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Attaching an Anchor to the Bow

It is convenient to be able to easily let the anchor drop from the bow. Many devices and rollers have been sold and made to make anchoring easier.

The Tanzer 22 was designed with an anchor locker at the bow but my anchor is larger than the locker and I've been looking at a way of attaching it to the front. This article is the result of my research.

Even if you are not planning to anchor, having one all set up and ready to go is a major source of security on your boat.

How are others at my club attaching their anchors? There are several versions of bow rollers

I took a look at what other small keel boat owners were doing. It was raining so some of the photos have little rain blurry spots.

The most common anchor clipsThe most common anchor clipsThe most common anchor clips

The most common anchor hardware on the smaller boats are these Stainless steel clips. Several were damaged so I think they are subject to twisting and damage. These are not very expensive and require no extensive installation. Its not necessary to drill any holes in your boat. It keeps the anchor accessible and ready to launch. SCHAEFER AH-100 ANCHOR HOLDER 8 - 22 LBS sells for 45.95 Can$ from

The clips have the advantage of being simple and it would be possible to improvise a subsitute with no great trouble. A simple rope sling could be used as effectively and at no cost.

Windline danforth anchor mountWindline danforth and Fortress anchor mount

Windline Pulpit anchor clamp

Tidy anchor holder for Danforth and Fortress (aluminium danforth style) type anchors. makes them. Either as rail mount or stanchion mount. about 35 US.

There were a couple of these at the club and they seem to be doing the job. Other users had tied the bottom of the anchor to a cleat on deck. These images are of boats having been hauled out and may not show how the anchor is actually used while sailing. I think the chain would rub on the front if not controlled.

Deck mount anchor roller

Deck mount anchor roller

Several larger boats had variations of this design. Simple roller attachment projecting from the front of the boat.

Deck mount anchor roller

The race officials boat has 2 bow rollers. In the photo there is a danforth anchor on the left roller. It is connected to a windlass.

Many rollers are offered in Stainless Steel or in Galvanized Steel. Galvanized is usually much less expensive.

Deck mount anchor roller

A longer roller accommodates longer anchor. The anchor is more forward and does not take up space on deck if there are windlass or or other hardware in the way. In this boat there is a stanchion. One concern was that the extra length counted in certain yacht clubs to increase the length of his boat costing more for mooring. Not a problem in our club but something to think about. It keeps the Bruce or Claw anchor out of trouble.

Below deck

This attaches on the bow of the boat and keeps the CQR anchor safely away from the deck.

Because this anchor has a hinge it is more difficult to handle and stow. Putting an anchor roller solves the problem.

This mounting position keeps the roller off the deck. This is useful if there is not any space for it or it would interfere with existing hardware.

Choosing the right Anchor Roller

Several anchor suppliers including Kingston Anchor have tables to help you choose the right type of anchor roller for different types of anchors. This is a good way to start but what they can't predict is the kind of boat you will put the anchor onto, and what kind of modifications have been made already. What I plan to do is take a photo and measure the distances. Measure the anchor and look at the various choices.

I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen.

email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine