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Thread: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

  1. #1
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    Default Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    I am building a Skerry Raid Yawl on a very tight budget. I'm making my own wooden blocks, etc. but find new bronze anchor fairleads are very expensive ($75 each and up) and beyond my means at this time. Has anyone made anchor fairleads from wood? I have some nice purple heart and locus scraps to make then from. I realize the bronze ones are well worth the price considering all of the foundry work required but alas beyond my reach now. I can't afford casting my own bronze ones. I have searched E-Bay and Craig's list but not found any inexpensive bronze ones.

    BTW has anyone with big bucks decorated their Christmas tree with shiny bronze boat jewelry?
    “Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily" Johann Von Schiller

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    What size are you looking for? I may some used ones that I can part with. I can look thru my buckets tomorrow and see what I have.
    Happy trails to you.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Many working boats have them...

    IMG_7282.jpg

    IMG_7278.jpg

    Sorry about the crap photos..

    I don't see why not if you keep them painted; make them out of really hard wood. Most of them I've seen are much longer pieces than ordinary bronze fairleads; they are attached to the gunwhale with several bolts along the length. Don't forget to stagger the holes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Duckworks has some thoughts on this.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    For specifically anchor fairleads, they're pretty commonly wood on working boats --you're not the first person to balk at the price of bronze.

    These are the anchor fairleads on my sloop, out on the bowsprit. They're white oak, no rollers, and both rivetted and screwed to the sides of the bowsprit (sitka spruce). Thirty-one years old and going strong:



    I will offer a *slight* caveat to Lupussonic's assertion that they should be painted by pointing out that varnishing any wood under exceptional stress that is exposed to lingering moisture allows you to see if there's any rot sneaking in (this is why it is illegal --yes, *illegal*-- for fire departments to paint wooden ladders; they must varnish them). However, that's me picking nits, and it isn't as though I would wag my finger at anyone with painted chocks.

    Alex

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    I took a brass 1.25" plumbing ell from the local hardware store, cut the fittings off, split the ell along the 3:00 and 9:00 positions and used the inside half of the ell to line a wooden anchor lead, to minimize wear and tear on the wood.

    I used an un-chromed brass-only ell for looks.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    In the "Lignum Vitae Redux" thread someone mentioned making bearings out of white oak knots...wonder if that'd work for anchor rollers/chocks?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Those pics of the working boat set up to my eye are an image of beauty... having seen those I may have to join Robert in his plan to use wooden fairleads.

    Pitsligo, given you have no rollers, do you have any concerns about chafe? I may be mistaken, but I think Wizbang's Woodwind has something similar... maybe he'll chime in on this thread.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    This plan is for a 10 meter fishing boat.

    Bow Chock.jpg

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Pitsligo, given you have no rollers, do you have any concerns about chafe?
    They have worn a bit, over the years, but not deep enough to cause me concern. When that time comes, I'll probably let in a piece of something hard to bring it back up to spec --maybe lignum vitae? I only use rope rode, too, so the wood hasn't been chewed up. A chain rode or a chain leader would almost certainly change the equation.

    Interestingly, while the rode wears away the annual application of varnish pretty much the first time the anchor comes up, the oak hasn't blackened a bit. I expect it's the combination of salt and lots of good airflow preventing the water from sitting and staining.

    Alex

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Mimi Rose's bow chocks are black locust, about 2" thick. Her mooring pendant has run through there for 26 years or so and it has worn nicely. Wood is happy, but any new paint quickly gets removed. The pendant needs chafe protection from the wood.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    "Red Wich" has one made of an orange wood natural grown crotch. So did "Tioga" These are attached to the bow sprit to lead the anchor rode and not chafe it. Opposite side was a galvanised roller for chain on "Tioga".
    Jay

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Jay, do you use any chafing gear on your anchor rode? I like the idea of a natural grown crotch, I hadn't thought of that. Any chance of a photo?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    My wood anchor bits on Woodwind are lammed against the inside of the planking so the line ties direct without chocks. The area around is armored with hardwood.
    Wonderland has a chock of lig.
    Wood here makes MORE sense to me than bronze .
    I use metal chocks for sweat /sway hooks for haliards.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Last year I installed an old broken bronze sheet winch sideways for the anchor cat and chain roller. There are plenty of goobered up bronze winches , busted pawls etc. Perhaps it's worth a thought?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Quote Originally Posted by Small boats rock View Post
    Jay, do you use any chafing gear on your anchor rode? I like the idea of a natural grown crotch, I hadn't thought of that. Any chance of a photo?
    Sorry, No fotos available at this time as they are in storage. Crotch is on the starboard side of the bow sprit and is through bolted. It is oil finished. I use a tag line on the rhode that is attached to a U shackle on the lower bobstay chain plate. This tag line is attached to the rhode with a rolling hitch. No chafe as the crotch as it only is used for hauiling and paying out. This way there is no strain on the bow sprit or chafe on the anchor rhode.
    Jay

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    This thread is really making me feel like building stuff. I wonder what Robert thinks... he has been a bit quiet... maybe he's just off making merry at this time of year... happy merry making to you Robert.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    I've been eagerly taking notes on the many kind suggestions given here. I have just use some of my purple heart making a skeg shoe and had forgotten how really hard it is. I believe it would make a great anchor chock though somewhat difficult to shape. Persistence will be required. My wife's relatives live in Queensland and I hope someday to visit you Westerners. Many thanks again for all the helpful suggestions above.
    “Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily" Johann Von Schiller

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    P1010017.jpg
    Harry Bryan called these buffalo rails and on his Handy Billy had the fairleads cut into them as I did on BUNKY.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    I agree that wood is a fine alternative for this application. Just off the top of my head - I've used: black locust; ipe; osage orange; iroko; teak; And probably others. You want something dense and hard. Interlocking grain is not a bad thing. Oily is good, too, but not critical. All else being equal, I also prefer a bright finish... for keeping any eye on things. I prefer an oil/varnish blend (like Daly's Seafin Teak Oil) to varnish. Far easier to refresh.
    David G
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Stainless steel anyone?

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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Quote Originally Posted by spirit View Post
    Stainless steel anyone?
    Most stainless steels like to gall, so they would probably not do well with chain. Chain will also embed bits of zinc and iron in the stainless, so it will probably rust. Stainless is also rather soft, and while the surface does work harden rapidly under a sliding load, the loss of the passive film and the rusting is a problem. Having said that, someone here may have entirely different experience. It should be OK with rope, but the economics are questionable.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    I made a removeable roller for the bow of Centennial replica I thought about putting in some sort of chocks or hawser but decided against it, I may put a lil oak chafe strip along the rail, but the board and roller make it MUCH easier to handle the anchor single handed.

    the arm is a bit of a trought that the chain happily runs in, and the roller is hard wood on a big galvy nail, pretty simple.

    when sailing the anchor is taken out o the chock and stowed in side the bow hatch in the bilge, the arm and roller can be removed in a couple seconds, (it is cleated with a light line at it's aft end to a deck cleat and hooked to the forestay /bow sprit eyebolts at the bow), and stowed inside as well if desireable.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Another plan I came across that incorporates a roller...

    Bow Roller.jpg

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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Daniel that's a fantastic pic. Looks a bit cold. I was wondering about some kind of removable arrangement, but after some thought it seemed it would look makeshift and function the same. Now I've seen your picture, the removable idea looks like it could be worth further consideration.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    thanks Sbr. you are right the removable roller does look a little makeshift, the one in the photo is bare unfinished wood banged together as a experiment to see if the idea even worked. also results are going to vary from hull to hull. the dory has a fair amount of overhang at the bow so I only need to go about 6" ahead of the rail with the roller for the anchor to clear the hull when it swings around, a more plumb bow may need a longer arm to hold the anchor away from the boat.

    the roller is excellent as before I had to be careful hauling in the anchor especially the 12+- ft of chain I have on the end to keep from tearing paint and damaging the rail as the chain came over the bow and into the forward hatch... with the roller it is very easy and I can just haul on the anchor line and not worry about damaging the rail... and when I don't want it the whole contraption can be removed and stowed below.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Quote Originally Posted by spirit View Post
    Stainless steel anyone?
    IMHO stainless, like aluminum, is ugly. Somethin about the silver on a wooden boat does not float my boat (all my puns are intended).

    The minute I saw the alum launch wheels I installed on the bright Sharpie I was disappointed. The customer was happy.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    I totally love my dolly wheels. These are the bigger size, well worth the extra cost if you move your boat over sand or shingle. The little ones shown in #27 are only good on hard surfaces with very light dinks. I generally leave them up like this because I find it easier for getting the boat over a few hundred yards of sand or shingle to turn the boat over and then lift and pull at the bow. Easier grip, better walking, and if I leave the dink on the beach rain won't get in.

    The folding cart is also a super blessing. Together with my folding bike, it makes resupply during a cruise much nicer than spending on a taxi or lugging a couple hundred pounds of food from market to shore.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Our roller and chain stopper on the stern. Mounted on the middle one of the three davids.
    Roller made of Chaine kermis, some Med sort of oak. Full of woodworm holes from the beginning, I found the branch of wood floating in the sea. Used for 15 years to lift the stern anchor.





    One of our stern anchors ( Fortress Fx 37 ) can be seen to the left of the roller. A pull on the ss tube passing through the bronze turnbuckle launches the anchor with 10 meters of chain and 40 meters of rope.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    ^ love the simple chain stopper.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    The little ones shown in #27 are only good on hard surfaces with very light dinks.



    Depends on the weight of the boat and the hardness and roughness of the surface. The little ones worked fine on grass and dense sand. The fact that there are four wheels, rather than the usual two, helps.






    The air-filled tires are superior at rolling, until they go flat.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Inspired by this thread I've started experimenting with wooden fairleads on my William Atkin Perigee. She has a tiny bowsprit which I think might struggle to accommodate fairleads and rollers... so instead I've carved some fairleads in Karri, integrated with the knightheads... still rough at this stage but they'll clean up ok. I like Daniel's removable roller and will likely have a go at building one for Perigee.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Wooden bow anchor fairleads

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Duckworks has some thoughts on this.




    Hey! Someone referenced the article I wrote. Yes, those are what I attached to my 17' Welsford Pathfinder, "Crucible." I haven't really torture tested them because I've rarely left the boat overnight except when beached on a calm shore. But I'm pleased with how they look.

    If you want to take a shot at building your own, here's the article:
    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/16/howto/hardware/
    “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go -- so long as you do not stop.”
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