Friday, July 6, 2012

Anchors Aweigh!

Anyone whose spent the day in their driftboat, hauling a 35 pound pyramid anchor off the bottom in 20 feet of water can attest to how old it can get! 

A few years ago, Marty Sherman from Clackacraft Boats introduced me to a pulley system that cuts the "pull weight" of an anchor in half.  17 1/2 pounds is a whole lot easier to pull than 35 pounds!

Since then, a number of fellow guides I work with have asked me to set up their boats the same way mine was set up.  Along the way, I 've made a few discoveries and refinements to the original system.  Not rocket science, but it does make your anchor pulling a lot easier.

One drawback to the system is that it requires twice as much anchor rope since the rope is brought through a pulley and returned to the transom.  Not a deal breaker for most folks, but its something to consider.  When I'm NOT using a pulley system, my drift boat anchor ropes run about 50'.  With the system I use 100'.  I store my rope in a small plastic crate on the floor of the boat near my cleat.  It keeps it contained in one neat, safe location where I can readily release or recover it.

To make your own pulley system you'll need the following material;

1. Previously mentioned, longer anchor rope.
                                                2. One, high quality climbing pulley. (blue item in above photo)
                                                3. Two clevis's  (I prefer the style with a pin and cotter key)
                                                4. One locking, latch-hook with built-in swivel.
                                                5.  Pyramid anchor in appropriate weight for your boat and river conditions.

I have a half a dozen or more pyramid anchors I use.  They range in weight from 15 to 40 pounds.  Most of the time I use a 30-35 pound pyramid for the vast majority of the trips I do.  

Using the locking latch hook, literally makes it a "snap" to change my anchors for the particular application and having a "swivel" between your anchor and the pulley is a "must have".  I've learned over the years, that without a swivel of some type, the rope often twists as you pull up the anchor.  This causes the rope to bind around itself, making it more difficult to pull up the anchor.  Sometimes the rope will un-twist.  Sometimes it won't and you will have trouble getting the anchor all the way up and out of the water without one.  

 Many of todays driftboats already come equipped with this type of anchor system. 

To start off with, simply drill a hole in your transom mounted anchor system.  Be sure to drill it far enough out that your anchor won't bang against the side of your boat when its pulled up and left hanging.

This is what it should look like when you put it all together. 

The anchor is attached with the locking, latch hook.  The pulley is attached to the latch-hook via one locking clevis.  The anchor rope is run through the pulley and attached to the second clevis, which is placed in the hole drilled in your transom system. 

When you drop your anchor, the rope runs out through the pulleys just like before.  More rope is needed since its doubled up because of the pulley at the anchor.  Once enough rope is let out to allow the anchor and boat to achieve the proper amount of scope, simply place the rope in your cleat.

Recover the anchor the same way you've always done it.  With the pulley in your system, the weight will be cut in half.  Enjoy!

NOTE:  All of the materials I used in this set up were purchased for about $60 from Horners Inc. (a super cool logging shop) located at 79132 Hwy. 99 N. in Cottage Grove, Oregon.  Their phone number is (541) 942-5781.