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Narrowboat Magazine

Q & A

What anchor

I wish to cruise inland river navigations such as the Thames and Weaver, and need to equip my 60 foot narrowboat with an anchor.

What weigh anchor will I require, and do I need any special hull fixings ?

Asked by: Andy Packwood  | 11.25am, Monday 30 June


WW says:

For your boat, a 20kg Danforth anchor would probably be the best... it is what I use on my own 60ft narrowboat! Any heavier and it is hard to lift (and very difficult to recover!). I have only anchored a narrowboat once and it was hard work!

I would suggest that you have at least 20ft of 1/4" chain (preferably 30ft) shackled to the anchor- and then the chain spliced into around 100ft/30m of line. The more line/chain, the more likely the anchor will actually hold and dig in.

The best line to use is the Octoplait type, which has 4 pairs of opposite-layed strands. This is usually made of nylon which has give in it (and doesn't float like polypropylene...!)

Most boats have somewhere, such as a welded D-Ring to attach a shackle to a loop in the anchor line. If not, then it can be easily made fast to a T-stud or dolly- however, it MUST be attached before entering a river, as it would be so easy to throw the anchor overboard without attaching it!

My line is attached to a fixed point AND tied off to the T-cleat before setting out on the river.

A quick trawl of the internet will show you easy ways to splice rope into chain.

Hope that is useful!

Mark Langley

Mark Langley  | 10.12AM, Friday 4 July


Readers say:

the difficulty in retrieving an anchor has always made me apprehensive, (not, thankfully i've had occasion to use one) when i go on a thames trip on my 59' narrowboat out of limehouse,with other boats we're advised not to drop anchor if in trouble. imagine , bow of boat anchored to riverbed, while rest of boat possibly going round in a huge circle from that fixed point. just a thought. i always borrow our club's commodore's anchor ( another reason not to hurl it overboard)

richard

Richard Cracknell  | 7.22PM, Friday 4 July

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