Thursday, February 16, 2012

Anchor roller

From the start of the boat build, I had intended on handling the anchor with a vertical windlass. Specifically, chain on one side of the windlass, and rope on the other side. For that purpose, I fabricated two anchor rollers welded to my pulpit. After that fact, I came across a good deal on a commercial deck winch which caused me a basic change in how the anchors would be retrieved. I want to center the winch on the pulpit which meant the off centered rollers for the windlass possibly could be less than ideal for how the winch was going to work.

Because I had enough room between the two existing anchor rollers, I decide to cut in a third anchor roller more in line with the position of the new anchor winch. My reasons for centering the anchor roller was to allow the rode ( either rope or galvanized cable) to be square with the winch drum. I'm not familiar with how a winch will work, but it seemed to me that having the rode square with the drum was a good thing. I also did not want to scrap the windlass purpose rollers I had fabricated in case I wanted to go back to the hydraulic windlass set up. The new center anchor roller is more self launching than the first two I fabricated so that is one plus I got out of this little bit of re work I just finished.

I used 1/4" 316 SS plate to fabricate the new roller frame. The frame is pretty robust as it is not a stand alone deal, rather it is welded in to the pulpit so it's supported and reinforced by the pulpit. I added some 1/2" round stock to the area where the anchor flukes will jamb against the roller frame. The actual roller is a composite material turning on a 1/2" SS pin, and is tucked up out of harms way in the frame. I plan on snubbing off the anchor to bits, so these rollers, while fairly stout, will not be taking the loads of anchoring.

I had a large Danforth type anchor in the shop, and that is actually going to be one of my back up anchors. I used the Danforth for a test run on how the geometry of the rollers worked, and I was pleased on how the anchor landed in the roller frame. I will need to add some SS round stock to the under side of the two side roller frames as the center anchor is going to beat these up as it is locked home. It's hard to tell scale from these pictures, but that Danforth is a pretty large anchor. I'd guess the weight of the anchor at 60 lbs with the overall length of the being more than 3'. My buddy Andy Moran gave me the anchor as a boat warming present.

I've had good luck using Danforths to anchor in the river, and I intend on having two aboard. I think my primary anchor is going to be a Manson, and that will reside in the center roller. The large Danforth will reside in the starboard roller, and the port roller will be empty. I will also have an aft anchor which will be another Danforth.

I getting a little tired of re work, but I do think I'm at the end of having to fix changes of design. Re doing this part of the pulpit was not a huge job, but it was a pain. All the metal work is completed on the fore deck, and I can now proceed with getting that area prepped for paint. I have to do some body work on some seams, and a little bit of fairing, but not a huge amount of work. I have decide to paint my 1 1/2" SS rails I welded to the bulwark cap vs polishing them, so that will require a little bit of sand blasting. Polishing the SS pipe rails would probably work for life on the Ohio River, but since I intend on ocean cruising, I fear my polishing skills will leave my rails rusting in the salt water environment.


  1. Nice modification. That should work nicely with your anchor winch. This reminds me that I should really get around to filling and commissioning our hydraulic system so I can get our chain and anchor installed on our winch. There's so much to do these days, I find myself working on whatever is right in front of me at the moment...
    I like the jukebox. Good tunes. I've been leaving it play in the background while I do my blog.


  2. Thanks for the compliments on the tunes Peter. Music seems to even things out in my world.

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