After seven years of using a ‘new generation’ anchor, it’s been quite an education to go back to the older generation. A bit like exchanging your Porsche 911 for a Volkswagen Beetle—both will get you from A to B, but there the similarity ends. For the last two years we have chartered yachts for our survey work that came equipped with anchors from the earlier generation; both were of adequate size (a 45lb CQR and a 20Kg Bruce copy) and worked well enough once dug in or, in some cases, if you could get them dug in.
Last year we made five attempts to encourage the CQR to set in a weedy anchorage, before we finally gave up and moved elsewhere. The score for the Bruce this year was marginally better: it took three attempts to set in one anchorage, two in another, and a third anchorage where it failed to set twice, but held at the third attempt—only to discover in the morning that this was because we’d fouled an old mooring! Once in it held OK, although I was happy that we didn’t have any strong winds, as I’ve little faith in the smaller Bruces from previous experience.