Collapsible Anchor Prototype Tested

Mantus explores a three-part rollbar anchor.


A big rollbar-style anchor on a bow roller is now synonymous with cruising. They are efficient in many types of bottoms and reliably rotate or reset when the wind and tide change. Unfortunately, they are shaped awkward and are difficult to stow anywhere other than a bow roller. Lacking this, many smaller boats, both sail and power, are forced to store the anchor in either a shallow bow locker, a snag-prone railing bracket, or in a lazarette.

Shallow anchor lockers on many small boats only allow enough room for a Danforth-style anchor, a folding fishermen, or a Northill utility anchor, which has been out of production for many years.

Mantus first developed a no-tool knockdown mechanism for the Mantus dinghy anchor (See PS December 2015, Dinghy Anchors: Big Anchor Tech Scaled Down). A year ago, they provided us with a prototype of a 9-pound and 13-pound versions, attaching the shank to the fluke and the roll bar to the fluke using oversize studs in place of bolts.

To disassemble, the rollbar is pulled to one side to disengage a headed stud at each end from a slotted hole. The shank is removed from the fluke by pulling a spring-loaded retaining pin and sliding the shank aft. The entire operation takes about 30 seconds.

Strength Testing

Lloyds standards for very high holding (VHH) anchors require the anchor to hold 50 times its weight at a point one third of the distance between the tip of the fluke and the shank attachment without distortion. We tested the Mantus dinghy anchor to 100 times its weight and the 13-pound anchor to 50 times its weight; both held without permanent distortion. We did not test for side loading, other than rigorous yaw testing, which did not harm the unit.

Collapsible Anchor Prototype Tested
The Mantus prototype is a compact roll-bar anchor that fits into most lockers. The above images illustrate the assembly process, in which oversized studs hold the rollbar in place (1), and, along with a spring-loaded pin, secure the fluke (2 & 3).

Field Testing

We’ve been using the 13-pound prototype for one season on our Corsair F-24 test boat. We’ve subjected both the 2-pound and 13-pound folding Mantus anchors to severe yawing, 180 degree reversals, and overloads countless times, wondering if the stud mechanism might come loose, but it never has.

Fine sand often makes the pin and stud mechanism a little sticky, but it never jammed solid. However, the rollbar became sprung after about 50 uses, the result of forcing it when slightly stuck.

Without the spring tension to hold it in place, the rollbar was no longer securely held. This is not something weve experienced with the smaller version of the anchor, which has seen far more extensive use. We reported our findings to Mantus, who said they had no immediate plans to introduce the anchor to the market, as it was still in development.

We like the idea of being able to set a roll-bar style anchor from a small boat, but were still searching for the perfect anchor that will lie flat in a locker.

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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