Dingy & Kayak Anchor System

Published date: March 16, 2007
  • Boat Type: Boat Type

Problem: While snorkeling, diving, swimming etc., it is good to know that your transportation stays around, e.g. your dingy or kayaks. Commercial packaged systems commonly have poor quality components or unsuitable sizing of anchors, ropes, and floats.
Solution: For roughly the same expense as a commercial system, you can do much better using custom selected off-shelf components. Remember that the 'weak link' concept applies. We like a larger float for both function and visibility. We prefer stronger nylon line to poly line. We prefer non-vinyl coated anchors since they set better. We wanted a system that: could effectively anchor either a dingy with motor, or several kayaks; a compact lightweight package; a scope of 50 feet; and with a working load exceeding 300#. We selected two alternate anchor styles. The bagged system has minimal sharp protrusions and is suitable for either dinghies or kayaks.
Details: Our float is an Atwood 4x16" (WalMart $5US). This size is easily visible from 100 meters or so. For our line, we chose 3/8" (9.5mm) twisted nylon rated at a working load of 278# (126kg). This has a generous safety factor to breaking strength. This style unravels easily so you must use tape or shrink fit tubing and flame fuse cut ends. We like the 1/2" (12mm) shrink fit. For the load attachment point you could simply tie a loop, however, we prefer to use a SS 1/4x2-inch rings rated at 200# each (often sold in pairs so we used two). We chose the ring since we like to attach loads with carabiners. We looped the line to the ring about a foot from the end where we added the float. Since anchorages vary greatly, we used 35 feet of line for good scope. You may prefer more or less. To help the anchor set, we used six feet of 700# rated bent-link steel chain. On each end of the chain we used a 1/4 inch SS anchor shackle (750# rated). One fastens to the anchor while the other allows tie of the anchor rope line. Be sure to secure the shackles screws with nylon twine, snap ties, or other corrosion resistant fastening. For the anchor, we like two styles, selection dependant on your typical anchorage. Ideally you may buy both since they are inexpensive. We chose a galvanized folding-style grapnel hook anchor (West Marine Suncor G8003MkII 3# (1.4kg) for about $12US). This choice is inflatable-friendly. We added a draw-string mesh bag to keep everything together. The system weight with this option is 6.5lbs. (3kg).
An alternate 7# mini-Danforth style is available at WalMart for about $12US. The Danforth pivot rod is a bit more awkward for this application in our opinion. Vinyl coated options are available for both styles of anchor. BTW, for our kayak bow lines we used braided 1/4" nylon rated at 124# (56kg). Total estimated costs with one anchor: $30-35US. Mac26X Octopus, Lake Tahoe NV, Tahoe Jack.

Published by: Tahoe Jack


Model Year: 2007

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