a 22lb Claw for day anchor and, since I added 30' of heavy 3/8" chain, regular anchor in decent conditions (I have not dragged in 40 kts gusty winds under Ilet a Cabri of les Saintes. It dragged often when fitted with only 8' of chain). My main tackle, almost never used, is a Delta 35 with 100' chain and 250' of nylon.

I am considering your aluminum anchor (weight at bowsprit end is critical). Is Sp80 the choice, even though I am a bit heavy, but my waterline is only 8.30m, just like a Cotre des Glenans type II. Can I look at something smaller? West Marine prices are a strong deterrent!!!

Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 11:26 AM

Many thanks for your very kind comments about our web site. We hope that it will be helpfull for the sailing community.
Yes we have already seen the mistakes.. you missed one.. one "e" missing somewhere in one figure legende. Thanks for your advise, we will correct our mistakes ASAP
You are fully right "D" means the Delta but "B" is the German anchor called the "BŁgel".. The Bruce was not availaible at the time of the test. I agree, the Bruce will also be in the category of STABLE anchors and I guess the MAX too..
If I would have to choose between the Delta and the Bruce.. I believe I will, without hesitation, choose the Delta. As you will see from the attached comparative study just published in the January 15 issue of "Practical Sailor" ( the Bruce is one with the best digging in characteristics.. but it's holding is very poor.. (and the Claw was even worse..)
Yes our aluminum model A 80 will be perfect for your boat.. that's the model which has been tested by PS.. and at each test, it went up to the limit of the measuring instrument.. (1000 lbs) much further than any competitive anchor..

Mar 1, 2001

Dear SWII friends, especially those who do not like their primary tackle: read the enlightening (even to those who have followed PS tests) english text on the website. It confirms my opinion that this is the best, and much lighter than the Delta 35 I bought 6 months before the spade became known.

Date: Sun Sep 30, 2001 8:16 pm

Your multiple use (cover plate or ventilation) is a great idea, would add much to my plexi cover plate. I put in two electric windlasses by Powerwinch, one their PW35 for 1/4" chain and rode on the main tackle, never used practically, and a PW301 lobsterman drum (no longer made but has a replacement with better corrosion resistance).

I resolved the smell problem by attrition, ie, I use 99.99% of the time a "day anchor", ie, 28' x 3/8"chain plus 150' of 1/2" nylon on a 22lb Claw (Bruce generic). The rode is stored on deck in a sunbrella folding up back to the upper lifeline on port side, reaching as far as the forward stay. The main tackle, a Delta 35 (I don't trust CQRs, they slide on their side with alacrity), has 150' of 1/4" GT chain plus 150', nylon, stored in the anchor locker, but never used since I solved the dragging problem of the Claw by replacing the 8' (worked well with the 22lb Danforth in mud or soft sand, but nothing else) by 28' of 3/8" chain. This has held well in up to 40kts winds, except in Salt Whistle Bay of Grenadines, where the Claw slid on a uniform 20' wide carpet of aluminum beer cans that was rolling with the wave currents all among the 500' beach... American cruisers are thoughtless as soon as they are offshore, despite SSCA admonitions of "leaving a clean wake!

If you ever consider a new anchor, look at the French Spade, in West marine. Expensive still, but the best by far according to Practical Sailor and very interesting tests by the manufacturer as detailed on its website: confirms PS and my problems with CQR... Aluminum is even more expensive but holds almost as well with much less weight forward

Oct 6, 2001

Before going offshore, I installed a 22lb Bruce (day anchor, holds OK except in soft mud, thanks to 28 ft of 3/8th chain) and a 35lb Delta (which sets and holds better lb for lb than the CQR so dear to cruisers which I don't understand: I have had lots of problems with CQRs lighter than 45lb on charter boats, they drag on their side either at the start, or instead of resetting, and tests confirm my facts ande experience). Today, I'd probably replace the Bruce by a Spade, best on PS tests by far.

I left in place the old central (actually on the side of the axis) roller, added 2 rollers at the end of SS U beams from Simpson Lawrence (make sure they are the long beam ones), on the location of the old chocks, which I brought aft at the birth of the sprit. These double rollers help the anchor to stock and yet to free fall.

This is a very functional operation that is well supported by the two large cleats, and feeds two windlasses by Powerwinch (for the price of one by other makers): Power 35 for 1/4 HT chain and nylon rode combined, and Power 301 (no longer made, but has a replacement with better materials) which is a lobsterman gypsy, the head of which is bronze and can take rode indeed, but even chain up to 3/8"...

Very simple, and no cutting through the bowsprit (I did a small cut for the flying forestay that ties to a bar bolted on the bow itself), I even reinforced it under with a SS plate at the end and a wood teak transversal bar behind.


Jan 3, 2002

Avoid by all means the articulated (read: unstable) CQR which can drag indefinitely on its side, and only shows OK because tests match it at 45lb against 22lb on Deltas or Claw/Bruce! I can't understand its favor: comparative tests should compare anchors of the same weight to be fair, as did the manufacturer of Spade during design and development, see his website.


Jan 3, 2002

Dont diss the CQR anchor. I have used a 45 lb CQR with 3/8" chain for years and over 500 nights at anchor. The only time it has dragged was in Guanaja, with a thin layer of sand over coral, with strong

williwaws coming down the mountain. It has held in the storm of the century with 50-70? knots wind. I use a manual windlass. The only hassle is stacking the chain, (140 ft) in the chain locker so it doesn't back up the windlass. The 45 lb CQR is so heavy, it digs in rather than skating over the bottom, and always resets with windshift.

Dick Weaver, 75K


Jan 3, 2002

CQR anchor: OK but 45 lb plus 140' of 3/8® chain is a load fwd, which can be divied by 2 for the same result or better. That what I mean by testing anchors of same weight and tackle size.

Bert dF 80K


1315 Jan 5, 2002


All too true. But just as in arguing politics and religion it's sometimes fun to add data to obscure the truth, here's another data point.

Voyager had a 35 pound plow of unknown origin on 180 feet of 5/16 high test chain. That thing drove me nuts! It was tough to set and never set well. This year I changed to a 35 pound genuine CQR on the same chain. Now it sets first time, every time, and stays set. While we were in the Turks and Caicos this summer, buddy boating with a Bristol 40 who had a 45 pound fake plow, Voyager never had a problem anchoring but the Bristol had trouble almost every time.

I also added a 33 pound claw on 30 feet of 3/8 high test chain and 350 feet 1/2 nylon, and used this a few times as a second anchor. It set first time, every time, but looked like hell on the bottom. Never had a problem with it, but it sets on it's side and one fluke stuck up each time. Held great, though.

Most of these anchorages were sand over rock.

I also have a Fortress 23 on the stern on 20 feet of 5/16 chain and 400 feet 3/4 line. That anchor sets and holds great! It also looks like hell on the bottom in sand over rock, but refuses to budge. And it's sure easy to handle in the dingy. The chain connects to an eye splice in the line with a snap shackle, so I can pop it off and use the line as a warp in heavy conditions (haven't tried that yet), or as a tow line, or for mooring to trees far ashore.

And, there are two 22 pound danforths in the cockpit lockers with plenty of line "just in case".

Take it all with a grain of salt...

Jack 057K Voyager

1316 Jan 5, 2002

Let me add my two cents worth...we set a 35 # genuine CQR with 110 ft of 3/8 BBB followed by 600 feet of 5/8 rode. In twenty two years and hundreds of anchorages, we sleep well. It dragged only once, it was in river rock (small stones) and on a short scope because of the area, but we heard the chain drag over the rock, and no crisis ensued. WE felt that if we had our usual 5/1 or 8/1 scope it would have been fine, but it was shortened up to 3/1 based on high tide. These anchors have held from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean, from Seattle to Northern British Columbia in all kinds of conditions over all kinds of bottoms. The most troublesome was in the Bahamas at Green Turtle over a thick layer of grass, the CQR skated the first two sets, over went the Luke and we stayed put for a week. Our second anchor is a 45 # Paul Luke that sets to 30 feet of 3/4 chain (yes that is correct) followed by 200 feet of 3/4 gold braid - it has NEVER dragged, it has survived several hurricanes, in all sorts of bottom conditions. We also carry a 22# Danforth, but it rarely gets wet. Our usual procedure is a downwind set -ala Hal Roth - drop where you want it keep going at a dead slow rate of speed, pay out the rode, when sufficient rode is over, cleat it off or brake the windlass, and spin around set. Makes a great show for others in the anchorage, but always works, always sets the first time and does not drag. Once set, if the engine is running we back down on it to confirm the set and go to sleep.

Silver Spray 101K