Thanks for the fill.
And yes, good as these new gen anchors are, many boats need to adjust their bow rollers and sometimes over-all anchor handling procedures, to accommodate. It is worth it, however.
And it is also a chance to re-think anchor handling gear, especially bow rollers which are too often designed far too lightweight and bring the anchor up to ding the topsides.
A couple of general comments, not necessarily for you, but for other readers who might come across this thread.
I am not sure that the Bruce anchor was ever an ideal anchor for any conditions in the kind of weight that a recreational vessel carries. The east coast of England has, generally, such a lovely seabed for holding an anchor as one could anchor with a safety pin and fish line.
That comment aside, with the advent of the new generation anchors, I would suggest that any skipper wanting more than a lunch hook, would be practicing good seamanship by turning their old gen anchors, their Bruce, CQR etc. into lawn ornaments.
I suspect you are correct that “all "new generation" anchors especially ones with roll bars will more or less work the same way”. That said, I remember when Danforth anchors started being copied, and sold for far less money, tests showed that even a few degrees difference (stock to fluke) made significant difference in ground tackle effectiveness: setting and holding: in other words, Danforth had it right.
Please be aware that there are accumulating reports (occasional, but not rare) of roll-bar anchors not resetting after a wind shift (or current change). The best documentation for this is with the Rocna anchor, but reports seem to suggest that the roll bar contributes to this occurrence among other possible contributions. Jury is still out.
Agree that “Made in the UK” makes for confidence. And I do like “nothing fancy in their manufacturing”.
It is nice to think that you can give the anchor back to the manufacturer for re-galvanizing, but that is so seldom a process that, while nice, it would not play much in my decision of what anchor to buy. And not sure what is meant by refurbishing. If, for example, what is meant is that a fluke got a little out of alignment with its partner (an earlier concern I wrote about) then I would suggest that bending it back into alignment would be unwise and end up with a weak fluke likely to bend again: better a new anchor.
Chain and anchors do not really self-clean, especially in mud. That said, the new gen anchors can come up with a huge scoop of seabed which is a pain to get rid of. For many/most thick mud conditions, I would suspect the slot will make little difference in the collection of seabed and what it comes up with (after all, that is what holds you to the bottom) but it may facilitate the seabed getting sprayed off the anchor by a deck wash by giving an exit point in the slot.
Which brings me to another related topic: the importance of a pressure deck wash. This is almost essential for the new gen anchors as they come up with so much seabed/mud. Getting the anchor and chain clean is an important maintenance chore. You mentioned re-galvanizing. Those who store anchor and chain covered in mud are shortening the life of their ground tackle impressively. Not only does mud hold moisture next to the metal for long periods, but this mud is a mix of the seabed, which in many areas holds an impressive concoction of un-natural elements that can eat away at things.
This goes double for chain if brought into the anchor-well muddy, left to percolate with little air movement, no sun or rain and does not enjoy the cleansing rain that the anchor might enjoy. Even worse might be the seaweed or other organics brought in with the chain and contributing also to boat smell). If good quality chain is sprayed completely clean on its way into the anchor well, given a fresh water rinse when possible at a dock, and turned end for end every few years, it will last for a very long time.
A good strong deck wash is a wonderful piece of kit and I think essential for the new gen anchors and makes storing clean chain much much easier.
I am thinking when you say you ”would have needed” the various size anchors you mentioned that you are taking this from one or more of the anchor weight suggestion guides that are in books and magazines and manufacturer’s suggestions. I do not know the size or type of boat you sail, but in general, I find that the guides underestimate the bower’s weight by at least one size and generally two. You report setting out for more varied cruising grounds which sounds great. But it is likely that these more varied grounds will generate more varied weather/wind conditions where a good anchor, well set will allow for a good nights sleep.
And, as Alex requests, please give us field reports.
And, thanks for the opportunity to kick off your report for general and related topics.
Come back with questions/thought etc.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy