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Old 12-18-2014, 03:07 PM   #1
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Trip line options

I use a Fortress FX-37 and have been lucky so far that it's never gotten hung up on anything other than the bottom. I would like to find something that would allow me to retrieve it if it hung up on any of the things laying on the bottom without having a float and line a permanent part of the ground tackle. I ran across this and thought it may be what I'am looking for but before I plunk down any $$$ I would like to hear from anyone that's using this on a Danforth style fluke anchor or from anyone with this style anchor using something else to retrieve a hung anchor. Thank you.
Link: AnchorWitch - Home - Fouled anchor? There is a magic solution!
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:17 PM   #2
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That is a interesting product
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:26 PM   #3
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Here's a question, How many members run a line to a float in case the anchor fouls? If you do it sometimes, why not others?
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:44 PM   #4
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Here's a question, How many members run a line to a float in case the anchor fouls? If you do it sometimes, why not others?
We always use a trip line when we know, or suspect, the bottom can be foul in places. In the PNW, that often means an anchorage or bay that was once home to logging operations.

Many of these locations are fairly well known, and some are even called out in the guidebooks.

This is a benefit of having something on the boat that includes the Active Captain data base because individual boaters will often put up reviews of an anchorage that includes their experience with fouling if they had this problem. For us, it's the Navimatics charting app on our iPads.

For anchorages where we know the bottom is clear, or there is realiable information that says this, we won't use the trip line and float.

If we don't use the trip line and the anchor fouls (it's not happened yet but never say never) we have a big, heavy ring we can put around the all-chain rode and let it slide down the rode to the anchor. The theory is that we can then get round the other side of the anchor and the ring will slide over the shank to where it meets the fluke. At that point, the theory says, we can use the ring and the line attached to it to back the anchor out.
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:24 PM   #5
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I agree Marin,
And I'm inclined to think that w the " ring" or dedicated anchor retriever that is basically a ring shaped like an oval a trip line should not be necessary.

HOWEVER .... One would need to pull in two directions to make the retrieval. A dinghy w almost any OB should do to hold the rode and hence the anchor shank in say a north direction while the boat w more power can maneuver to the south and pull the anchor out.
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:49 PM   #6
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The nice thing about the trip line is that we don't have to move the boat or use the dingy or anything to use it. If the anchor is fouled, we won't know it until the boat is directly over it with the rode straight down to the anchor. So that means the trip line float will be next to the bow of the boat. So we simply pick up the float, unclip the trip line, feed it through the port bow hawse and then to the line gypsy on the port side of our Lofrans windlass, back off the clutch on the chain wildcat on the starboard side of the windlass, and use the line gypsy to pull up the trip line and back out the anchor.

So far, this process has worked like a charm every time.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:14 PM   #7
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What size trip line do you use? How do you attach it to the anchor?
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:50 PM   #8
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Our trip line is a length of stranded nylon which I believe (it's been a long time since we had it made) is 1/2" diameter. As I recall it's 100 feet long. One end has a stainless thimble spliced into it, and there is a stainless karabiner clipped to the thimble. The kind of karabiner that has a barrel that can be screwed up over the opening end of the gate bar to prevent it from being pushed or forced open.

Our anchor has a hole in the wide end of the fluke the manufacturer put there expressly for the purpose of attaching a trip line. We keep a galvanized shackle permanently attached to the anchor using this hole.

If we decide to use the trip line, we simply clip the karabiner to the shackle on the anchor fluke.

When we deploy the anchor I feed the trip line out in such a way as to not get wrapped around the rode as the anchor goes down. Once the anchor is set we deploy the dinghy (we have to anyway to take the dog ashore) and on the way in I stop at the trip line float and take up all the slack line between the surface and the anchor. I let enough back out to account for the tidal range and coil the remainder and clip it underneath the float.

And that's that. Since there's not much slack in it the line it stays pretty much over the anchor no matter where the boat wanders around in the current and wind.

Some people use a pulley and weight to keep the slack out of the trip line and the float over the anchor. I've been too lazy to try to make this work.

This may sound like a complicated process but once one has done it once or twice, it's actually very easy and foolproof.

I am interested in another poster's practice that he described recently about including a deliberately weak link in the trip line up near the float.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:55 PM   #9
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I like the trip line. The arguments I have heard against them is that in a crowded anchorage they can be fouled by another boat swinging over the trip and of course in the middle of the night.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:01 PM   #10
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My concern with a trip line would be when retrieving in significant current or wind. Steps must be taken to prevent prop fouling when hauling anchor with the trip line out there swinging near or under your boat. This adds complexity to every anchor set and weigh.

Fortunately, we boat in a very benign environment of muddy bottoms and not foul waters. But there's always the possibility of snagging on an old cable or log. To me, this little gizmo looks like it just might be worth the $150. Sure beats the hell out of Anchor Saver in my mind.

Too bad it's so close to Christmas! This one might have made my list! Thanks for the link, Liver Bruiser....errrr...ehhhh...River Cruiser.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:19 AM   #11
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Humph, what about the Anchor Saver don't you like. It looked pretty straighforward to me.

Here's a link to another setup for retrieving a stuck anchor. This one looks good also.

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Old 12-19-2014, 01:46 AM   #12
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Humph, what about the Anchor Saver don't you like. It looked pretty straighforward to me.
Anything that with a sharp tug-- like the jerk your boat can transmit in a windy, wave covered anchorage-- that can cause the rode to pull the anchor backwards out of the bottom is a really bad idea to my way of thinking. Anchoring is an almost infinite set of variables as it is. Adding something to one's ground tackle that carries the risk of releasing and backing the anchor out is not what I consider a smart move. In watching the video the thing that immediately came to my mind is Russian roulette.
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:49 AM   #13
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Our rig for the trip line works in most waters to keep the ball directly (or close) above the anchor .

The setup is a help in crowded anchorages Every night , not just on the rare occasions the anchor wants to stay down.

Tie off to the anchor crown , slip the ball on the line , tie the trip line end to a weight, done.

When deployed the ball will lift the weight (a sounding lead) and be directly over the anchor.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:56 PM   #14
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My concern with a trip line would be when retrieving in significant current or wind. Steps must be taken to prevent prop fouling when hauling anchor with the trip line out there swinging near or under your boat. This adds complexity to every anchor set and weigh.



Fortunately, we boat in a very benign environment of muddy bottoms and not foul waters. But there's always the possibility of snagging on an old cable or log. To me, this little gizmo looks like it just might be worth the $150. Sure beats the hell out of Anchor Saver in my mind.



Too bad it's so close to Christmas! This one might have made my list! Thanks for the link, Liver Bruiser....errrr...ehhhh...River Cruiser.

Liver Bruiser Hahahahaha, I do not abuse my liver near what I did when much younger.

I've looked at several different devices to retrieve a fouled anchor and this looks to me to be something that would be practical to use. I would almost go to a "new generation" style anchor which this at 1st glance appears to be what it would work best with.
I have a very high level of confidence in my Fortress that once set it stays set so really prefer to stay with it. I've had the same idea of retrieving it if fouled by dropping a ring with a line down the chain, around the shank and pulling it out. I typically anchor in 10' to 20' of water a lot of times in less than 5' if I'am getting off the boat to clean the scum line. I know the bottom of the river can have any type of debris on the bottom from trees, cars, sunk boats or any other trash that gets washed into it or moved farther downstream during floods. Having all chain is why I want to be prepared for the eventuality of a fouled anchor. The line & ring which I have but have never had to try may be the best for a danforth style fluke anchor. HAS ANYONE ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THE "ANCHOR WITCH"? If you have one have you had to use it if so what were the results? Thanks again.
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:17 PM   #15
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Here's a question, How many members run a line to a float in case the anchor fouls? If you do it sometimes, why not others?
If I did it every time, how would I ever learn about complacency?

Besides, if the anchor gets fouled, the sure way to release it is to simply sleep on it.
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:19 PM   #16
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If I did it every time, how would I ever learn about complacency?

Besides, if the anchor gets fouled, the sure way to release it is to simply sleep on it.
Who knew, I just kept cutting them loose. I thought they were disposable
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:46 PM   #17
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Who knew, I just kept cutting them loose. I thought they were disposable

There was a sailboat charter out of our marina a few years back that thought the same thing. After anchoring out three nights in the San Juans they called the charter company and asked them to bring them a new anchor and rode. The charter company was puzzled, and said the boat had three anchors. The charter "captain" said they'd anchored out three times, so they were out of anchors.

The charter company told them to stay put (the boat was in Friday Harbor) and they came out and took possession of the boat and kicked the charter party off. The "captain" of the charter party had simply cut the anchors loose each morning, apparently thinking this was okay to do.

I would not have given this story any credibility at all, only it came from the manager of the local West Marine who sold the charter company a new anchor and rode and was told why the company needed it.
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:56 PM   #18
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It's a good story all right. And I've heard it told as fact in almost every cruising destination that has a charter fleet.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:24 AM   #19
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GFC, if my anchor is fouled, I want to free it by a deliberate action by me and not a force of the environment like a strong blow or a rough wave or wake.

My greatest concern at anchor overnight is a loss of anchor hold. If I had a system which would release with any sufficient force applied, I'd feel less secure.
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:01 AM   #20
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Since boating is going high tech. why not a gas cylinder with a coded sonar pulse trigger that fills a large flotation bag all held rolled up in a little floating bundle attached by thin wire or line to the anchor crown. So when the anchor hangs up you press a button and send the coded pulse to the anchor the cylinder trigger fires off the bag fills and the anchor pulls out backwards to the surface.
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