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Anchor Sizing


New Member
My wife and I will become full time cruisers this summer for the next year and are in the final stages of outfitting our Morgan 382. We recently upgraded our anchor with a Mantus 45lb, which by their standards, is rated as a "Cruising Anchor." This is based on a boat 35-39ft with a displacement <20,000lbs and sustained winds <50 knots. I know the Morgan 382 is 38ft with a displacement of 17,000lbs and seemed to fit the bill at the time. Now that I am over analyzing it, my concern is that 17,000lbs is not fully loaded, so that number will increase, possibly above 20,000lbs., putting the Morgan at the top end, and maybe just outside, of the "Cruising Anchor" range. One size up would be 55lb, which based on the Morgan specs, would be in the "Storm Anchor" category recommended for sustained winds >50 knots. To muddy the waters more, Mantus states their anchor ratings are conservative and based on poor holding conditions which seems to indicate there is some fluff in their estimates, although conservative is always good in my opinion.

I know the easy answer in this case is bigger is better and our bow roller can support the larger anchor (see photo), but does anyone have experience with either the 45lb or 55lb Mantus anchors, or similar styles? Since we will be full time liveaboards spending most time on the hook, the question I am asking myself is can we live with the 45lb we just bought or need to upsize to the 55lb. We also have a 26lb steel fluke and partially rusted out Spade (likely to be recycled) and a older delta which would allow for setting a couple anchors should it be needed in a big blow. Any advice for what works well from those more experienced is appreciated, thanks!



James M. Cleary
You have a massive roller system there. Have you incorporated some kind of a bail over the rollers to keep the chain from jumping out? What kind of windlass are you using? We have been using a 45lb Manson Supreme anchor for the last 12 years and are very happy with it. Although we have never had the pleasure of being on it in over 50kt conditions. The rode is 210' of G4 5/16" chain. We have been anchored in many places from Maine to the Bahamas without any issues and have always slept good at night.



robert mcdonald
Brian, I think you've opened a can of worms regarding anchor preferences. Here's my 2 cents worth. First you are correct in that a fully loaded Morgan 38 will easily top 20,000 lbs.

I have been cruising The Bahamas for 12 seasons with a bit of time pre and post Bahamas spent in southern Florida, so my comments are limited to bottom conditions in those area. My primary anchor for the first 9 seasons was a 44 lb. Spade which was a great anchor. I rode out several major blows including a 50+ knot storm in the Miami anchorage, which in my opinion had only fairly good holding, many boats dragged I did not.

Like you Spade mine rusted out and I just couldn't see spending the premium cost on a new Spade which only had given me a fairly good lifespan and I never really liked the bolt on shank. Following a lot of research and a test fit on my stock bow roller I opted for a 44 pound Vulcan by Rocna. In the 3 years I have used it I find it every bit as good as the Spade and it just seems a little beefier and comes with a lifetime warranty on the shank bending. It also self launches where as the Spade needed a good push.

All that being said I think as important as the type of anchor you choose is the care with which it is set and dug in, how much rode is used and how the chain is snubbed. More rode is always better though not always possible in a crowded anchorage. I have found in Bahamas where it is normal to anchor in 7 -8 feet (you get used to it) that 75-80 ft. of my 5/16" chain is needed and typical of countless other experienced cruisers. It is always good to know what length of rode others around you are using as there is nothing worse than one boat who has 200 feet of chain out in 8 feet of water as your neighbour who risks swinging onto you when the wind shifts. the 75-80 feet rode has been problem-free for me in medium blows, say 20 gusting 25. If it's forecast to be 25-35+ I'll use 125 ft. of chain. I have seen many boats try to get away with 45 or 50 feet in light to moderate winds and they often have problems.

With regard to snubbing I have always used 1/2 inch 3 strand nylon at a length of about 15 feet - more never hurts as this is the elastic in the system which prevents the chain from jerking the anchor. I've often thought 5/8" 3 strand might be a better choice but never have made the change.

I have no experience with the Mantus but they get consistently good reviews so I think your's at 45 lbs. should serve you very well based on my experience with similarly sized other top makes, assuming good anchoring practices mentioned above.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers Bob
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Terence Thatcher
As my primary anchor, I use a 44 lb. Spade, all chain rode, with good results. I believe that size is good for a best bower. 55 is massive for a Morgan. Where are you cruising? Some places you will be highly unlikely to encounter storm conditions in small anchorages.The wind is not the issue; it is whether you find yourself anchored in significant waves. If you are worried, get yourself a stowable storm anchor: the spade breaks down and can be re-assembled quickly.


Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Brian - welcome to the forum! And to being a Morganeer. The reason I love this forum: those three fellows that answered you probably have a combined 70+ years of experience with your specific boat model, in several very different oceans. Awesome, eh?

So, I’d trust their advice. We have a 44 lbs Spade, too, and we always have an ample scope, all chain rode, and it has never failed us (knocking on our ample wooden toe rail), including in some significant wind & waves.

Wow, that’s quite a bow roller you have there ... Seems like you should find someone to joust with! I’m pretty sure you’d win. Somebody built it stout.

Tim Eichel

Hey Brian, I went through the same back and forth from 45 to 55lb Mantus. I settled on the 55 and love it so far. I also bought the Mantus bow roller (looks like you do not need one). I bought 200ft of chain and a new Lorfans Cayman windlass to complete the project.

I ordered the windlass from the UK and even with the tax and shipping DHL, I still saved $1000 compared to the US prices.


Ken Ferrari
I had a 45lb Mantus as my primary, and I loved it. Though, I did bend the shank in the Bahamas a few years ago on a switching current. They replaced it under warranty. I also had a 65lb Mantus broken down as a storm anchor. Mantus didn't make the 55lb when I bought my anchors, otherwise I probably would have chosen it as my primary. Maybe a giant Fortress for a storm anchor.

After about a year of cruising I realized that I had zero interest in assembling and deploying a storm anchor in the middle of the night when conditions went to hell. Therefore, I now store the 45lb Mantus as a spare, and the 65lb Mantus lives on the bow ready to go. I anchor for storm conditions every night - I sized my windlass to lift the 65lb, so, why not? I've heard it said that if people aren't laughing at the size of your anchor, it's too small. We're the laughing stock of most anchorages, and we sleep like babies!

I've ridden out a tropical storm on the 65lb. I've also seen 65 knots of wind during a derecho on my 45lb (in the soupy mud of the Chesapeake), and it didn't drag. These are great anchors, IMO.

Here's the 65lb beast looking ridiculous on the hard in Portugal!

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Mark Pearson
Staff member
I've heard it said that if people aren't laughing at the size of your anchor, it's too small.
Ha! That's great, I hadn't heard that one before.

I do have to say, in the big picture, having 10 extra pounds of anchor aboard does not seem like a waste of capacity, and it's in an important category. Maybe I should lose 10 pounds and get 10 more pounds of anchor. ;)


Ken Ferrari
I do have to say, in the big picture, having 10 extra pounds of anchor aboard does not seem like a waste of capacity, and it's in an important category. Maybe I should lose 10 pounds and get 10 more pounds of anchor. ;)
These new generation anchors are so good in nearly all conditions that it's almost quaint to carry two different designs on the bow (no offense meant towards those that carry multiple designs on their rollers - I have 3 anchors onboard, just not on the bow). Rather than carry 90-100 lbs spread across two anchors on the bow, I've opted for one big honking 65lb slab of metal. And, I'm still saving at least 30-40% of the weight of two anchors on the bow.


New Member
Thanks for all the input! What a great place to ask questions like this. Sounds like the 45lb Mantus will do just the trick for now, and certainly leaves room for a future upgrade!