Anchors are used by all types of watercraft and have continued to evolve since time immemorial. Original anchors were probably large rocks deployed and secured by various types of material from vines to present day chain or chain/rope assemblies.

It seems that every year some new supposedly ultra efficient anchor appears on the market pupporting to offer higher holding power than any anchor previously produced, these anchors arrive on the scene with high prices accompanied by tales of secure anchoring in extreme conditions in far away places. Introduction of a new type of anchor is often followed by legal spats alleging patent or design infringments, perhaps the prices reflect a percentage allowance for legal fees!

Boat Gear Direct offers anchors that are all of a well proven design, it is for the end user to decide which type of anchor will be most suitable for the area where they are to be used, the anticipated weather conditions they intend to anchor in and the price they wish to pay.

An overview of anchor types

For most recreational sailors a Bruce, CQR or Delta type plough anchor will be the appropriate choice between price and performance. All three execute a similar method to achieve the end result. Bruce and Delta type anchor sales appear to show that these are the favoured option for this type of anchor

Danforth type anchors have a good following amongst those boaters who require an anchor that will stow flat, easy stowage also makes it popular as secondary or kedge anchor.

Brief descriptions

The Bruce or Claw anchor.

The Bruce or Claw anchor remains one of the most popular anchors amongst recreational sailors throughout the world, it first appeared in the 1970’s when it was used to anchor oil platforms in the North Sea. It was manufactured by the Bruce Anchor Group until their patent expired in 2000, at which time they ceased production. Many copies are now available.

The Bruce or Claw anchor is an excellent all round anchor, it performs well in most sea bottoms although some say that it has difficulty penetrating harder surfaces such as clay. It is claimed that the three claw design allows it to set or re-set more quickly than other anchors, its rated holding power is less than the Delta type anchor, sailors who prefer the pro’s of the Claw anchor usually opt for an anchor that is slightly heavier than the alternative options.


The CQR (secure) / Plough or Delta type anchor.

The CQR/Plough and the Delta type anchor are plough category anchors, the main difference between them being that the CQR has a hinged shank.

Having been introduced in the 1930’s the CQR is one of the older styles of the modern breed of anchors. Despite relatively low holding power it is still very popular, many claims that its hinged shank is beneficial when coping with variations in wind and tide changes. The CQR/Plough anchor is classed as High Holding Power (HHP) by Lloyds and other classification organisations.

The Delta type anchor is probably the most popular anchor at this time and is generally the anchor of choice for most boat manufacturers. It is also classified as HHP with holding power claimed to be higher than the Bruce/Claw type of anchor.

With front of the fluke being weighted the Delta type anchor is designed to be self-launching, however, it does require a suitable type of bow roller to achieve this.

Both Delta and CQR anchors perform well in most bottoms, however this is not the case with rock.


The Danforth type anchor

The Danforth anchor remains very popular amongst recreational sailors. The fluke performs excellently in mud and sand, adversely it does not do so well when deployed in other bottoms, consequently it should be viewed as a mud and sand anchor only, fortunately this is what most sea bottoms consist of.


Plough Anchors with Roll Bar

There are a number of anchors that are to all intents and purposes Plough anchors with roll bars. Amongst these are Rocna, Manson Supreme and Bugel.

These anchors are basically an adaption of traditional plough anchors that incorporate a roll bar to assist the anchor to adopt the correct orientation when on the seabed, it is also apparent that the tips of the plough are sharper to allow easier penetration of weed or clay.

The above anchors are designated Super High Holding Power (SHHP) by classification organisations.


Folding / Grapnel Anchors

Folding anchors are generally used for small boats such as dinghies, inflatables, canoes and RIBS. They fold easily into a compact shape making them a favourite among small craft users.

Folding anchors are intended for temporary anchoring whilst the crew are still on board.


Anchors available from BGD

  • Admiralty Pattern Mooring Anchor
  • Brittany Type Anchor
  • Bruce Type Anchor
  • CQR Anchor
  • Danforth Type Anchor
  • Delta Type Anchor
  • Folding Anchor
  • Fishermans Anchor
  • Mushroom Mooring Anchor
  • Plough Anchor
  • Rocna Type Anchor
  • Used Anchors
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