Sunday, May 17, 2020

Anchors Are All Related

[Excel aluminum anchor coming soon!]

What could be more different than a 1950s Northill, looking a lot like a traditional fisherman's anchor, and the latest 2010s new generation anchor, the Mantus M1?

But if we look at them either from the side (ignoring the upper fluke) or from the bottom's eye view...

 ... the angles aren't that different.

I've been using this Norhill on my F-24 for several years because it is the only non-pivoting fluke anchor that will fit in the shallow well. It has dome downsides:
  • Rode can foul on the exposed fluke if the boat does a 360 due to a change in the tide or wind.
  • The fluke area is less. But this is made up for by the cross stock area, so the holding power is about equal.
  • Instead of rotating with the wind change it flips over when the change excedes about 90 degrees and is strong.
But it also has some upsides:
  • Folds flat.
  • Better than either Mantus or pivoting fluke in shells.
  • Does not clog with mud when resetting, because the other fluke is clean.

 No, I wouldn't run out and buy one. I've had this one for 30 years, used it on a number of boats. It has never let me down or dragged, so when I needed a folding anchor I recovered it from the lawn art pile and put it on the boat, where it will stay until someone makes a folding anchor that works.

Yes, there are anchors that knock-down for storage, but a working anchor must be available in seconds in case of engine failure or similar misadventure.

You can analyze these things to death, but the differences are small. Important, but small.

1 comment:

  1. One of the most used anchors aboard our boat is a stainless Northill Aviation folding anchor that has never dragged (or fouled itself for that matter) in going on to thirty years of use.

    We mostly use it as a stern anchor and as a kedge but it's also been deployed in several hurricanes including category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria.

    Not bad for an anchor we bought at a flea market for $25 bucks.