by Des Ryan
There is arguably nothing more important to the cruising sailor than the anchor. Having a trustworthy anchor can merely give you a good night's sleep, or in extreme conditions it can save your boat or your life.
At certain times your very life can depend on a good anchor
Our product of the week is the new model XYZ Extreme anchor 2011. According to the tests that have been carried out, the holding power of the anchor is equal to 2 -3 times larger anchors.
Each anchor is hand made with precision. It is heavy duty, light and compact, and delivers almost instant deep setting with a related 360 degree performance. XYZ claim that its design allows it to penetrate a huge variety of bottoms such as weed, coral and mixed sand/weed/rocks. It is made of stainless steel, or from stainless steel with aluminium fluke.
It is the modular form of the XYZ that enables choice of a fluke made of 316L stainless steel or of light marine grade aluminum (3/8'/10mm solid machined plate) that could be exchanged in minutes.
The saw blade is made of a ultra hard 17-4PH stainless steel. The shank is a mirror polished 2205 stainless steel.
By eliminating elements such as the roll bar, the heavy long shank and heavy front ballast, the Extreme is engineered to enhance the most fundamental features: ultra large, heavy and sharp fluke surface and ultra short and strong shank. These innovations enable almost 80% of the boat anchor’s weight to be in the fluke surface – the only anchor part that produces holding power!
The design features force the XYZ anchor to set almost instantly in demanding anchoring bottoms - extremely deep for ultimate holding power, and it will hold regardless of angle of pull. Once set, even under the most adverse conditions, the Extreme boat anchor will not break out. The holding power exceeds the strength of the rode and most other hardware. Cutting-Edge Saw Blade enables cutting through hard to penetrate bottoms: slippery weeds, corals, small rocks etc.
The sixth XYZ boat anchor generation, the Extreme boat anchor, is being built upon an already proven superior product that was rated #1 in the major recent USA independent anchor tests:
The Testing Process:
As essential front line safety devices, boat anchors should be tested to their limits under a variety of conditions. Users need absolute confidence in the anchors they are using - life and vessel are dependant on them. Our anchoring tests, influenced by the auto industry break/crash protocol, reflect anchoring in real conditions: normal and extreme. They have been conducted on various anchoring sea bottoms: soft/hard sand, mud and clay with some weeds, and small rocks.
As our designs evolve, each model is analyzed with state-of-the art CAD/software to maximize performance under the most demanding conditions. Field-testing confirms the CAD simulation predictions.
XYZ Extreme Anchor meets or exceeds the PASS Criteria of the four sets of test conditions as shown below.
BOAT ANCHOR TEST #1
Anchor Setting and Breakout Test
Test was started with an anchor on the bottom at 5:1 scope. From idle speed, power is slowly increased to high RPM to enable anchor to set. RPM was increased to 2000 and held continuously (force 9,000lbs) for 30 seconds. Once the anchor was set, the same exercise was done at 90°, 135° and 170° direction.
To pass the Test #1, the boat anchor must HOLD and not drag or break out from any direction. During the tests, the anchor must rotate below the bottom surface, without pulling out and HOLD at the high RPM – force 9,000lbs/4 ton. After rotation is completed, the boat must be stopped in less then 3’/1M.
BOAT ANCHOR TEST #2
Anchor Breakout Test – Sudden Impact Test
When the anchor is set, the boat will relocate above the anchor. With a slack rode (length for 5:1 and 3:1 scope), the boat is given full throttle (maximum RPM) so that the anchor would be hit by the sudden and enormous force of the boat’s mass/speed, simulating hurricane force wind conditions. The sudden impact test is done at 0° (the previously set direction), and at 90°, 135° and 170° to the original set.
To pass the Test #2, the anchor must HOLD and not drag or break out from 0° up to 135°. The anchor must rotate quickly below the bottom surface, without pulling out. The vessel must be stopped in less then 3’/1M. (30,000lbs/400HP/12mph). Under maximum RPM and sudden impact force, on 0° orientation, the rode should break (standard recommended nylon sized for the anchor weight – for 25 lbs/12kg anchor – 5/8'/16mm nylon rope breaking strength 11,000lbs). The anchor should not be damaged in any way.
BOAT ANCHOR TEST #3
Panic Test - Anchor Setting Under Motion - Boat Speed
3 mph @ 5:1 and 3:1 Scope
This test simulates a panic situation where the vessel is in motion due to high wind. At 3 MPH anchor is dropped in the sand bottom at 5:1 and 3:1 scope.
To pass test #3, the anchor must set and HOLD a 5:1 scope. Once set, it must pass tests #1, 2 & 3.
BOAT ANCHOR TEST #4
360° Maximum Load Test-5:1 and 3:1 Scope.
Once the anchor is set, vessel makes full 360° circle around the anchor, under constant load (maximum RPM), at 5:1, 3:1 and 2:1 scope.
To pass test #4, the anchor must HOLD at least 5:1 and 3:1 scope.