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Hawksey

Anchor size?

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Planning the trip from Birmingham to my new mooring in Newbury on the K&A

and need an anchor for the Thames (Oxford>Reading) and probably the Kennet river sections.

What would be a good size/weight for a 57’ steel narrowboat?

 

Thanks!

 

Phil

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Planning the trip from Birmingham to my new mooring in Newbury on the K&A

and need an anchor for the Thames (Oxford>Reading) and probably the Kennet river sections.

What would be a good size/weight for a 57’ steel narrowboat?

 

Thanks!

 

Phil

About 15kg will be OK. You will also need some anchor rope and chain plus links. Tradline recommend about 4 metres of chain (8mm) and 18 metres of rope (14mm)

 

See link for some options for example

 

http://www.tradline.co.uk/

 

click on mooring equipment and page down for anchor kit details.

 

I recommend a grappling hook on a good length of rope too. It could be very handy for throwing to the bank and pull yourself out of the stream if the engine conks out.

Edited by churchward

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Also, when travelling downstream, you may find it easier to have an anchor that can be dropped from the stern (if you drop the anchor at the bow while drifting bow-first downstream, the boat will swing around it before coming to rest, which may create problems in narrow bits of river with shiny plastic cruisers around or moored: an anchor at the stern will hold you still facing downstream).

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Also, when travelling downstream, you may find it easier to have an anchor that can be dropped from the stern (if you drop the anchor at the bow while drifting bow-first downstream, the boat will swing around it before coming to rest, which may create problems in narrow bits of river with shiny plastic cruisers around or moored: an anchor at the stern will hold you still facing downstream).

Upstream or downstream, anchors are for emergencies, inland, so you don't want to be running 57 feet down a cluttered roof or gunwale, to deploy it (or shouting someone else, to do the job).

 

Have the anchor at the stern, nearby, when underway (I'd go 20kg or even 25, if every adult on board can handle that weight, btw).

Edited by carlt

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Upstream or downstream, anchors are for emergencies, inland, so you don't want to be running 57 feet down a cluttered roof or gunwale, to deploy it (or shouting someone else, to do the job).

 

Have the anchor at the stern, nearby, when underway (I'd go 20kg or even 25, if every adult on board can handle that weight, btw).

That's a good point about the anchor at the rear and of course essential if you are a single hander at least.

 

One other point to the OP is that it is best to consider the anchor and chain as a one shot throw away item. It can be very difficult to retrieve anchors depending on what is on the bottom of the river and can mostly only be done if held fast (as you hope it will be!) by pulling directly upward or a little back from the way it went in.

 

In any case if you can't get it back it will likely to have been £100 or so well spent as it could save your boat, you and your loved ones.

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The best method of retrieving the anchor (that we have found) is to let the boat do the work. Drive around the anchor so that you are facing the opposite way to which you were held, this should release the anchors hold as the pressure on the anchor will be in the opposite direction. This should enable you to retrieve the anchor.

 

(PS:Electric anchor winches are better still. No hard work involved :lol: )

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There is a school of thought that says deploying an anchor from the stern in a flooded river can be dangerous. Holding the boat against the current could cause the stern to dip low enough to allow water in through the engine vents, thus sinking the boat. It is a valid concern. An anchor at each end might be best if you are into extreme narrowboating.

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There is a school of thought that says deploying an anchor from the stern in a flooded river can be dangerous. Holding the boat against the current could cause the stern to dip low enough to allow water in through the engine vents, thus sinking the boat. It is a valid concern. An anchor at each end might be best if you are into extreme narrowboating.

An anchor at both ends is probably the ideal but I would still deploy the stern anchor, before starting the dash to the bow.

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About 15kg will be OK. You will also need some anchor rope and chain plus links. Tradline recommend about 4 metres of chain (8mm) and 18 metres of rope (14mm)

 

Never having ventured onto rivers with our NB I know nothing about anchors, so please excuse what may be a dumb question. Why do you have to have a length of both chain and rope? Why not just one or the other?

 

Thanks,

Tony :lol:

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Never having ventured onto rivers with our NB I know nothing about anchors, so please excuse what may be a dumb question. Why do you have to have a length of both chain and rope? Why not just one or the other?

 

Thanks,

Tony :lol:

 

You dont have to have both. Our boats comes with just chain. If you are going to use rope for the majority of your anchor "line" you need the end to be chain to weight it down. Personally i like just having chain. Less connections to go wrong.

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You dont have to have both. Our boats comes with just chain. If you are going to use rope for the majority of your anchor "line" you need the end to be chain to weight it down. Personally i like just having chain. Less connections to go wrong.

 

Makes perfect sense, thanks :lol:

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Should add, there is a downside to just using chain. If you have a bit of chop or it is windy the chain rattles on the winch/fastenings. Not such a problem during the day but (i suppose) it could get annoying whilst trying to sleep at night (although not having spent a night at anchor i cant say for sure). We tend to just anchor somewhere quiet for lunch then find "proper" moorings for the evening.

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Never having ventured onto rivers with our NB I know nothing about anchors, so please excuse what may be a dumb question. Why do you have to have a length of both chain and rope? Why not just one or the other?

 

Thanks,

Tony :lol:

You could just have chain but not so practical to have just rope. The reason for the heavy chain is to make sure the anchor lays correctly ie flat to the river bed and is in the right place to dig in and take hold. It is NOT there just to weigh the rope down. But if you had just rope this wouldn't work as well. It may not work as well if you use all chain if it was of a lighter gauge either and if you use heavy gauge all the way up it is harder to handle and more weight to store. Also in a narrowboat context it is easier to attach a rope to the T stud on the front or the fixings on the counter rather than chain.

Edited by churchward

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You could just have chain but not so practical to have just rope. The reason for the heavy chain is to make sure the anchor lays correctly ie flat to the river bed and is in the right place to dig in and take hold. It is NOT there just to weigh the rope down. But if you had just rope this wouldn't work as well. It may not work as well if you use all chain if it was of a lighter gauge either and if you use heavy gauge all the way up it is harder to handle and more weight to store. Also in a narrowboat context it is easier to attach a rope to the T stud on the front or the fixings on the counter rather than chain.

 

Never said it was :lol:

 

(Well reading back it wasnt written that well :lol: )

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You could just have chain but not so practical to have just rope. The reason for the heavy chain is to make sure the anchor lays correctly ie flat to the river bed and is in the right place to dig in and take hold. It is NOT there just to weigh the rope down. But if you had just rope this wouldn't work as well. It may not work as well if you use all chain if it was of a lighter gauge either and if you use heavy gauge all the way up it is harder to handle and more weight to store. Also in a narrowboat context it is easier to attach a rope to the T stud on the front or the fixings on the counter rather than chain.

 

All perfectly clear, thanks :lol:

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You could just have chain but not so practical to have just rope. The reason for the heavy chain is to make sure the anchor lays correctly ie flat to the river bed and is in the right place to dig in and take hold. It is NOT there just to weigh the rope down. But if you had just rope this wouldn't work as well. It may not work as well if you use all chain if it was of a lighter gauge either and if you use heavy gauge all the way up it is harder to handle and more weight to store. Also in a narrowboat context it is easier to attach a rope to the T stud on the front or the fixings on the counter rather than chain.

 

Not a problem when you have an anchor locker :lol:

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There is a school of thought that says deploying an anchor from the stern in a flooded river can be dangerous. Holding the boat against the current could cause the stern to dip low enough to allow water in through the engine vents, thus sinking the boat.

 

It's probably worth saying though that, assuming that it's not an air cooled engine, many boats do not have hull-side vents into the engine space.

 

I know at least Liverpool Boars and Piper Boats go for this, but I'm not sure I have seen it on that many others.

 

Of course holding your exhaust pipe under water, (the first thing to go under on ours), might not be that good an idea either. :lol:

 

 

Whilst I understand that a big anchor is good, I'd think twice before going for over 15KG on a boat this big. They may be easy to lift on dry land, but I'm not convinced actually using one is anything like as trivial. I'm not sure I could handle 20/25 Kg. (And you need a LOT of stowage space).

 

 

From our experiences of that stretch of the Thames, it would have to be up quite a bit before you were likely to make serious use of an anchor. It really is very Thame along nearly all of it, if the river is calm.

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We have a fairly large anchor, which i think is about 25kg, and all chain for the line.

- However we then also have a (manual) chain winch, so it can be lifted/recovred with that.

- In an emergency, oftne when then will be much current, you want somthing that will hold the boat.

- Ive personally never had to deploy one yet, although emilyannes has been used. But as far as im conderned all i have to do it lump it over the gunnel from the foredeck into the drink and then let it out on the chain winch. This is certainly what my grandad (80 in feb) did lat month when on the tidal trent)

 

 

 

Daniel

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Also, when travelling downstream, you may find it easier to have an anchor that can be dropped from the stern (if you drop the anchor at the bow while drifting bow-first downstream, the boat will swing around it before coming to rest, which may create problems in narrow bits of river with shiny plastic cruisers around or moored: an anchor at the stern will hold you still facing downstream).

 

I really can't imagine where you would stow the required amount of chain and warp, safely at the stern of a narrowboat, Semi Trad excepted. Surely the safest place is a forward locker.

 

If you are in an emergency situation requiring deployment of an anchor there is little point manning the tiller! I would suggest a safe transit THROUGH the boat, NOT on the roof or gunwales, to the bow and make safe use of the anchor from there.

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I really can't imagine where you would stow the required amount of chain and warp, safely at the stern of a narrowboat, Semi Trad excepted. Surely the safest place is a forward locker.

 

If you are in an emergency situation requiring deployment of an anchor there is little point manning the tiller! I would suggest a safe transit THROUGH the boat, NOT on the roof or gunwales, to the bow and make safe use of the anchor from there.

In an emergency situation, going through the boat is not the safest way.

 

I wouldn't want to be going into a boat, in an emergency situation, I prefer to be above deck where I'm not likely to be trapped, nor would I stow an anchor in a locker, bow or stern, when underway, on a river.

 

There is plenty of room to stow an anchor, on a cruiser stern and, when I was on a river, with my trad stern, the anchor stayed on the roof, just forward of the sliding hatch, ready to be deployed and was tidied back into its forward locker, once moored up.

Edited by carlt

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In an emergency situation, going through the boat is not the safest way.

 

I wouldn't want to be going into a boat, in an emergency situation, I prefer to be above deck where I'm not likely to be trapped, nor would I stow an anchor in a locker, bow or stern, when underway, on a river.

 

There is plenty of room to stow an anchor, on a cruiser stern and, when I was on a river, with my trad stern, the anchor stayed on the roof, just forward of the sliding hatch, ready to be deployed and was tidied back into its forward locker, once moored up.

When we have been out on a river I have placed the anchor chain and rope on top of the fore end (attached to to the T stud too of course!) . I definitely would not want to be messing about trying to lift out 15Kg of anchor and about 5Kg or more of chain plus rope in a hurry from the forward locker.

 

I think what you say about having it on the roof at the back does make some sense in terms of easy access and faster deployment.

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It has been said before, but the T-Stud (or the rear dollies) in isolation are not a good thing to tie an anchor to. You are totally reliant on the unknown quality of the weld. Down goes the anchor, pop goes the stud and you are right back where you started.

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It has been said before, but the T-Stud (or the rear dollies) in isolation are not a good thing to tie an anchor to. You are totally reliant on the unknown quality of the weld. Down goes the anchor, pop goes the stud and you are right back where you started.

This is, of course, dependent on the build quality of your boat but it is sometimes true

 

If you are venturing out onto a river you should ensure that anything you attach your anchor rode to is up to the job.

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It has been said before, but the T-Stud (or the rear dollies) in isolation are not a good thing to tie an anchor to. You are totally reliant on the unknown quality of the weld. Down goes the anchor, pop goes the stud and you are right back where you started.

I understand what you are saying but I don't know where else I would attach the rope to!

 

Anyhow I know a good or bad weld when I see it.

Edited by churchward

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It does not matter how 'good' your boat is - a weld is an unknown. I have steel U-shaped bolts drilled through the deck with a steel plate bolted underneath. They only cost a few pounds at a chandlers. The good thing about them is you can confidently predict their strength.

 

 

At the front, in addition to the T-Stud, I also run the anchor rope through and under the gas locker lid hinges. That allows the load to be spread over more points. One failure will not mean loss of the anchor.

Edited by WJM

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