The Danforth-style Fortress has a simple design that lets it be broken down for stowage, making it a good choice as a spare or storm anchor. It set right away each time, and as Shana Rae’s engine revved higher and higher, we all edged farther and farther away from the winch. The Fortress held to more than 5,000 pounds of pull twice, ultimately reaching a maximum of 5,382 pounds.
The 35-pound Manson Supreme was certainly an unusual-looking entrant. It has a broad single fluke that was among the sharpest of the bunch, combined with a rigid shank and a roll bar. The shank is equipped with both a fixed-shackle attachment and a channel that allows a shackle to slide, reportedly making for easier retrieval. Manufactured in New Zealand, the Manson proves the Kiwis know anchors, as it set quickly each time and held to a maximum of 5,332 pounds, releasing and dragging only once.
The Oceane looks like a typical plow anchor with enhancements, such as raised “sand guides” on its single fluke and two holes on its shank for adjusting the pulling angle. On the first try it simply would not set, but when we moved to our second location, it bit immediately and held to an average of 5,315 pounds. Since conditions were similar in all four spots, we were at a loss to explain the problem in the first location. The Oceane weighs 38 pounds, is manufactured in England, and is available from West Marine.
This article originally appeared in the February 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.