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Old 03-22-2017, 03:11 PM   #1
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A new use for your bow eye.....

One of the many emails I get from a variety of boat companies is one from Active Captain. They send it out periodically with tips on a variety of boat topics. This information below is from their newsletter that I received today.

It discusses using your bow eye when anchoring in a crowded area to reduce the amount of scope needed, thus reducing the amount your boat will swing on its rode if the wind changes. I thought it was interesting so I'm passing it on to you.

Tell me what you think. Good idea, or useless information.

Which brings us to bow eyes. Putting a bow eye on your boat down close to the water line provides a wonderful advantage when anchoring. In general, a three-stranded line is attached properly to the bow eye and brought up to the bow ending with some type of chain attachment device.

Chain hooks, locks, and gadgets would easily make another newsletter topic. When you've put out enough rode, you attach the line to the chain and release chain until the line is holding the chain fully. The chain on the bow should also be locked in case the line breaks.

In this setup, the line is acting like an elastic snubber while making the bow attach point as low as possible. This will greatly reduce rode distance especially if you have a high bow.

Here's an example with Red Head and it's 10 foot bow. Let's say we're anchored in 6 feet of water at high tide and we want 5:1 scope. In our setup today without a bow eye, the amount of rode to release would be: (6 + 10) * 5 = 80 feet.

But if we had a bow eye 1 foot off the water line, our 5:1 scope requirement would change to: (6 + 1) * 5 = 35. That's less than half the rode needed to provide the same level of holding. Note that scope includes the 15 or so feet for the bow eye line so only 20 feet of chain would be let out. 20 feet!

This is why many trawlers have a bow eye with a line running up to their bow. They're trying to be better citizens to use less anchor swing when anchored in proximity of other boats.

Bow eyes require some engineering. You're not going to attach one with 2 wood screws and some 5200. It takes a significant backing plate and analysis to make sure the bow eye will hold the full weight of the boat in the wind.

And speaking of 5:1 and 7:1 scope, yes, we know that this is an east coast and Caribbean thing. In other places where anchoring is done in very deep water, putting out 5:1 scope would be ridiculous. Imagine anchoring in 90 feet of water which is not uncommon in the Pacific Northwest.


Thanks Active Captain.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:21 PM   #2
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Lead me to one question... Usually what are you using your bow eye for? I have one on my boat and never used it yet.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:02 PM   #3
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Lead me to one question... Usually what are you using your bow eye for? I have one on my boat and never used it yet.
It's to pull the boat onto a trailer and secure it. I'm not sure many of us trailer our boats though.


And to the OP, in my opinion it's "useless information".
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:14 PM   #4
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I use my bow eye as described by Jeff/Active Captain most of the time when anchoring. It effectively and substantially increases the scope ratio. Why not use it?
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFC View Post
One of the many emails I get from a variety of boat companies is one from Active Captain. They send it out periodically with tips on a variety of boat topics. This information below is from their newsletter that I received today.

It discusses using your bow eye when anchoring in a crowded area to reduce the amount of scope needed, thus reducing the amount your boat will swing on its rode if the wind changes. I thought it was interesting so I'm passing it on to you.

Tell me what you think. Good idea, or useless information.

Which brings us to bow eyes. Putting a bow eye on your boat down close to the water line provides a wonderful advantage when anchoring. In general, a three-stranded line is attached properly to the bow eye and brought up to the bow ending with some type of chain attachment device.

Chain hooks, locks, and gadgets would easily make another newsletter topic. When you've put out enough rode, you attach the line to the chain and release chain until the line is holding the chain fully. The chain on the bow should also be locked in case the line breaks.

In this setup, the line is acting like an elastic snubber while making the bow attach point as low as possible. This will greatly reduce rode distance especially if you have a high bow.

Here's an example with Red Head and it's 10 foot bow. Let's say we're anchored in 6 feet of water at high tide and we want 5:1 scope. In our setup today without a bow eye, the amount of rode to release would be: (6 + 10) * 5 = 80 feet.

But if we had a bow eye 1 foot off the water line, our 5:1 scope requirement would change to: (6 + 1) * 5 = 35. That's less than half the rode needed to provide the same level of holding. Note that scope includes the 15 or so feet for the bow eye line so only 20 feet of chain would be let out. 20 feet!

This is why many trawlers have a bow eye with a line running up to their bow. They're trying to be better citizens to use less anchor swing when anchored in proximity of other boats.

Bow eyes require some engineering. You're not going to attach one with 2 wood screws and some 5200. It takes a significant backing plate and analysis to make sure the bow eye will hold the full weight of the boat in the wind.

And speaking of 5:1 and 7:1 scope, yes, we know that this is an east coast and Caribbean thing. In other places where anchoring is done in very deep water, putting out 5:1 scope would be ridiculous. Imagine anchoring in 90 feet of water which is not uncommon in the Pacific Northwest.


Thanks Active Captain.


Sure-- the math is correct (without considering tide) but how many boats have you encountered in an anchorage with a bow 10' off the water?
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:24 PM   #6
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Our anchor roller is 9' off the water. Am I ready to add one, no, but it seems a lot of Norhavn's have them.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:44 PM   #7
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I don't like it either, a bow eye usually penetrates the hull and has nuts on the inside of the hull. It is also too close to the water and the result, beyond cracked gel coat, could be a leak. You will always have a line coming from the eye to someplace on the foredeck and if you drop the bugger it will be difficult to lean out to retrieve it with a boat hook.

Now an anchor snubber is very important, two lengths of large diameter line going to a chain hook while the bitter ends are tied to the bow cleats. Get someone's cast-off mooring lines. Takes all the weight off that expensive chain retriever that lives on the bow. The last thing you ever want to do is bend that shaft.

When does anybody ever care about an extra 10' of rode??
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:53 PM   #8
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I don't have a bow eye on this boat, but can appreciate the reduced need for anchor rode to have the same scope. My anchor roller is 8' off the water. So in a relatively shallow anchorage, a bow eye could make a big difference. Adding one will always be in my toolbox if it turns out it can help with normal anchoring.

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Old 03-22-2017, 05:29 PM   #9
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...

When does anybody ever care about an extra 10' of rode??
It's actually 10' times your scope - so could be 50-70' of rode.

Nevertheless, I have a bow that's 10' off the water and I don't think I would ever bother with one. I never let out less than 100' of chain in any depth - it's less that two boat-lengths after all. I have plenty of chain and would rather have the simplicity of a normal snubber.

A neighbor has pointed out that if the snubber breaks with this setup, the resulting impact load is now occurring higher up with less scope. The likelihood is that the anchor will break free. He's had it happen.

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Old 03-22-2017, 05:41 PM   #10
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An anchor snubber largely meets the role.



Wondering how one works with bow eye while in water, offshore??
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:52 PM   #11
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A neighbor has pointed out that if the snubber breaks with this setup, the resulting impact load is now occurring higher up with less scope. The likelihood is that the anchor will break free. He's had it happen.
Good point.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:59 PM   #12
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The anchor is most likely to fail first. Better than the bow fitting pulling out, possibly creating a hull breach.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:26 PM   #13
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An anchor snubber largely meets the role.



Wondering how one works with bow eye while in water, offshore??
I think the conventional snubber setup can give a false sense of better scope. Once the wind picks up enough for scope to matter, the snubber will tighten up, the chain will come out of the water and the scope will be the same as if the snubber had never been installed.

For the bow eye setup, I think people leave the line looped through while underway rather than try to thread it through while anchoring.

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Old 03-22-2017, 06:27 PM   #14
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I use my bow eye as described by Jeff/Active Captain most of the time when anchoring. It effectively and substantially increases the scope ratio. Why not use it?
Many of our boats don't have bow eyes and many that do are hard to reach from the deck.

Personally, I want to just be able to drop the anchor, cleat the rode, set the anchor and be done with it. Not make anchoring into a major project.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:33 PM   #15
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Many of our boats don't have bow eyes and many that do are hard to reach from the deck.

Personally, I want to just be able to drop the anchor, cleat the rode, set the anchor and be done with it. Not make anchoring into a major project.
Indeed on mine the bow eye is just impossible to reach from the deck.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:42 PM   #16
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Many of our boats don't have bow eyes and many that do are hard to reach from the deck.

Personally, I want to just be able to drop the anchor, cleat the rode, set the anchor and be done with it. Not make anchoring into a major project.
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Indeed on mine the bow eye is just impossible to reach from the deck.
Just attach a line at the dock and leave it looped through while underway.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:11 PM   #17
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When I had a sailboat with a bowsprit, the Bobstay attachment at the hull allowed me to attach a snubber at the water line. As it seemed like a good idea, I tried it once. I sailed that boat 6 years, but never tried it again, as it was just that much extra work and inconvenience for no discernible advantage.
Now bear in mind that I am in BC, so my typical anchorage is 30 to 60 ft deep, so getting the attachment point off of a bow that is only 5 ft off the water just isn't that important. Those in shallow water, with higher bows, may have more reason to persevere.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:13 PM   #18
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Brittania nailed it. You make up the line that will run from your bow eye while you are tied to a dock. Attach it to your bow eye and loop it up over your bow rail or to somewhere else where its easy to grab while you are anchoring.


Quote:
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Personally, I want to just be able to drop the anchor, cleat the rode, set the anchor and be done with it. Not make anchoring into a major project.
Wes, if you had this line set up from your bow eye up to your bow rail, you would follow the same process you outlined above except you would attach the line instead of cleating the rode. It doesn't make anchoring any more of a project.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:31 PM   #19
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My boat has a padeye about a foot above the waterline. Our bow is 10' above the waterline. I have a 30' snubber attached to the padeye. We use it to anchor every time we anchor. We do get called on the radio often telling us we have a line hanging for the bow. The reduced scope is helpful in tight anchorages. The 8 plait snubber provides a surge absorber and reduces the sound of the anchor chain moving side to side in the roller.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:34 PM   #20
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If you anchor in tight anchorages whether boats, shoreline or shallows crowd you....it could come in handy and I too have considered adding a bow eye.....

Especially if your bow is high and you anchor in shallow, tight spots.

It is also handy for towing as there is no chafing worry.

Adding a bow eye is not rocket science and no more threat to leak if done properly than any other thru hull penetration.
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