Why has the market not embraced alloy anchors?

Neeves

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In America I see Fortress on the bow rollers of, sail, yachts (and MoBos) elsewhere they are like hens teeth. Manson have a welded alloy Danforth lookalike in a stunning anodised electric blue (I've never seen one on a bow roller). Spade have their alloy Spade (and it is seldom mentioned, except in a derogatory manner) and there is, or was, the FOB Lite. Here, in Oz and NZ, we have an alloy Excel from Anchor Right (which proves, anecdotally, to be quite popular).

But in general alloy has never caught the boat owner's imagination (and wallet).

Are alloy anchors 'too expensive'? must anchors be heavy - and the light weight a deterrent, or are alloy anchors made from a material that simply is not perceived to be robust?

We have been using alloy, Fortress, Spade and Excel with no steel anchor on board, for years now - and would not revert back. Our anchors would be perceived as undersized, or underweight (8kg alloy anchor, same size as the 15kg steel equivalent, for a 38' 7t cat). In robust condition we might deploy 2 anchors in a 'V' - though whether we actually need to - I don't know.

Is it the lack of choice - were there an alloy Rocna, Mantus or Kobra available - would people flock to buy one?

It is quite feasible to source alloy with a similar tensile strength to the much vaunted Bis 80 steel, as originally specified for the shanks of Rocna, made in NZ. (and maybe now used in the Chinese made version).


I wonder - given that Lewmar apparently are going to introduce a direct competitor to Fortress - what do Lewmar see that the market does not see?

Jonathan
 

prv

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Well, for one thing, the aluminium Spade is about twice the price of the same-sized steel version, itself already considered expensive. That can't help matters.

Pete
 

rszemeti

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I'd be very happy to use an alloy anchor, but there are 2 things they need to get tight before I do:

1) cost ... way too expensive at the moment.

2) weight. Needs to be at least as heavy as the steel one it is replacing. Heavier the better.
 

Neeves

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I'd be very happy to use an alloy anchor, but there are 2 things they need to get tight before I do:

2) weight. Needs to be at least as heavy as the steel one it is replacing. Heavier the better.

Might you elaborate?

What do you see as the benefit of weight? A Fortress the same size, length etc, as a Danforth or 2 equally sized Spades (same volume), one alloy one steel, would have roughly the same hold (or you would be unlikely to tell the difference unless you use a load cell). The Fortress might even hold more, due to engineering, thinner, sharper flukes etc.

Jonathan
 

Neeves

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Maybe Lewmar will address the cost issue with their Fortress look alike - if they are making in China (which is where they make their Delta). Though this will do nothing for Spade's costs - except make them look worse :(

Jonathan
 

NormanS

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For the average displacement yacht, the difference of 10kg or so, is immaterial for a main anchor, particularly when as normally arranged, it self-stows on the bow roller. It'll be different for a light displacement multihull, where weight saving is crucial. Where lighter (probably alloy) anchors are a real benefit is for second anchors, which have to be physically handled, either on deck or in a dinghy.
The initial penetration into the seabed by an alloy anchor must be less immediate than that of a heavier anchor of the same dimensions. Whether this affects purchasing decisions is unknown.
 

vyv_cox

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Why do people call aluminium 'alloy'? I don't expect the automotive world to know any better but surely we do? I read battery arguments quoting highly technical stuff, similarly other yachting subjects but constant misuse of this term. Just about every metal we use is an alloy - steel, brass, bronze, stainless, etc., etc., all alloys. Even aluminium itself is represented by dozens of different alloys, many of them used in yachting.
 

Poignard

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Why do people call aluminium 'alloy'? I don't expect the automotive world to know any better but surely we do? I read battery arguments quoting highly technical stuff, similarly other yachting subjects but constant misuse of this term. Just about every metal we use is an alloy - steel, brass, bronze, stainless, etc., etc., all alloys. Even aluminium itself is represented by dozens of different alloys, many of them used in yachting.

Good question.
 

ghostlymoron

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I've got the cheaper Guardian version of the Fortress anchor. It's ideal on a small (< 20') yacht without a windlass. I can swing it round my head and 'cast' it should I choose. I understand it is inferior to the Guardian but it suits my needs.
 

NormanS

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Why do people call aluminium 'alloy'? I don't expect the automotive world to know any better but surely we do? I read battery arguments quoting highly technical stuff, similarly other yachting subjects but constant misuse of this term. Just about every metal we use is an alloy - steel, brass, bronze, stainless, etc., etc., all alloys. Even aluminium itself is represented by dozens of different alloys, many of them used in yachting.

Mainly because if we simply referred to the metal as "aluminium", some people would helpfully point out that it is actually an alloy. :rolleyes:
 

Neeves

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I've got the cheaper Guardian version of the Fortress anchor. It's ideal on a small (< 20') yacht without a windlass. I can swing it round my head and 'cast' it should I choose. I understand it is inferior to the Guardian but it suits my needs.

It is 'inferior' because:

The shank is not tapered (the crown (hinge) is the same cross section as the shackle end whereas on the Fortress it tapers to the shackle end). I believe the Fortress taper is such that the stress is equalised down the length, the Guardian will bend 'preferentially' at the crown (Jumble Duck will explain this much better than I possibly can) assuming they have the taper correctly designed.

The flukes are not bevelled

The (aluminium) alloy is not anodised (I've never heard of anyone complaining their Guardian corroded as a result of no anodising)

I believe the numeral nomenclature is different, A G16 is smaller than the FX16 - in fact I believe a G23 contains components from a FX 16 - but I might be mistaken.

Jonathan
 

NealB

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I love the Fortress anchor, and I've used them as our main anchor on our last four boats.

The lightweight means that I can usually haul it up by hand, which is much quicker than the horribly slow old manual windlass on our current boat (Westerly Falcon 35).

It has very reassuring holding power, and we've used it in a reasonable selection of UK rivers and bays, in some demanding conditions.

The only time we've had problems with it is in areas of dense weed, when the old, heavy, CQR seems to get a better grip.

I've always managed to get round the high cost by buying a nearly new, slightly used Fortress: either they crop up on ebay and similar sites quite regularly, or I've just been lucky.

I wonder if the idea that 'heavier is better' comes from the bad old days of CQR's, fisherman's, etc, where you might actually be relying on sheer weight instead of grip? I was dubious at first, but have been a convert for the last twenty years or so.
 
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Neeves

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Mainly because if we simply referred to the metal as "aluminium", some people would helpfully point out that it is actually an alloy. :rolleyes:


And equally strangely - everyone know exactly what is meant.

In the same way we all refer to 'steel' (a steel anchor) but there are lots of steels, often in one anchor. We talk of stainless (without the word steel and no numerical designation) some of which are not a steal - and are quite expensive).

Jonathan
 

NealB

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ghostlymoron;6680732 I can swing it round my head and 'cast' it should I choose.[/QUOTE said:
I shudder at the thought of this!!

In the mid sixties. my Dad and I were members of Hullbridge YC on the River Crouch. I was around 10 years old.

One sunny mid-week afternoon, one of our fellow club members went out by himself, for a relaxing spot of therapeutic line fishing, just inside Clements Creek.

Lovely!!

For reasons he couldn't later explain, however, he decided to swing his anchor around his head with the intention of, in your words, "casting it".

I don't recall precisely how it happened, but things went horribly wrong.

The fluke of his anchor whacked him a direct hit in his right eye, before dropping just over the gunwale.

He lay down on the cockpit sole, by himself, covered in blood.

No vhf, no cell phone, and it was midweek, so it was several hours before he was eventually spotted, and rescued, by a passing boat.

He lost the eye.

Sadly, this is a 100% genuine story: please take extreme care.

In fact, personally, I can't think of even one compelling reason why I'd ever want to swing an anchor around my head.
 

RichardS

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Mainly because if we simply referred to the metal as "aluminium", some people would helpfully point out that it is actually an alloy. :rolleyes:

Indeed. We deffo need an abbreviation for "aluminium alloy" as that's much too long. We already have "stainless" and "steel" as abbreviations for iron alloys and everyone knows exactly what they mean.

I've seen people use "alu" or "ali" or "ally" but it seems to me that "alloy" is a perfectly good abbreviation 'cos, as Jonathan says, we all know what it means. :)

Richard
 

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

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Why do people call aluminium 'alloy'? I don't expect the automotive world to know any better but surely we do? I read battery arguments quoting highly technical stuff, similarly other yachting subjects but constant misuse of this term. Just about every metal we use is an alloy - steel, brass, bronze, stainless, etc., etc., all alloys. Even aluminium itself is represented by dozens of different alloys, many of them used in yachting.

+1. Well said; all metal are alloys nowadays; when people refer to "alloy" it would be good to be more specific, although, in this case, they refer to certain aluminium alloy species.
 
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