Anchor Guide . . . . .
Before you buy or select an anchor, look at what type anchor other boat owners are using in your area and ask other boaters or your chandler. Below is a guide to selection, types and how to anchor.
The most common make of the Fluke is the Danforth which has almost become the name for the class. The fluke style uses a stock at the crown to which two large flat surfaces are attached. The stock is hinged so the flukes can dig into the sea bed. The Fluke is self burying, and once set can develop an amazing amount of holding. Its light weight and flat design make it easy to retrieve and relatively easy to store. The fluke anchor has difficulty penetrating weed-covered bottoms, as well as rocky and particularly hard sand or clay bottoms. With a changing tide or wind direction the anchor tends to break out and reset and on some occasions it might not reset but instead drag. The Danforth is a good choice for the sandy lower Bristol Channel area.
and its copies, known generically as "claws", have become a popular option for smaller boaters. Claw-type anchors set quickly in most seabed's and although not an articulated design, they have the reputation of not breaking out with tide or wind changes, instead slowly turning in the bottom to align with the force. Claw types also have difficulty penetrating sea beds covered in weed or grass. They offer a fairly low holding power to weight ratio and generally have to be over-sized to compete with other types. On the other hand they perform relatively well with low rode scopes and set fairly reliably.
The Plough (AKA - CQR) is particularly popular with cruising sailors and other private boaters. Another very similar design, the Delta uses an unhinged shank and a plough with specific angles to develop slightly better performance. They are generally good in all bottoms, but not exceptional in any. The CQR design has a hinged shank, allowing the anchor to turn with direction changes rather than breaking out. It is also designed to force the point of the plow into the bottom if the anchor lands on its side.
The shape when collapsed is very compact and is easy to stow. Also when collapsed there are no sharp edges so the Grapnel is very popular with RIB and power boat owners. The design is a non-burying variety, with one or more flukes digging in and the remainder above the seabed. A grapnel is quite light, and may also be used to recover gear lost overboard; its weight also makes it relatively easy to bring aboard. Grapnels rarely have enough fluke area to develop much hold in sand, clay, or mud. Sometimes the grapnel can get hooked and a tripping line should be used to recover it.
This anchor can be stowed flat to save space and has no sharp edges making it an ideal anchor for use in RIBs and Inflatable's.
Anchor Guide . . . . .
Before you purchase your anchor, look at what other boat owners are using in your area and ask other boaters or your chandler.
The following is a Guide for the minimum size of a conventional 'Digging' type anchor (Plough, Fisherman's, Bruce, Delta, CQR, Fortress, Guardian, ETC) for your vessel.
1Kg is approximately equal to 2.2 pounds.
It is recommended that you carry 2 different types of main anchor, as well as a kedge anchor. Also, it is advisable to carry a folding grapnel anchor in any tender or dinghy.
Prepare your boat and crew for anchoring, check the warp (rope) and chain will neatly fall over the side without snagging or fowling anything. Consider that you require a minimum length of 4 x depth (Chain) and / or 6 x depth (warp) for the highest tide you will encounter on your stay. Position your boat head to wind or tide in your chosen anchoring area. Remember that where you drop your anchor is not where you will end up. Wait for your boat to lose all way ( to stop) and drop your anchor, reverse or drift away letting the chain or warp (rope) out in a straight line. Avoid dropping the chain and warp in a pile on top of the anchor. To set the anchor reverse gently until the boat stops and then in neutral observe the boat moving forwards as the chain tension drops, if the boat continues moving backwards the anchor is dragging. Take 2 x transits on landmarks, 90 degrees apart and look for drift if the anchor drags. Remember you may swing 180 degrees or more with wind or tide changes on the anchor, this will drift you into other boats or moorings and also may pull out your anchor. Keep a watch.