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The Plough/Plow is my own particular
It is best suited to sea-beds such as mud, sand and
This is popular on sailboats and trawlers as it is a
very durable hook, easy to stow, set, has considerable holding power
and is resistant to breaking loose when the boat swings.
The CQR is a trademarked version of the plough which is
made to very exacting standards. This is considerably more expensive
than many other versions but it is quite simply the best.
The Danforth is an excellent choice for small boats, it can
firmly in soft mud or sand or shingle.
They provide great holding power for their weight
however, they do have a tendency to trip or break loose when the boat
swings, which is a concern when anchoring overnight.
While they will hold in rock and coral they can sometimes be difficult
to retrieve intact.
If the danforth is damaged such as having its flukes bent it will lose
much of its holding ability.
Those made by the Danforth Company themselves seem to be of the best
quality particularly those marked H, for high tensile.
On large boats
they are particularly useful as kedge anchors because
they save on space by folding flat.
Often they are mounted on the
taffrail ready to let go as a stern anchor.
This is the traditional type, suitable for all kinds of seabed particularly rocky and weed covered areas.
Most have a folding stock which allows for ease of storage.
They don't seem to be so popular on recreational craft
anymore, perhaps because they are heavy or maybe just old fashioned.
All I can say is that mine has saved me on a number of
occasions, when I have had problems getting my CQR to set or
it has dragged.
BRUCE / CLAW.
The Bruce is one of the newer designs but one which has
gained a reputation for versatility and providing good holding power.
It was originally developed for use on oil rigs in the
It is best suited to sand but also works well on rocky
beds however, it is not so easy to set when it comes to grass and weed.
The Bruce is almost indestructible and is very resistant
to breaking loose when the boat swings.
The folding grapnel is a handy choice for small
dinghies, rowing boats and the like as an occasional short term stay.
As they fold up quite neatly it is worth keeping one in
you dinghy just in case.
It has become common practice, particularly in production
boats to stow the hook over the bow roller and the chain in a locker
right up in the bows.
While this may be convenient in many ways, it is not good
practice to concentrate too much weight in the ends of a boat.
Weight in the ends will contribute to pitching.
Your boat will ride more
comfortably and safely if you can position the chain locker nearer to
the center of buoyancy and once under way remove the hook from the bow
roller and stow it further aft.
Despite the proliferation of marinas there are still many
delightfully tranquil anchorages all over the world.
There really is little to compare with spending an evening
secured by your own ground tackle, far from the maddening crowds and
the light pollution, except perhaps for being woken the next morning by
the gentle lapping against the outside of the hull and the sound of the
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