The (ALMIGHTY) Mantus Anchor
May 25, 2015
Mantus Anchor Review
We reached out to Team Mantus in February of last year, looking for a new anchor for s/v YOLO. Even though YOLO came with a 50 pound Delta, we knew we needed a better hook to keep us safely in place.To the uninitiated, myself included, anchoring can be a daunting subject to not only understand, but also execute. We had ZERO experience with the art before setting out on s/v YOLO’s maiden voyage. Sure, I read a lot on the topic and spoke with other’s on their own techniques. But that was it, no real-world practical use. Anchoring was an area of primary concern for me, going into our adventure.
As liveaboards, your ground tackle just might be your most important gear aboard. Unfortunately, a boat is not quite like a car, when it comes to keeping it in place. You can’t just pull up to the anchorage, put your gear selector in PARK and then set the brake (and then grab a Pacifico Ballena).
Back in April of 2014, CoCo and I had the privilege of meeting the Mantus owners at Strictly Sail Pacific in Oakland. After chatting with them and getting product demos of their awesome product line, we were HOOKED, pun intended. We ended up selecting their 65 pound beast of an anchor. Other must haves, regardless of experience level, are their bridal snubber, chain hook, multi use tool, and dinghy anchor.
Fast forward to today…our 64th night at anchor. While I would not proclaim to be an anchoring master, I think we have it pretty well figured out. However, I must give a large portion of the credit to the Mantus anchor. A boater’s biggest fear, other than running out of beer or encountering pirates, is dragging in the middle of the night, while sleeping. Dragging is bad news. The problem with dragging is it is very difficult to feel. Even with our anchor firmly set at this moment, the boat is moving. We have a gentle swell coming into our protected bay and we have fluky winds that can’t decide which direction they want to blow. This means we are swinging around on the anchor and chain. A boat will almost always point into the direction the wind in blowing from (unless you are anchored in La Paz). So essentially, your boat can move, but only in a radius of the amount of chain you have let out. If you were to drag without noticing, best case scenario is that you wake up out in the middle of the ocean. Worst case – you are washed up on shore. This is why you must trust your ground tackle 110%.
If you are a cruiser, then you know that watching other boats come into anchor can be a pretty fun spectator sport. Particularly when you have been securely set for a day or two, reading a book in the cockpit, perhaps a drink in hand. We have watched numerous boats make 3 or 4 attempts to set their own hooks. We never have to reset. EVER! I really don’t think this is lack of skill on their part. It is simply the anchor. All anchors are NOT equal. Here are our statistics since we have been out cruising:
Max sustained winds while at anchor – 28 knots for 6 hours
Max wind gust – 39 knots
Anchor Drags – ZERO
Anchor reset due to anchor failing to set – ONE (this was our fault, as we were in a notoriously difficult anchoring location. You have to land the hook on a fairly narrow strip of sand, otherwise you are on bare rock on either side.)
What we love about our Mantus anchor:
- It is BIG and HEAVY
- It sets fast
- It sets on the first attempt
- It comes up easily when hoisting
- Doesn’t seem to collect much sand/mud/grass/etc when hoisting up
- It can be broken down if necessary
What could be improved (these issues were specific to our boat and certainly not experienced by all other users):
- The anchor is not compatible with many standard types of bow rollers. I had to drill a separate hole in the anchor that allows me to align a securing pin to pass through it and the anchor roller sides.
- Once the anchor is almost completely up, we have to stop the windlass and manually lift the anchor up and over the bow roller to sit correctly. The windlass probably could pull it all the way, but it would put a tremendous force on the motor and gears.
*Mantus does offer a bow roller modification product that can help alleviate the above issues, which we are probably purchasing for next season.
As I mentioned earlier we also own the Mantus bridal snubber, chain hook, multi use tool, and dinghy anchor. We love all of the items and will try to get a review done with more specifics about each of them. Here are a few cool pics of the Mantus dinghy anchor.
All in all, Mantus is an awesome company with awesome people behind their products. Don’t hesitate to contact me or the Mantus team directly with any specific questions. Furthermore, their website has awesome videos demonstrating how their anchor sets and holds as well as really handy sizing charts to figure out what would be appropriate for your own boat.
***We were provided with all of our Mantus gear at a discounted price. In return for their generosity, we agreed to write this unbiased review of their product.
Strictly Sail Pacific: A Bitchin’ Boat Show
April 16, 2014
Strictly Sail Pacific… in one word…WOW! I’ll admit, I’ve never been to a sailing show, or to northern California, so I had no clue what to expect. But when Matt asked me if I wanted to go, the answer was, “Hell yes.” Any opportunity to get away for a couple of days, is always appealing to a stay at home mother of two. So we purchased our thrifty Thursday passes for eleven dollars each, boarded our 8 PM flight on Wednesday and we were in Oakland by 10 PM. We found it easier to stay close to the airport (and the Raider’s coliseum) because we landed late Wednesday night.
The next morning we couldn’t get to the show fast enough! We wanted to experience Oakland to its fullest, so we jumped on the BART. If you’ve never been to Oakland, the BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit. You basically pay your fare at a kiosk and use the ticket to get on the underground train. I felt like I was in New York City! When we arrived, we immediately headed straight for the million dollar catamarans. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend our time, but to drool over boats we’d never be able to afford. After quickly realizing we were missing out on some free schwag, and Matt is a huge fan of free, we headed toward the main building. On our way, we ran into Mantus Anchors. Mantus is a smaller sized company gaining serious traction with an innovative product line. Visiting with companies like this is why Matt and I wanted to attend the show. We love hearing their stories, how they started out, and why/when they fell in love with sailing. We have also procured Mantus as our very FIRST sponsor and will be providing a detailed post in due time on this subject!
After visiting, we realized we were late for our first seminar on Off Shore Self Steering hosted by John and Karen Curry. It was very interesting and John is hilarious. The next seminar we attended was Communications on the High Seas for the Cruising Sailor, hosted by Richard Beckett. At that point my ADD was setting in and I split for lunch with our friend Amanda Best and Matt stuck around with Shane and attended Rig Inspection, hosted by Brion Toss. Shane and Matt are both diehards and could sit for days listening to ol’ salts talk about sailing. Once the seminars ended, we quickly sniffed out the Quantum Sail wine and cheese happy hour and after 3 bottles of wine, we finally decided it was time to meet my idol. Someone had said Bob Bitchin was in the next booth and I was ready to say hi, now that I had plenty of liquid courage. He was everything I expected, jovial, chocked full of great stories, and a giant teddy bear. He made my trip! He’s the kind of guy you could sit around a camp fire and listen to all night. As many of you know Bob has written seven books on sailing and his adventures in it, was the publisher of Latitudes and Attitudes, and now publishes Cruising Outpost Magazine. Bob really helped me to connect with sailing, he inspired me to love sailing in the first place, and then makes me fall in love with it all over again every time I read one of his books or magazines. He’s down to earth, positive and enthusiastic about sailing, and through that embodies the sailing community attitude.
Not only did we purchase our Guidebooks/Charts (at a discount) for the western coast of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez, but we met the authors themselves and they signed our books. Another perk to buying stuff at the show.
A huge factor in making the boat show so much fun was also meeting some new cruising friends. Shane and Amanda Best, who just purchased a Tayana 42 (s/v Sunday Morning…soon to be Wryly Phoenix) , were also at the boat show. They had originally emailed us for info on a Tayana for sale in Mexico that we had previously looked at. They like to party and have fun! So we hit it off. I have found the sailing community is filled with some awesome people, Amanda and Shane are two of them.
The boat show was a great way for Matt and I to experience new products, meet a plethora of great sailors and friends, and learn more on the finer points of sailing. We both decided next year we will go again, but we’ll be staying longer. One day just isn’t enough!