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What weight of anchor for river cruising

I have been looking for information, without much success, regarding the weight of anchor/length and weight of chain/length and size of warp for a 60ft narrowboat going from Worcester to Gloucester in November. Any practical guidance would be appreciated, especially tips for stowing such a heavy object. Would it affect the trim if kept in the cratch? Thanks in advance, Alan

Asked by: Alan Denney  | 8.22pm, Monday 22 October

WW says:

As a general guide, a 20kg Danforth anchor would be ideal for river cruising- both tidal and non-tidal cruising. You might be able to get away with a 15kg anchor- which is much easier to handle, but the heavier anchor gives better bite into the bed of a river- and most narrowboats will be using it as a drag weight, as there is not the option of hauling in a re-setting, sould it not set first time, as you would in a yacht.
You need to have around 5 metres (minimum) of chain (1/2" or 3/8") shackled to the anchor at one end, around 30m (at least- the lower Thames may require 50m) of polyester or nylon line at the other, of about 14 or 16mm diameter. The larger sizes are recommended- possibly going to 18 or 20mm line and 5/8" chain. Don't use polypropylene, as it floats and is counter-productive.
Octoplait/anchorplait style lines can be easily spliced to the chain ( you can find instructions online), to avoid making an unslightlty loop and shackle join.
The anchor should be permanently attached: in the forward cockpit, it will be fine and if mounted centrally should not affect trim (total mass will be less tan one person).
However, mounting it inside the cratch (and tied on to the forward t-stud) may make it difficult to drop quickly. Some semi-trad and cruiser stern boats keep the anchor aft- easier to deploy when running downstream to act as a brake, and mean you don't have to turn the bow round before dropping the anchor.
Wherever you place the anchor, make sure it is attached, and the line flaked down, ready to run out, with the chain on the top, so it runs freely when the anchor is dropped.
Anchoring a narrowboat is not fun- and have only done it twice in anger (with loss of power) but can be useful on some tidal rivers (such as the Trent) if you anchor to await change of tide. They can be very heavy to pull back up though!
Hope that helps!

Mark Langley  | 10.48PM, Monday 22 October

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