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Using an Anchor without a roller ?


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My boat which was mostly used for racing  has an anchor compartment with a danforth anchor (with rope but no chain - but I have the chain stored in the slip locker).  There is no anchor roller.   I currently don't plan to do any serious cruising but I might want to go some place overnight in the bay and drop the anchor in a jiffy.  Is it possible to drop/haul a light anchor with chain without a roller and not damage the boat ?   My last experience with anchoring on a boat without a windless was on a Catalina 27 and I do recall having to sit at the bow with work gloves on and do some work to haul it out. (and I was much younger)...

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Normally you pull the rope rode thru the bow mooring fairleed   

once you get  the chain leader to the fairleed  ...you clip on a spi halyard , relax the rode and let everything shift aft by the chainplates  ...then  hoist the chain with the halyard  , parallel  with the mast 

then lower into a bucket 

it a pain in the ass , mud and jellyfish stingers  dripping in your face and the anchor bites your topsides 

buy simple roller and make it a removable system 

 

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We only anchor occasionally as well and don't have a roller. Yes you have to be careful when you get to the chain part of the rode and even more so once you get the anchor up out of the water, but as long as you can lift the anchor and hold it away from the side of the boat to prevent dings, it's workable. We also don't have a anchor locker, so the rode lives in a 5 gallon bucket that I put the chain back into as I pull up the rode. 

Around here the anchor comes up covered in goopy mud, so I usually end up dunking it a few times before bringing it back on deck. 

It also probably depends on your setup, we use a 20-25ish pound anchor with about 20 feet of chain. It's also pretty shallow here, so I'm usually only pulling up less than 40 feet of rode. If the anchor is really stuck in the muck, I'll haul in the rode so it is pretty much vertical and then rock the boat back and forth to break it free. Once it is free, hauling everything up is still work but relatively easy. 

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2 hours ago, Slick470 said:

Yes you have to be careful when you get to the chain part of the rode and even more so once you get the anchor up out of the water, but as long as you can lift the anchor and hold it away from the side of the boat to prevent dings, it's workable.

+1. I anchor with a 14 lb. Delta with 20 feet of chain and no roller. If you can hold the rode and anchor away from the side of the boat, you're golden. My boat has a massive, open anchor well (it's open top with large scuppers). I store two anchors in the well and keep my rodes coiled in plastic containers, which prevents them from tangling and keeps them organized. Plus, I have loaned an anchor to another boat and having the rode coiled in a marked container made the anchor handoff very convenient. 

Snubs

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My boat had no roller and we went cruising with it immediately after buying it.  My hack solution was slitting a piece of hose and taping it over the bow pulpit so that I can drag anchor chain over the pulpit without damaging the pulpit itself.  

I put a roller on that winter.  My roller is installed so that it can be removed from the top with a socket wrench.  I did this by cutting a piece of G10 that matches the footprint of the roller and which is threaded to fit the bolts.  The bolts are installed with the head below and tight into that G10, making fixed studs that stick up from the deck.  I can put the roller on and tighten with nuts from above.

I'm now building a new roller that fit's my boats unique geometry and which is long enough to store our anchor.  This will be a lot nicer when cruising vs carrying a muddy and heavy anchor down below.  I don't have anchor rode storage, so I will need to disconnect the rode and store that elsewhere.

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I cruise my boat (j35) without a roller. I only anchor out about 4-7 days a year so this is not that big of deal. I use a SS carabiner clipped to my bow to run the rode thru. When I hit the chain, I unclip the last of the nylon and just lift the rest of it out setting it down on the deck gently. This has worked well for me. Being slow and methodical thru the process helps a great deal. I also have a raceyish anchor/rode, FX16 and only 17.5ft of chain so no heavy stuff. 

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7 hours ago, 964racer said:

My boat which was mostly used for racing  has an anchor compartment with a danforth anchor (with rope but no chain - but I have the chain stored in the slip locker).  There is no anchor roller.   I currently don't plan to do any serious cruising but I might want to go some place overnight in the bay and drop the anchor in a jiffy.  Is it possible to drop/haul a light anchor with chain without a roller and not damage the boat ?   My last experience with anchoring on a boat without a windless was on a Catalina 27 and I do recall having to sit at the bow with work gloves on and do some work to haul it out. (and I was much younger)...

The quality of answers will improve if you tell us the boat size and anchor weight. Otherwise it's a guessing game. For example, my avitar tells you what I sail.

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2 hours ago, thinwater said:

The quality of answers will improve if you tell us the boat size and anchor weight. Otherwise it's a guessing game. For example, my avitar tells you what I sail.

Oops, forgot that.  It is an Ericson 33RH - which is a racer/cruiser design.   I am not sure of the anchor weight, but will check next time I'm there.  Boat is relatively new to me and I have not been using the anchor yet.  There is an anchor locker in the bow which can hold a small anchor and rope rode.  I have not tried to put the chain in it yet.  The bow doesn't have any modifications and no roller.  I have thought about a future project of installing a telescopic bowsprit for gennaker, so if I do end up installing a removable roller, I should think about how they might co-exist.

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3 hours ago, Kenny Dumas said:

I really don’t understand why anyone uses chain outside the tropics / coral. Put the extra weight in the anchor or a kellet if needed. 

In our case adding about 20 feet of chain really helped with how our boat rides at anchor. Sure a kellet would probably have the same effect, but 20 feet of chain is pretty easy to deal with. 

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I cruise without a roller. A large Fortress and 30 feet of 5/16” chain. It takes some considerable back and arm strength to raise without dragging it on the shear. Now I have a new paint job so I’ll go back to the removable roller. With the roller I have retrieved a 65# Delta on all chain. But El Borracho is a giant and the water was shallow. So for your casual cruising it is certainly doable. 
 

You could forsake your racing creds and mount a small roller. You would only pull until the anchor reaches the surface. Then bend over to hoist it over the shear and pulpit by hand. My removable roller extends far enough to carry the anchor ahead of the stem just like real cruiser’s like to do. Crosspieces lash it to the aluminum toerails. Takes just a moment to install. It has a one-way chain stopper on it to allow resting or using swells to unstick the anchor.

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6 hours ago, Kenny Dumas said:

I really don’t understand why anyone uses chain outside the tropics / coral. Put the extra weight in the anchor or a kellet if needed. 

SA Special Regs (at least here in Oz) require a certain length of rode which depends on boat size and a certain length of that has to be chain.

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22 hours ago, El Borracho said:

I cruise without a roller. A large Fortress and 30 feet of 5/16” chain. It takes some considerable back and arm strength to raise without dragging it on the shear. Now I have a new paint job so I’ll go back to the removable roller. With the roller I have retrieved a 65# Delta on all chain. But El Borracho is a giant and the water was shallow. So for your casual cruising it is certainly doable. 
 

You could forsake your racing creds and mount a small roller. You would only pull until the anchor reaches the surface. Then bend over to hoist it over the shear and pulpit by hand. My removable roller extends far enough to carry the anchor ahead of the stem just like real cruiser’s like to do. Crosspieces lash it to the aluminum toerails. Takes just a moment to install. It has a one-way chain stopper on it to allow resting or using swells to unstick the anchor.

From what I understand, a removable chain roller is still going to require a new pattern of bolts through the forward deck with a backing plate with epoxy and sealer (as with any deck hardware), so I have been dragging my feet doing this.  I am also interested down the road in maybe installing a deck mounted bowsprit (the dream list never ends) for asym spinnaker, so am not quite sure how the mounting of that will jive with the anchor roller - still have to do more research on this...

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23 minutes ago, 964racer said:

From what I understand, a removable chain roller is still going to require a new pattern of bolts through the forward deck with a backing plate with epoxy and sealer (as with any deck hardware), so I have been dragging my feet ....

That was my feeling too. Plus on my boat there really is no heavy structure around the bow where a roller would bolt up making bolts problematic. The removable roller I created does not modify the boat in any way. Just bears on the aluminum toerails. 
A deck mounted bowsprit would need to be moved out of the way. I use a Trogear which is relatively easy to remove. 

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8 hours ago, Kenny Dumas said:

“We’ve always done it that way so it must be right. “
 

Lose the chain, it’s so much easier to handle and the equivalent weight in the anchor is an obvious win.  

The chain is there for a very good reason. It keeps the shank of the anchor down and the anchor bedded.

Adding an equivalent weight to the anchor is not the same because there is nothing to stop the shank lifting and the anchor pulling free and sliding across the bottom.

Personally I would think on any decent 33ft yacht, if you don't have a roller then you are likely to cause yourself back issues unless you use something like the halyard arrangement referred to above.

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16 hours ago, El Borracho said:

That was my feeling too. Plus on my boat there really is no heavy structure around the bow where a roller would bolt up making bolts problematic. The removable roller I created does not modify the boat in any way. Just bears on the aluminum toerails. 
A deck mounted bowsprit would need to be moved out of the way. I use a Trogear which is relatively easy to remove. 

El B,

Any chance you have a photo of your removable anchor roller?  Sounds like something similar could make life easier the few times we might anchor.

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7 hours ago, yoyo said:

El B,

Any chance you have a photo of your removable anchor roller?  Sounds like something similar could make life easier the few times we might anchor.

No pic...and the yacht is an ocean away these days. Size will vary with boat...this boat is 50’. The roller is 1.5 meters of heavy aluminum channel. Maybe 50 mm by 150 mm. A chain roller is fixed forward and a chain stopper aft. It is positioned adjacent to the forestay deck fitting, under the furler drum, extending forward enough to hold the anchor in the typical position clear of the topsides. Just aft of the forestay fitting, which on this boat is about 0.3 m aft of the bow, there is a crosspiece of the same material which is machined to fit the aluminum toerails. Same at the aft end where a longer crosspiece again fits the toerails. It is lashed to the toerails. No holes or modification of the boat. It is intended to be temporary. It is not very friendly to stow below given the arms, however we have a huge amount of empty space on this boat. It often rides among the bagged sails and soft stuff. It is quite light.

It works great for me, the weirdo that I am. 

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