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We dragged anchor early in our cruising career in Isla Mujeres, Mexico while going ashore to check into the country. It was a terrifying experience. Fortunately (like most mistakes we've made on Atticus), it ended up being a great opportunity to learn and improve our anchoring strategy.
Check out our live stream where we talk about "Why We Dragged and What We Learned".
One of the biggest mistake we made, and one that we see many new cruisers make, is buying an anchor that is not oversized as our primary anchor. The problem arises because most websites specify sizing guidelines for "recreational" use, rather than "cruising" use. If you’re going to live full time at anchor in unfamiliar harbors, ideally you’d have a storm anchor as your primary anchor.
We dragged on a 25lb Manson, which, although rated for our sized sailboat, was just too small for all of the unforeseen circumstances that are common in cruising. Manson has since updated their sizing guidelines to include “cruising” size recommendations. And we've learned our lesson as well.
For our primary anchor, we need something that we can trust in 40 knot + winds in poorly protected anchorages, in poor holding, AND in situations where the wind direction can change drastically without much warning.
By the time we got around to upgrading our anchor, we researched the heck out of our options, and were DYING to get our hands on a Mantus Anchor. Their anchors satisfied all three requirements above AND their company has exceptional customer support with a primary focus on anchoring specifically for CRUISERS.
We couldn't be happier with our 45 lb Galvanized Steel Mantus Anchor. Since upgrading, we haven't dragged once, and we've been in plenty of anchorages where all of the other boats around us were dragging. Our Mantus is a MONSTER, and simply put, perfect for Atticus. It helps us sleep well, knowing that it can handle winds changing direction, less than ideally protected anchorages, AND poor holding like a champ. We also love our Mantus Bridle and Swivel.
When we dragged anchor onto a beach in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, we borrowed a friend's Fortress Anchor to kedge Atticus off of the bottom, and it worked in one attempt flawlessly.
You can hear more about it on our live stream, Why We Dragged and What We Learned.
So we quickly upgraded to a FX-23.
The fortress, with every test that we have seen, has the highest holding power for weight and size than any other anchor. We believe it's the best option on the market as a lighter weight utility anchor. That’s why it will be a great kedging anchor for unidirectional loads as well as a lightweight secondary anchor that can be deployed in either a med moor, Bahamian moor, or in the event that our primary system fails.
We also want to upgrade our dinghy anchor to a FX-7 because it’s lightweight, breaks down easily, and stows well in the dinghy.
Brian is SUPER passionate and knowledgeable about anchoring and has been infinitely patient and responsive with our questions!
When I was struggling with my confidence as a sailor, Sail Libra really helped me get some more experience under my belt on an offshore heavy weather passage from Isla Mujeres, Mexico to Pensacola, Florida.
You can check out the two part video series here and here to learn more about what it's like to crew on Sail Libra and how amazing this experience is!
Be sure to use promo code PAOFFSHORE to get a Project Atticus only discount on your first passage!