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Dear all

We’re on our second season in Lili in Chichester Harbour

We’ve had a fair bit of trouble getting the anchor to bite at East Head (soft sand mainly, but some mud/weed at lower tides) and I didn’t know if anyone had any hints?

We’ve got a 7kg Plough anchor (see photo) and some reading indicates a Delta might be better

Any help would be appreciated!


Ken Surplice
Hi Dan,

East Head should be one of the better locations for an anchor to set well. How much chain do you have attached to it? A minimum of 8-10 metres?

I have a Delta anchor, first used on a P21 and then on a P275. It always served me well until we visited Newtown Creek, famous for having a very churned up bottom due to the high number of visitors. As a result I decided to change anchor. New generation anchors (Rocna, Spade etc.) are fairly expensive. Fortunately I had a work trip to the USA and acquired a Mantus while I was there. It is also new generation but for some reason a number of people are critical. For me, the difference is amazing. While the Delta worked most of the time, the Mantus sets every time, even in Newtown. It sticks like the proverbial. Now I look forward to anchoring.

My suggestions:
1. Check you have enough chain
2. If you still have anchoring frustrations, bite the bullet and go directly to a new generation anchor. Visit the PBO forum (Google it) and then search for “anchor“. You’ll find a huge amount of advice there.
Thanks so much Ken

We have 12m of 8mm chain and usually put it all out unless we’re very shallow

I think ours is a 7kg Plough and quite an old design. We had planned to buy a 6kg Delta For about £90 rather than a Rocna for about £180. I’ll have a look into the Manta - what weight did you get?

Thanks again
I had a 10kg claw anchor (knock-our bruce) which dragged a number of times. Eventually I bought a 15kg Rocna and used chain for the first 30m. No problems and sleepless nights - priceless! I use an anchor snubber too. That's the pros - cons are difficulty in stowing it. I suspect a 10kg would be sufficient, and if you go to the Rocna website you can make a cardboard template to see how it well it might stow. I actually bought mine on Amazon - free postage, but it wasn't exactly gift-wrapped.
PS I don't have an anchor windlass/capstan (yet).
Nosey - Parker 325-26
Our original plough anchor dragged a couple of times and took a few goes to get it dug in. After a talk from Viv Cox at our club, we decided to invest in a 10kg Rocna and 10m of chain. This just fits in our locker and I built a wooden frame to secure it. (275)
It works like a dream. Sets first time and hasn't dragged yet.
Without modifying the roller, we cannot pin it in place for convenience, so have to think ahead when anchoring to get it out and ready. It gives wonderful peace of mind.
I'd recommend researching it a bit. I made a template from measurements but I think that's easier now.
Hope this may help.
Thanks for that. So far we’ve only been anchoring at East Head to pop ashore for an hour or so, but it’s busy and sandy and we’re struggling to get hold most times now so have lost faith in the 7kg plough. We’ve got 12m of 8mm chain before the rope so I think that’s enough

I’m veering towards a 6kg Delta which seems good value for a step up at £90 and I think would fit in the 235 locker. We might even fit in the 10kg one (at £120) but that’s getting tighter. Does anyone know what fits in the 235 locker?

I don’t think we’ve got a clever way to pin it to the roller so have to stow it each time - we also use the roller at our swing mooring

The Rocna gets amazing reviews but is about double the price (£200 for 6kg). I suspect if we start anchoring for the night that would be well worth it but as I say at the moment it’s only really East Head at the Witterings
Geoff Harwood
Both my Sinbad (Zalophus) and my P21 (Cygnus) came with 6Kg Danforth anchors each with about 5m chain and the rest 8-plait. The foredeck of the Sinbad was obviously designed for the Danforth and the P21 was easily adapted to have it safely secured on deck.
I never had any issues with the Danforth holding in any reasonable anchorage including some very hairy nights which I wouldn't care to repeat! The permanent mooring I had in Stanpit Creek for Cygnus consisted of 2 Danforths on a ground chain with a swivel in the middle. That served me well for 10 years and is still working for a biggish motor boat 10 years on!

Geoff Harwood (ex P21/30)
Ken Surplice
Plenty of chain then, so that’s not the issue. My Mantus is 25lb / 11.4 kg. It only just fits, facing backwards, in the P275 locker. The shaft projects forwards outside the locker towards the bow cleat.
Ken Surplice
I just had a thought. My old Delta, used on my P21 at the time, is somewhere about the house/garage/garden. If you want to try it, and I can find it, we could meet in the Southampton area for a pick up and you can try dunking it at East Head. If this would help, give me a call. My details are in the members’ handbook.
Hi Ken. Having just proven that the Rocna 6kg doesn’t fit in my anchor locker it would be great to try out your Delta! I’ve lost my member’s handbook but will PM you contact details. Many thanks again

Peter Scrivens
I had great difficulty getting the plough anchor to hold, which was supplied with my new P235, although it looked adequate. I had never had problems with the plough, an original CQR, on my previous boat (not a Parker). On investigating I could see that this was a rather poor copy of a genuine plough anchor, the flukes were completely flat and there was no weight in the nose, compared to the forged CQR.

Because I like a challenge I decided to try and modify it before buying another type as I had not had any problems with my previous plough. So I ground a decent hollow in the sides of the flukes and welded a plate across the vee in the nose and filled this with molten lead to encourage it to bite into the seabed. Since then I have not had any problems getting the anchor to hold and have anchored many times at East Head.

Now this worked for me and as I said I can't resist a challenge, but I would suggest to have a look at your anchor and if it has come from the same source and has the same faults, then it is is far easier to buy one of the modern patterns!

Peter (P235 Zephyr)
Thanks Peter - really useful to hear and I suspect we may have one of the same batch!

Ken very kindly supplied an old delta today so we’re going to try that first. The Rocna wouldn’t fit in the anchor locker and most new generations ones seem of similar shape!

Thanks again

Peter Scrivens
HI Dan,

Yes looking at your picture the flukes do look fairly flat the same as mine were. I think with a plough anchor it needs to rest on the back of the flukes and the point at the front, if it is flat it just slides along the sand. Some extra weight at the front helps the point to dig in and become a plough. Good luck with Ken's Delta, much better than spending time with an angle grinder!

James Hamilton
My experience with anchors is that if it is soft mud or sand then almost anything works. If it is rock, almost nothing, you are probably as well with a fisherman, the fluke may get caught in a crack. I have however been impressed with the holding power for size of a plate anchor in soft mud. I have a Britanny anchor which fiits in the locker of a 235 ( it has no bars, so like a ships anchoir rather than a delta). You can get quite a heavy anchor for size this way, which would help in firm sand. The other aspect is what happens when the tide changes. I hope that the Brittany would swivel on the plate and recset without pulling out first. The nearest approach to disaster I have had was when we had a CQR apparently well bedded in, but while we were ashore eating the tide turned, the anchor pulled out, but fortunately just stopped the boat being washed onto rocks (Gigha sound). If you want a light anchor, the fortress is surprisingly effective again in soft mud well bedded in with the engine.

Jim Hamilton
Thanks Jim

Is this the one you’ve got: 

If so, what size fits?

Ken’s kindly donated Delta just squeezes in our locker, so we’re going to test it at East Head and then give it some Hammerite if it works, but the Brittany looks interesting

I also looked at the Fortress ones here, but $300 for a 4.5kg one seems a little steep - any reason they’d be better than the Brittany ones?

Thanks again


James Hamilton
Hi yes, thats the anchor, I think I have a 10kg, but you would have to check the dimensions

James Hamilton
As regards the fortress, the are very light, so myself though I have one in the locker for the dinghy & as an emergency, and sometimes to hold the stern off the beach at Bembridge (in soft mud), I don't think I would trust it as a main anchor. I think the reason they may be quite good on tests, is that they have an optimum angle with the shank for bedding in in mud/sand, and they have a sharp edge with a relatively thin blade, so they cut in and bury easier than a steel plate anchor (in mud/sand).
Jim Hamilton