A. R. S.
What am I talking about, it's an Anchor Retrieval System, my back and my arms just can't handle pulling up a 25# Richter anchor about 15 times during an outing and if the anchor gets hung that's even worse.
So I researched and looked at a lot of systems both electrical windlass systems and mechanical I finally settled on a mechanical system which I feel will help me out a lot. It is produced by Ironwood Pacific Company out in Oregon, the system is used on the Columbia River, do to the swift currents and deep waters it is almost impossible to pull an anchor by hand.
They use a buoyant buoy to yank the anchor off the bottom, once suspended you just haul it in. System is very cool and am looking forward to testing it out on Sunday 11-28-04
Here's what the buoy looks like:
It's large measuring 16" across and will pull a 60# anchor
Bolt hooks into the buoy, everything is reinforced stainless steel
The anchor line is fed through this tube under the bolt. To release the anchor you simple pull back on the bolt assembly.
The line feeds in one way and the weight of the anchor makes the bolt bite down on the line.
The unit is clipped together, what's nice about it it's guaranteed for life.
Here's what the unit looks like before it hits the river.
When your ready to pull the anchor, you leave the rope attached to the boat at the bow and you just drive away from the buoy at about a 30 degree angle, as the boat moves it forces the buoy down on the anchor.
At some point in time the buoy just lifts the anchor off the river bottom and it bobs up and down on the surface where you just hand line it to the boat.
In theory that is supposed to be how it works, only danger is you don't want to get that line wrapped on the prop. That's why you drive away at an angle from the system so the rope will stay out of the prop. I figure it will work well as I have talked to some fellows that use them on the Columbia River and said that once I learn to use it I'll never know what I did without it.
Another advantage to this system is if you hook a big fish and need to chase it down just untie the rope and toss it overboard, the buoy will hold the rope till you return and then you can anchor right up in the same position.
I'm very pleased to report that this system is worth it's weight in gold, it does an excellent job of pulling a 25# Richter anchor, I'm very pleased with the unit and would recommend it to anyone who has to haul a heavy anchor onboard your boat, after it pulls the anchor from the bottom you just pull in an oversized bobber, can't get much easier than that. The rope near the prop wasn't even an issue it never came close to it, one of the learning curve mistakes I made was deploying the buoy too soon, when there is real good current the current will force the ball under the water and it thinks it's time to pull the anchor, now I just drop the buoy right in front of the boat.
This is the first time in a long time that I haven't come home from a fishing trip just totally worn out from hauling in that anchor all day long. I know with the purchase of this system I have extended my fishing years for a much longer period of time.
At night I plan to attach a cyalume light stick to the buoy so I know it's location in the dark.
Update: 10-7-05 I have been using the system for well over a year now with no issues, it is great and I should have taken stock in the company as so many people have bought this unit after watching me pull my anchor with my boat, I have the anchor rope marked about halfway down the rope and this is my release point for the buoy, The ball sits about halfway between the boat and the anchor, allows me to be able to see the ball when I make the cut towards the center of the river.
You can order one of these systems by clicking on this link