Danforth Anchor Explained – Plus Best Danforth Anchors

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One of the most common anchors used by recreational boaters is the Danforth Anchor. Its manufacturer claims that it is the most trusted anchor in the world since 1939.

The Danforth anchor is a trademarked name for the type of anchor generically known as a fluke anchor or lightweight anchor. This anchor uses a stock at its crown where two big triangular flat flukes are attached.

The stock is hinged to enable the flukes to orient properly toward the bottom. Its crown also has tripping palms, which act to tip the flukes into the sea bottom.

Read on to learn more about the Danforth anchor, including a video demonstrating how effective it is.

Also, take a look at my favorite Danforth anchor, the Fortress Marine Anchors – Fortress FX-23 (15 lbs. Anchor / 39-45′ Boats), on Amazon to see its specs and price.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Danforth Anchor

The Danforth anchor is actually a trademarked name for the type of anchor called a fluke anchor. The “Danforth” name came from Richard Danforth, an American inventor who developed a particular modification of the fluke anchor in 1939.

This modification of the fluke anchor was developed for use by the landing craft of the United States Armed Forces during World War II. Since then, the Danforth anchor has been considered as the “world’s most trusted anchor.”

The Danforth is sometimes used as a primary anchor, and at other times, a secondary anchor. For its weight, this anchor offers superior holding power. The Danforth design features two big triangular flukes joined to the stock. This design element enables the flukes to position themselves to the sea bottom at 32 degrees for optimum holding power in typical hard sand sea bottoms.

These anchors are made of high-tensile 4130 steel for improved strength. Some of these anchors are heat-treated to produce Hi-Tensile models that can offer a significant increase in holding power.

Every anchor of this brand is hot-dip galvanized. This process prolongs the service life of the anchors. These anchors also perform well in sand and mud and stow easily on many bow rollers.

Danforth Anchor Vs Delta Anchor

How are Danforth anchors different from Delta anchors? There are several differences between these two anchor types, and they are as follows:

1. Shape and Design

One of the main Danforth vs Delta anchor differences is that the Delta anchor is a one-piece anchor shaped like a plow. Its design eliminated the use of hinges. On the other hand, the Danforth boat anchor has hinges that enable the flukes to pivot so that the anchor can orient toward the sea bed properly.

2. Anchor Style

The Danforth anchor lands on the bottom flat on its side. Some Deltas plow into the seafloor and compacts the floor.

3. Storage

Danforths are easy to store because they lie flat. Deltas are easier to store in the boat’s bow but not on a locker.

4. Weight and Size

Danforth boat anchors are generally lighter and smaller, while Delta anchors are usually heavier and bigger.

5. Fluke Angle

The angle of the flukes is important in Danforths. There is no angle to bother with in Deltas.

6. Holding Power

Delta anchors have the reputation of having the strongest holding power of all types of anchors. On the contrary, Danforths aren’t known to have the greatest holding power.

Best Danforth Anchor – Osculati and Fortress Anchors

The best Danforth anchors available in the market today are Osculati anchors and Fortress anchors. Here are some of the details you need to know about these two marine anchor brands.

1. Osculati Danforth Anchor

The stock department of Osculati is the largest storage of marine accessories in Europe. Osculati is one of the leading companies in the market of marine accessories in the European continent. It was established in 1958 in Milan and has now grown to be a top company that has grossed €67 million in revenues in 2018.

Osculati’s line of Danforth anchors is of high quality. It is the result of the company’s investments and innovations in technology and quality improvement. Major shipyards in the world have put their trust in the anchors and other marine accessories that this company has been producing.

Continued research for quality and innovative investments on raw material behavior (i.e., salt spray chamber) has characterized the growth of Osculati. That is why it has earned the respect and confidence of major shipyards in the world.

Here is a sample list of Osculati Danforth anchors available in the market today:

  1. Osculati Danforth Marine Boat Stainless Steel Anchor, 62 lb (28 kg) 740x600x390 mm Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. Osculati DANFORTH Marine Boat Stainless Steel Anchor 49 lb (22 kg) 740x600x390 mm Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Osculati DANFORTH Marine Boat Stainless Steel Anchor 33 lb (15 kg) 770x570x430 mm
  4. Osculati Danforth Anchor, 26 lbs. (12 kg.)
  5. Osculati Danforth Anchor, 20 lbs. (9 kg.)
  6. Osculati Danforth Anchor, 15 lbs. (7 kg.)

Click here to see it on Amazon.

All of these anchors are luxurious models made from mirror-polished AISI 316 stainless steel. They are also highly resistant to corrosion.

danforth anchor for boats

2. Fortress Marine – Fortress Danforth Anchor

Fortress Danforth anchors are made of precision-machined aluminum-magnesium alloy. This material makes this anchor easier to handle. It sets faster and deeper in typical sea floors compared to the conventional and heavier steel anchors.

These anchors are well known for their superior performance. Their high-tensile aluminum alloy material is precision-machined into components that interlock together. There is also no need for welding, which only serves to weaken metals. Aluminum is highly resistant to corrosion. The final product is lighter, easy to handle, and offers tremendous holding power.

U.S. Navy tests have proven that Fortress Danforth anchors can outperform heavy steel anchors. Test results show that these anchors were also able to pull weights that averaged their indicated weight more than 200 times without sustaining severe damage.

Fortress anchors come in different weights and sizes. They include:

  1. Fortress Marine Anchors – Fortress FX-55 (32 lbs. Anchor / 52-58′ Boats) – Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. Fortress Marine Anchors – Fortress FX-37 (21 lbs. Anchor / 46-51′ Boats) – Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Fortress Marine Anchors – Fortress FX-23 (15 lbs. Anchor / 39-45′ Boats) 
  4. Fortress FX-16 Danforth Anchor, 10 lbs. (4.5 kg)
  5. Fortress FX-11 Danforth Anchor, 7 lbs. (3 kg)
  6. Fortress FX-7 Danforth Anchor, 4 lbs. (2 kg)

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Fortress Marine – Guardian Danforth Anchor

Another anchor model made by Fortress is the Fortress Guardian Danforth Boat Anchor. Guardian anchors are more affordable and are an excellent alternative to heavy steel anchors. They are also safer. These anchor models are a result of years of R&D by Fortress.

Guardian anchors are made of Fortress’ special manufacturing process of high tensile and corrosion-resistant aluminum-magnesium alloy material. This material is made more affordable by using smaller extrusion profiles and removing extra features like adjustable fluke angles. The process also eliminated several machining steps and removed the process of anodizing the metal.

Another modification to make it more affordable is that the Guardian anchor can only be adjusted to a single 32-degree angle. Fortress Anchors can be adjusted from 32 to 45 degrees to give them additional holding power. All Guardian anchors also have Mud Palms. This design element helps these anchors to set quicker in all types of sea bottoms.

Some of the Fortress Guardian anchors available in the market include:

  1. Fortress G-55 Danforth Anchor, 29 lbs. (13 kg) – Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. Fortress G-37 Danforth Anchor, 18 lbs. (8 kg) – Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Fortress G-23 Danforth Anchor, 13 lbs. (6 kg)
  4. Fortress G-16 Danforth Anchor, 7 lbs. (3.2 kg)
  5. Fortress G-11 Danforth Anchor, 6 lbs. (2.7 kg)
  6. Fortress G-7 Danforth Anchor, 4 lbs. (2 kg)
  7. Fortress G-5 Danforth Anchor, 2.5 lbs. (1 kg)

Differences Between the Fortress Anchor and the Guardian Anchor

While the same company makes them, the Fortress original anchor and the Fortress Guardian anchor have some marked differences. The following table shows some of their differences.

Fortress Original AnchorFortress Guardian Anchor
Anodized or given a chemically bonded coating, resulting in enhanced corrosion resistance and a more attractive surface.Not anodized
There are two adjustable angles: 32° and 45°.The only adjustment is the 32° angle.
Structurally strongerNot as structurally strong as the Fortress
More machining processes are given to the flukes and shank. They are sharper and can penetrate the sea bottom deeply, resulting in greater holding power.Machining is not as comprehensive as the process given to the Fortress anchor. Thus, it is not as capable as the Fortress when it comes to sea bottom penetration and has less holding power.
With lifetime parts replacement warrantyOne-year only lifetime parts replacement warranty

Tips for Choosing the Right Danforth Anchor – Plus Danforth Sizing

Choosing the right Danforth Style Anchor for your boat depends on some factors. The factors include the following:

danforth boat anchor

1. Size of Your Boat

Your boat’s size is the primary consideration when choosing the right Danforth Anchor. I have provided a table at the bottom to help you determine the right Danforth Anchor based on boat size. The table recommends both the Fortress Danforth and the Guardian Danforth.

2. The Sea Bottom Condition

The seafloor’s condition, where you usually anchor, will also influence the type of anchor that you will use.

3. The Weather Condition

The weather condition at the time and place you often anchor should play a part in determining the right Danforth style anchor that you will use.

4. The Current and Tide Condition

You should also consider the tide and current conditions at the time and place where you usually anchor your boat.

5. Holding Power of the Anchor

The holding power of the anchor should be considered when choosing an anchor. The holding power is not always related to the size and weight of the anchor. Some anchors only weigh 5 pounds but can hold up to 1,000 pounds. Check these details first before you decide on anything.

6. Get Two Different Anchors

Most experienced boaters recommend the use of two different anchor styles: one for the bow and one for the stern. You can get maximum anchoring security for your boat if you have two different anchors.

7. Go for Convenience

Choose an anchor that offers the most convenience. An ideal anchor can be easily deployed, stored, and easily set at the sea bottom.

Here are two tables that will serve as a guideline for Danforth anchor sizing according to the length of boats.

Danforth Anchor Size Chart

Table 1. Danforth Anchor Boat Sizing (Danforth anchor size chart)

Length of BoatDanforth Anchor Weight
8 to 16 feet4 pounds
15 to 25 feet8 pounds
26 to 36 feet16 pounds
32 to 36 feet22 pounds

Table 2. Guardian Anchor Boat Sizing

Length of BoatGuardian Anchor Weight
12 to 16 feet2.5 pounds (G-5)
17 to 22 feet4 pounds (G-7)
23 to 27 feet6 pounds (G-11)
28 to 33 feet7 pounds (G-16)
34 to 41 feet13 pounds (G-23)
42 to 47 feet18 pounds (G-37)

Conclusion – Danforth Anchor

So, to summarize, the Danforth anchor, also called the fluke anchor, is one of the most common anchors used by recreational boaters. Another name given to the Danforth anchor is the fluke anchor or lightweight anchor.

This anchor uses a stock at its crown, where two big triangular flat flukes are attached. The stock is hinged to enable the flukes to orient properly toward the bottom. There are also tripping palms at the crown of this anchor. These tripping palms act to tip the flukes into the sea bottom to the right position.

With the above information, including the Danforth anchor size chart, you should have a good idea of what a Danforth anchor is and the best Danforth anchors to choose for your boat.

Related reading:

Boat Anchor Types – 7 Types With Examples

Delta Anchor Explained – Plus Best Delta Anchors

Fortress Anchor Explained – Plus Best Fortress Anchors

Mantus Anchor Review – M1 and M2 Mantus Anchors