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Chesapeake Bay Anchor Test

In early August Fortress sponsored an extensive anchor holding power test that was conducted aboard the Rachel Carson, an 81-ft research vessel that is owned by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and located near the Chesapeake Bay in Solomons, Maryland. Chuck Hawley, formerly the VP of Product Testing at West Marine was aboard for all four days of this test and he served as the independent reviewer. Additionally, Robert Taylor, a 45+ year US Navy anchor design and soil mechanics expert, consulted on this project as well. The bottom condition was soft mud, which is common in the Chesapeake Bay and in other bays, lakes, and rivers throughout the USA and world.
A 21 lb (10 kg) Fortress model FX-37 was tested against ten competitive and much heavier steel anchors, several of which were "new generation" anchor imports from China, New Zealand, and Turkey. The USA-made FX-37 was tested at both the 32° and 45° (soft mud) settings, and it out-performed all of the steel anchors which weighed from 35 lb (16 kg) to 46 lbs (21 kg).....and many of them by 2-5x. This test was attended by the USA boating media who represented magazines which have a combined circulation of 1 million readers, and their stories are now being published and posted on the web sites below:

All at Sea:

Comments from this story:

    • "There was no stopping the performance of the Fortress once it set into the mud."
    • "From all calculations, the Fortress FX-37 was buried 13 feet in the mud – a testament that when set properly for the conditions the Fortress digs in and stays.

Boat US:


Comments from this story:

  • "The FX-37 at the 45-degree fluke angle was the overall holding power winner with three sets holding over 1,000 pounds and two sets exceeding 2,000 pounds."

Boat US:


Comments from this story:

  • “I've found the Fortress to set in soft mud, thick mud, soft sand and packed other words, in almost any bottom I'd choose to anchor."


Comments from this story:

  • "Fortress’ anchors performed best in the four-day anchor throw-down."

Boater's World:


Comments from this story:

  • "The winner, not surprisingly, was the Fortress FX-37 set to its most effective mud setting of 45 degrees."
  • "....the one thing I think we proved, without question, is that Fortress is the master of mud."

Boating: | View/Download/Print PDF


Comments from this story:

  • "The highest holding power (more than 1,200 pounds) came from the fluke anchors, with the Fortress FX-37 set at 45 degrees (its soft-mud setting), peaking at 2,000 pounds."

Chesapeake Bay: View/Download/Print PDF


Comments from this story:

  • "....the fluke-style Danforth and Fortress produced the greatest average maximum tension...."

Houseboat Magazine: View/Download/Print PDF


Comments from this story:

  • "The two Fortress anchors maintained a significantly higher load than any of the others."

Ocean Navigator:


Comments from this story:

  • "For once, the Chesapeake anchor test eliminated many of the odd variable that have plagued earlier tests."

PassageMaker: View/Download/Print PDF


Comments from this story:

  • "Over the full course of the testing, Fortress and Danforth-style anchors dominated the competition.”



Comments from this story:

  • “Soft mud is particularly challenging for fixed-fluke anchors, so it was no surprise that the pivoting-fluke anchors—the Danforth and the two Fortresses—outperformed the others in these conditions.”
  • “During one recovery the Fortress FX 37 refused to release from the bottom and the 5/16 inch stainless steel cable rode, with a minimal breaking strength of around 8,000lbs, broke when the load on it approached 4,000lbs.”

Fortress established itself, once again, as the premium high-performance anchor brand, and with the additional feature of being lighter weight and much easier to handle than traditional heavy steel anchors.

Test Results


Day 1: Chesapeake Bay Soft Mud Anchor Testing (Tuesday 8/5/2014)

Day 2: Chesapeake Bay Soft Mud Anchor Testing (Wednesday 8/6/2014)

Day 3: Chesapeake Bay Soft Mud Anchor Testing (Thursday 8/7/2014)

Day 4: Chesapeake Bay Soft Mud Anchor Testing (Friday 8/8/2014)

Chesapeake Bay Soft Mud Anchor Test Summary

Fortress Anchor FX-16 Soft Mud Anchor Test

Contact: Brian Sheehan
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 954-978-9988
Fax: 954-974-5378

Fortress Marine Anchors
1386 West McNab Road | Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309