Sailing ABC by Marianne Wheeler
A is for Anchor – Anchoring, II
The books written about anchors and anchoring would probably fill the hold of the Golden Hinde. There are many different kinds of anchors. All are heavy and increase in weight when pulled up hand over hand. They all have parts that dig into the bottom of the sea or hook onto rocks, or other boats’ ground tackle.
The two most popular types of anchors today are said to be the Danforth and the plow.
The Danforth, named after its inventor Richard Danforth in 1938 and tested on San Francisco Bay, is lightweight with strong holding power. It holds well in sand, clay, and hard mud.
The plow, named after its shape and made by various companies, is good for all mud, weeds, and rocky bottoms.
A 35 foot sailboat might carry a 20 lb. Danforth or a 25 lb. plow anchor, or both. How can a 20 pound anchor hold a 2 ton boat? Anchors have evolved from a rope tied around a heavy stone to very specialized designs for burying themselves into the bottom of the sea with great holding power for the least weight required.