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Types of Anchors
Anchor design has been the focus of much research over thousands of years, and as a result, there are now many different kinds to choose from. Selecting which anchor to use is often a matter of good sailor’s judgment combined with experience.
Weight is a big factor in selecting an anchor. The weight of the anchor must match your boat’s size. Most chandleries will help you do this matching.
Below are a few common types and comments about them.
- Danforth: A pre-WWII lightweight anchor used extensively by various landing craft. It has a very high holding power compared to its weight. Some are made from aluminum. It is easy to deploy and store. Holds best in sand, mud, and clay. Poor in grassy bottoms.
- CQR: An example of “plow” anchors. Invented in the 1930’s, we can only recommend this anchor as lawn art.
- Bruce: A British design that rights itself when it hits the bottom. Intended to reset itself should it be pulled loose. Relatively easy to break loose from its setting. Useful in sand, rocks, and mud.
- Plough type anchors: Seemingly one of the best all-around anchor type. They dig in and hold well. They may not be the best in really, really soft mud but great for regular mud, sand, and gravel.
- Scoop type anchors: The newest type on innovation on the market. These anchors love eating sand, mud, and grass for breakfast. Some come with a roll bar to flip the scoop to the bottom, allowing it to quickly dig in.
Here is a video about the designer of the Rocna brand scoop anchor and why he invented it.
Scoop Anchor Video
- Fisherman or kedge: Invented over 1,000 years ago, probably. Reminds us of the classic movies about the 1800s like Master and Commander.
It is mostly seen in gardens outside seafood restaurants.
Here is a blog article showing these anchors mounted on real sailboats.
Here is a short clip we took at the Annapolis Boat Show of some anchors in a tub.
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