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Anchor Right and Bar Crusher Boats have enjoyed a mutually beneficial business relationship for over 20 years. Ever since Rex Francis, founder of Anchor Right, and Peter Cleland, co-founder of Bar Crusher Boats, met at a boat show over two decades ago.

Peter was at the show not only to promote his boats but also to find a high quality, strong, highly effective anchor to suit the boats his company was building. Rex reminisces, “Peter was motivated to check out other anchors at that boat show because he hadn’t found anything satisfactory at that stage to hold for Westernport Bay where they were filming to advertise their boats.” Of course, Rex was at the show to promote his business and he offered Peter a couple of his anchors to try out.

Peter points out that his company did its due diligence, trying a variety of other sizes and types of anchors, before deciding on Anchor Right. He was so impressed with their performance that his company placed an order – and have stuck with Anchor Right ever since.

Thus began a business relationship and personal friendship that lasts until this day.

“Every boat that leaves the Bar Crusher factory has a SARCA anchor mounted on its nose,” says Peter.

Peter has actually dived to the seabed to observe closely how the anchors set and has been impressed that they work as intended and advertised.

Apart from the strong build and highly effective operation of Rex’s SARCA anchors, Peter likes the way that the anchors fit snugly to the bowsprit – not flopping around like some anchors on the market – and there was no danger of them coming loose when the boat was being trailered down a highway.

Recently, Rex and Peter met to reminisce about getting their businesses off the ground – or perhaps, more appropriately, on the water – and their common interests of boating and fishing.

As they chatted, the topic of anchoring in Western Port Bay, Victoria, arose. Peter recalls that, in the early days of Bar Crusher Boats, they wanted to take promotional photos in the bay and needed the boats to be securely anchored in a variety of locations.

But the anchors being used at the time were not fit for purpose. The seabed in the bay with its areas of reef, gravel or weed meant that, at the time, no single anchor would work under all conditions.

Rex was reminded of when he would take his family fishing at Corner Inlet, north of Wilsons Promontory, which needs three older style anchors for the different conditions – a plough, reef and a sand anchor – depending on where you decide to stop and drop a line.

He also recalls, with some horror, when he was using a wire anchor off Rabbit Island in Bass Strait – he was advised to use a wire anchor because a different type “might get stuck and you’ll never get it back”. Rex says, “The wind got up and the waves got up, and the anchor failed.” The boat, with family on board, was heading for the rocks and Rex was lucky to pull them out in time.

Afterwards he thought, “What’s more important – retrieving an anchor, or preserving your lives?”

Those types of experiences inspired Rex to design and build a better anchor. He says that, although no product is going to work in all conditions, Anchor Right goes a long way further towards achieving that goal than other anchors on the market.

Rex says that the average boatie is often unaware or unsure of how best to deploy, set, and eventually retrieve their anchors – compounding the problems presented if a lesser quality or improperly engineered product is being used.

In the interests of boating safety, Anchor Right endeavoured to get word out to the boating community on correct anchoring techniques. The Water Police and Coast Guard came on board, adding information on anchor rope ratios and printing educational booklets (from which Anchor Right benefitted indirectly as their products appeared!). So, word spread, boaties became better informed and quality products were used properly.

Peter believes the Bar Crusher name “captures the vibe of hardcore, passionate anglers who want to get out there offshore and have a good go.” And Anchor Right has the products to help keep them safe.

Rex and Peter agree that mutual support of Australian companies for each other helps ensure the survival and success of Australian jobs and businesses – a far better result than importing cheaper, often inferior quality overseas products.


Published in print January-March 2023