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  • Writer's pictureJohn

The Almighty Mantus

So here at The Dream, we like to live at anchor and we spent most of this season living on our Mantus. We have seen many people drag including those with Rocna and Mantus anchors, the “no drag” anchors.

So what’s happening?

Don’t get me wrong we love our Mantus anchor, it gives us peace of mind at night “even if we sleep with one eye open”. This season we have spent the majority of the nights at anchor in good, fair and downright bad weather! I can say we have anchored in the last 6 months over 100 times and got it right most times and sometimes got it well WRONG, like that one time we anchored on an uncharted wreck, or that time we didn’t set the anchor deeply enough.

85lb Mantus on Dufour 500GL bow

As I said a number of friends including us new to the modern Mantus have dragged our new precious tools.

Ok so, why do people get it wrong and how do we think we get it right.

And why doesn’t the Mantus anchor come with guidelines for correct setting of their anchors?

We have found that to set a Mantus anchor is not rocket science you just need to understand the design and how to make the most of it. First, the anchor design is kick ass, but it must be set fully. And if you were smart and got the swivel well good for you, life just got better.

Because we are not experts and until this year we had only anchored with more experienced people, now being on our own we have developed a habit of checking our anchor every day if possible and who are we kidding whenever we have a chance we like to check other peoples anchors. We even help friends at time in tricky anchorages if we have arrived before and are already checking how well our Mantus is set.

And this is how we noticed the common points of situations when the super anchors have dragged.

We were in total disbelief when a few friends with the same Mantus as us told us they had dragged and we were in total shock when we actually saw some friends dragging on their Mantus in 30 knots winds just next to us.

So what we think it may have happened, based on what we’ve noticed while diving on our anchor and friends?

On one occasion while Ana was already in the water checking our anchor she helped our friends get their anchor on a sand spot in between the Posidonia seaweed patches and as our friends tried to set the anchor she saw the chain getting caught on the wings of the anchor and getting dragged instead of setting beautifully as we are so used to. When our friends lifted the anchor to try again, it came up fouled on the chain just as we had seen when they dragged.

We don’t know if that was the cause, we can only speculate but the reality is that the anchor was stuck on the chain exactly the same as when we had seen them drag.

It’s not that our friends don’t know how to anchor or dropped the chain on top of the anchor and then tried to set it, they were just unfortunate and got a bit of chain on the anchor before paying out the chain nicely aligned after it.

What other friends told us about their dragging anchor episode was that it happened after a night of very light winds, that made their boat dance in circles on top of the anchor resulting in the chain getting fouled.

We noticed also that most of the episodes we know of Mantus dragging happened with anchors the same size as ours but with a size up of chain, 13mm.

Could a bigger link get caught more easily on the wing?? We are not sure.

85lb Mantus almost fully buried

From these observations, we have adjusted our anchoring technique.

When lowering the anchor to the seabed we find it’s best once the anchor touches the bottom to be already reversing slowly, just enough to pay out the chain in a straight line and avoid any chances of getting chain near the wings. Once the desired scope is set and the snubber fixed, it’s important (VERY IMPORTANT) to set the anchor, slowly reversing until the anchor chain is tight to the anchor and bow and then give it a 1500 rpm tug or more to set it.

Once complete we go and dive on it to make sure that the anchor is fully buried. If the wings are not fully buried we give it another tug just to be sure.

85lb Mantus almost fully buried

Ok so we all understand the Mantus has wings with bolts and that if these are exposed above the seabed the chain can get caught and if you have a night of no wind the boat will spin over the anchor and drag the chain around this can cause the chain to get caught on the wings of the anchor and it WILL bind, of course when the wind comes back the next day YOU will probably drag. And you will find the chain fouled on the anchor when you lift it wondering why you dragged! Not fun!

If you fully set the anchor it should be buried and only the roll bar and possibly a portion of the shank exposed. This is good it means that when you spin in circles and drag the chain around the anchor the chain will pass over the roll bar of the anchor, this seems to be how it’s designed to work.

85lb Mantus fully buried

We can honestly say if the reverse and set method is used and you dive to ensure its set correctly with a Mantus you are safe.

We have used our 85lb Mantus in up to 40 knots winds and can say we held steady in our 50ft yacht.

The Dream at anchor, thunderstorm on the background

With regards to our snubber, we don’t have the Mantus snubber and have over time built our own. Every boat is different and the bow configuration can vary a lot causing all sorts of challenges, but one thing we can say for sure is that we haven’t found the perfect solution yet although we are finally quite satisfied with the latest one we built.

Our snubber

One thing we would have chosen differently on our anchoring set up would be to get the 105lb Mantus anchor (the storm anchor recommended size for our boat) if we were sure that the windlass currently installed on The Dream was capable to lift it.

*** The above post is the sole opinion of the website owners based on their experience.

*** Sailing The Dream is not affiliated or endorsed by Mantus Marine nor by any of their associated resellers. However we wouldn't mind to test Mantus Marine gear on our 50ft yacht



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