WHEN out boating, one of the most tedious tasks is dropping and pulling up the anchor by hand.
This can be dangerous in many ways. When there are high swells, there is chop, and often not much to hold on to at the front of the boat, which may cause you to fall into the water. Back strain and injury can result from manual handling the anchor, rope and chain.
With a Savwinch drum winch anchoring system there is no manual handling of the anchor. Complete drum winch setups are now available, popular with anglers and much more affordable than several years ago. With the introduction of foreign-made products there is much more competition on the market and prices have come down. But there is no need to compromise on quality when choosing you drum anchor winch. The following is generally required for a complete drum winch anchoring system.
Drum winch to suit the boat
This style of winch is now made for everything from 3m aluminium boats to super yachts 30m long. A drum winch is mounted up the front of the boat and operate by the press of a switch, meaning you no longer need to manually handle your anchor. The rope and chain sit neatly in the drum or barrel of the winch, which should be made from solid 316 marine-grade stainless steel. The motor and gearbox fixed to the drum drive the rope, chain and anchor off the drum and into the water upon release.
With the press of a button on your up/down switch mounted somewhere on the dash or helm you can retrieve your rope, chain and anchor back onto the drum. You can mount an electric drum anchor winch many ways. It can be mounted in the anchor well, under the deck or even deck mounted at the front of the boat.
A feeding device can be in the form of a guide roller or hawse pipe. The guide roller will prevent the rope and chain from rubbing against the anchor well and the deck. It will also ensure the rope and chain feed onto the drum. A hawse pipe is used when the anchor is mounted under the deck or inside an anchor well. The rope and chain will then feed through the deck or hatch via the hawse pipe.
Rope and chain
Double-braided rope and chain kits are a common rope style used with drum winches. They allow you to get a whole lot more rope and chain onto the drum and are a lot stronger than silver and three-strand nylon (sometimes up to triple the breaking strain). This allows the rope to be thinner, which in turn gives you more rope length. Some common rope diameters for recreational boats are 6mm and 8mm.
A bowsprit ensures a solid resting place for the anchor when not in use and is mounted up the front of a boat. The bowsprit allows the user to drop the anchor down and retrieve it smoothly and is generally made from stainless steel or aluminium. Either a departure angle built into the rollers or swivel actions enable the anchor to drop when the down button is pressed.
Anchors need to be compatible with the bowsprit used because the anchor will rest in the bowsprit when not in use. It’s recommended to use manufacturers’ recommended anchors.
An anchor swivel is a must for drum winch setups. The swivel plays a very important role; reducing rope twist and allowing the anchor to always come up the right way on the bow sprit. The swivel is fixed onto the end of your anchor.
A chain guard is a flexible material sleeve that you put over the chain. This significantly reduces rattling noise when the chain rubs against the bowsprit and guide roller. Quality chain guards don’t absorb water and self drain to prevent mould.
Fast fall system
Savwinch is the only winch manufacturer to have an electronic fast fall. This is a world-first, patented and multi-innovation award-winning product. The fast fall allows the anchor to drop to the bottom faster with the aid of the motor and gearbox. It is handy when anchoring in water deeper than 30m and eliminates overruns on the drum. It is a clutch-free product and on retrieval the fast fall disengages and comes up at a steadier and slower speed. This is because faster speeds under load (on the way up) can cause damage to the motor and gearbox and the anchor can also damage the bow.
See www.savwinch.com.au/products/savwinch-electronics-range/sav-eff2s-two-speed-fast-fall for more information.
If you’re at the National 4×4 Outdoors Show, Fishing & Boating Expo and you already have a Savwinch fitted to your boat, drop past the Savwinch stand and have a chat to the team members because they always love to hear customers’ feedback. If you don’t already have a Savwinch, the team will be happy to help you with anything you would like to know.