Plate anchors, also called Danforth anchors after their inventor, have two lances or flukes, the shank is movable. By burying the shallow flukes in the bottom and by the long shank, these anchors achieve good holding power with low weight. Even when the tide or wind changes, these anchors hold securely in the bottom.
This type of anchor is popular on dinghies & small keelboats because it is easy to stow. On larger keelboats, a Danforth anchor can be carried as a secondary anchor to anchor for short periods in calm conditions or to have a safe secondary anchor with you for sandy bottoms.
Plate anchors hold well in
- Tidal waters
Advantages of the plate anchors
- Low weight in relation to the holding force.
- Some anchors can be folded or taken apart, they are ideal for smaller boats where they can be stored in a box or anchor locker.
- Easy to break out of the bottom.
Disadvantages of the plate anchor
- The pointed sparks can cause problems when stowing.
- On rocky bottoms, the sparks can get caught, so that the anchor cannot be released easily.
- Not suitable for herbaceous ground with seaweed.
Ploughshare anchors, often called CQR anchors, are modeled on a plow in shape and operation. Ploughshare anchors are an all-rounder for larger boats and yachts over 9 meters in length. They are heavier than plate anchors and are usually used with a bow roller. They dig into weak grounds particularly well, but seaweed or rubble & stones hardly cause them any problems either. The ploughshare anchors include the M anchor, the Delta anchor, the Cobra anchor and the Bruce anchor.
M anchors, also called Bruce anchors, are shaped like a shovel or even a claw. They have no joint between the shank and the plow. These anchors are easy to handle and therefore widely used. M anchors are ideal for center-mounted bow rollers because they conform to the shape of the bow.
Delta anchors are a further development of the plow anchor. They usually have no joint between plow and shank. The LEWMAR Delta Anchor is registered in Lloyds Register as a high performance anchor due to its unique shank profile, is up-certified for commercial use on ships and has a lifetime breakage guarantee.
Bow anchors, such as the ROCNA anchor, are equipped with a roll bar that allows the anchor to straighten out on the seabed, i.e. to always point the fluke towards the bottom, thus it manages to dig through weeds and seaweed as well. When retrieving, it cannot adapt to the boat hull due to its rigid construction and is therefore not suitable for all boat types or must be stored in the anchor locker or in the locker box.
Ploughshare anchors hold well in
- weak grounds
- stony ground and gravel
Advantages of the Ploughshare anchors
- The all-rounder digs firmly through the plow even in difficult ground.
- Suitable for using in the bow roll (also in combination with an anchor winch).
- Due to the high weight also suitable for heavy ships.
Disadvantages of the Ploughshare anchors
- High weight.
- Not as suitable for mud as the Danforth anchors.
3. Fisherman Anchor
Fischerman anchors are strong weight anchors that can hold about 10 times their own weight. These anchors are mostly used on older traditional ships. Fisherman anchors have two lateral flukes, at the upper end of the anchor shaft the stick is mounted at a 90° angle. The stick ensures that the anchor always turns at the bottom so that a fluke digs into the ground. Fisherman anchors are ideal for stones, corals, crab bottoms & clayey bottoms.
Fischerman anchors hold well in
- clayey ground
- stones and gravel
Advantages of the Fischerman anchor
- Heavy weight anchor with very high holding force.
- The anchor always rotates through the stick so that the flukes can drill optimally into the ground.
Disadvantages of the stock anchor
- Very heavy anchor.
- The stick makes the anchor very bulky when hoisting.
Grapnel anchors have four flukes. There are these anchors to fold, or with fixed arms. The more powerful folding grapnel anchors are suitable for anchoring, while the small net and search draggies are used for anchoring fishing buoys or small light dinghies.
Folding Grapnel anchors are more suitable for small, light boats and dinghies. The four arms fold in, making these anchors easy to stow as well. Folding anchors are popular for use as stern anchors because they can be stowed into a holder on the stern reling.
Net anchors and search anchors are small traditional anchors with fixed flukes. The anchors - also called fishing anchors - are useful as search anchors (grabbel), dinghy anchors, net anchors, buoy anchors or simply for decoration.
Grapnel anchors hold well in
- clayey ground
- stones and pebbles
Disadvantages of the Grapnel anchor
- The holding force is limited.
Advantages of Grapnel anchors
- The anchors are very light.
- Folding anchors can be easily stowed.
- Suitable for small boats, dinghies and dinghies.
In rocky waters, for example in Sweden, Norway or Croatia, it is common to moor yachts with a stern anchor at the back and with the bow on land at the front. To secure the lines from the bow of the boat to shore, you need rock anchors, which are clamped between the rocks. A rock hammer for hammering in the anchors is an important tool. For softer ground you can also screw a drill anchor into the ground. The shore anchors have a ring at the top through which the mooring lines are pulled.
Rock anchors / shore anchors hold well in
- crevices of rocks (archipelago anchor)
- firm clay soil (drill anchor)
Advantages of rock anchors / shore anchors
- You can get ashore through the bow.
Disadvantages of the rock anchors / shore anchors
- The hooks can get wedged, so you have to leave them ashore.
- A hammer is needed to hammer the archipelago anchors securely into the rock crevices.
The right anchor for your boat
Whether Baltic Sea, North Sea or the River Elbe with a lot of current, the anchor should hold! A well-designed anchor with the right size for the ship is a prerequisite for relaxed anchoring. A small boat or a dinghy needs a different anchor than a large sailing yacht or a traditional ship.
The anchoring ground plays a major role for safe anchoring. In the past, weight anchors were often used, which held the boat mainly due to their weight. Today, people like to use patent anchors, which achieve their holding power mainly due to their shape. Anchors have two possibilities for holding: In debris or rock they hook, in silt, mud, clay & sand they dig in.
All components of the anchor gear - anchor, chain and chain leader, anchor-chain connector and the riding weight - must be well matched to each other. Our Equipment-Recommondation, which we have compiled on the basis of the recommendations of Germanischer Lloyd, will help you here.
Which anchor is the right one? Ship owners should clarify the following questions before buying an anchor:
Where and when do I want to anchor?
The ground plays a decisive role here. Am I sailing in a tidal water with current mud bottom, or do I want to anchor in the Baltic Sea in sand or weed. If you want to spend the night on the anchor, you will certainly sleep better if you choose the anchor a number.
What is the weight and characteristics of my boat?
The weight and shape of the anchor must match the weight of the boat. Also the behavior of the boat in the wind and in the current plays a role, a small light regatta yacht behaves here differently than a heavy traditional ship.
Where should the anchor be stowed or driven?
Yachts over 10 meters usually drive the anchor in front on a bow roller or in an anchor locker. Smaller dinghies or boats often need a space-saving solution for the forecastle box.