Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance
  Fortress vs. Danforth Anchor

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Fortress vs. Danforth Anchor
Beaner posted 04-25-2003 09:02 AM ET (US)   Profile for Beaner   Send Email to Beaner  
My 170 came with a 4 pd hooker. By my second time out, realized that this anchor is totally useless. Looking to get either Fortress FX-7 or Danforth Hi-Tensile 5H. Danforth would clearly be a better fit as Fortress might be tight in anchor locker. Has anyone else decided between these two anchors? Plan on going with about 6 feet of 5/16 chain. Will be anchoring in sand/hard mud in around 4 -20 feet water. Thanks.
PMUCCIOLO posted 04-25-2003 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    

We use the Danforth 5H with a four foot length of SS chain and 3/8" 3-strand line. The expert on anchoring for 17's, in my opinion, is Chuck Tribolet. May I refer you to his website:


PMUCCIOLO posted 04-25-2003 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    

We use the Danforth 5H with a four foot length of SS chain and 3/8" 3-strand line. The expert on anchoring for 17's, in my opinion, is Chuck Tribolet. May I refer you to his website:


PMUCCIOLO posted 04-25-2003 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
How that got posted twice I'll never know.
5 mi E of Milwaukee posted 04-25-2003 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for 5 mi E of Milwaukee  Send Email to 5 mi E of Milwaukee     

Either should hold your boat. I would suggest more chain with an aluminum anchor, however.

If you intend your anchor as an “emergency brake” or ad hoc mooring, you can probably stop thinking now. If, however, you envision your anchor going up and down several times in an outing because you fish or gunk hole, you might want to consider one other option.

For the last two seasons I’ve used one of the Attwood plastic river anchors as my general anchor. While it’s probably not “yachty” enough for some folk’s taste, it’s eminently practical. If you’re not familiar with it, it resembles the iron river anchors that are derived from mushroom anchors with parts of the “cap” removed to make flukes. Danforth style anchors tend to lay on grass or weed, and in those cases if they’re going to work at all you have to make an effort to set them well. The Attwood has enough weight to get through most anything without chain, and the flukes are sharper than the iron versions and seem always to set easily and quickly. More important if you anchor frequently, it won’t chip or mar your gel coat. It stores like a dream in the bow locker of my “classic” Montauk as well. I simply make a nest of the coiled rode, and set the anchor in the center. If it fits the locker of your 170, I’d seriously consider it. In the name of science I tried it on a Lake Michigan sand beach in a pretty good surf, and nothing moved. Meanwhile, it isn’t fazed by any amount of weeds in inland waters.

I do keep a Guardian GX-7 knocked down in my console with a separate rode that includes a boat’s length of chain (a good rule of thumb for aluminum anchors) as a storm anchor. I’ve never “needed” it, and hopefully won’t; but neither will I be out someday wishing I had it.


jimp posted 04-25-2003 10:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Beaner -

Danforth & Fortress are trusted names in boating. I grew up with Danforths and currently have a Fortress because it came with the boat. Both work fine. Both are good anchors. The Fortress costs more.

Either one will work fine.


TRAFFICLAWYER posted 04-25-2003 02:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Beaner: I have both the Danforth and the Fortress for my 255. In a stiff current the forttress requires a bit of weight to get down to the bottom,needs additional chain as it's a bit light and has a tendency to float. The danforth is generally better for getting to the bottom also both set up well. I have the fx11.
homey posted 04-25-2003 06:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     
Don't waste your money on that piece of garbage Fortress. Go with the Danforth!
I had a Fortress with plenty of chain and it wouldn't hold...Sold it with my last boat. Homey.
Louie Kokinis posted 04-26-2003 01:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    

Here’s another discussion regarding Fortress.

jimh posted 04-27-2003 10:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Speaking as someone who has peacefully slept for over 100 nights aboard a 11,000-pound boat that I anchored myself in out of the way bays and wilderness areas, I tend to look at the FORTRESS anchor as an anchor for people who don't anchor much. We always used conventional steel danforth type anchors.

People who don't anchor much like the FORTRESS because of its light weight and bright aluminum finish. It looks good on a bowsprit and it doesn't add much weight to the boat.

The FORTRESS seems much more expensive than conventional DANFORTH or LIGHTWEIGHT style anchors. People who anchor a lot know that eventually they'll be in a situation where the anchor is stuck on the bottom. At the price of a FORTRESS you don't want to be in that situation, although I suppose that since the FORTRESS is made from aluminum you can get it to bend much easier and perhaps come loose.

By the way, I have noticed that on larger power boats with a closed foredeck, the "captain" usually sends "wifey" to the bow to handle the anchor chores while he remains at the helm. The lower weight of the Fortress makes it attractive for wifey to handle.

Louie Kokinis posted 04-27-2003 04:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    

The Fortress does not offer less strength, and works very well. They have many testimonials including extensive research done by the military.

I agree that anchors do tend to get stuck. But, the price of my Fortress was comparable to the price of my Bruce (within $15), and a ‘real’ high tensile danforth is also priced similarly. There are knock off Bruce, Danforth, CQR, etc style anchors that can be bought for considerably less money – is this what you are comparing to?

IMO a Fortress does not represent a newbie boater. The chain should represent the highest weight and inconvenience regardless of style - they are simply easier to store.

In most Whalers storage space is limited.

Beaner posted 04-27-2003 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Beaner  Send Email to Beaner     
Thanks to all that replyed. Went to West Marine for the Danforth 5H and as usual they did not have it in stock. Came home and called every marine store on Long Island and no one had the Danforth. Went back to West Marine and got the Fortress FX-7 since I needed something ASAP. Figured I could cash in on 90 day money back guarantee on Fortress if it didn't hold up. Anyway, Fortress barely fit in bow locker (but does fit with a little jiggling) and used it today in nasty NE winds by a bridge in 20 feet of water. With 6 feet of 5/16 chain the anchor held like a charm. Used it in several places in pretty rapid currents and the anchor set on the first time each drop. Will still probably get the Danforth and keep one as a backup.
triblet posted 05-01-2003 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
My whaler came with a river anchor. I got the
Danforth when I got tired of following the
anchor tracks in the sand at the end of the
dive. Plus, it was HEAVY (18 pounds plus

It's still out in the garage. If anybody
that's coming to the NorCal Rendezvous in a
few weeks wants it, I'll bring it.


JohnJ80 posted 05-07-2003 04:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
I too have used both Fortress and Danforth anchors and anchored out many nights on both. I like the Fortress much better, it holds better in my conditions, (sand and mud) than does the danforth. It is also much easier to handle.

My experience is that the fortress sets much better in my conditions than does the danforth. It also seems to hold with less fooling around. IMHO, the fortress is superior.

I think that the range of strong opinions here tells you that there probably isn't all that much difference between the two similar styles. I also think that it probably tells much more about the varied conditions that we all wind up anchoring in - its largely a function of the geography you're in.

The best advice, is that if you carry two anchors and you are serious about anchoring then make sure they are two different types of anchors so you have a choice of tools in case bottom conditions are not consistent throughout your boating area.

The other thing to do is to upsize one size over what is recommended. Having more is far better than having less. When you really need an anchor, your generally really, really need one - and you absolutely need it to stick.

So, if you already have a fortress, I wouldn't recommend getting a danforth for backup. Get something that is different, like a bruce or something. The danforth and the fortess are enough similar that having two of the relatively same thing is maybe not such a great choice.


lhg posted 05-07-2003 08:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Anchors should be purchased based on bottom conditions where you might anchor.

For sand and other similiar bottoms, I believe the Hi-Tensile Danforth is the best you can buy. It is a high quality device, much better than their other models. It holds better, with a smaller size. On a Montauk a 5H would be rated as a storm anchor category, as it is on my 18 Outrage.

larimore posted 05-07-2003 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for larimore  Send Email to larimore     
I have the fortress fx7 and 4' of stainless chain on my 22-OR - A fine anchor.

I shortened the rods for fit and keep it stowed on deck in the rear quarter, one rod thru a hole in the bilge hatch, the shank in the rod holder, and the rope coiled and snapped in a vinyl loop on the gunnel. Easy to get to, light-weight, and not as harsh on the boat(and me) as the danforth. Perfect for day trips and overnighters in the bay.
I hung a fluke in 60' of water, after much heavy throttle and water half way to my knees, a fluke broke(not bent) and I pulled it aboard. Fortress sent me a new fluke, no charge !!! There was no other damage to the anchor. A Danforth would have bent beyond repair. I now own a $6 sliding shank Danforth-like anchor for deep rocky bottoms.

I expect holding power is similar for both anchors, maybe slightly better in grass with the Danforth due to its weight and the very sharp flukes - I take a 20lb plow for the remote, unprotected overnighters(I haven't needed the plow in 2 years now).

I'd never change-out my Fortress setup...

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.