Anchor, Chain Locker, and Anchor Roller, Part 3, Analysis, Part III

The components of the new anchoring system loosely fitted into place
Having completed my thoroughly unexpected and thoroughly unpleasant digression to repair the deck core at the bow of the boat, I could now continue to determine where I would install the various components of the new anchoring system that I had purchased for Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25. The steps to reach some conclusions on this layout issue out are the subject of this posting.
You'll recall from the previous posting that I had cut the hole for the new oval chain pipe that I would install over the chain locker. You'll also recall that I had decided to install a block of wood on the centerline of the deck and that this block of wood would serve two purposes. On the one hand, it would provide a foundation for the anchor roller; on the other, it would conceal the hole that I would soon patch in this area forward of the chain pipe. This was the hole where the old ventilation cowl was located. In the picture below, the mock-up block of wood is concealing this hole.
I knew that I would need to custom-cut this block of wood so that it would fit into this space. Below you see the arc that I have scribed at its forward end.
Below, we see the mock-up dry-fitted into place.
Now it would be easier for me to figure out where exactly I needed to install the Garhauer brand anchor roller and the Lewmar brand chain stop.
The picture below illustrates clearly why the real block of wood would need to be about twice as thick as the mock-up. You can also tell from this picture that I had not yet fully determined how I would terminate the block of wood on its aft end. Notice that in this picture the wood encroaches on the flange of the chain pipe.
You'll notice below that I have scribed an arc along the aft end of the block to see whether a a block of wood in this shape would be both practical and visually appealing.
My work with all of these components was not as easy as it might seem. It was hard to hold the anchor roller in one hand and a chain stop and a pencil in the other. I also, of course, had to take into account the anchors that would hang on this roller. The roller had to be positioned far enough forward so that the anchors would not come into contact with the hull of the boat, but the roller could not be positioned too far forward; otherwise it would present more opportunities for trouble in terms of the fouling of the anchor rode on the roller when the weather was up.
I had purchased two different anchors at two different times, taking advantage of the price matching that West Marine used to do. First, I purchased a Lewmar brand Delta plow anchor. This 22 pound anchor was rated for boats in the 25 - 41 foot range. My friend with the Stamas 27 powerboat (that I discussed in the previous posting) had success with this type of anchor in the pluff mud of the Carolina Lowcountry, so I figured I would too. This anchor fit well in the 24 inch Garhauer AR-30 anchor roller that I had earlier purchased.
Below we see my friend's Stamas 27 as he launches it from his trailer for camping trip we made out to Capers Island, South Carolina, an uninhabited island north of Charleston. At the bow is a Delta plow anchor, at this moment resting on its side. I believe he had positioned it this way on the deck to prevent it from getting snagged by the bow roller during his launching of the boat.
My thinking on the size of my Delta plow anchor changed when my friend and I later made a weekend trip out to the inlet at Morris Island, South Carolina for the annual campout for the Friends of the Morris Island Lighthouse. This lighthouse, long ago abandoned, now sits in the water off Morris Island, an uninhabited island at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. At any rate, there was a low pressure system off the coast of Florida. On the second night we were out there at the Morris Island Inlet the wind picked up to 30 knots, and many of the boat owners spent a sleepless night setting and resetting their anchors because their anchors simply would not hold. My friend's Stamas 27, which was similar in weight to an Ericson 25, held fast, but only because he'd anchored his boat in a nearby tidal creek. All of those in the inlet were harried by the unrelenting wind.
As soon as I got back home I began to look around for a heavier anchor. I had heard good things about the Lewmar brand claw anchor, and I found a 33 pound one for sale at an incredibly low price on the Defender website. The local West Marine matched the price, and I walked out of the store with this weighty monster in one hand and my Garhauer anchor roller in the other. Yes, this 33 pound claw fit into the Garhauer roller, but just barely. This claw was rated for boats in the 36-40 foot range. Everyone knows that these specs change when you factor in high winds. I had seen too many persons at Morris Island spend a miserable night fighting the wind. I didn't want what they had on any night I might spend on my Ericson 25.
I decided that I would make the 33 pound claw my primary anchor and the 22 pound plow anchor my secondary one. Fortunately, both anchors fit well on the anchor roller in the spot where I hoped to install it on the bow. In other words, neither posed a threat in terms of damaging the hull. A friend stood on a ladder and held the anchors in place while I knelt on the bow and held the roller in place. With my one free hand I quickly marked the spots where I needed to drill the holes for the bolts that would hold the roller in place.
The carriage bolts for the anchor roller were 5/16 inch in diameter.
I decided that I would drill only one hole. This one hole would allow me to insert one of the carriage bolts and then pivot the roller here and there slightly until I figured out the best spot for it to be.
The peak of the bow through which I drilled the hole was over two inches thick. It appeared as if Ericson had sandwiched a block of wood between two thick layers of fiberglass.
As soon as I drilled the hole I went below and looked up into the chain locker. I had done a lot of guesswork in attempting to determine where this hole would be. Fortunately it appeared that there would be enough room not only for a washer and nut on this bolt, but also on the next one even farther forward than this one.
With this one carriage bolt loosely inserted into this first hole, I could now freely experiment with various arrangements at the bow. I still had not quite figured out where I would install the chain stop and how I would cleat off the rode when the anchor was deployed. Below you see that I am using the 1/2 inch nylon rode in place of chain to make some decisions about the chain stop. I had no desire to use the heavy chain for this experiment.
Ideally, I wanted a cleat between the chain pipe and the anchor roller.
This was similar to what my friend with the Stamas 27 had. He used one of his two cleats when setting the anchor. He had the luxury of lots of space at the bow. I did not.
I considered the set-up below, but I was concerned that there was just not enough space for me to make proper use of the cleat.
This was when I began to think about using a chock to guide the nylon rode to one of the cleats on the port or starboard sides of the bow.
I also, however, considered installing a Samson post, also called a mooring bit or bollard. I knew someone else who had a set-up with one of these pieces of hardware.
I looked at the dimensions online for the Whitecap brand and the Sea Dog brand Samson bits. This was the only way I could determine whether one of these would fit in this space. Above we see the Whitecap brand Samson post available from Defender.
I liked the Whitecap Samson post because it seemed to be of a higher quality.
I marked the wooden block mock-up to get a better idea of how the Samson post would fit, or not fit, in this space.
Eventually I concluded that there just wasn't enough space for the Samson post. With about 18 inches more space between the anchor roller and the chain pipe it might have worked.
Having abandoned this idea, I returned to my previous idea of using a chock to lead the nylon road to one of the cleats at the bow. This was the most workable solution. Now I needed to create the real wooden block that I would place here at the bow. That would help me figure out exactly where I needed to locate the chain stop and the chock.
This ends this posting on how I reached some firmer conclusions regarding the set-up for my new anchoring system on Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

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