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Turbo1948...
Turbo1948...

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:25pm

Post Subject: Anchors

Hi, Could you please recommend a suitable anchor, chain and rope for river usage? Preferably the smallest and lightest. many thanks, John

Tony-B...
Tony-B...

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:38pm

Post Subject: Anchors

I am not going to recommend an anchor because some designs are better in certain ground types than others and you probably have little idea what the river bed will be at any point you anchor. I know the Thames can vary between rock, gravel, mud and lots of weed and fallen branches. you also specify smallest and lightest and those do not sit well with reliable anchoring. Most narrowboats carry Danforth or Fluke anchor because they stow flat but serious salty water boaters do not think they are the best and one suitable for a narrowboat may be too heavy for manual handling. However an aluminium version called a Fortress is available but remember weight is important. Plow (CQR) and spade type anchors hold better but won't stow flat. Then there are spade anchors, some of which have been developed into high holding power patent designs but these tend to be expensive (£300 plus). If an anchor does not dig in and set its just like a mud weight so this is where the weight comes to the fore. You also need about the same length of your boat in proper anchor chain (not something you get from B&Q) and about eight times the maximum water depth in rope. I would suggest you discuss sizes with the anchor supplier. The chain and long rope is needed to get the pull on the anchor as near to horizontal as possible. Typically a narrrowboat will carry a 20 or 25 Kg Danforth type anchor. Fix the bitter end of the rope to a really strong point on the hull, not the T stud because T studs have been known to break off. If you can't lift a 25Kg anchor plus chain then you will need a smaller one and hope it will prove adequate when needed. Recovering an anchor over the front of a narrowboat with no winch is not easy. Finally practice deploying and recovering the anchor so you can do it automatically in an emergency. What you don't do is throw the anchor, chain and rope in all at once feed it out gradually so as the current carries you down stream away from the anchor the chain and rope lays on the bed in more or less a straight line. If its an help I selected a 25Kg Danforth and over 20 years of boating only used it dropped over the offside if i though the boat might be untied or to hold the stern in line with the front of the boat tied to an overhanging branch.

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