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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:35PM

Are all anchors created equal?

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When outfitting your boat, have you considered including a Spade, a Rocna, or perhaps a Bulwagga? If not, I fully understand. These are three of the newest generation of boating anchors being offered to the public. Each is a variation of the old designs we all know, but the latest models claim ease of use, storage, and higher holding power. While these claims are yet unsubstantiated, the new designs come with some hefty price tags. High prices and no history of successful service might cause us to better look to the old familiar stand by designs like a Danforth, mushroom or plow.

While most boating club logos depict a “kedge” type fouled anchor, very few boaters carry a kedge. Even with a folding stock, they are unwieldy to store and have limited holding power. Most recreational boaters today use a variation of the kedge called a Danforth. The Danforth folds flat and its flukes dig easily into soft muck. Its hinged shank allows it to dig in under a horizontal pull and release easily with a vertical pull. The plow anchor has a single fluke with a hinged shank. It will dig itself deeper into sand or muck as additional horizontal pull is applied. A mushroom anchor looks like an upside-down mushroom with the shank as its stem. This design is great on a soft bottom, particularly for long or permanent moorings. Its mushroomed head will sink into the bottom and then depend on suction to hold it in place.

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