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First visit in 2 months, some questions...


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7 minutes ago, IanD said:

Not wanting to further stir up the mud on the relative merits of different anchors in setting/holding power, I'd have thought that there's a crucial difference between a narrowboat and most boat anchor applications -- it's only likely to be needed in an emergency which by definition is unexpected. In this case having a fantastic anchor which has to be stored dismantled like the one in the photo further up (because there's nowhere on the boat to fit it assembled) is of little use, unless you have the foresight -- before the unexpected disaster -- to have got it out and put it together.

 

It's the same as the smartphone camera vs. digital SLR debate -- there's no doubt which takes better pictures, but the best camera is the one you have with you when the unexpected photo-worthy event happens -- a great camera sitting at home is useless.

 

Of course you can say "you should assemble the (Rocna, whatever...) whenever you're going into any circumstance where it might be needed" but human nature is generally not like this, especially for people who spend most of their time on canals and little on rivers. For most people in this situation it's probably better to have an anchor like a Danforth that can be stored assembled and attached to chain/cable, ready and waiting to be chucked overboard in an emergency than one which they're still assembling -- assuming to know how to do this -- as the boat goes over a weir.

 

Experienced mariners may disagree (and they're much more likely to anticipate the possible problem and have the anchor assembled and ready for action), but such people are in a tiny minority on the canals, and expecting most people to have their expertise and foresight is unreasonable...

 

I think that you have articulated my thoughts on anchors far better than I could. The number of times I have tripped over a CQR on the front deck of the hire cruisers were many, occasionally resulting in getting wet.

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This anchor sub-thread – like many others on this forum on the same or similar subject – has followed the usual pattern and, as is usually the case, I don’t think it will resolve anything, and may actually confuse some boaters. In my opinion, and I may be in a minority of one, that no matter which personal favourite type of anchor and anchor rode is carried they are all largely a waste of time on a narrow boat unless they are deployed properly and in good time. That calls for practice and familiarisation in a non-stress situation, repeated regularly, which I would like to guess is something that is rarely done by the vast majority of canal users. I would contend that just having an anchor etc. as part of a boats equipment for many people is about as much use as a lucky charm, and blinding the novice with technical data IMHO is not helpful and in fact I suspect might put people off. We have to remember that I suspect most of the forum members have never been, and never will be yachties/lumpy water sailors, and I am sure that they would rather have simple unbiased views so that they can make some decision based on reality.

For those who wish to learn how to use an anchor properly, there is a plethora of literature around which  can also be supplemented by  the practice I mention, which is a better way of learning than getting confused by the sometimes contradictory advice which can sometimes be found on this forum. I know it’s a forlorn wish but please , experts remember that you may be trying to advise someone who doesn’t have your experience and depth of knowledge.

 

Howard

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7 minutes ago, howardang said:

please , experts remember that you may be trying to advise someone who doesn’t have your experience and depth of knowledge.

I’ve never deployed an anchor myself and it’s very unlikely that I ever will, for any reason. However, I don’t find the advice in this thread even slightly confusing. 

 

Two boaters with extensive lumpy water experience have pointed out that a Danforth deployed in an emergency is unlikely to assist you. They have backed up this assertion with a chart. Another boater gives his anecdotal experience mirroring what the others said would happen (the Danforth didn’t set). 
 

Another member comes along and says “Rubbish, it’ll set fine”. 
 

I choose to ignore the latter member. 

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10 minutes ago, WotEver said:

I’ve never deployed an anchor myself and it’s very unlikely that I ever will, for any reason. However, I don’t find the advice in this thread even slightly confusing. 

 

Two boaters with extensive lumpy water experience have pointed out that a Danforth deployed in an emergency is unlikely to assist you. They have backed up this assertion with a chart. Another boater gives his anecdotal experience mirroring what the others said would happen (the an anchor didn’t set). 
 

Another member comes along, who also has a fair bit of lumpy water experience and plenty of experience using a Danforth, (unlike one of the other boaters),and says " it has its limitations But also has some advantages" . Backed up by some other members.
 

I choose to ignore the latter member. 

Edited that for you :)

 

I thought this was a discussion forum

 

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To combine the answers to several postings :

 

It takes 5 minutes maximum (a couple of bolts tightened with a spanner) to assemble the Mason / Mantus type anchors. They can be stored flat in a locker for the "99%" of the time you spend on a canal - you will never need an anchor, if you breakdown you can pole to the side, or even get off and 'walk'.

 

You don't just 'suddenly' find yourself on a River, you surely have plenty of time to plan and can spare 5 minutes as you empty the last canal lock.

 

Store the assembled anchor on the roof or in the well deck.

 

There is no use having an anchor that is unsuitable, it just gives a false sense of security. Surely it is better to have one that has a high percentage chance of doing what you want it to do and act as an emergency brake.

 

There is no earthly reason why you shouldn't / couldn't practice, LOWER the anchor over the side and as al little 'slack' develops in the chain engage reverse slowly feeding the chain out, when the anchor bites (sets) you will feel it jolt thru the boat, pay out a little more until you have 3 - 5 times depth and tie it off.

 

It is advisable not to rely on your T-Stud as this has been known to snap off due the high shock-load. Ideally mount a cleat / ring with a large, thick steel backing plate so as to spread the load.

 

I fell into the trap when I started using a NB on the River and bought a 15kg Danforth - being used to anchoring the 'lumpy water boats. with the likes of CQR and Bruce anchors I had no reservations about deploying or recovery.

It was an absolute waste of space. It did nothing but bounce along the bottom as I went in reverse. Nuff said

 

 

I still have a Bruce on the Cruiser, and the Kedge is also a Bruce.

 

 

20191014_130108.jpg

20191014_130149.jpg

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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On 17/05/2020 at 09:46, nicknorman said:

Horses for courses - sea going needs are not the same as flat water needs.

It's not for sea going, it's to preent me going over a weir on a narrowboat, It as to be someting I can handle,set  and retrieve!

Iit can be dismantled, but I keep it in the anchor locker al the time.

Edited by LadyG
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8 minutes ago, rasputin said:

it has its limitations But also has the single advantage that it folds flat  

Great, a mud anchor that folds flat. 

2 minutes ago, LadyG said:

It as to be someting I can handle,set  and retrieve!

I think ‘retrieve’ is the least important of those three. 

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23 minutes ago, rasputin said:

And doesn't cost up to £300

Hardly relevant. If an anchor only costs a fiver that’s a fiver wasted if it doesn’t set. 

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19 minutes ago, rasputin said:

And doesn't cost up to £300

I guess you place little value on your life, the life of your family and / friends or the value of your boat.

Yes, you can buy a 15kg Danforth for £50 but why bother ?

 

https://www.boatfittings.co.uk/p/boat_anchor_danforth_type_anchor_galvanised?gclid=CjwKCAjwqpP2BRBTEiwAfpiD-3BUG7lY-hrCZmMqeW8wJLwRUYprsTLYZonisRX_cA9jDkN99OiJ_RoCyrwQAvD_BwE

 

I wonder if you are aware of how your namesake died :

 

An obnoxious character who eventually died from drowning after being unsuccessfully poisoned, shot three times and beaten. 

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10 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I guess you place little value on your life, the life of your family and / friends or the value of your boat.

Yes, you can buy a 15kg Danforth for £50 but why bother ?

 

https://www.boatfittings.co.uk/p/boat_anchor_danforth_type_anchor_galvanised?gclid=CjwKCAjwqpP2BRBTEiwAfpiD-3BUG7lY-hrCZmMqeW8wJLwRUYprsTLYZonisRX_cA9jDkN99OiJ_RoCyrwQAvD_BwE

 

I wonder if you are aware of how your namesake died :

 

An obnoxious character who eventually died from drowning after being unsuccessfully poisoned, shot three times and beaten. 

Gosh, we are turning up the gas.

 

Why spend £300 on an anchor when a £30 or one he already has may do a perfectly adequate job?

 

I am v aware of my monikers history And share some of his attributes.

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1 minute ago, rasputin said:

Why spend £300 on an anchor when a £30 or one he already has may do a perfectly adequate job?

Or, looking at comparative testing from a number of sources - It may not !

 

I'll leave you to your musings and let those planning on buying an anchor decide.

 

You can lead a horse to water…butttt? w/Tawnya Love | Tawnya ...

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24 minutes ago, rasputin said:

Until  we have some data for when people heading towards a weir fling various bits of metal to try and arrest their progress, we will just have to theorise.

Well I do have some experience of someone losing his engine and trying to anchor up before he went over Cromwell weir (you know - the big one where 11 soldiers dies when their boat went over).

 

He lost his engine on leaving the mooring pontoon, the current got him and he immediately dropped his Danforth anchor, it must have dragged about 500 yards and 50-100 yards just before he went over the weir it set and was very slowly dragging just slow enough for us to be able to go alongside and get a rope aboard and subsequently tow him back to Kings Marina.

 

Not an anchor problem but what happens around weirs.

The time when a boat went over the weir at Stoke Bardolph,. Before it went over the weir the steerers wife fell off, & was hanging on over the side, he could either try and steer into the side or switch off the engine, he could not reach to switch off the engine and steer, but if he kept the prop turning his wife would be diced. The boat, wife and steerer went over the weir and long-story-short, all three survived, the boat rolled over 360 as it went under the Dolphins & was swept into the bushes / trees below the weir. C&RT sent a steerer to take the boat into Kings Marina. I don't think they ever used it again and it was sold a few weeks later.

 

They blamed 'people' for not stopping them going when the river was running 'a bit fast'.

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30 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Well I do have some experience of someone losing his engine and trying to anchor up before he went over Cromwell weir (you know - the big one where 11 soldiers dies when their boat went over).

 

He lost his engine on leaving the mooring pontoon, the current got him and he immediately dropped his Danforth anchor, it must have dragged about 500 yards and 50-100 yards just before he went over the weir it set and was very slowly dragging just slow enough for us to be able to go alongside and get a rope aboard and subsequently tow him back to Kings Marina.

 

Not an anchor problem but what happens around weirs.

The time when a boat went over the weir at Stoke Bardolph,. Before it went over the weir the steerers wife fell off, & was hanging on over the side, he could either try and steer into the side or switch off the engine, he could not reach to switch off the engine and steer, but if he kept the prop turning his wife would be diced. The boat, wife and steerer went over the weir and long-story-short, all three survived, the boat rolled over 360 as it went under the Dolphins & was swept into the bushes / trees below the weir. C&RT sent a steerer to take the boat into Kings Marina. I don't think they ever used it again and it was sold a few weeks later.

 

They blamed 'people' for not stopping them going when the river was running 'a bit fast'.

You're proving my point exactly, Alan 😉

 

As an experienced sailor you're well aware of anchor issues, and (as you said above) if you're going somewhere that might need it you'll spend 5 or 10 minutes assembling your wonderful drag-resistant expensive anchor, after which you'll be confident that you know how and when to deploy it, and can bask in the glow of a job well done.

 

All of which is alien to 99% of people on narrowboats who occasionally venture out onto rivers confident that nothing will go wrong and unprepared for it if it does. In this case having an inferior anchor like a Danforth ready and waiting to be chucked over the side -- even if it might drag sometimes -- is still better than the alternative of no anchor at all, following a quick internal discussion on the lines of "I've never had a problem, I can't be bothered to lug that complicated hunk out and put it together". This is called human nature...

 

You seem unable to put yourself into other people's shoes and think what they -- without your experience and knowledge -- would do. And if they made the wrong decision (in your view) and drowned as a result, no doubt it would be their fault for not being properly prepared. Which literally speaking it would be, if everyone was an experienced sailor like you.

 

It's the equivalent of an experienced photographer telling a novice that to get absolutely the best pictures they should really get a Hasselblad 500... 😉

 

[correct for them, but not for the person they're advising]

Edited by IanD
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1 minute ago, IanD said:

It's the equivalent of an experienced photographer telling a novice that to get absolutely the best pictures they should really get a Hasselblad 500...

I don’t see that comparison. Any camera will always take a picture (assuming it’s charged/has a data card/is loaded with film). An anchor that won’t set is a mud weight. 

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5 minutes ago, WotEver said:

I don’t see that comparison. Any camera will always take a picture (assuming it’s charged/has a data card/is loaded with film). An anchor that won’t set is a mud weight. 

An anchor that's sitting in bits in a locker isn't even a mud weight. Did you actually read a word I said, or are you just doing the same as Alan?

 

In an ideal world every narrowboat would have an excellent anchor, and crew who knew how to use it and how important it was to have it prepared before venturing out onto a river. In the real world this isn't the case for most people (even if it is for you and Alan) and never will be.

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1 minute ago, IanD said:

Did you actually read a word I said

Yup, but it made little sense, just like your metaphor.
 

If the boater doesn’t have any experience and doesn’t know what to expect then he won’t have an anchor ready to deploy. If he even owns one it will be buried at the bottom of a locker covered in assorted ropes and other detritus. If on the other hand he is aware of the potential dangers and wants to have an anchor ready to deploy then he might as well have one that’s likely to work. 

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2 hours ago, LadyG said:

It's not for sea going, it's to preent me going over a weir on a narrowboat, It as to be someting I can handle,set  and retrieve!

Iit can be dismantled, but I keep it in the anchor locker al the time.

Don't worry about retrieving it. I wonder how many boaters have actually used a anchor on a river other than for eating lunch. I know of one on the Ribble, but what about the Thames or Severn.

 

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Just now, WotEver said:

Yup, but it made little sense, just like your metaphor.
 

If the boater doesn’t have any experience and doesn’t know what to expect then he won’t have an anchor ready to deploy. If he even owns one it will be buried at the bottom of a locker covered in assorted ropes and other detritus. If on the other hand he is aware of the potential dangers and wants to have an anchor ready to deploy then he might as well have one that’s likely to work. 

Nope, didn't read it...

 

Fit an average narrowboat with an anchor that has to be stowed away disassembled and put together before going onto a river, and I guarantee you that even if being told they ought to do so at least 90% of people simply won't bother. Doesn't matter if it's their fault if they drown, that's the way people think. For these people -- the majority, or the dumb majority as you'd probably call them -- a poor anchor ready to use is better than a great anchor which isn't.

 

Or would you rather they drowned so that you can then tut and feel superior because you'd have known better?

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If a narrowboat owner has spent £300 on a decent anchor then I disagree with your assumption that he won’t bother to have it ready to deploy. He’d want to show it off to all and sundry :)

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19 minutes ago, IanD said:

An anchor that's sitting in bits in a locker isn't even a mud weight. Did you actually read a word I said, or are you just doing the same as Alan?

Why would it be sitting 'in bits in the bottom of a locker' ?

 

Its called preparation, just like checking the engine each morning before setting off, (looking for oil leaks, loose fan belt etc)

Its just like checking you have enough fuel to get you to the next place where you can fill up

Similarly with water and toilet tanks.

 

Don't tell me that boaters don't do this.

 

You know you will be going on a River many hours in advance so its not a problem to get it out, connect it up to the chain and sit it on a bit of carpet either in the well deck or on the roof and its ready to deploy in the time it takes you to get to the bow.

When I was single handed on the NB I'd run the chain back from the bow and have the anchor in a bucket next to the helm, if it was needed it was instantly available.

 

It is not all about being an 'experienced sailor' its about learning from experienced sailors, preparation and managing your own, and families risks.

If an individual decides to use a 'mud-weight' as an anchor that is entirely their choice.

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