Hello, my name is Denis Dicks. I am an SSCA member and have been for a number of years (I can't remember how many). We cruise aboard our Liberty 458, Bobulona. When we departed from Seattle in Aug 2002, we had a Simpson Lawrence Claw as our primary anchor and 400 feet of 5/16 HT chain as our rode. After spending several months in California and a year in Mexico, we crossed the pond following the coconut milk run to New Zealand.
My general rule of thumb for anchoring is 5:1 scope if I have the room. I like to let the boat drift back on the anchor to start the set and then slowly add power until I am sure we have a good set. With all that in mind, the claw worked only "OK". I can't tell you the number of times we have tried to set and had to pick up and start over again, or picked up the anchor only to find a rock embedded in the hook, or dived on the anchor and found it laying on its side holding only by one hook.
In July of 2004, we found ourselves in a blow pushing sixty knots in Papeete, Tahiti. We were in the back of the anchorage and had a boat drag down on us, hitting us and causing us to drag as well. Fortunately, he was able to get off of us and re-set. We were not sure of our holding at that time and decided to motor into the wind for the next 6 hours until the wind backed off to 30 knots.
I report these incidents as a way to introduce the fact that we have not been happy with our anchor. Among the many cruisers we met along the way, the people who had a Bügel or a Spade anchor were the happiest. When we arrived in New Zealand, I met a man who had designed an anchor with the best qualities of both the Bügel and the Spade, called the Rocna. I liked what I saw.
I purchased a 40 kg Rocna and installed it on Bobulona as her primary anchor. We have been in Fiji for almost three months now. I have used this anchor constantly since we have been here. It has set the first time, every time so far, in a variety of bottoms including sand, soft mud, clay, and a rocky bottom. On the rocky bottom, we did drag for 10-15 feet before it set, but when it did, it set well.
Not very long ago, we were in the company of a couple of other boats, both using Delta anchors. The bottom was soft mud. They both tried four or five times before finally getting some set. They were still not sure of their holding. We dropped and set the first time ("No worries mate!"). A few weeks ago, we experienced a blow pushing 50 knots. We were in 58 feet of water with 5:1 scope and didn't move an inch, although the boat behind us did, and had to pick up and relocate.
I would recommend the Rocna to anyone looking for some peace of mind in their anchor. We are extremely happy with ours.