Contessa 26 Tech Notes

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Anchor discussion

When I bought my Contessa it had a 25 lb. plow anchor on an anchor roller on the bow, as well as a 13 lb Danforth on roller chocks on the stern. I installed a bracket for my windvane gear and had to give up the stern anchor. And I put roller furling gear which made it even more difficult to manage the plow anchor on the anchor roller on the bow. I tried very hard to get a nice secure installation of the CQR on the anchor roller, but it always looked like a disaster waiting to happen. Plus, the damn things are awkward to manage because of the articulated neck on them, particularly in the cramped area of the bow on the Contessa. I was constantly worrying about bashing up the front of the boat. I’m not against CQR’s in general. In fact, I sailed with one around Europe and the Mediterranean for two years on my old wooden ketch, although whenever in doubt I always tossed my gargantuan fisherman’s anchor overboard—it never failed me or dragged in countless anchorages around Europe. In fact, if I had the room, I’d have another fisherman’s anchor. But my CQR failed on several occasions. With almost dire consequences. But that may have been pilot error on my part.

Back to the Contessa, though. The solution which I found most satisfactory was to buy and install a 22 lb Bruce-style (a.k.a “Claw”) anchor. It fits compactly, snugly and securely on my standard anchor roller. I can lash it down very quickly. And it’s a hell of a lot easier to handle when dropping the anchor or hauling it back aboard. I purposely moved up a size or two in selecting the 22 lb Horizon Claw (rated for 35ft plus boats). Anchors are like religion I suppose, lots of personal emotion and spiritual conviction involved here. So far I’m satisfied. But I expect there’ll be a flood of contrary opinion on this one! In fact, I’m beginning to wonder why I opened my big mouth.

Cheers, Sam

Merrill Hall

Sam, go easy on your big mouth. Mine is bigger and that fact has been attested to in the courts. I strongly disagree with your choice of a “Broose” after watching one dance across the bottom in the Carrib. The CQR had also failed (as usual) and we finally settled down with an old Danforth. I’m not much of a fan of any anchor other than Danforth (not copies) and the traditional Yachtsman… I once had an all bronze folding Herreshoff. It was a shame to set ‘cause it looked so good aboard. I carry a Danforth 13lb “deepset” as a primary and look for muddy bottoms.



Merrill, I bow to your superior mouth! I guess the real points here are: 1. what bottom are you anchoring in, and 2. you should carry several (different) anchors for different conditions. Incidentally, I kept the 13lb high tensile steel Danforth and the CQR on my boat. Just in case!


Kent Ross

Hi Sam, I also have a Bruce style “claw” on a bow roller and am very satisfied with this arrangement, although I believe mine is one size smaller than yours, Holding power seems to be good, I carry a Danforth for a second anchor.

Kent Ross(the New Guy)