The easy to handle aluminum alloy Fortress anchor is precision-machined for sharpness and quick penetration into common sea bottoms, which insures faster setting performance when you need it most!
“The Fortress anchor had saved my life and my boat!”
I was sailing into Conch Cut leading into Georgetown, Exumas in the Bahamas. Just as I was passing over the reef bar, I switched off my autopilot to hand steer over the bar and into the deeper channel when I heard a “pop” and my wheel steering spun freely. I had the full Genoa out, and without rudder steering, the bow fell off heading straight for the nearby island of Channel Cay. I immediately diagnosed the problem of a failed steering cable and released the jib sheet and cut the motor. I my horror, I realized that my boat, an Irwin 37foot ketch, my only home, was completely out-of-control and headed for the rocks in just seconds. As a matter of routine I always keep at least one anchor ready to go, but in 30 years of sailing experience I had yet to do an emergency anchor deployment. I raced forward, terrified as the island cliff was rising before me, and immediately released my Fortress FX-23 with 50 feet of new stainless steel chain and about ten feet of 5/8″ nylon rode that was already secured to a cleat.
As the chain was rapidly running out I said a quick prayer that the anchor would bite first time, there would be no time for a re-set before the impending shipwreck disaster! My heart was pounding! I gripped the bow pulpit and braced, watching the rapidly approaching cliff which was now a mere 100 feet away, as the chain ran out. Suddenly all 22,000 pounds of my sailboat came to a stop and executed a 180 degree turn in 2 seconds. We were now safely at anchor in 15 feet of water in a 3-4 swell with the stern of my boat JUST 30 FEET FROM THE CLIFF!
The Fortress anchor had saved my life and my boat!
Several passing boats radioed and offered assistance. After letting my heart rate come back down to normal range. I was able to motor up and retrieve the somewhat bent anchor, and used the autopilot (which attaches directly to the rudder quadrant) to “fly by wire” to a safe anchorage in Elizabeth Harbor, Georgetown.
I have returned this beloved anchor to Fortress in Ft Lauderdale and they have replaced it with no hassle.
Capt Joe Greno – s/v SAGA Georgetown, Bahamas