Fortress Anchors
FX-7
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Fortress Anchors FX-7 Fortress Anchors FX-7
For over 30 years, Fortress anchors have been highly-renowned. They are extraordinarily well-engineered and finished, which was noted by the US Navy during their extensive anchor testing in 1989. These anchors provide an ease of handling and versatility that is unequalled, and because of their precision-machined design, they have the holding power of an anchor that is typically twice the weight. Fortress anchors can be set for various bottom conditions, and are known for their ability to be easily disassembled and stowed. The FX-7 is the smallest offering from Fortress at four pounds but exceeds its diminutive specifications in big ways.




Fortress Anchors FX-7 Captain's Report

Fortress FX-7 Fortress FX-7
The Fortress FX-7 is shown assembled and disassembled. Assembly is accomplished by sliding the pieces together and tightening a couple of fasteners with common tools.

Features Inspection

Like all Fortress anchors, the FX-7 is precision-machined from an aluminum alloy and then anodized for a durable long lasting finish. The parts are much smoother than steel or galvanized steel anchors. They won’t hurt your hands or leave rust stains on your deck. When assembling the anchor, you can choose the shank / fluke angle for the bottom condition. The 32 degree angle is best suited to harder soils, whereas the 45 degree angle will hold better in very soft sand and mud.

The FX-7 is comprised of six components and easily assembles in just 4 steps:

Fortress FX-7
The Fortress assembles and disassembles quickly with common tools for easy storage.

Featuring a rust proof and corrosion resistant aluminum construction, the lightweight four-pound FX-7 is equivalent to a steel anchor in the seven-to-nine-pound range. While that may still sound like a small anchor, keep in mind that is approximately twice the weight of the FX-7. Apply that same formula to some of the larger anchors in the Fortress range, and suddenly it becomes apparent that Fortress anchors are capable of replacing some seriously large and heavy steel anchors. So, how does Fortress do that you might wonder? Mainly two ways:

One, aluminum is lighter than steel, so for the same given surface area, and surface area is key to holding power, Fortress can reduce weight by approximately 50%.

Two, engineered, hi-tensile aluminum is just plain strong -- think airplane bodies and wings, sailboat masts, and modern automobile chassis. A mass of aluminum is roughly twice as strong as steel. Thus, it makes perfect sense to make anchors out of aluminum, too.

Specifications

Fortress FX-7
The lightweight Fortress FX-7 is easily handled and deployed after assembly.

The Fortress FX-7 is intended as a primary anchor for vessels in the 16-27 foot range in normal conditions. Fortress defines normal conditions as boats having average windage characteristics in average bottom conditions where the wind is below 30 knots, and the waters are reasonably protected. In severe or storm conditions, a Fortress anchor one of two sizes larger should be utilized for the same size vessel.

Boat Length: 16-27 ft. / 5-8m
Weight: 4 lbs. / 2kg
Shank Length: 24 in. / 61 cm
Fluke Length: 14 in. / 36 cm
Stock Length: 19 in. / 48 cm
Recommended Chain: 3/16 in. / 5mm Proof Coil
Recommended Rope: 3/8 in. / 10mm Nylon 3-Strand
Shackle Size: 1/4 in. / 6mm

Holding Power

In order to achieve the rated holding power, Fortress anchors should always be fitted with 6 ft. / 2 m of chain for every 25 ft. / 8 m of water depth. A 5:1 ratio is the minimum allowable scope and 7:1 or greater is generally preferred, swing space permitting. Holding power always improves with increased scope, so why not use more if you have room.

32 degree (hard sand): 2800 lbs. / 1270 kg
32 degree (soft mud): 420 lbs. / 191 kg
45 degree (soft mud): 840 lbs. / 381 kg

Accessories

Fortress FX-7
The Stowaway Bag is an optional accessory that keeps the FX-7 neat and tidy in a compact and durable case, ready for deployment. It comes with wrenches and a spare clip too.

The FX-7 is an excellent anchor on its own, but Fortress has long offered their Stowaway Bag, which makes it even better. The Stowaway Bag is a red ballistic Cordura™ storage case that holds the anchor disassembled along with chain, shackles, and wrenches required for quick assembly and deployment. Further, it includes an extra clip and hardware in case the originals are ever lost. The correlating Stowaway Bag part number to the FX-7 anchor is SFX-7. Simple enough.

Observations

The Fortress FX-7 is capable of withstanding repeated pull loads several hundred times its own weight without suffering significant structural deformation. As such, the American manufactured FX-7 comes standard with a Lifetime Parts Replacement Warranty just like all Fortress anchors.

Available from a myriad of chandlery and online sellers, the FX-7 can easily be sourced for well under $150. At that price point, it’s practically a no-brainer for such an essential piece of gear and a very high quality one at that. The FX-7 represents a tremendous value, peace of mind, and are ideal for small boats where there is room for the disassembled anchor.


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