by Ken Signorello
Last fall we reported on a new anchor design invented by Peter Mele of Crown Point, NY. As most boaters are aware Danforth style anchors tends to clog up when anchoring in areas of heavy bottom growth and don’t provide adequate holding power. As the water level begins to drop, the weeds become thicker, adding to the problem. If you plan to anchor anywhere near shore you need to be concerned about dragging, especially with the increase in wind velocity during the early fall. A solution to this problem is the Bulwagga Anchor designed and built right here in the North Country by NoTeco, Inc., Crown Point, New York.
Last year Harborwatch received one of these prototypes (twenty pounds) and I did a basic holding test in thick weeds. I dropped a Danforth with 6 feet of chain into four feet of water. The bottom had a heavy covering of weeds. I did the same with the Bulwagga Anchor. I let out about twenty-five feet of anchor line. I did two tests; the first was a quick pull; the second was a slow steady pull. The Danforth style anchor felt like it caught when I applied a slow, steady pressure but after about fifteen seconds or so it let loose and I pulled up the familiar bucket full of weeds. On the second attempt I used a quick pull and the Danforth hardly held at all.
The Bulwagga Anchor settled to the bottom quickly. I slowly applied pressured and it held instantly. No matter how hard I pulled while standing on the dock I could not pull the Bulwagga Anchor loose. In the second test when I applied a quick pull the results were similar. The Bulwagga Anchor simply dug in and held, despite the heavy bottom growth.
Mele explains that the secret is the angle of attack of the flukes. The Danforth initially lies flat on weeds and entangles them when pulled though the bed. The Bulwagga when initially dropped straddles the weeds, only entangling the few it hits on the edge of its flukes. In addition to working very well in weeds, the design allows the new anchor to work like a grappling hook, holding in rocks as well. Another unique feature is a sliding shank. This allows the shank to fully retract when pulled 180 degrees from the angle of set, making retrieval of a fouled anchor much easier.
Bulwagga pricing is comparable to a Bruce or QCR but lighter for the boat size. A 9-pound Bulwagga Anchor will hold a 20' boat. It is a great solution to an annoying problem and will let you sleep easier at night. With satisfaction guaranteed you really can’t go wrong trying out this brilliant design. You can learn more about the Bulwagga at http://www.noteco.com/anchor.htm.