Marvin, Georgy & Nancy
We spoke to you at FLIBS this past Sunday about how superbly our Ultra anchor has performed. Here is our testimony:
After several years of stopping by the Ultra booth at the Ft Lauderdale Boatshow, in 2012 we decided to purchase an Ultra for our Bristol 45.5. We replaced a CQR which had served us quite well over many years, but certainly had it's limitations in many bottoms, .i.e .hard bottoms, grass, kelp, and very soupy mud. We watched a video of the Ultra and could see this anchor perform in various bottoms, particularly how it performed in grass by digging itself below the grass into a solid bottom. We decided to purchase the 27kg/60 lb Ultra. Our boat is relatively heavy, fully loaded around 45,000 lbs, with high topside weight and sail area due to our Hood stoway mast. That winter (2013) we headed on our annual cruise to the Bahamas. The first test was when we arrived at Morgan's Bluff, Andros where the bottom is very hard and difficult to find good holding. We simply put the boat where we wanted, without regard for the appearance of the bottom in about 7' at LW, the Ultra and it immediately grabbed and held firm while backing down with nearly full throttle. The next test came several days later when we anchored in Royal Island Harbor near the north end of Eleuthera. The bottom here is largely grass with a few sand patches. With the CQR we would cruise around looking for the clearest patch before anchoring. With the Ultra we decided to ignore what we saw on the bottom and again just put the boat where we wanted to anchor. We dropped the Ultra and once again it immediately dug in without hesitation and never budged while backing down at full throttle. Since that time we have anchored in Royal Harbor at least 7 or 8 times and the Ultra has performed perfectly in the notorious grassy bottom. I have brought up huge clumps of grass on the anchor with roots at the bottom of the grass clumps showing that the Ultra performed exactly as advertised. That winter we anchored 30-40 times and the Ultra never failed to set immediately. We rode out a number of strong cold fronts with winds gusting well above 30-35kts and we never budged. During frontal passages, with rapid wind shifts, this anchor never failed to reset as the boat swung sometime 90 degrees to the wind, often in the dark of night.
Later that season we sailed to Maine from Florida and no matter where we anchored the Ultra continued to set immediately. The final and what we call the "ultimate" test for the Ultra occurred when we arrived in Gloucester, Ma. on our way south. The designated anchorage area in Gloucester is about 22-25' deep with some of the soupiest mud we have ever encountered. Over the years we had tried countless times to get a really good set with our CQR but it would always slip and slide through the mud. We'd tried various techniques such as putting down the CQR and then waiting 10-15 min for it to sink down through this ooze, then try to set it. No luck. So the day we arrived with our Ultra we did what we had always done with this anchor: motor into place and drop the anchor and pay out chain. This day we had about 15 kts of wind blowing into the anchorage so as we let out chain the bow fell off to starboard until we were about 45 degrees off the wind. The next thing that happened was the Ultra bit and we literally almost lost our balance as the bow rounded back into the wind!
Since that initial season of 2013 we have anchored several hundred times and the Ultra has never failed to set immediately on the first try. We have slept much more soundly since then and have the peace of mind that we have the best anchor ever designed. We have compared notes with friends who have the Rocna anchor, but would not trade our Ultra for all the Rocnas under the sun! This is the best piece of equipment we have purchased on any boat for any purpose. The Ultra is our life insurance and we trust it with our lives!
Cheers, and thanks again for the caps which we proudly wear!
Nancy & George Marvin