SARCA and Excel anchors

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SARCA anchor.

AnchorRight is an Australian company which produce small boat anchors which they tend to target at the fishing and diving market. Their anchors are popular in Australasia amongst the runabout sector.

The SARCA (now "Super SARCA")

The "SARCA" design has been around for a few years in Australia and New Zealand, and has been fairly successful in the small boat market. Its main selling point is a full length slot on the shank which allows the rode-shackle to slide forward, so it can be pulled out backward if it gets stuck. In our experience the slot weakens the shank (we have seen many bent) and it quite often doesn't operate effectively. Furthermore it presents the possibility that it will do exactly what it's designed to do, in the middle of the night when your boat drifts over the anchor.

The presence of the roll-bar on the SARCA will lead to confusion amongst many who are not familiar with anchors. It is necessary to point out that the roll-bar is not the defining feature of the anchor, and that the SARCA in fact works on completely different principles to the Rocna.

The SARCA is essentially a highly modified plow. It has a convex fluke and is designed to set with the anchor resting flat on its fluke (whereas the Rocna features a concave fluke and is designed to set from either side, in an attitude intended to present a cutting chisel tip to the seabed). The thin roll-bar on the SARCA is intended to prevent it lying on its back.

Independent testing

There is a large amount of independent testing of both the SARCA and Rocna. However, the following summary comments from West Marine in the USA relating to their 2006 comparison testing best sums up the true differences.

West Marine
2006 testing

Quotes complete
& verbatim

SARCA #5 (33 lb):
Medium performer that held in the 2,000lb range and either released or dragged. One pull to 5,000lb.
Rocna 15 (32 lb):
Superb, consistent performance. Held a minimum of 4,500lb and engaged immediately.

Reviews by Voile and Moteur Boat magazines

This testing written up in two French magazines illustrates a potential problem of the shackle jamming in the full length slot of the SARCA. English translations are included:

The Excel

The "Excel" is a new anchor on which there is not yet any independent credible data. Although maintaining the "SARCA" moniker, the shank length slot which this implies has been abandoned. The Excel is a Delta variant, and the reader is referred to the copies page.