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Old 06-03-2021, 10:31 AM   #1
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Bad fitting anchor on Helmsman

I recently purchased a Helmsman 38E, and the previous owner had swapped out the original 45# bruce anchor for a Mantus M1 65 pounder, along with a swivel. I was impressed that the boat came with this oversized and well reviewed anchor. But I soon learned that it is a bad fit due to its long shank. Here is the problem: When the anchor is up, the shank and swivel come within inches of the windlass, which is not in itself an issue. But when raising the anchor, as the shank is rising up over the bow roller but just before it drops into place, the chain is pulled so far off the deck—the angle is so big—that the chain is pulled up off the gypsy (I have a vertical windlass), and with an alarming commotion the anchor falls several feet back down before the chain reengages. The big anchor is left swinging wildly within a fraction of an inch of my bow. The only way I have been able to get the anchor up into place is to press my foot down on the chain just in front of the windlass as it is coming up, to keep the angle of the chain low--something I don’t want to be doing on a regular basis, especially in rough conditions. I am not in touch with the former owner, but I did notice that the windlass is pretty banged up for a 3-yr old boat, so I suspect the previous owner was simply living with this issue.

The first fix that TF readers may suggest is to install an anchor stop in front of the windlass, but there is simply no room--with the anchor up there is almost no chain showing between the swivel and the windlass. Another option would be a longer bow roller, or some kind of roller-bar over the aft end of the bow roller to keep the chain down, but I worry that it might interfere with the shank as it comes up.

So I think I will bite the bullet and get a different anchor, which was Scott’s advice after he looked over the situation. (Scott believes that this is the largest anchor ever put on a H38, and he considers it overkill.) So my questions for your collective wisdom: Has anyone else had a similar issue with an anchor shaft pulling the chain up and off the gypsy, and if so what did you do about it?
And for the Mariner/Helmsman 38 owners out there: I would still like to go with a larger anchor than the original 45# bruce that came with the boat. (I keep the bruce as a spare.) What is the largest anchor you have used that doesn’t suffer this issue? Would I have the same issue with a Rocna 55#? Has anyone tried the Vulcan, and would the curved shaft mitigate the problem?
Finally, does anyone want to purchase a 2-3 year old lightly used Mantus M1 65#? The anchor itself is in perfect condition and the boat is currently in Seattle.
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:15 AM   #2
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A Nordic Tug 37 and your Helmsman are similar sized boats. I used a Vulcan 25 kg (55 lb) anchor and was very happy with it's performance. You can download a template of the anchor (actual size) from their website. I made a cardboard cutout to check if it would fit my boat. Maybe other manufacturer's offer the same??
A good quality (well reviewed) 55 lb anchor should be plenty for your boat and provide good service. I think Scott gave good advice. Good luck.
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:30 PM   #3
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You could try and install a roller on the deck that acts as a 'bogey' roller. The chain goes over the bow roller, then UNDER the bogey roller just before it goes into the windlass. This would ensure that the direction of pull on the windlass remains horizontal, even when the shaft causes the chain angle to rise.

This may not work for you if there is as little space between the swivel and windlass as you describe.
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:37 PM   #4
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My Mariner 37 has a 44 pound Rocna which is short enough to avoid that problem, yet perhaps light enough to introduce others.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
You could try and install a roller on the deck that acts as a 'bogey' roller. The chain goes over the bow roller, then UNDER the bogey roller just before it goes into the windlass. This would ensure that the direction of pull on the windlass remains horizontal, even when the shaft causes the chain angle to rise.

This may not work for you if there is as little space between the swivel and windlass as you describe.

Yes, I thought about that, but I fear there isn't enough room.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
A Nordic Tug 37 and your Helmsman are similar sized boats. I used a Vulcan 25 kg (55 lb) anchor and was very happy with it's performance.

Thanks Tom. I am curious: why did you go with the Vulcan rather than the regular Rocna? Is it a better fit for your boat? Does the curved shank help it come over the roller more smoothly?
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:52 PM   #7
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My boat came with a Bruce 20kg (44lb) anchor. I had a Rocna 20 kg that I had kept from my sailboat that I used to replace the Bruce for our first year of use. The 20 kg anchor was "just large enough" according to sizing instructions from the manufacturer and I like to "over size" a bit. With the Rocna, we did drag one time in a reversing tidal current on a rocky bottom. Not a good location.

Good friends had used the Vulcan for a while on were very happy with it. Many on line independent reviews and tests seemed to show that overall the Vulcan was superior to the Rocna. So when buying a larger anchor, I went with the Vulcan and was very happy with it's performance in a wide variety of bottom types, wind and current situations, and anchorages. In my experience, this anchor always set easily and held firm. We spent at least 250 nights at anchor during the time we owned that anchor.
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Old 06-03-2021, 04:03 PM   #8
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Interested, because I'm interested in an H38

Looked up the dimensions of the M1 65 anchor. It appears to be an unusually long shank. It measures at 45 inches per Mantus site. A 55 would drop you down to 42 inches. The straight shape of the shank might be working against you???

https://www.mantusmarine.com/mantus-...-4e9dc02f-2e2e

I've been toying with an Ultra as one to get. Their lookup table for size suggests a 35lb, which comes in at a 30.5 inch shank, that is curved, which may or may not help. Decide to go up one size and the 46 is 33.5.

https://ultramarinewest.com/products...Steel%20Anchor

https://ultramarinewest.com/sites/de...Dimensions.pdf


Seems to me an alternative anchor is cheaper and easier than surgery on the roller. Maybe not the Ultra alternative, but something. Especially since you could probably sell the Mantus for something, and surgery on the roller may not be appreciated by a subsequent owner.
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Old 06-03-2021, 08:48 PM   #9
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I had the same problem when I upgraded to a 100lb Spade -long shank and Vertical windlass made it strip the gypsy & self launch just as retrieval was almost complete. I did not have enough room for a chain stopper.

My solution was to get a 1/2" SS U bolt (I had to custom order due to the dimensions of my deck). It holds the chain down in the Gypsy until the anchor is back to the roller at which point it has no function . Simple and effective.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Flatswing View Post
I had the same problem when I upgraded to a 100lb Spade -long shank and Vertical windlass made it strip the gypsy & self launch just as retrieval was almost complete. I did not have enough room for a chain stopper.

My solution was to get a 1/2" SS U bolt (I had to custom order due to the dimensions of my deck). It holds the chain down in the Gypsy until the anchor is back to the roller at which point it has no function . Simple and effective.

Flatswing--thanks, I was relieved to hear that I wasn't crazy—that someone else had exactly the same problem. I am mulling over two possible solutions:

One, to do exactly what you are suggesting and install a U ring right in front of the windlass. That way I get to keep the big and reliable anchor I already have. Cons: there is precious little room for it and I don't like drilling extra holes in the deck.

Two, to swap out the Mantus 65# for a Vulcan 55#. The Vulcan gets good reviews, and the curved shank means it should come up smoothly. SV Panope recently did a cool video reviewing how a bunch of different anchors behave on the bow-roller.


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Old 06-05-2021, 10:26 AM   #11
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A couple of photos, from the side, would/may help us help you. One without the anchor and one with. But at least one with the anchor in place.

A hold down roller need not be a problem. The roller will force the chain down and the anchor shank will follow. THe point where the anchor shank starts to enter ender the hold down roller might be abrupt but it should follow quite well. It should not have to hold the chain level, just not allow the anchor to raise the chain lead so much that the chain can come free of the wildcat.

Flatswings photo shows another idea that should work well for you also.
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Old 06-05-2021, 10:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
A couple of photos, from the side, would/may help us help you. One without the anchor and one with. But at least one with the anchor in place.
.

I am not at my boat at the moment, but here are a couple of photos I have on file.
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:22 PM   #13
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We replaced the standard bruce anchor with a Sarca Excel 30Kg. It fits well on the bow and really digs in and holds.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:59 PM   #14
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I had a Vulcan on my previous boat -also a very good anchor. But really 2 holes in the deck -most likely above your chain locker anyway-what’s the big deal? Reef out some core, seal with thickened epoxy, redrill 2 holes. Even if you eventually get a leak - it will be into the (drained) chain locker and your deck core is sealed.
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Old 06-05-2021, 09:58 PM   #15
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Yes, that is the way to drill the holes. Marinehowto.com has an excellent article on it.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:23 PM   #16
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Does your 38E with that nice access hatch on the forward deck also have an access door on the forward bulkhead in the stateroom? Just curious.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:37 PM   #17
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No opening inside. I prefer not to have an opening--chance of smells or moist air coming through into the stateroom.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:48 PM   #18
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Yeah, that's a huge upgrade. My Mariner 37 has a stateroom door and no deck hatch.
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:49 AM   #19
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Anchor Locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadedToTexas View Post
Yeah, that's a huge upgrade. My Mariner 37 has a stateroom door and no deck hatch.

We have the Mariner 2008 I think hull 11 which has no access in the state room and a hatch on deck.

We went with a Delta 55lb with oversized roller, without exceeding the limit of the winless no complaints so far. 350' chain. The extra weight trimmed out the boat nicely (bow was high) (tender on stern) and extended our ability to anchor deep when the party gets crowded.

I agree with Scott. Good advice.
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:06 PM   #20
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Must be a first year thing. Our's is hull 3.
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