When we bought Maringret she had 2 bow anchors: a 20 kg Bruce as the primary anchor, and a 20 kg CQR fitted as the secondary anchor (although it had no rode attached to it).
The primary anchor functioned very well for some years. Where the Bruce started to fail was in the eastern Mediterranean where the sea bed is often covered with sea grass. It never released once dug in, but it increasingly was unable to cut through the growth on the sea bed to place itself.
Years previously when we sailed our Maxi 95 we had noticed and article in Practical Sailor magazine which had selected the Spade anchor as its product of the year twice in a row. We had actually bought a 15 kg aluminum Spade anchor (which is rated the same as the same holding power as a 30 kg steel version). As the anchor broke into 2 parts and could be “flat packed” for storage, it had languished in our bilges for some 15 years!!!
After a season of frustration “plowing” the anchorages with our Bruce – some harbours we never could get the Bruce to bight – we removed the Bruce and fitted our Spade. Starting with a new anchor in an anchorage area where our previous anchor had had so much grief, we were very nervous. It took a number of anchorages before we came to trust our new anchor. This was no comment on the Spade anchor, rather it was our nervousness after the intermittent success of the Bruce.
We have now completed our first season with our 15 kg Spade as primary anchor. It has not failed once. In looking up our anchor on the Spade website to author this page we found out that Spade now puts more lead on the anchor. We plan to do this as soon as we find some lead. As the holding power of the Spade is based on it’s area, the extra lead in the nose will help it dig in faster, the holding power will remain the same.
Our 20kg Bruce now operates as a secondary anchor – mainly used for locations where we expect a wind shift. The 20kg CQR is presently stored in the bilges as an emergency backup anchor.
After three years of using the Spade, it is as reliable as we could wish for. It seems to be able to get through the weed that often covers the bottom of easter Mediterranean anchorages. We now rarely think of it at all – a sure sign of trust and confidence in its abilities.
© The contents of this site are the copyright property of the authors. Visitors may read, copy, or print any material for their own use, free of charge. No material printed or copied from this site, electronically or in any other form, may be sold or included in any work to be sold without explicit permission from the authors.