Hot dip galvanising is by far the most popular finish for anchors on sailing and motor yachts - this is primarily because the relative expense of the stainless steel versions render them beyond most sailor's budget and aluminium or alloy is mainly used for kedge/secondary anchor rodes to take advantage of the light weight nature of the construction.
Galvanised steel naturally lends itself to anchor production because it is strong, heavy, durable in a marine environment, relatively inexpensive and conducive to manufacturing into complex shapes.
New generation, technologically innovative, high-holding-power, self-setting anchors dominate current concepts, but the older designs are still available for those who prefer to put their trust in the more traditional shape/profile.
Bow Roller Compatibility
The older designs tend to be manufactured only from galvanised steel. They may not have the all singing all dancing performance of the new generation anchors, but they may represent less investment when it comes to fitting the anchor on the bow roller. Replacing the anchor like for like will probably be less expensive and not having to modify the stemhead and roller arrangement may also mean a big saving. Design and Development teams are very conscious of this and the manufacturers of new design concepts tend to pay more attention to publishing detailed dimensions and full size templates, so that customers can forestall any installation issues.
Roll Bar Designs
For a while, anchor design focussed on setting and self setting performance by adding a roll bar. Roll bars can improve setting and holding performance, but present compatibility issues on some bow rollers. These manufacturers have mainly now produced an updated design without a roll bar e.g. Rocna and then Vulcan, Mantus Mark1 and Mark2.
How do you decide which anchor is best for you?
The decision making process for selecting a replacement anchor will naturally focus on budget. However, the most important influence should be an appraisal of how much you will rely on your anchor and your anchor rode. In essence, it comes down to your attitude to the risk associated with an anchoring failure. This is a personal decision shaped by your cruising plans and ultimately, your predicted worst-case scenario.
Independent Anchor Tests
There are excellent independent reviews available online for anchor comparison. While the tests will not necessarily replicate your individual experience of anchoring, or work in exactly the same way for you, they may give you a basis for making your own optimum selection.
These anchor comparison tests and reviews are extremely popular: