July 29, 2015

Where are the anchor rollers?

WHEN I WALK AROUND our local marina I can hardly believe how many boats lack anchor rollers. What were the manufacturers thinking? Thirty footers and bigger, without any proper means of retrieving the anchor and its rode. Did they imagine their boats would never anchor, from choice or necessity?

In my humble opinion, no boat over 20 feet in length should be allowed to leave the factory without a proper anchor roller at the bow.

Anyone who has ever tried to weigh anchor by hand in a boat without a bow roller knows how awkward and difficult it is. Consequently, you’ll notice that all sorts of after-market rollers get bolted on by boat owners seeking to ease the pain of retrieving the anchor. Some of them look far too flimsy for the job. Some stick out from behind the forestay at an odd angle. Others have to be bolted on top of a bed of teak to bring them to the correct level.

And they’re not cheap, either. A reasonably sized one that will house the anchor costs in the region of $100 to $200 with shipping. And then you have all the fun of fitting it yourself.

I can only imagine that unscrupulous boat manufacturers deliberately omit a bow roller in an effort to keep the selling price down a few bucks. It’s a wicked practice, like selling a new car without a horn, or without a spare tire. If I was in charge of the boat-manufacturing industry I would make it a federal crime to sell a boat without an anchor roller. But since they’re never likely to elect me to that position, the situation is unlikely to change unless we all start complaining to our representatives in Congress.

Never mind health care for the moment. Never mind ISIS and Afghanistan. Forget all that for now. Surprise your elected U.S. representative. Ask him or her to sponsor legislation about bow rollers. You never know. It might be such a refreshing change from the same-old, same-old, that Washington DC could catch fire with enthusiasm for compulsory bow rollers. And if that means some boat manufacturers will end up behind bars, so be it. They deserve it.

Today’s Thought
The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.
—Samuel Johnson, Miscellanies

“Did you realize that old Joe survived mustard gas and pepper spray?”
“No. How’s he doing?”
“Oh he’s now a seasoned veteran.”


Dryfeet said...

You could add in a place to easily stow and deploy the rode after it passes over said anchor roller...


And a wash down hose and pump......

The legislation however? I'll pass, thanks......

Alden Smith said...

I couldn't agree more - but its worse than just the rollers. Large numbers of boats have no proper samson posts to tie off anchor ropes or chain. I have seen large yachts with just a cleat through bolted to the deck - totally hopeless when it comes to blow hard at anchor. But lets face it, whats happened to real sailors and sailing, many just travel from one marina to the other and never anchor anywhere, others never leave their mooring to overnight anywhere - its the yacht as plastic caravan age we live in.
I carry 30 fathoms of chain in my primary anchoring system and tie it off to a samson post that is bolted at deck level and where the post meets the yachts stem - nothing extraordinary about that - but unfortunately less common these days. I always try and anchor so that I am never in a direct down wind line from anyone - you just can't rely on other people having the correct anchoring gear.

Eric said...

Off topic: I haven't searched your entire site to see if you have addressed this. Why do boat builders insist on putting TWO toilets/heads in a boat as small as 32'? C'mon, how many 400 square foot apartments/houses on land have two bathrooms?