Second Great Technique for Dinghy Anchoring

Our recent piece by Jeff Siegel of ActiveCaptain about a novel dinghy anchoring technique stimulated quite a bit of discussion from readers and we even heard about another, possibly even better, technique from John Marshall, owner of the Nordhavn 55 Serendipity. Marshall discovered a particular product that makes the process of anchoring the dinghy off [...]

25th March 2010.
By Tom Tripp

Tuggy Products' Anchor Buddy Elastic Dinghy Anchoring Line

Greenfield Products' Anchor Buddy Elastic Dinghy Anchoring Line

Our recent piece by Jeff Siegel of ActiveCaptain about a novel dinghy anchoring technique stimulated quite a bit of discussion from readers and we even heard about another, possibly even better, technique from John Marshall, owner of the Nordhavn 55 Serendipity. Marshall discovered a particular product that makes the process of anchoring the dinghy off the beach but keeping it within reach even easier.  Best to read this in his own words:

“Securing a dink on a shore with big tidal exchanges and keeping it both floating and within reach is one of life’s challenges. My dink weighs 900 pounds, so if it grounds, I’ve gotta wait for the next high tide. Not fun if its raining and the next high tide is in the middle of the night and I didn’t put my rain gear in the dink. (Don’t ask!) All it took was one time of that nonsense and I bought an Anchor Buddy, and I started packing a dink bag with rain gear, space blankets and tube tents that would let me spend the night on shore in bad weather if needed.

There is a neater way to do this that’s very popular in the Pacific Northwest…using an Anchor Buddy.

Basically, is a large woven line with surgical tubing inside it that curls up small when not in use, but stretches out about 50′. It’s also very strong. You attach whatever size anchor is appropriate, drop it about 50′ from shore, motor in to shore stretching out the Anchor Buddy until you ground. Then, when you get off, you let it pull the boat back out to the anchor until you need it.

We use a 100′ of thin line on the bow as the retrieval line. Even with our big tides up here, it generally keeps the dink floating.

The two key advantages over the approach you cited is that you can use a bigger anchor, even one that could hold in a gale, and you are setting and retrieving it directly over the side of the dink where its easy to work. The second advantage is that the strong elastic actively pulls the boat back to the anchor, even in a stiff wind. It also cushions the shock on the anchor so its harder to pull out if you do get caught in a gale.”

Marshall uses an eight-pound Danforth-type anchor, which is pretty stout for a dink, but according to Marshall it fits under his seat. “I don’t like the folding grapple-type anchors, as they have failed me a few times. Good in rocks, but lousy in mud or sand. So far, the Danforth is 100% on any kind of bottom,” he says. Also, the surgical tying is inside a wide-weave tube of poly line, basically a hollow line, says Marshall. “So when it’s fully stretched out, it’s very strong. The elastic isn’t what provides the holding power in a big blow, although I think it would take a gale to stretch it out, even with a heavy dink.”

Here’s a link to the product page at the original company that developed the Tuggy Product line (somewhat loud narration on this page), and here is a link to the current manufacturer Greenfield Products, which also shows a lighter weight version of the Anchor Buddy.  The Anchor Buddy and related products are sold through many marine suppliers and chandleries, including at West Marine which shows it on this webpage.  Many thanks, as usual, to reader John Marshall for his generous contribution. And thanks to Wes Pence at Greenfield Products for the photo.

Any other suggestions out there?

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About the author:

Tom Tripp

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Tom is the publisher of www.OceanLines.biz, a website about passagemaking boats and information. He is also a contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine who has been at sea aboard everything from a 17-foot homemade wooden fishing boat to a 1,000-foot-long, 96,000-ton, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

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