Log in
Article search:

Q & A

what anchor?

I have a 53ft narrowboat, what type of anchor do I need, how heavy should it be, what length and what size of chain and length and size of rope? I have read so many articles and am more confused. What is the most likely sonario that I would need to use a anchor in the first place?
Many Thanks
David Gibbons. ND Lazy Daze.

Asked by: david gibbons  | 9.21pm, Sunday 15 March

WW says:

A 53ft narrowboat on a river needs a decent anchor. A Danforth pattern one is usually the best (and around 15kg minimum, better closer to 20kg), as it is fairly easy to stow - folding (grapnel) anchors tend not to hold well in soft river mud. The anchor needs at least 5mof chain of 1/2in or 3/8in size, with an absolute minimum of 30m of line -14mm or 16mm polyester or nylon (not polypropylene as that floats!). Octoplait line is quite handy, as it can be easily spliced directly to the chain.
You might consider a longer line if you venturem out onto the tidal Thames or Trent, as a good anchor (ready for use and attached to the boat) might be the only thing to prevent you from being swept under a bridge if you lose power - and many tideways are filled with floating rubbish ready to block a
prop at the most inconvenient moment.
On normal rivers, loosing power due to weed or rubbish around the prop, is fairly rare, but an anchor can save you being pulled into a weir stream, or against a boom. Also, if you loose power above a bridge, an anchor can avoid you being swept broadside under the bridge, which could lead to sinking or severe damage, especially in strong stream conditions.
In many years of boating, I have only anchored a narrowboat in anger twice (apart from deliberate anchoring on tideways to await turn of tide)- once due to loosing power approaching a weir (weed stopped engine!) and once when a coupling failed on the River Severn. Even if the anchor does not bite, the drag created (given enough chain and line) will slow a boat down sufficiently for remedial measures to be taken. Unlike most yachts and motor boats, raising the anchor again can be challenging, as narrowboats are not designed to easily take in an anchor once set!

Mark Langley  | 11.34AM, Monday 16 March

You must log in to post an answer.