The Herreshoff Anchor

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Poignard

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At a boat show a couple of years ago I was talking to a very experienced yachtsman called Don Street, who has cruised widely in 'Iolaire', and he told me the best all-purpose anchor is the Herreshoff anchor.

I had never heard of it before, and I have never seen one in this country. I have googled it and it looks like a fisherman anchor with extra large flukes.

Anyone here tried one? Any good?
 
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Searush

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Don Street used to do lovely sailing videos, very instructional. Iolaire was a big wooden boat (46') & engineless. He would demonstrate warping her out of harbours, towing her with a dinghy, drudging, kedging & other wonderful traditional techniques that people can't be @rsed with today.

Sadly missed by me.

Edit; Blow me down, he's still around great site.
 
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TNLI

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Well I must admit that I'm now trying to find a good used Herreshot, BUT, it must be the real thing, which is a 3 piece bronze job. Alas the company that were making them have an issue with their web site, so I can't look at their sales page, or ask them to spply me with one at cost, cos it's for an offshore lifeboat.

This article is a real good one about why the Herreshoff is such a great anchor for deep water and is very good for rocks, heavy weed, cobblestones and gravel. It's sort of average in mud and rather below average in sand:

The Herreshoff Three-Piece Stock Anchor | WoodenBoat Magazine

bronze1.DOC (live.com)

Good tests with UK Spade, genuine CQR and Herreshoff: Anchor Reset Tests - Practical Sailor (practical-sailor.com)
 

Minerva

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Well I must admit that I'm now trying to find a good used Herreshot, BUT, it must be the real thing, which is a 3 piece bronze job. Alas the company that were making them have an issue with their web site, so I can't look at their sales page, or ask them to spply me with one at cost, cos it's for an offshore lifeboat.

This article is a real good one about why the Herreshoff is such a great anchor for deep water and is very good for rocks, heavy weed, cobblestones and gravel. It's sort of average in mud and rather below average in sand:

The Herreshoff Three-Piece Stock Anchor | WoodenBoat Magazine

bronze1.DOC (live.com)

Good tests with UK Spade, genuine CQR and Herreshoff: Anchor Reset Tests - Practical Sailor (practical-sailor.com)


When I keep my boat on gravel or cobblestones, I find a wheel clamp and hitch lock for the trailer it's sat upon is of more use than a fisherman's anchor.
 

TNLI

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nice recent test only 23yo, guess nothing has changed since, right?
:rolleyes:

Very few of the recent tests are of any interest, and the reason for that is sea bed variability. Even over a short distance the holding can change at lot. So the only tests of interest are those that are filmed and are done a multitude of times so that a variabilty figure can be calculted. Most of the modern tests were designed to sell modern anchors, or to make the most popular anchor, the Lewmar Delta and Lewmar CQR look bad.

So if you look at the last half dozen tests, the results are all different, about the only thing I could conclude was that the UK Spade was very good, BUT although the UK Spade is fairly good on a short scope, nothing can compete with the German design team that developed the bronze 3 piece Herreshoff. Be vary careful about bad copies.

If you are unlucky enough to have to anchor in deep water after a rig or engine failure, or just wish to use a deep water area due to overcrowding, the Herreshoff can't be beaten. The expensive bronze version is very unlikely to bend or break, the less said as regards the folding bad copy I already have, the better.
The problem with cheap bar type fishermans anchors is that although they work with 2 to 1 rope rode, they are useless in mud or sand, BUT the Herreshoff sure is not.

The pictures are of my folding bad copy of an early Herreshoff design. The chain rusted so I'm working on it at present.

OFF TOPIC:
The Viking sailing boat is very similar in hull form to my lifeboat and has the same square sail, although my boat's sail plan also has a staysail and 2 different jibs, plus a big genny. I might look at making a Lateen sail, which is better for any attempt to work to windward. Same set of 4 poles, (2 for an A frame), but different bolt holes.
 

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Neeves

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Reading this, the previous thread, (as I said) takes me back to The Rolling Stones and their song '19th Nervous Breakdown'.

"When you were a child you were treated kind
But you were never brought up right
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax
And your father's still perfecting ways of making sealing wax
You better stop, look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown"

That one phrase

"And your father is still perfecting ways of making sealing wax'

Prescient.......?

Here we are with someone, seriously, discussing how to make a better Admiralty Pattern fishermans anchor - and extolling the virtues of an existing decade old design. Adding insult to injury - talking about a non-existent 'UK Spade' - despite numerous attempts by many to put TNLI on the straight and narrow - you can take a horse.........

It takes all sorts.

Jonathan
 

noelex

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Thick weed is a problem substrate. The Herreshoff Stock Anchor is still an effective solution.

But there are a couple of caveats:

The anchor needs to be very heavy and large, making it difficult to carry, or even impractical in many yachts.

The total fluke area is still small. These small flukes are great at cutting through weed, but there needs to be a firm base below the weed to provide adequate grip. This is not always the case.

Most modern yachts select a multipurpose anchor eliminating these drawbacks and removing the hassle of swapping anchors and trying to identify the substrate composition. However, weed is still a common and difficult substrate. Selecting a multipurpose anchor, with a good weed performance is helpful especially for the majority of yachts that do not carry specialist weed anchors.

Here is a Mantus M1 set in weed. The thin tip combined with the 50% tip weight helps it dig below the weed to grip on the substrate below, showing a specialist weed anchor such as the Herreshoff is not needed these days.

FGSDXed.jpg
 

TNLI

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Anchor Reset Tests - Practical Sailor (practical-sailor.com)

It would be good if anyone commenting about the Herreshof could read the article and think about the history of the Herreshof anchor, because
IT WAS THE MOST POPULAR GENERAL PURPOSE ANCHOR before WW2. Alas practical sailor said it was a specialist rocks anchor for some reason best known to the author. You will find other articles that refer to it as a storm anchor, which is partly true, but again not a good description.
WW2 changed everying, as the designs for the Danforth, CQR and Claw anchors were perfected, although some like the Danforth had been around from the 30's in a slightly different form and you could say the Claw design was perfected in the 60's with the Bruce developed for the North Sea oil rigs in deep water where there is no significant weed, (The Bruce is no good in even light weed, BUT is sort of OK in rocks).
So here is a better description based on the performance figures and reputation amongst the more serious boaters who demand the very best, ragardless of cost:

GENERAL PURPOSE ANCHOR FOR THOSE APPLICATIONS THAT REQUIRE THE USE OF A VERY SHORT SCOPE IN ANY TYPE OF SEA BED.

The Admiralty anchor was developed during Nelsons era when strong steels did not exist, which limted the designs. It was also designed for mostly short rope rodes and use in any type of sea bed. The restrictions on the design resulted in an anchor that has a poor performance in sand and mud. They are still used by the RNLI for deep water, (Out of scope limits for any other anchor), rocks, wrecks and thick weed beds, and are still in production in a variety of forms, although only Oscillati seem to make the real thing.

Modern anchors are nearly all modified copies of old designs, mostly the Brugel, Danforth and CQR/Delta plow anchors, BUT alas are often made of cheaper steels that are not coated with enough Zinc. The thin plates do improve the performance in sand and mud. The sharp points, (Obvious rust issue if the tip hits even a small rock or debris), do improve the speed at which they set and reset, although the increase in the tip weight ratio is often more significant. From that point of view, high tip weight results in swapping good set and reset performance, for final holding performance, which is very important in a storm.

The crazy thing about modern anchors is that the Lewmar PGX Danforth out performs all of the modern steel anchors, and the alloy Fortress or Lewmar alloy Danforth outperforms all of the modern alloy anchors. None of the modern anchors are as strong as the new Lewmar stainless or genuine CQR, The UK Spade, Spade UK or just Spade, (YM does have some expert nit pickers), is by far the best, BUT they do need to produce a Mk 2 with a thicker Zinc coating and no daft yellow paint that falls off.

With many great anchors the very first version was problematic in terms of the type of steel or Zinc coating. The very first CQR was made from cast Iron, not steel, so they rust or even break, but luckily the second version was made from one of the very best steels and a seriously good depth of Zinc. The CQR anchor is not a good one to recommend to new boaters who do not understand that it needs more effort and sometimes distance to set, and a longer scope.
The Herreshoff is real good in fast intial set and reset figures, and that means it can be used by boaters that don't bother to set an anchor correctly, or in my case use a secondary insurance anchor that is not set due to the neeed to be able to recover it or relocate it, if some chump decides to anchor too close to my boat. In serious condtions it's essential to confirm what a nearby boat is doing as regards numbers of anchors and scope when anchoring, as some might have a long rope rode, or have set up a twin anchor Bahamian moor. In some areas of the Pacific or Med Sea, lines or anchors ashore are common, as are stern anchors to keep the bow into the swell in an open anchorage.

If you are buying an anchor or extra anchors, don't forget that you might be unable to find a good spot in a designated main anchorage due to overcrowding or a serious rig/engine failure that results in you needing to anchor in deep water or in poor holding due to rocks or heavy weed. An easy to stow Herreshoff is a real good solution to that requirement, it could also be of real use as a replacement for a lost main anchor.

Be vary careful with copies of any type of anchor, even with a steel Danforth, some copies in production are poor performers, and many private or funded testers have used their poor performance to help sell modern anchors. Chandlers and even magazines hate any product that never requires replacement, and even the chap behind SV Penopes films has had to issue an applogy for using a copy of a CQR that had an un weighted tip, and was good enough to test a real genuine CQR vs a Lemar Delta to show why Lewmar to great expense to put the CQR back into production, mostly as a storm main. Not seen any filmed tests of a stainless, (Slightly different shape), Lewmar vs genuine steel Lewmar CQR yet.

List of modern anchor issues:

Bends and Breaks: Anchor Shank Strength - Practical Sailor (practical-sailor.com)

Rocna Resetting Failures and evaluation of Vulcan and Mantus (morganscloud.com)

CQR vs. Delta. Anchor Test Video # 124 - YouTube


That test is very interesting as it warns about the risk of a worn hinge, so I will add that to my list of key points for an RNLI training video. The comment at the end was also interesting, as it points out that the genuine CQR is still the most popular main anchor for boats based in the Pacific North West.
I know the area well as I lived in the US for 6 years, but did not sail there. The weather and sea bed conditions are similar to Scotland and its islands, not exactly easy.
 

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Neeves

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Adrift, so to speak?
Yup,

Maybe I need to research a better anchor. Pity there are no modern threads, just people discussing the 'good old days'.


Talking of The Good Old Days and anchor development, which we weren't

IMG_6561.jpeg



These were state of the art 12 decades ago and adorn the Aurora (of Bolshevik fame), she sits in St Petersburg and the ship was serviced about 3-4 years ago.

Heat the fluke and beat with a big hammer and you have a Herreshoff, beat it a bit more and you have genuine Danforth.

I'm not sure if this anchor has ever been serviced but it does show anchor development does occur. This is a Genuine and Original Danforth (how do I know - it says so on the shank). Photos courtesy of Chris Eldridge, Vancouver (to whom many thank)
IMG-5157.jpegIMG-5155 2.jpeg



And what do we see on modern ships, vessels today - an AC 14
DP Anchor 06.jpeg

Not so obvious, A Fortress, no worries about shank strength here (and as an aside HT Thermal Diffusion Galvanised lightweight chain tie downs and anchor rode).

US_Navy_030113-N-2972R-114_A_Landing_Craft_Air_Cushion_(LCAC)_Vehicle_from_Assault_Craft_Unit...jpeg

Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose

Jonathan
 

TNLI

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The title of the thread is, "The Herreshoff anchor", and it's not a Fishermans anchor, so why clutter up a thread with irrelevant comments and pictures. The very best of the old anchors are still being produced by modern companies, and are in use to equip the best of the modern boats, although some are alloy versions due to the need for weight critical boats, like racing yachts or even semi displacement rescue boats.

Danforth from the 30's: Lewmar PGX for a steel version on some modern rescue boats,
Fortress alloy non kit version for some USCG RIBS and small semi displacement inshore rescue boats.

CQR: Numerous copies, some from good companies like Force 4 and West Marine, BUT Lewmar make the best genuine CQR.

Claw from end of WW": Still in production from many companies, with the best Bruce copy from Lewmar.

Herreshoff: Still in production and some early designs from before the war are produced in a folding version.

Fishermans inc Admiralty version: Lots of copies and still in production.

Now I wonder why such old generation anchors are copied and new versions developed, perhaps its because some boaters fail to read the advertising and innacurate test results from new generation anchor companies, perhaps it's because the like the name or so enjoyed using an old anchor that they want to buy another. I know that love of the CQR that developed during my first circumnavigation did inflence me to pend a lot of time to find a real good used genuine one.
Alas you can't reinvent the wheel and beat the very best German design team, although I suppose the manufacturers of the Spade, (Modified Brugal), or Excel, (Bent copy of a Delta), are still trying to equal the strength of the old anchors, and then if that is possible, they will be able to join my list of seriously good anchors.

PS: The Bronze CQR is a real anchor, and says, "Made in England", not made in Scotland, and they cost 750 quid!
 

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boomerangben

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TNLI,

You clearly have a lot of knowledge on anchoring and given you situation much thought. Clearly you have ideas set in concrete. Like you most of us have found our own solutions and are very happy with them and set in our ways. Perhaps your time is better spent going to suppliers and talking with them and going out and using your new found pride and joy.
 
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