Improve anchor handling
I don’t like the anchor system on the FP boats. To hoist the anchor, the boat must be aligned with the anchor chain. So you need two people to hoist the anchor. One driving the boat, the other giving signals which way to turn the boat and to push the control buttons for the winch. It is impossible to hoist the anchor single handed. Also, it is impossible to reach the anchor to clear debris like nets, fishing lines, sea grass etc.
I installed an adjustable anchor chain aligment block. It is controlled from the bowsprit with a 2:1 purchase. I use the standard line stopper which was obsolete for me because I have re-rigged the tack line to the winch pit. Setting the anchor is still the same. After setting the anchor I pull the anchor chain to the bowsprit via the alignment block. I can then attach the bridle by leaning over the front beam. This is a bit more difficult than attaching it in the anchor locker. Lately, I have used the bridle as before, attaching it from within the anchor locker. If the line on the alignment block is long enough, this is no problem. So you have two options. Hoisting the anchor with the alignment block is easy because it makes sure that the anchor chain is always aligned with the anchor roller. No need to have someone at the helm to keep the boat pointing the right way. I can now hoist the anchor all by myself. When the anchor is up, I can reach to clear any debris. By easing the alignment block and pulling in the anchor simultaneously, it transfers to normal anchor storage position. It requires a bit of practice though to do it smoothly.
Hi Robbert and thanks for some great ideas.
I have a Nautitech 40 with the same anchoring problems and I was interested in your idea to improve handling. I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind:
– where did you get the metal bracket to hold the new adjustable anchor roller alignment block, or did you have it made
– how have you got on in strong winds. I have had so much sideways load on the existing anchor roller that it bent one of the thick stainless plates sideways, breaking the drop nose pin holding the roller in the process.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Yes, I had the same problem. To begin with, always use a bridle when you are at anchor of course. The problem I had was with weighing the anchor. It requires the boat to be aligned with the anchor roller to avoid the side load on the anchor roller guide. The standard way is to have someone behind the wheel and someone near the anchor winch, indicating where the anchor is, by pointing to it. That was, let’s say, a stressful operation. So the additional roller has just one purpose: align the chain with the anchor roller guide. With that, you do not have to have someone on the helm. With strong winds, we do, just to move the boat forward to help the winch to pull in the chain. The challenge is to have a roller that is narrow enough to fit in between the guides, but wide/high enough to let the anchor stock and swivel pass. Initially, I installed the bridle forward of this roller by leaning over the beam. Lately, I have just installed the bridle from the anchor locker, and ease out the floating block far enough so that it does not interfere with the bridle. In general, it works really well, but it requires a bit of practice to tweak the use of it.
I had the roller made by a workshop. The added advantage is, that you can pull the anchor all the way forward to the beam, to clear debris.
Hope this helps.