Taking Our Test Anchors Out for a Wiggle-walk


First, we established baseline holding capacities for the 2-pound anchors by pull testing each anchor after letting it settle into the bottom for 10 minutes and setting with a steady pull.  These matched several rounds of prior test data in the same area. We then walked them back and forth through 30, 60, and 120 degree arcs every two minutes, maintaining reasonably even tension. We pulled just hard enough to make the anchor rotate, never exceeding the setting force. After 6 cycles, we recorded the force required to make the anchor rotate and walk forward. All testing, including on-boat testing was done using a 15:1 scope to eliminate lift as a variable. 2-pound anchor testing was done with no chain and on-boat testing was done with 15 feet of chain.

  1. In a straight line, the Mantus anchor digs straight and deep into the soft sand bottom.Taking Our Test Anchors Out for a Wiggle-walk
  2. As the direction of pull changes the anchor shuffles and the anchor stays near the surface. With every yaw cycle the anchor moves forward a fluke-length, slowly walking downwind towards potential trouble.Taking Our Test Anchors Out for a Wiggle-walk
  3. In a straight line, the Fortress Guardian anchor digs straight and deep.Taking Our Test Anchors Out for a Wiggle-walk
  4. The Guardian anchor takes longer to reset after each “shuffle” in a new direction.Taking Our Test Anchors Out for a Wiggle-walk
  5. In moderate winds with a steady pull the Guardian resets well, but if the strain is to light or the bottom is too hard, it can break out of the bottom.Taking Our Test Anchors Out for a Wiggle-walk
  6. If the anchor becomes partially disengaged it may never reset (notice the long drag mark).Taking Our Test Anchors Out for a Wiggle-walk

Related posts: Yawing and Anchor Holding

Deep Anchors Stay Put in Moderate Yawing

Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. 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.


  1. I don’t think anchor tests in even wet sand are relevant to real world anchoring in water. The water fills the area between The particular of sand creating much more suction than just plain sand.

  2. My 1979 Cal31 has always “sailed” at anchor more than I was comfortable with. I’ve lately been experimenting with hanging a kettlebell off the stern to slow the motion down.

  3. My Beneteau Oceanis 321 weighs 9,800 lbs. It has a bow roller. It is equipped with the following.
    – Lewmar Delta galvanized Fast-Set plow anchor. It is 22 pounds.
    – 20 feet of 5/16″ of pre-cut galvanized anchor chain with a large end for the shackle from West Marine
    – 200 feet of 1/2″ premium prespliced three-stand anchor line with a galvanized steel shackle from West Marine
    – Kong stainless steel anchor swivel connector
    – Stainless steel screw pin bow-shape anchor shackle that is moused with seizing wire
    – Anchor rode markers from West Marine

    We anchor in hard sand, mud, and clay in Lake Erie. We set our anchor with 10:1 or more scope for overnight stays. Zero problems in winds up to 30 knots and 2 foot waves. It has never dragged.


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