What style anchors do you use the most on lakes and rivers? I have a Danforth, a plow and a claw anchor. The danforth is no problem, I hang it from the rails. I only have 1 bow roller and can keep either the plow or the claw but not both. I just cant afford the room for both. Another bow roller is not practical on a pointy ended houseboat and a 45 Lb. anchor is not the kind of thing I want to be carrying across the deck.
Which one would you keep?
Keep ALL of them and enough line so you can USE all of them if need be. You never know when you might need more than one anchor or might lose one.
As to which one to keep on the bow roller, my choice would be the Plow. I used to swear by Danforths but they have a tendency to ball up with weeds in grassy areas and then they won't bite. However in sand or mud they're probably among the best. I've also used a Claw but because of it's shape I worry about it balling up with grass too (though so far that hasn't happened). The anchor I trust the most and the one on the roller is a 35# Delta, with the Claw in the forepeak with it's own rode for backup. On the stern I have a Danforth with two more stowed below. 5 anchors total and yes there have been a couple times when I set all five.
I have used the danforth to most and works well most of the time. However, like you say, it will not work in grass or weeds. I have used the plow and it seems to work really well in just about anything. Problem is that sometimes it works way too well. I wont swear to it but I think it will keep digging itself all the way to China if left long enough. I have never used the claw yet. I just am having problems as to where to hang it. Ot needs to be on a bow roller. Maybe I'll put in a second roller slightly off to the side just to hold it out of my way. I really don't want to though.
Danforths will dig to China too under the right conditions. Sometimes you want them to.
My solution is patience. Shorten up the rode as much as you can and have a cuppa (or whatever). This gives the anchor time to turn to the right position for retrieval. Be ready when it does break out. If the water is not too deep you can attach a trip line and buoy to the crown before anchoring. Claws and Deltas have a hole drilled for just that purpose.
My Claw is stowed below unless I think I might need it. Then I bring it up and tie it to a stanchion out of the way until needed.