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Knowledge Base

 

Retrieving your anchor after use.

Retrieving an anchor should be as easy as deployment and setting but different skills are required.  You should not use the windlass to ‘pull’ the yacht forward.  The windlass should be capable of completing this - but why unnecessarily stress the windlass when your engine (or sails) are specifically designed to move the vessel.  It is easier if 2 people are involved in the retrieval and then the person on the bow can direct the helmsman to follow the chain so that the chain remains as close as possible to central on the bow roller (otherwise you can unnecessarily wear the bow roller itself or its cheeks).  It is possible to retrieve single-handed - but you might need to make a few trips to and from bow and helm.  When the chain is vertical - don’t aggressively rely on the windlass to break the anchor free.  A Viking anchor will set deeply, giving that second to none hold, and there is no need to test the abilities of your windlass.  Leave the rode, vertical, but under tension, and with a little patience the anchor will break free as the vessel moves up and down in chop, swell and wash.  Once the anchor is free, signal the helmsman that this is so, and then continue to retrieve.

Using a hidden anchor tripping line.

When anchoring in a busy anchorage suspicious of having hazards, debris, or too many mooring chains on the seabed, it is better to have some sort of insurance enabling you to be able to retrieve your anchor in case it gets stuck.

A hidden trip line can be a good option that is worth considering in these circumstances, especially given the problems of a conventional anchor trip line attached to a buoy.

The tripping line is usually a nylon rope connected to a buoy or to the chain is attached to the rear of the anchor on one end and attached to a buoy or the chain on the other end making it visible in case you need to use it.
In case you find out your anchor is stuck and cannot be retrieved all you need to do is grab the tripping line, release the tension of the chain, and release your anchor using the tripping line.

The "Hidden Trip Line" is a better option than the one connected to a buoy and this is how you set it up
Attach sturdy carabiners to each end of a strong floating line, preferably Dyneema (Dyneema floats and it is stronger than polypropylene). The length is determined by typical anchoring depths.
When anchoring, attach the line to the shank nearest the heel of the anchor most have a hole for this purpose.
Deploy rode (chain, of course) and attach the other end of the hidden trip line, a couple of feet ahead of its length, for example, a 30-foot trip line should be attached to the rode at 28 feet or so so it will float above the chain but far beneath the surface. It only takes a second to snag a chain-link using the carabiner as the rode goes by. it's easy to see that you're reaching near the end of the trip line length as the chain gets deployed.
the trip line is out of the way and hidden below the surface. If raising anchor and it gets stuck, it's usually the anchor getting fouled and the trip line can be easily unhooked from the rode and attached to a line and retrieve your anchor.

 

The Viking anchors design has a pooler groove to help you avoid the use of a tripping line.

Once the anchor is on the bow roller apply a chain hook and release the tension on the windlass.  Using the windlass to secure the anchor relies on the clutch - which might release and your complete rode hanging off the bow roller will do nothing for the yacht’s sailing ability!  Use the same chain hook as back up when we are at anchor to secure the anchor at sea.

Make sure that the bitter end of the chain is attached to a strong point in the chain locker.  If the gypsy releases that securement is the only means to stop all your rode deploying on the seabed. 

 

Here you can see the Puller groove in action

 

 

Virtually all anchor design is evolutionary, building on previous designs.  We are not ashamed to say we are no different.  What we have done is look at previous designs and correct ignorance, and a lack of understanding and introduced for the first time, high tensile steel that is used also in the fluke allowing significant weight savings.

 

Viking is a fluke anchor, like a Danforth or Bugel.  It has no extra weight in the toe.  All successful unweighted fluke anchors have the crown (the junction of the shank and fluke) at the rear of the fluke.  If you look at Fortress, Bugel, Bruce, and Knox - the crown is at the rear.  Our original design had the crown further forward. based on an article we encountered in Practical Sailor here:  https://www.practical-sailor.com/sails-rigging-deckgear/an-inquiry-into-anchor-angles  That prompted us to look at research papers from the leading Universities in anchor design and after testing, we moved the crown toward the heel.  Moving the crown altered the location of the center of gravity and allowed the fluke to develop a 26-degree seabed fluke angle.  30 degrees is the optimum angle in sand but we have sacrificed some seabed fluke angle to allow the fluke to perform successfully in hard seabeds.  We were able to sacrifice some ‘potential’ hold because our use of a thin fluke gave us more hold/kg of anchor weight - and hold beyond what we thought was necessary.  Our compromise still gives us hold superior to other similar anchors on the market.

The lower the seabed fluke angle the lower the hold.  An anchor that ‘looks’ like the Viking has a seabed fluke angle of 16 degrees and an anchor of equivalent fluke size with that 16-degree angle has only 50% the hold of a Viking.  Advantageously Viking is lighter - because the fluke is thinner.

 

 

As far as we can ascertain from testing the Viking will outperform any steel anchor of the same weight. 

 

Viking illustrates the excellence that can be achieved by careful selection of the steels needed married to well-researched design honed by months of testing in the seabed.

 

The relative holding of different anchors has been well tested and written in a multitude of publications, but the results are mostly confusing and unreliable. one of the reasons for it is the seabed.

 

Anchors behave differently in different bottoms, for example, In soft silt seabed, Danforth or a Fortress will offer the best holding (due to their relatively large surface area) and in this kind of seabed, the discussion of setting is irrelevant because all anchors will set in such soft conditions. In thicker, denser bottoms, a Danforth anchor will fail to set. Its blades will skip across the surface. Spade, on the other hand, will provide excellent results, being able to dive deeper than all others. Put the same Spade in thick clay and it won't set. Period. This explains why anchors can excel in certain tests or completely disappoint. Further, even in the same locations, the bottom conditions change with varying weather. This often translates to drastic differences in anchor performance. Rocna, Manson Supreme, Spade, Ultra (new generation anchors) do offer a more reliable performance than Danforth, CQR, Delta, and Bruce. Therefore, the perfect anchor will set in the widest range of soil bottoms (including thick clay or grass) and have enough surface area to provide adequate holding power even in soft soils.

Our anchor design optimizes anchor weight and holds, giving high hold to weight ratios. You will note on our spreadsheets that our anchors have a higher hold than the hold you would expect from anchors so light.  Our light anchors have the same hold as the heavier anchors of our competitors.

 

 

Holding power/weight ratio.

The weight of the anchor does not affect the holding capacity of an anchor.  Countless research projects from Universities who specialize in anchor research underline this simple fact.  The increased weight does increase hold - but only if that weight is used to make a bigger anchor.  We have achieved our enormous holding power using our unique design.  If you are skeptical think of the comparison of Fortress and Danforth - in tests Fortress invariably outperforms Danforth when the two are the same size, yet the Danforth might be twice the weight.

 

Our anchors are lighter than most of the steel anchors out there for the same surface area and yet the anchors achieve unbelievable holding power for their size and weight.

 

Working with carefully-selected vendors, and following a strict process of selecting the best materials, we've managed to create the lightest steel anchors in the market.

 

 

 

Shackles

 

OK so you have got a great anchor now, and now you need to connect it to your chain.

There is little logic in buying a quality anchor unless you attach it to the chain with a good quality shackle, better from a reputable manufacturer.     

The shackle you use should be a ‘Bow’ shackle with the bow through the slot in the anchor shank and the pin through the chain link. 

 

There are 3 qualities of shackles.  Unbranded shackles that you can source easily and cheaply from a hardware store anywhere in the world.  These are great shackles for everyday use or if you need to secure your dog but are a complete liability on a yacht.  They may not have been tested, you have no idea of the quality.  They look like a ‘good’ shackle - because all shackles are made to the same or similar dimensions.  We don’t recommend that you have them on your yacht - they are too easily mistaken on a dark night in the rain for a good quality shackle.

 

There is a subsection of these cheap shackles and they will have China embossed on the body of the shackle.  Don’t be deceived there are hundreds of shackle makers in China - these ‘China’ branded shackles might be ‘all right’ but again - they might be a load of rubbish.  There might be nothing wrong with the ones you see - there are excellent Chinese manufacturers - but if the manufacturer does not have the pride to add their specific brand or company name - walk on by.

 

The other 2 categories of shackles are commonly called rated shackles.  These shackles have the Working Load Limit (WLL) embossed on the body, they usually have the manufacturer’s name, or a unique brand name, they sometimes have a simple coding, say 2 letters - a batch mark, they have the size, commonly in Imperial units and sometimes the country of manufacture.  The 2 categories are identical - except the WLL for the same size will be different.

 

If we take a 3/8th” shackle, this is the size that will fit a 5/16th” or 8mm chain, then one group of shackles will have a WLL of 1t and the other a WLL of 2t - note for the exact same size of the shackle.  So a 3/8yh” shackle might be marked WLL 2t or more commonly 1t.   The 1t x 3/8th” shackle is classified as a Grade A shackle and the 2t x 3/8th” shackle is classified as a Grade B shackle.   Some manufacturers fudge the specifications in Europe and sell 2t x 3/8th” shackles omitting to mention that the 2t is 2 short tons, 4,000lbs which is a far cry from 2 metric tons, 4,409lbs.  The difference in strength is not a big issue - the morality of misleading customers does raise questions.

 

Now - a 3/8th” shackle with a 1t WLL used in an 8mm chain looks ‘safe’.  8mm G30 chain has a WLL of 750kg and MBS, minimum break strength, of 3t (vs an MBS of 6t for the shackle).  If you read the small print on shackle maker's websites they will say (if they are a quality supplier) that if the shackle is loaded at 45 degrees or 90 degrees the WLL should be reduced by 25% or 50%.  Suddenly the WLL of that 3/8th” shackle could be 500kg - much less than the WLL of the chain.  For this reason, we do not recommend Grade A shackles.  The chance of a shackle ‘locking up’ in the slot in the anchor shank is not great but it does happen (it has happened to us, and probably to many more), and buying Grade B shackles is a ‘cheap fix’.

 

Our recommendation for shackles is simple and no, we do not have any business relationship with the following companies, they just proved to be good.:

 

Buy either Crosby G209 A shackles, part of their Platinum Range (with silver pins) or Campbell Orange Pin shackles or Peerless G80 shackles.  All of these shackles are Grade B shackles and for a 3/8th” shackle has a WLL of 2t.

 

https://www.thecrosbygroup.com/products/shackles/screw-pin/alloy/crosby-209a-alloy-screw-pin-anchor-shackles/

 

Or see page 83 of the Campbell chain catalog

 

http://cms.campbellchainandfittings.com/WebShareNFS/drupal/files/images/multisite_catalog/August%20-%202016%20Campbell%20Catalog_LO.pdf

 

Crosby is a well-known manufacturer of lifting components and recently acquired Gunnebo of Sweden.  Campbell manufacture chain and lifting components and are part of the Apex Tool Group.  Crosby have a worldwide distribution network but Campbell tends to be more focussed at the local US market - but make a Google check for both.

 

Sadly these shackles are made in 3/8th” sizes as the smallest.  For smaller sizes, we recommend buying from Peerless, America’s largest chain maker - now part of Kito.  Again search google for distributors.  Kito does have a distribution center in Germany - they may also stock Peerless shackles.

 

The Peerless range of Grade B shackles are their Blue Pin products in their G80 range, also called Peerlift shackles.

 

https://www.peerlesschain.com/products/8058103.html

 

The smallest shackle they make is a 3/16th” with a 500kg WLL.

 

We admit sourcing any of these shackles demands some stamina and when you buy - buy 2.  You will not need to replace them very often, 5 years - but you may drop one overboard!

 

Do not forget to secure the pin! We have found Loctite perfectly acceptable for securing the cotter pin, we recommend securing with Loctite and mousing wire - belt and braces does no-one any harm!

 

There are other reliable manufacturers of shackles- Van Beest in Holland and Yoke in Taiwan are 2.  However neither make a grade B shackle of a size small enough for a Viking anchor and we have not tested their Grade A shackles.  If you find shackles of the 3/8th” size purporting to have a 2t WLL - check the website, if the 2t refers to imperial short tons - wonder about the ethics of selling a shackle specified in short tons in a region using metric measures.

 

We do not recommend the use of stainless shackles in the rode.  316 stainless shackles, of a 3/8th” size, can have a MBS of near the same as a Grade A shackle, say 5t or 6t.  However, they deform under much less tension than a steel shackle and if stressed they may deform and you may not be able to undo the pin.  This will demand the use of a hack saw bolt cropper or angle grinder - none of which is very convenient and sometimes not safe.  Additionally stainless can cause premature corrosion in the chain, or anchor.  Make the effort to buy a good Grade B shackle from Crosby, Campbell, or Peerless.

 

You will find that after a few years of use the first few links, those attached to the shackle, are preferentially corroded - you will see signs of rust.  This is common, you have a mild steel chain in contact with an alloy shackle and close to an alloy steel shank.  Just cut those first few links off - and replace the shackle and attach to the anchor (or use the spare shackle you bought all those years ago!)

 

Our recommendation for choosing a shackle is to take the anchor and 3 links of your chain to the chandler - and try the shackle for fit.  If you are going to ‘mail-order’ to source your shackles - do as we suggest and try your anchor and chain with ‘off the shelf’ shackles.  Shackles are made to a standard size, there are slight variations, but if you size with most shackles you are fairly sure that if the one you try fits then the one you order will also fit.  A bad fit is a shackle that can ‘stick’ in the slot.  To reassure you - we have designed the slot in our anchor shanks to be compatible with the shackle size we think most appropriate.

 

Anchors should last ‘forever’ but the galvanizing will wear off and the reality is - galvanizing life determines anchor life.  You can rejuvenate the life of an anchor by painting, but the paint lasts only for a very short time.  You can also re-galvanize your anchor but that is not always very easy as most galvanizers are geared up for bulk, not one anchor.  A painted anchor is really most unpopular for a galvanizer as the paint is very difficult to remove and a painted surface will not accept a galvanized coating.

We have tried to ensure we are maximizing galvanizing life.  It is well known that galvanizing life is part of a function of abrasion resistance and the thicker the galvanizing coating the longer the life.  However, too thick a coating and the coating can peel.  The coating can also be lost if the underlying steel is not cleaned properly.  The galvanized acting is this a compromise, too thin and it abrades quickly, too thick and it might peel.

A normal minimum specification for galvanized coating thickness for engineering products is 70 microns.  However, most engineering products are not subject to abrasion, especially being dragged through and into the seabed.  We at Viking have focussed on an average minimum galvanized thickness of 100 microns and we check each batch of anchors.  The coating thickness does vary - it's a function of the hot-dipped galvanizing process.  We try to minimize the amount of raw zinc on the outside of the anchor - raw zinc is pretty (it's shiny) but soft and soon wears off.  We prioritize the development of the Fe/Zn alloys (the formation of which is the basis of the process) as it is these alloys that are hard and offer the best corrosion and abrasion protection.

Unlike other suppliers of anchors, we do want to ensure our products have longevity and for this reason, we test our anchors for galvanized coating thickness and are proud to focus on a 100-micron average minimum thickness.

 

All anchors are a compromise. Since some anchor types work best in certain bottoms, it is a good idea to carry anchors of different designs. At a minimum, a cruising sailboat should carry at least three anchors adequately sized to anchor the boat under most conditions.

So where does a lightweight anchor fit in the hierarchy of cruising anchors? Aluminum alloy anchors that had dominant this lightweight anchors arena until not long ago have several strikes against them. Aluminum Danforth style anchors will take longer to set and are more likely to drag; their shanks are more vulnerable in side-load situations (aluminum alloys can shear when steel will bend), and multi-part anchors like the Fortress and Spade introduce other handicaps.

While high-tensile steel used to be the king of primary anchors only, nowadays lightweight anchors still have the historic chief advantages also for cruising sailors. They are portable, and they are easier to deploy by hand from a small boat. This is useful for kedging a boat into deeper water or away from a pier or obstruction.

Today some carbon steel anchors are made of robust High Tensile steel, are better than the “old” steel anchors by most if not all of the aspects have entered the game and the rules are slowly changing.

So when it all started?

It was When Viking anchors introduced their version of light anchor made of HT carbon steel in 2018 that changed the assumption that light anchors can be made only with aluminum, nowadays, the common sailor can enjoy both worlds of having a light anchor that performs better than its heavy brothers, strong enough to hold whatever thrown at him with outstanding holding and setting parameters while being light and easy to handle by hand diminishing the need of using an electric windlass.

What made it possible is the ability to use high graded steel for the whole anchor structure and not just for the shank, the use of materials that can be found mostly in military applications combined with futuristic advanced designing methods evolved also from endless tests of what exists in the market, learning the existing anchors' drawbacks and eliminating them.

The Viking anchors are easily moved around the boat, they don’t need to be stowed on a dedicated bow roller unless you choose to, make them an appealing choice for a first, second, and third backup anchor especially on boats with only one bow roller. making them the perfect choice for single-handed sailors.

Sizing a Viking anchor varies according to its purpose and the vessel size and weight. The Viking anchor you choose should not be oversized due to its high penetration, setting, and holding capabilities keeping it “lean and mean” is the best option.

Due to their design, a Viking anchor will always set up on the boat's bow roller in the right direction.

 

“Made of HT steel having the ultimate design with best holding power parameters, Viking anchors are light and robust to their performance, easy to maneuver and handle, actually making them the first choice for single-handed and racing sailors, recognizing the advantage of having outstanding HT galvanized carbon steel anchor that weights almost like an aluminum anchor for the same size of a boat”.

In this video made by SV Panope (Steve Goodwin) in August 2020, you can see how efficient and superior the Viking 7 anchor that weighs 5.2 Kg is compared to the Mantus 6 Kg anchor in setting, resetting, and holding.

 

And another one from Steve comparing holding power in mud, Viking 7 starts its appearance after 20 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeyuswDFKKo

Viking Anchors have lifted the benchmark for anchor design by being at the forefront of the use of high tensile (HT) carbon steel throughout the anchor.

 

There is no escaping the fact all anchors are a compromise, some perfectly good anchors don’t fit on all bow rollers, some work better in sloppy mud but not in weed, some need to have ballast in the toe, some have shanks of questionable strength.  If there was a perfect anchor….

 

We would all be using one!

 

At Viking Anchors, we looked at this conundrum and decided to design and make the best anchor possible taking advantage of the best materials available.  Our focus was on design and engineering excellence married together to offer the best performance.

 

So where does a lightweight anchor fit in the hierarchy of cruising anchors? Current aluminum alloy anchors that have dominated the lightweight anchor market have some severe disadvantages. The shanks of aluminum anchors are more vulnerable in side-load situations.  In weedy or pebbly seabeds the flukes of any Danforth aluminum type anchor are prone to catching debris and the anchor can drag - or not set, or reset.  Some aluminum anchors need ballast in the toe to perform and that ballast does not contribute to holding - but offers a location for galvanic corrosion.  We looked at these negatives (and more) and designed out a lightweight anchor from the drawing board up.

 

Theoretical studies from Universities as far apart as Perth, Australia, and Houston, USA, all show that the hold of an anchor is contingent on surface area, not weight.  If you had a paper-thin but strong fluke it would have a higher hold than the same area of fluke made from 10cm thick steel - because the thin fluke can penetrate more deeply - it is the design, not weight, that provides excellence in performance.

 

The team at Viking Anchors unashamedly looked at University research papers, corresponded with titans in the field of anchor design from Western navies, and leaned heavily on developments in the oil industry.  We distilled these decades of research and applied the results intending to move the performance of the leisure anchor forward by a quantum leap.

 

We are proud to introduce the first manifestation of our efforts.

 

When Viking Anchors introduced their first version of a lightweight anchor made from HT steel in 2018 it changed the market forever.  There was an anchor of lighter weight that competed head-on with the recent batches of ‘new generation’ anchors.  If you believe weight is important you can simply buy a Viking of great physical size - it will have a higher potential hold - but you do not need that higher hold.  You will find vessel size vs anchor weight spreadsheets from Viking Anchors are more than adequate.   The old fashioned idea that ‘Bigger is Better’ simply lines the pockets of anchor makers!

 

 What made our design possible was the ability to source and use high-grade steel for the whole anchor structure and not just for the shank, The use of materials that can be found mostly in military applications, from armored vehicles to submarines combined with futuristic advanced designing methods supported the evolution of our first design.  From the design, we embarked on a series of exhaustive tests of products available and learning of the existing anchors' weaknesses and eliminating each of them - one by one.

 

We don’t yet have the perfect anchor.  We have an anchor that is better than anything else in the market place.  We know it will not fit on every bow roller -  but now that we have a product of which we, and you, can be proud and rely on - we can fund our future development work.

 

A Viking anchor is easily moved around the vessel, they don’t need to be stowed on a dedicated bow roller unless you choose to do so.   The anchor sets quickly and reliably.  It has a high hold to weight ratio.  Each of our anchor's sizes apart from the 30 and the 35 models which are impossible to test (simply because you need a very large towing vessel and very high capacity load cell) has been tested for hold and strength.  Our anchors have been tested independently and some of the results are already available online.

 

The Faith called ‘Anchors’

 

A quote in one of the Facebook groups dealing with anchors caught my eye and imagination:

 

“Something I’ve noticed a lot concerning anchoring discussions which is the way that belief in an anchor closely mirrors monotheistic religious beliefs.   It would then be only one God, Jehovah or Buddha’ for example.  I think the reason for this similarity is that both religion and anchors are solutions to existential uncertainty and both our religious beliefs and our faith in our chosen anchor can become endowed with mystical properties in protecting us.  I’ve noticed that those who know most about anchors, especially those who test them, tend to hold a wider view of the strengths and weaknesses of different anchors in different substrates they are evidence-based anchor atheists.”

 

The idea is questionable that you should ignore the advice of the anchor maker’s anchor size vs yacht size spreadsheet and follow the advice of the armchair guru and buy the biggest anchor that your yacht can handle.  If you ask the guru to justify his advice one answer is consistent - all long-term users carry a big anchor and they KNOW.  If you probe a bit more deeply you will find that there is no data to back up the statement.  The vocal long term cruiser might carry big anchors - but all of them? not the ones we see.  Most of the long term cruisers we meet carry many anchors - not overly large anchors.

 

The logic behind the spreadsheets where a yacht might be recommended to carry a Delta, of say 30kg or a 15kg/20kg/25kg Rocna, Spade, or Epsilon is very simple.  The Delta has been certificated by a Classification Society as a High Holding Power (HHP) anchor and the new models are or have been, certificated as Super High Holding Power (SHHP).  The difference between a HHP, say, Bruce or a similarly weighted Rocna is that the Rocna has twice the hold of a Bruce, and logic (and the Classification Societies) allow a smaller anchor for the same sized yacht.

 

The current common thinking of the guru is to ignore that data, ignore the fact that apart from exceptional cases modern anchors are not reported to drag, ignore the spreadsheets of the anchor maker and he tells you to go off and buy the biggest anchor you can afford, that will physically fit on your yacht and be handled by your windlass.  It merits note that SHHP is awarded after 3 ‘pulls’ in the different seabeds against a standard, now an anchor already passed as SHHP, and of the anchor in question.   Consequently, people tend to retire their Bruce, CQR, or Delta (or a nefarious copy) and replace it with the same sized modern anchor or one even bigger.

 

You will hear the comment that a bigger anchor has more hold - of course it does - but the hold developed is that of the tension in the rode developed by the yacht.  The 15kg Rocna holding a 35’ yacht will develop the same hold as a 15kg Delta, no more no less - when attached to 2 identical yachts.  The modern anchor does not magically ‘make’ more tension.   The opportunity for you to even equal 50% of the hold of a 15kg Rocna (whose ultimate hold in sand would be 2,000kg) is almost nonexistent.  Your wife, children, and/or crew will have vowed to never, ever sail with you again if your yacht is subject to a 1,000kg tension in the rode and at that sort of tension your worry will not be the anchor but the strength of your bow roller, or deck cleats if you use a short snubber.

 

If this is pointed out proponents of the big anchor will say ‘Ah! But in a difficult seabed, the big anchor will be better’.  Again there is no data and again there is no definition of these ‘difficult’ seabeds.  The idea that a big Spade will set more easily than a small Spade (just think of digging your garden - which shovel is more easily penetrated the garden - the big one or the small (ladies sized) one?).  Your armchair guru will ponder and counter with ‘in weed the bigger anchor will penetrate and develop more hold’ - which contradicts the advice of decades to use a Fishermans anchor which has been championed by old salts because - it has a small fluke able to penetrate the root mass.  You never hear anyone say - use a Fisherman with a big fluke. In fact, if the big fluke story were correct for weed - surely we would see them in chandlers (it's not as if a Fisherman’s anchor is covered by patents!).  Your armchair guru is now struggling and comes up with the old chestnut - but the big anchor will work better in a hard seabed.  Now which chisel penetrates wood more easily a bit 20mm chisel or an equally sharp 4mm chisel…..?

 

We should pay more attention to the unbiased anchor tests and the data they provide.  The market is beguiled and it worships at the altar of weight and blinded to the idea that a lighter anchor might be as good if not better.  Aluminum anchors such as Spade, Excel, Fortress, or the steel Viking who save weight by using thinner High Tensile steel plate - all might work a lot better for you than the old CQR or the steel Spade, Excel, or Danforth.

 

There is a wealth of research showing that anchors work by design and surface area.  A thin high tensile fluke will penetrate measurably more easily than a thick mild steel fluke.  The shear strength of the seabed increases with the square of depth - a thin HT fluke will reach deep to that stronger seabed more easily than a thick chunky fluke.  Still, worshipping at the altar of weight?  Find similarly sized pieces of steel, a 12mm plate of steel, and a 6mm plate of steel take them down to your beach - which more easily penetrates the sand below the waterline.  Seeing and doing is very, very powerful - and much more useful than the armchair guru.

 

Finally - if you take a largish Fortress and a small Fortress and set them side by side in the same seabed using the same tension in the rode, say 2,000 revs on your engine.  You will find the smaller Fortress might have disappeared completely - but the larger Fortress will be still showing its stock sitting above the seabed, possibly at a slight angle - just ready for the chain to get underneath in a change of tide or wind.  No wonder people complain that Fortress can trip easily.  When you come to retrieve the small Fortress it will be a struggle to retrieve - not so the large one - they are set under tension ‘horizontally’ but one is in the low shear strength surface sand the other one…..

 

Believing in a God is OK but listening to the atheist’s fact never hurt

 

Happy sailing and safe anchoring

 

 

Boomerang in action

 

 

What's the problem

A common problem for cruisers occurs when lifting the anchor, arriving at the bow roller ‘upside’ down (or back to front).

This, not a life-threatening issue but the extra snatch loads as the anchor hit the bow roller and then falls over to the correct attitude can do nothing for the integrity or lifespan of the windlass nor its shaft. Plus it can potentially cause damage to anything in the way as the anchor self rights.

Why the anchor arrives upside down has a whole range of mechanisms too many to elaborate on here. Many windlass makers recommend the use of a swivel. Strangely, people with swivels still complain their anchors arrive upside down, often 50 percent of the time.

We are not keen on swivels in the first place as they do not appear to be the quick fix as suggested, but decent swivels can empty your wallet very quickly.

Another quick fix is manually realigning the anchor before it hits the bow roller, less easy if the anchor is heavy, chiropractic fees can be high!

What we did

We took all the information coming from down under (Oz) onboard and set ourselves the task of building something that worked. It is simple to make and, hopefully, foolproof!

The result is the Boomerang, this part we are making ensures your anchor comes back the right way up!

We have contacted the inventor of this simple yet wonderful piece that simply solves the problem, and got his approval to manufacture and sell it as another great Viking product.

We make two sizes- 8mm and 10mm thick, they fit all boat sizes from 20ft to 50ft.

Here is a link to the original article published in Australia at Mysailing.com.au

When using a Viking anchor, due to its design, you will never need to use a boomerang nor swivel, the anchor will always align itself in the right direction to the bow roller upon retrieval.

 

 

 
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