Stern anchoring and Fortress FX-16 & FX-7 anchors

Currently anchored in Zihuatanejo - middle of February 2015


Our Fortress FX-7 when it first was brought down by Ken 
and Nancy on s\v Gitane (they drove back, snow birds)


Fortress  FX-16 and Fortress FX-7 sitting on our cockpit grate on the foredeck this last summer.


We have found that the small Fortress stern anchor we were using (FX-7) did not have the correct chain.

Fortress FX-16 ready for drilling.

We have a stern anchor setup for our FX-16 with 5\16 chain, spliced to 6 plait line. The chain is about two sizes too big for the FX-7. We put out about 60’ of scope and we dragged overnight. There were boats stern anchored on each side of us. We up-anchor and put the FX-16 back on the rode and used it.

Buoy hole drilled in Fortress FX-16 anchor.

 To set the stern anchor we have set the bow anchor with all our rode out, about 285’ and then with the boat powered in reverse we drop the stern anchor and put the boat in neutral. As we get pulled forward we let out stern scope. This seems to work OK but there are a couple problems with it.

1.      We do not back down well to where we want to be. Ours is an old Islander Freeport and to back down in a straight line takes, well you just about cannot, not with any wind or sea state. So to get the boat pointed where you want it to be while anchored bow and stern you really need to use the dinghy to drop the stern anchor where you want it.

Drilling hole in winter clothes :)

Hole drilled in Fortress FX-16 and clip for buoy line shown. 
This will also fit the Fortress FX-7.

2.       We have 285’ of rode but only 10’ of chain on it at this time. We ae upgrading this to 60’ of chain this summer but for now we have only 10’. So to set and hold we need 7.1 scope at the bow. This leaves us with about 60’ scope on the stern anchor. With the mis-match rode set up on the stern the FX-7 does not hold well.

We anchored at La RopaBeach in Zihuatanejo where you need a stern anchor. The water is cleaner and it is quieter, but a long dinghy ride.

So we used the FX-16 this last time and we had some winds in the 25 knot range and rolling seas coming into the anchorage. The winds were on our beam putting a lot of strain on our ground tackle. The tackle held fine though and with boats on both side of us this was good. Then we had to retrieve the stern anchor (FX-16). This was not easy. We tried to make an anchor lift with a buoy and clip but it would not work. I also tried pulling it out with the dinghy and by hand but no go. The stern anchor was in by a resort's swim ropes and near shore. This made it a bit difficult using the boat to pull the Fortress  FX-16 out of the bottom. Debbie and I did fine though. We always put a buoy on our stern anchor. Let’s folks know not to drop their hook there and that we are stern anchored.

To up that FX-16 we had to un-tie the stern rode from the boat and put a buoy on it also and drop it in the bay. Then we upped the bow anchor and came around and picked up the buoy with the stern rode on it. Then hauled it in and tied it off tight when on top of the Fortress FX-16 Fortress anchor. Then we pulled it out as you would to unset an anchor. This was rather close to the surf line and swim floats.

So to fix or just make it easier, Debbie suggested we will flip the stern rode around and buy some 3\16 chain for the Fortress FX-7 and then we can use it. With 90-100’ of scope on it the FX-7 would work great we think. Also we should be able to pull it out with the dinghy and either re-set it if the swell changes of just to up-anchor. So with 60’ of new chain added to the 285’ of 8 plait anchor rode we should be able to pull in on the stern rode while letting out the bow rode and retrieve it that way.

So there are the solutions.
To make the buoy on the stern anchor easier to set up we are drilling holes in the mud flukes of the Fortress anchors so we can just clip it on. We currently tie it around the top of the anchor.

Then we anchored at Princapal anchorage, Madera beach where you do not need a stern anchor. We used our other rode for here as it is more of a crowded anchorage. We used 60' 3\8 BBB chain with 100' 3 strand rode (what is left of our old rode after cutting away bad chain). This way we can short scope it 5:1 and we do not swing in such a wide radius.

Stern rode drying out on the life line.

The buoy yellow floating line is there also.

Bow - 8 plait line drying out.

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