Anchoring Setup and Ground Tackle (Page 1)
This page was last updated on June 2, 2002


Related Pages:  Anchor Platform | Anchor Types and Ground Tackle | Anchor Rodes and Storage | Storm Damage to Anchor Platform

Constructing and Installing an Anchor Roller Platform

Note:  As the result of damage caused to the platform described below during a storm in May 2002, I constructed a new, reinforced anchor platform.  I have left the original text here for the complete story.  To see the new anchor platform and improved ground tackle setup, please begin by following this link:  Installing the new anchor platform.  Or, click the link above to see the whole story of the storm damage and subsequent repairs.

Making anchoring easier is always an issue.  To that end, a decent platform and roller system for storage and deployment is key.  Having sailed on boats equipped with and without anchor rollers, I can say unequivocally that the roller is the way to go.  This way, the anchor is always set up and ready to go, and is right out front where you want it without any fumbling.  It is important, however, to have a quality roller that is designed not only to store the anchor, but also to function well with the anchor deployed.

One can install an anchor roller right on the bow, but I think a better and less cluttered way is to have a platform of sorts to hang the anchor out a little further.  The ultimate is a true bowsprit, but that's a little excessive for a Triton.  I decided to build a platform that would extend a little past the bow, about as far as the bow pulpit.  This is a good compromise between keeping the clutter at the stem head to a minimum, good looks and the ramifications of cantilevering a platform too far out.

I studied platforms on many different boats, getting ideas as I went along.  I saw some really nice platforms and setups that I wanted to emulate, and some really shoddy things that looked bad and surely functioned horribly.  Most important in my design considerations was the choice of ground tackle:  a 35# CQR for the primary anchor, with a second anchor of a different type as a backup.  I have chosen a 33# Bruce for this purpose, and it will also be installed on a dedicated roller on the platform.  In addition, we have a small 13# Danforth, one of the few usable items that came with the boat. I recently acquired a 20# Danforth as well, which will be available for use whenever necessary, but will not be used on a regular basis.

For the roller system, I am installing two stainless steel rollers from Windline Marine:  a URM-1, designed for CQR anchors, as well as several other types, including the Fortress and Danforth; and a BRM-3, which is the proper roller for a 33# Bruce anchor.

I began planning for the platform many months ago when I was I was constructing the mahogany toerail.  At the stem, I left a portion of the toerail off, leaving a 12" wide section for the future anchor platform.  The new platform will fit snugly between the toerails.  I had some lengths of wide mahogany left over from my coamings, so stem.jpg (32888 bytes) I trimmed two pieces to 12" wide and about 3' or so long (I don't know the exact measurement offhand).  After checking the fit on the boat, I bonded the two pieces together on top of each other with thickened epoxy.  This lamination will provide the thickness desired for looks and strength.

When the epoxy cured, I sanded the edges smooth with my belt sander and, returning to the boat, started playing around and determining the best position for the platform.  I want a good length to extend aft onto the foredeck for strength, but also want enough projection forward to allow the anchors to easily clear the boat when raising or lowering, and also to keep the clutter far enough forward to prevent fouling with the roller furler drum and headstay.  I finally determined the best location and made some reference marks on the platform.

Next, I measured the gap between the bottom of the platform and the foredeck (1-7/16") so I could cut some wood to fill it in and support the aft end of the platform.  I had some 8/4 mahogany from another part of the project, so I trimmed it to 1-7/16" thick and 3-1/2" wide.  I cut two 20" strips from this, which was roughly the distance aft the platform projects from the molded stemhead.  I left some room at the forward end so that nothing can be hopelessly trapped beneath, and so I can flush water from the forward end through the space beneath.  I epoxied these timbers in place on the aft bottom of the platform, clamped them and left them overnight.  

Next, I installed some 3/4" thick mahogany strips over the three sides of the platform at the forward end that will overhang the stem.  These provide a more finished appearance, but also some additional width to the platform.  I installed the strips with epoxy and screws; I covered the screw holes with bungs.  I installed similar strips at the aft end of the platform to cover the end grain there.

anchorplatform2-31401.jpg (55584 bytes)When the epoxy cured, I sanded everything smooth and rounded all the top edges with a 1/4" router bit.  I also milled roundovers on the bottom of the projecting portion of the platform, and some 1/2" radius curves on the front corners.  Next, I created a cutout in the center of the platform to accommodate the stemhead fitting, test fitting everything to double check.  After some final sanding, I began the process of building up 10 coats of varnish.


With the varnish complete, I set forth to install the platform on the bow of the boat.  After determining its final position, I laid out the six holes for the bolts that will hold the platform to the deck, and drilled 3/8" holes through the platform and into the deck.  First, though, I made sure the holes would end up in an accessible and workable location in the chain locker, which they did.  Then, I marked the deck along the edges and, removing the platform, applied masking tape to the deck and platform.  I did my standard hole preparation work, and made some plywood backer backplate-42901.jpg (30964 bytes)strips for the bolts--the strips are 24" long and 3" wide, approximately the same as the sides of the platform where the bolts pass through.  Using 5200 for its permanence and adhesive qualities, I gooped up the deck beneath the platform, and also the flat stem area on either side of the stemhead piece.  Then, I installed the platform with six 3/8"x5" stainless steel bolts with fender washers above and below.  5200 squeezed out along all edges, as desired.  I cleaned up the excess and left the platform to cure for several days before attempting any further projects on it.

UPDATE:  This anchor platform was destroyed on May 14, 2002 while riding out a storm on the mooring.  Please follow this link to read about the damage, causes, and the new anchor platform.

Please click here to continue.

Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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