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ANCHORED RIGHT

ANCHORED RIGHT

THE NEVER-ENDING ‘QUEST FOR THE BEST’

Anchor Right produces a range of world-leading anchors and, not willing to rest on their laurels, is constantly on a ‘quest for the best’. So what planted the seed that culminated in an anchor design that is judged by many in the industry to be the top-rated anchor in the world? For the answer to that question, we need to travel back to the days when Rex Francis and his wife, Joy, indulged their passion for boating and fishing, accompanied by their young children.

On one family fishing trip in the Wilson’s Promontory area of Victoria, they had anchored to do a spot of fishing, when Rex noticed that the boat was rapidly drifting towards the rocky shore. Clearly, the anchor had failed. Without alarming the family, Rex managed to haul in the offending anchor, start the motor, and navigate his precious cargo away from imminent danger.

When he had time to examine the flimsy anchor, Rex noticed that it had straightened under the strain of supporting their boat in the wavy conditions, failing to keep them attached to the seabed. This caused them to drift perilously close to rocks and almost certain disaster. From that moment, over thirty years ago, Rex began thinking about designing and making an effective anchor. While working in other fields, he used his engineering expertise to design a prototype.

In the early days, the small company had to outsource much of the construction but gradually, with an earnest desire to establish greater control over the manufacturing process, and thus ensure higher quality and the ability to easily tweak the design, Anchor Right began to assume more responsibility for the whole operation. Rex says that establishing the business was not an easy task, as many people were not supportive, but he refused to allow negativity to prevent him from realising his dream to build a world-class anchor.

A true family business, Rex has been ably assisted in establishing Anchor Right by his wife, Joy, who expertly manages the accounting and financial side of the operation. Their son, Brendon, grew into the business and has assumed responsibility for the manufacturing side, while Rex now focuses mainly on sales and marketing. Brendon is actively involved in devising improvements to the anchor designs, and combines his passion for fishing (when he has time!) with ‘road-testing’ anchors to ensure that they behave as expected under real conditions.

The ‘quest for the best’ anchors has led to the world leading SARCA (Sand And Reef Combination Anchor) Excel and Super SARCA models, and Rex and Brendon speak with pride about their range of anchors designed for anything, from fishing boats to live-aboard vessels, to search-and-rescue craft.

Anchor Right’s products have been rated highly on Steve Goodwin’s popular YouTube series on marine anchor testing, with the SARCA Excel consistently rated as #1 overall. However, not content to rely on Steve’s tests, Anchor Right have tested a wide range of rival anchors alongside their own. Their ‘snatch’ tests clearly demonstrate that the SARCA Excel and Super SARCA have easily the greatest holding power of all.

Anchor Right’s anchors have been rigorously tested by Robinson Lifting and Rigging, and Nobles, both NATA facilities in Dandenong. The National Marine Safety Committee subsequently accepted their certification as being of Super High Holding Power.

Rival manufacturers, internationally, have attempted to emulate Anchor Right’s innovative and highly effective designs but, due to a variety of factors from cost cutting to a lack of understanding of the technology behind a superior anchor, have fallen short of the mark.

Rex and Brendon stress that the success of an anchor also depends on its correct use. There is a need for many boat users to understand more about correctly deploying anchors to ensure proper setting in the seabed, and for retrieving them without causing damage. They speak of the importance of anchor scope – the ratio of chain length to distance above seabed – for conditions, purpose, and duration of anchorage, suggesting that an understanding of effective anchor use could be part of gaining a boat licence.

Anchor Right’s products are so highly regarded in the industry that many boat manufacturers now supply the company’s anchors as standard on their vessels. In fact, the small all-Australian company is becoming so popular, due to its superior and high-quality products, that the business has had to expand, shortly to move into an additional factory space at the Pakenham Business Park location. The future is bright for Anchor Right.

Story by Andrew Bedggood

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Published in print July-September 2021

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