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Anchors - Parts, Types & Features


Efficient Anchoring is one skill that cruising sailors should know, for it means that the Sailboat can be secured even outside a mooring. Moreover, the vessel can hold its position in the water if there is engine failure or no Wind to keep it moving.

The use of appropriate Anchors is important in this aspect. There are many kinds which are suitable for a variety of conditions and sea beds. In this section, know the different Parts, Types, and Features of Anchors:

  • Parts of an Anchor

  • Anchor - Parts
  • Types of Anchors
    An Anchor is a heavy, mechanical device used to secure a floating vessel. It comes in many types, each having its own features and drawbacks.

    • Bruce Anchor - This has large flukes and is known to set quickly and stay buried when there is a change in Wind or current condition.
    • Danforth Anchor - a lightweight, fluke-style anchor where broad flukes are hinged to a stock. It holds well on sand or mud. This is popular in small recreational boats. Another type similar to Danforth is the Fortress Anchor. The downside of fluke-style anchors is that they cannot be used in rock and sea grass bottoms.
    • Fisherman's Anchor - This is suitable to several kinds of bottoms such as heavy weed and rock. However, it is awkward to stow and carry because of its shape.
    • Grapnel Anchor - This type is designed to hook under rocks.
    • Plow Anchor - The CQR plow is an excellent example of this type. It digs deeply, holds well, and continues to hold when the boat turns.
    • Northill Anchor - It digs deeply for a strong hold. This type is usually used by larger boats.

  • Size and Weight
    These are also important factors to consider. A small and lightweight Anchor can be used during good weather conditions. On the other hand, a large Anchor can be used when anchoring overnight. There is also an Anchor designed to be used by cruising sailors in heavy or foul weather.

  • Reference guides in marine stores can help you in choosing the right size. It can be based on the vessel's length, freeboard, and/or other conditions.

  • Yachts and long-distance Cruising Sailboats should carry more than two Anchors with adequate lengths of cable (rope or chain). Anchors should be suitable to the features and needs of the vessel.

Keep in mind that no Anchor is appropriate to all kinds of sea beds and conditions. There are different Types of Anchors. Each has features that will suit different bottoms. Know the features and drawbacks and carry the ones that you need.

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