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 and rope and chain.
With a Savwinch drum anchor winch anchoring setup there is no more 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 overseas 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 winch is now made for small aluminium 3 metre boats to super yachts spanning 30 metres. They are mounted up the front of the boat and operate by the press of a switch and 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 all 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 the button on your up/down switch mounted somewhere on the dash/helm you can retrieve your rope, chain and anchor back on to the drum. There are many ways you can mount an electric drum anchor winch. They can be mounted in the anchor well, under the deck or even deck mounted at the front of the boat.
- Feeding device is generally required – this 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 that 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 a 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 on to the drum. They are a lot stronger than silver and 3 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 are 6mm and 8mm for recreational boats.
- Bow sprits ensure a solid resting place for the anchor when not in use and are mounted up the front end of the boat. The Bow sprit allows the user to drop the anchor down and retrieve anchor smoothly. These generally are made from stainless steel or aluminium. They either have a departure angle built into the rollers or have a swivel actions, this enables the anchor to drop when the down button is pressed on the switch. Anchors need to be compatible with the bow sprit used as the anchor will rest in the bow sprit when not in use. It’s recommended to use manufacturers’ recommended anchors.
- Anchor Swivels are a must for drum winch setups. The swivel plays a very important role; reducing rope twist and also allowing the anchor to always come up the right way on the bow sprit. The swivel is fixed on to the end of your anchor.
- Chain Guard is a flexible material sleeve cover that is put over the chain. This significantly reduces the rattling noise when the chain rubs against the bow sprit and guide roller. Quality chain guards don’t absorb water and self-drain to prevent moulding.
- Fast Fall System. Savwinch are the only winch manufacturer that have an electronic fast fall. This is world first, patented and multi innovation award winning product. This allows the anchor to drop faster down to the bottom with the aid of the motor and gearbox. It is handy when anchoring in waters deeper than 30m. This eliminates over runs on the drum. It is a clutch free product. 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 also damage the front of the bow with the anchor. See http://www.savwinch.com.au/products/savwinch-electronics-range/sav-eff2s-two-speed-fast-fall/ for more information.