Our New Parking Brake

The list of items and projects to be bought or completed seems to only grow longer as we race to cut the dock lines this summer. Melissa and I seem to be working feverishly on about a dozen projects all while living on the boat and working full time.  So when we do get an item ticked off our list, it is worth celebrating.

Bill and Donna on sv Denali Rose bought a 99 pound Spade anchor for their Nauticat 43. Their New Best Bower Post was timely and inspired yet more googling.  The Spade is a great anchor and at 99 pounds, will surely keep their boat safe in the worst conditions. I had been considering the spade anchor, among others, and had almost made up my mind about buying one when we did our annual trip to the Seattle Boat Show. A new best bower for Galapagos was at the top of our list.

Usually at the boat show you have the opportunity to hear the sales patter from several different manufacturers and this year, we looked at the Mantus, Excel and Rocna anchors. I had done my due diligence research on line and had seen that anchors, like religion, all have their followers. In the end, the consensus seems to be that pretty much any of the new fangled anchors out there are good but there isn’t one particular anchor that is best in every single situation. Melissa’s brain trust group, Women Who Sail, splits about evenly between Rocna and Mantus in terms of anchor love.

For those readers not familiar with the term ‘Boat Buck’, that means $1000.  Both the Rocna and the Spade would cost us about 1 boat buck, more or less, for the size we need for Galapagos. At the boat show we saw another very nice anchor, the Excel.  It was going to cost us, again, a bit more than one boat buck. And anchor is not something where you want to just go with the low bid, but that’s a lot of money. And again, all of the new anchors get good reviews.

So, what did we buy?

The Mantus anchor comes in three parts but in one really heavy box.

The 40 kilo (88 pound) Mantus anchor above was shipped to our marina in less than a week and cost us less than $600 with shipping. That was about half the price of the very nice Excel anchor we saw or a Spade.

Everything laid out and ready to assemble. Small packs of Lanolin are also provided to smear onto the bolts.

The assembly was quite easy with everything provided and a one page set of instructions.  Small Packets of Lanolin are used to coat the bolts prior to assembly.  The use of nuts and bolts to connect the shank and roll bar to the fluke was a concern to me as it has been to many folks considering anchors that can be disassembled.  Given the robustness of the bolts provided and the use of common sense to check them periodically, I think the fact that the anchor can be taken apart and stowed more easily can be an advantage. Using bolts to put an anchor together is a bit counter-intuitive, but the way the load is distributed on the anchor relieves that concern. Losing the bolts is not an issue that has been a problem for any of these kinds of anchors.   Mantus could add some peace of mind to the system by drilling the bolts to accept a pin or seizing wire, like the Spade .

The 30 kilo Bruce being usurped by the new Mantus. The difference in surface area is impressive.

As far as I can tell, any of the new style anchors will be superior to the older CQR or Bruce anchors we now carry.  We have been using a 30 kilo Bruce for the last two years of Salish Sea cruising and it has held well in winds up to 30 knots.  But as we travel further afield, we need to know that we are secure. One of Melissa’s friends in the WWS group describes their Mantus like a parking brake. I like that.  I was tempted to go up another size to the 45 kilo Mantus but worried that handling that much weight by hand if things go pear-shaped would prove difficult. The sale’s person at Mantus did not recommend we go up to the next size.

The anchor fits well but it doesn’t leave much room for a second anchor on the port side roller.

The new anchor fits well onto the starboard roller which is the only side of our windlass with a chain gypsy.  The roll bar can be an issue for some boats but it fit well on Galapagos.  The very wide fluke does cause a problem on the bow though.  I can’t fit a second anchor on the port side roller and I would like to carry the Bruce as a backup.   At this point, I am thinking that I will stow the Bruce below with 30 feet of 3/8 inch chain and two hundred feet of rope rode.


There is good clearance for the anchor but no room to stow a second anchor on the bow.

I look forward to taking Galapagos out for a weekend to test our new best bower.  Melissa and I rarely take guest moorage in a marina and we love anchoring out. Knowing that you are well and truly fastened to the bottom during a blow makes for restful nights and more enjoyable time away from the boat.  We’ll keep you posted on how well this new piece of kit performs.