Why we chose a Mantus anchor as the primary anchor for Barefoot Gal. Some day, our lives -- or at least our boat -- may depend on our choice.

Mantus Anchors

Barefoot Gal has a wonderful 35-pound Mantus Anchor and chain hook — I wrote this when we first bought it, as to why we chose Mantus. It has performed flawlessly since then — read the last update at the bottom!

Barefoot Gal came with a 33-pound Bruce anchor as the primary and a 25-pound Danforth as the backup anchor. Dave and I aren’t big fans of Danforth anchors as they don’t reset well if the wind or current (tide) changes. We knew that we wanted to replace it.

Our plan was that the Bruce would become our backup anchor and we’d get a new primary. We’d originally had a Bruce on our previous boat, Que Tal. And we rode out a Category 1 hurricane on it in a good hurricane hole. So we were comfortable with it being our second anchor.

Still, after going through Hurricane Marty in 2003 we had upgraded to a new generation Spade anchor. At the time we bought it, the Spade was one of the newest anchor designs on the market, and it served us well for over 5 years. Frankly, we loved that anchor and it kept us safe twice when nearby boats ended up on the rocks in unexpected winds. Read more about our experiences with the Spade.

So why not go with another Spade if we’d liked it so much? How to put this . . . we have nothing against Spade, but anchors have continued to evolve in the twelve years since we bought the one for Que Tal.

We’d seen Mantus Anchors at boat shows and met the company founders, Greg and Deneen. Greg’s an ER physician and Deneen a senior engineer at NASA. The number one thing that impressed both Dave and me was how the weight of the Mantus was concentrated in the tip, even compared to other new generation anchors. Admittedly, neither of us are engineers, but we both feel that tip weight (and a really sharp pointed tip) are major components of an anchor setting . . . and resetting.

We watched their anchor test videos and again were impressed by how the Mantus set when many others wouldn’t. See all the anchor test videos here.

Most importantly, we talked in person, via email and via Facebook to numerous Mantus owners. Not one had a bad thing to say about using the anchor or stories of it letting them down.

Anchor choice is somewhat subjective, and experiences can vary with the conditions that people typically anchor in as well as their anchoring technique. We know that it’s not just the anchor that’s important, but the snubbers, cleats and attachment points as well — it’s a system. We don’t know all the details of these people’s systems, but the fact that none of the owners had anything bad to say about the Mantus meant a lot to us.

Buying a newer design anchor has pros and cons. On the plus side, you hope that the fact that it’s new means that it’s at the top of the design curve. The minus is that there aren’t tons of independent tests. It’s a bit of a leap of faith, where you have to rely on your own analysis and feedback from other even earlier adopters. In 2003, our analysis led us to buy the Spade (at $1200 in Mexico for a 66 pounder, not a small decision) and it worked well for us. Now, we’re betting on a Mantus 35.

Finally, the list price of the Mantus is just a hair over half of what a similar size Spade costs today in the US. Full disclosure: Mantus is a TBG sponsor and we did get a discount on the anchor purchase and I do make a tiny bit on sales made through the links here. However, since our anchor is our boat’s number one safety item, price alone is not the determining factor in our decision nor is friendship with the company’s founders. We got a Mantus because we think it’s the best all-around anchor for us. I recommend it for that reason, too.

UPDATE: A year later, we love the Mantus. We’ve been in some areas with 3+ knot current and it has set immediately and held rock steady. We also use the Mantus chain hook on our bridle and it is wonderful!

SECOND UPDATE (January 2017): If possible, we love our Mantus more than ever. Last summer, we were in five squalls in the Bahamas with winds over 40 knots. We held with zero dragging when multiple boats around us were dragging (in one case, we were the only one of four boats in the anchorage that didn’t drag). More impressively, a very unexpected squall came through our next to the last night in the Bahamas, putting us on a lee shore in 35 knots of wind coming from a direction with 50 miles of fetch (totally the opposite of the prevailing winds). Just to make it a tad more “interesting,” our engine was being temperamental and we knew we couldn’t count on it to motor to a better spot. Barefoot Gal didn’t budge.

Why we chose a Mantus anchor as the primary anchor for Barefoot Gal. Some day, our lives  -- or our boat -- may depend on our choice.

I'd like to know about...

Explore more

Want weekly tidbits of cruising information? Sign up for The Boat Galley's free weekly newsletter. You'll get the newest articles and podcasts as well as a few relevant older articles that you may have missed.

Do you find The Boat Galley useful? You can support the site when you buy from Amazon by using the links on this site or clicking below. No extra cost for you!

  • SV Kokopelli
    Posted at 21 January 2015 Reply

    We have a 65 lb and it sets first time every time. No affiliation with Mantus just love their anchors

  • Peter bould
    Posted at 27 January 2015 Reply

    Looks like a copy of the New Zealand designed Rocna which is one piece, not made up of various bits bolted together. We used to have a Bruce and before that a Delta and before that a CQR. in extreme conditions we managed to drag all these to some degree but with the Rocna we never moved. Spent most of 2012 in the Sth Pacific with zero drag. So I like the type but prefer the one piece Rocna

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 27 January 2015 Reply

      There are similarities, but also a number of differences when you see them in person.

  • SV Cloud 9
    Posted at 31 December 2015 Reply

    Is there an advantage to the SS anchor over the galvanized anchor (other than corrosion resistance)? SS is 4 times the cost which is a high premium for appearance and some improved corrosion resistance.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 31 December 2015 Reply

      SS is actually NOT as strong as galvanized, the tradeoff for the corrosion resistence.

      • nick Maggio/SV/seadaddler
        Posted at 19 April 2016 Reply

        I did purchase a 35lb mantus for my 07 H-36 and all I can say it is fantastic and sets and grabs like glue
        and been very happy with it and my delta was good also but the mantus just much better and also use the new mantus chain snubber hook too.
        Nick Maggio

  • Allan Nichols
    Posted at 23 April 2016 Reply

    New to The Boat Galley, and what I’ve seen I like the Mantus. I’m interested in your bridle set up. Is there a previous posting on this?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 23 April 2016 Reply

      I haven’t written about it — thanks for the idea! Update: it’s now done: http://theboatgalley.com/anchoring-bridle-with-a-mantus-chain-hook/

      A previous owner had put a fairly standard bridle on the boat and we replaced the standard “chain hook” on the end (which would fall off the chain) with the Mantus chain hook. Mantus also makes a whole bridle that is great (we didn’t get it since we already had the bridle, but it’s actually a better setup).
      Our bridle
      The loops go on our bow cleats — the beam of the boat is 14′ and from the end of the loop to where the two lines are spliced together is about 9 feet. Dave would prefer that the two-line splice to the eye splice with thimble was a little longer.

      The Mantus chain hook has both a gate to keep the chain in the hook and also is designed so that a link goes in and then slides so that it’s also less likely to even try to come out.

      Here’s a link to the chain hook and one for the whole bridle assembly.

      Here’s a short video (48 seconds) showing how the Mantus chain hook works:

  • Robin Cobb
    Posted at 21 May 2016 Reply

    So with the new boat, what is your current
    Hurricane/storm ground tackle/anchoring plan? That you hopefully never need.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 21 May 2016 Reply

      Our Mantus, a Bruce, a Fortress, long chain and rope rodes on all, 200′ spool of extra 3-strand nylon line, plus all our dock lines and extra bits of line . . . Much depends on where are as to how we’ll deploy it all, but we’re thinking we’ll anchor with anchors and then tie into mangroves.

  • Diane
    Posted at 04 August 2016 Reply

    We purchased out 65lb Mantus 3 years ago and just love it. Met Doc Greg @ the Annapolis boat show, such a great guy. We have been in 50 knot winds and she’s held steady. It’s nice to go to bed at night and sleep well while at anchor.

  • Matt C.
    Posted at 29 December 2017 Reply

    Hi Carolyn:

    I’m a huge fan of your blog and all your amazing articles, so first a big thank you for all the work you put into it!

    I currently have a 55lb Rocna and, as a lot of other articles online show, it has a big problem with fouling due to bottom junk (thick mud and grass) getting stuck between the fluke the rollbar. I will often pull up a huge, heavy piece of the bottom after really strong sets. This has led to CATASTROPHIC failure on one occasion in a grassy bottom– after a strong 180-degree wind-shift the anchor popped free and could not reset (because it was basically just a huge ball of grass). A terrible situation for any anchor, and shame on the captain for anchoring there in the first place, but…

    With it also having a rollbar, have you ever had (or heard of) any evidence of these same problems with a Mantus? Have you ever brought up an extensive bottom sample with it?

    Thanks again!
    Matt C.
    S/V Independence

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 29 December 2017 Reply

      We have not had any similar problem, but let me contact the folks at Mantus and ask what they’ve heard from customers.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 30 December 2017 Reply

      Greg Kutson, co-founder of Mantus, sent me this reply:

      All anchors can get fouled up… most commonly debris gets lodged on the shank and creates a big collection of sediment that prevents the anchor from resetting… Some anchors are less likely than other from getting dislodged with a wind shift…. see how Mantus performs..


Post A Comment