Anchor Decisions and lines [E35-3]


Member III
Looking for opinions on a way forward on our anchor situation. I am fairly certain we are sailing with the original Bruce plough anchor that the boat was sold with. We have used it for two seasons, and in Maine where most of the anchorages are mud, it has held us well.

Most of the issues have been by the bow, where it has been unclear as to what a good method is for leading our anchor line in a fair and non-chafing way. we have 60’ of chain that is then shackled to 250’ of 5/8 three strand. So far our method has been to always deploy all of the chain (no matter the depth) plus 10-15’ of line and cleat it off. This is good except that the line wraps badly around the bow pulpit, so I use a dock line to pull it away and I figure this distributes the load to both cleats as well as making for a fair lead over the bow roller.

I recently remember reading another thread here where I believe it was being said that using the bow roller was now acceptable, and a bridle would be preferred from both cleats leading forward from the bow and then connecting to the line there. So here are the questions I am hoping to create a discussion around:

1. If you have a line rhode and not chain, how are people connecting or tying the bridle to the line? I am concerned if I have a bridle on it then I can’t cleat off the actual rhode as well, which feels like a safety issue.

2. It seems like the bow roller assembly is fairly robust, our only issue is the roller itself moving back and forth on its axel can be annoying at night. Have people had issues with Ericson bow rollers failing when used as part of the anchoring situation?

3. Have people found more modern anchors that fit our legacy roller situations? My research is leading to a Rocna but I am also happy with our current anchor and wonder if I am messing with “good enough”

4. When stowed on the bow, the anchor rocking back and forth is chewing the gel coat. The current method of repair is I simply put more down, and then let it remove it. Have people put some kind of wear plate there? Trying to see if others have solved the problem before I apply random solutions to the problem.


Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Blogs Author
To protect the gelcoat I tape a piece of vinyl over the chain where it lies on deck .

E381 bow 2.JPG

I stopped the wobbling of the Bruce in the anchor roller with Trex inserts (video will go direct to topic):


Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
I put down a piece of aluminum on the deck for the anchor shank to rest on. Also a corner guard on the front and rear of the anchor well.

Xanthus bow 042A.JPG

I eliminated the noise from the anchor and roller shifting by replacing the ten pound bronze anchor roller with a plastic roller. It brought quiet and I could sail three knots faster (almost) without all of that weight hanging in front of the bow. As I remember, I bought a trailer bunker roller at West Marine and trimmed it to the correct length. After many years it didn't show any wear.

Anyone want a ten pound bronze roller? It's available for the price of scrap (currently $1.53) + postage. I'll even throw in the original grill cover plans free.

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
Christian - What is the purpose of the piece metal(?) attached to the bolt holding the bale over the top of the anchor roller?

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Blogs Author
No idea at all. It also flops the other way. However, you will be interested in the former owner's solution to a bolt that is too long.

You just put a bunch on nuts on it and finish off with a castle. Saves the expense of a hacksaw blade.

anchor chocks 3.JPG

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
I like it. I always have to rummage through a box of all different size and types of nuts to find one that will work. This way you just have to remember where the different size long bolts are.

BTW, that's an acorn nut. The castle nuts are designed for a locking pin. I know you know that, but I wanted people to know that I also know. ;)


Member II
Coming back to the bridle question... my approach has always been to NOT leave the rode on the roller after the anchor is deployed. Unless the bow cleat is in the middle of the foredeck, you end up with a situation like you have where the lead and loading is offset. And I've generally viewed the rode over the roller as just another opportunity for chafe.

So when I anchor I launch the anchor from the roller, and pay out the right amount of scope via the roller. Then I reach outside the pulpit and pull the rode so it's leading directly to the starboard cleat. Then I back the anchor in, being careful to confirm it's set and not dragging.

Have no picture to share, but hopefully that's clear.


Member I
lol Christian, your PO found a wizards cure for where to store spare nuts!! now if I could just remember where I put my wrench! LOL


Member I
Racushman, I too anchor without the use of the roller and do like you, using it for deployment and retrieval. I did build up my foredeck to accept a beefier cleat to use for anchoring but still have to route rode around cleat (port or starboard) to get to it. Everythinbg is just in the way otherwise and bending around the back of a cleat gives me the fairest lead with least chafe potential. I expect that a bridle arrangement is ideal for the layout of our foredecks, I just havent made it to that point of the "list".


Sustaining Member
I also have a 35-3 and use a 22# spade with a rear attached anchor flipper (to set right coming up on the roller) and also an abrasion guard along the chain to locker. The anchor is taught. This anchor in our lake (Lake Travis, Texas) is more than enough if high digs so quick with 50' chain and 150' rode, that we have to tie a float line to the front hole of the anchor in order to pull it out backwards or we would lose it. Very rocky bottom.


  • BDC51A28-85BD-4864-B8C7-61D872D3AEA5.jpeg
    49.3 KB · Views: 21
  • 06A9DF53-27B6-40DD-8256-E3DF6DBD4BC0.jpeg
    58.1 KB · Views: 22