Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Anchors Aweigh - Bow Pulpit Anchor Mount For Bruce On A Cape Dory 25

Sailing Sunset. How nobly the anchor is secured to the bow!
Thank you, all of you, who write me when you see a blog post you enjoy. It’s nice to have my posts trigger a cascade of correspondence. I am particularly tickled when an ancient post still swirls eddies among sailors out there.

Such was the case this week when a gentleman asked me about an unusual and beautiful anchor mount on Sunset, a Cape Dory 25, of which I was the steward many years ago before I sold her to a friend in Boston. I wrote to him but thought others might be interested as well since the mount is so unique.

Sunset was my first keelboat. I was so naive when I bought her that I thought that every fixture and set-up on her was the way she was shipped from the factory, just like a car. Therefore, I never knew to ask the previous owner about the anchor mount’s origin. I admire, in absentia, the person from whose mechanical mind this contraption was born.

The bracket mounts to the pulpit around a cushioned base. I don’t know what that base is since I never took the bracket off. But it is not metal on metal. I assume rubber.

Pulpit anchor mount for Bruce anchor.
In the photo above, note how the mount has a brace welded vertically, securing the curved receptacle to the descending flat bar.

The arrangement for the shank is the least finished or designed. It is simply a shock cord wrapped at least one full turn around the shank and hooked into something on the stemhead.

Though not pretty, this was quite secure. I had to replace the shock cord every season.

The key element to the arrangement is the securing pin. As with the rest of the mount, this was a custom job.

It was a bolt, through which he had drilled a hole in the head for a clevis ring to which he had a preventer tied. Should have been a smaller lanyard, but I never got around to replacing it. I suggest 1/8 dacron with a halyard knot on the clevis ring. That would look proper. The halyard knot link goes to WaveTrain, one of my favorite blogs to follow.

On the business end of the bolt, he cut a slit. He inserted a flat tab with an oblong hole in its center. The oblong hole allowed the tab to slide into an obstructed path. (A round hole would create an easily pivotable position.) I can't remember how he secured the tab in the bolt. A pin welded on both sides? 

These types of bolts are commercially available, but not in stainless. And for the life of me, I can't remember what they are called. I just did a lot of googling and can't find them, but I know I visited Fastenal at the time and found them. 

I didn't like that the threading prevented an easy slide in and out of the securing hole. I considered several different options. One was a simple clevis pin with a clevis ring, but even the bent-end clevis rings are too hard to fumble with when anchoring.

The above was another option, though not as neat as the creator's custom bolt.

The whole arrangement was strong and secure. I have sailed in 25 knots of wind on Lake Champlain's chop and never had an issue with the anchor bouncing or wiggling.

As for off-shore passages, well, not sure I would do one with a Cape Dory 25, although I talked to a guy who did one to Bermuda. The guy said he was sick for the whole two weeks it took to fetch the island. And again for the return trip. Not something he would recommend. In my transatlantic and on a passage to Bermuda, I have stowed the anchors. When the bow submerges completely into the waves, as it will do in such passages, you want as little resitance as possible on the bow.

Simple and at the ready. Exactly what you want from an anchor mount.