Originally Posted by Fender
Ive always found grapnel anchors useless, even with chain....
I have mixed feelings about them and I'm not going to dismiss your personal experiences but as you quote me in your post I'll explain my recommendation:
Small SIBs aren't the roomiest places and people can be a bit so-so when it comes to packing the gear - especially if "just going out to the yacht" or "over the bay to the beach". Additionally SIBs tend to be used in relatively calm water - the OP wants something for estuaries. My own take on it is that he's better with a grapnel that he always carries because it packs well than a pointy anchor that may be left ashore because it's an ass pain to sit with. My experiences with grapnels have been better than yours - having used 2.5-10kg units to hold 4-10m boats on a range of substrates and conditions. TBH, they've all held (one I didn't get back!) but I certainly wouldn't be relying on one for emergencies in storm conditions!
That said - I use a baby 1.5kg Bruce knockoff in my SIB rather than a grapnel but it does take up a bit more space and I believe it may actually be overkill.
Ultimately any anchor is better than no anchor (and soooo many small craft carry no anchor
) so whichever the OP goes for he should plan to make it a permanent feature in the pack list.