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How does an anchor ball/retrieval system work?

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How does an anchor ball/retrieval system work?

Old 07-19-2010, 01:58 PM
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Default How does an anchor ball/retrieval system work?

I know this may sound like a stupid question, but how do they work? The advertisements say they make retrieving the anchor easier if you don't have a windlass. To me, it just looks like a mooring ball with a stainless steel ring attached to it that the anchor line goes through and it floats freely. I can see how it would relieve some of the downward angle the anchor line may exert on your bow cleat. But how does it make retrieval easier? Seems if you pulled on the anchor line, the float ball would just come over to the boat.
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:13 PM
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By moving the boat in the opposite direction of the anchor the ball is carried towards the anchor so it assists floating the anchor to the surface. By the way I had the same question, but then I seen a video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwiNDQW_r08

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nxM7VPOC4M
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:39 PM
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Thanks, dmjjm, never would have thought that's how it worked.
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:42 PM
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This is the first boat where I had the anchor ball setup, it works great and I prefer it to the windlasses I had on my other 2 boats.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:45 PM
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I use a ball with my grapnel or rock anchor for anchoring on rocks. The rode is nearly all rope with 20 feet of chain.
I drop the anchor. When it hits bottom, I tie off the rode on a cleat. When the anchor has stuck and the boat is stationary, I clip on the ball. I have a ball about 2 feet in diameter tied to a three foot rope. At the end of rope is a stainless steel clip, similar to what climbers use.
When it is time to pull anchor, I run toward the anchor but at enough of an angle away from it that I don't run over the rode with the boat. I continuously watch the rode and turn the boat away from it so the rode does not go under the boat. I accelerate the boat to about ten or 12 knots. The clip slides along the rode. The ball goes under the water as it is being forced down the anchor rode and the anchor is being pulled up. When the ball pops to the surface, I slow down and turn toward the floating ball. My mate easily pulls in the rode as everything is floating on the surface.
Pulling up an anchor from 200 or more feet down is a lot of work and the ball is well worth it.
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:28 AM
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Default Chain length

Looking to purchase and it states it works with at least 15 feet of chain. Will it work with only 7 feet?
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mjmowinski View Post
Looking to purchase and it states it works with at least 15 feet of chain. Will it work with only 7 feet?
Yes, we used to have up to 100 fathoms of line out with no chain and it worked fine.
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:04 PM
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Cool, thank you
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:14 PM
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Just don't expect to use it in
a relatively tight anchorage/mooring field. Works great where there is plenty of room upwind and current .
Once the boat has traveled forward far enough towing the anchor with water resistance forcing the ball back toward the anchor , the ball should rest at the anchor stock so the rest of line and chain rode and anchor are all supported by the ( appropriately sized) ball .
Then you can take as long as you like retrieve-hauling the "floating" rode and anchor nearly effortlessly from the cockpit since you are lifting very little.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:20 AM
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Works well in Maryland and Virginia areas. Have had problems with the system in the Keys with what I assume is Coral bottom. Had to cut a couple of anchor lines, losing anchor and chain. One anchor was grappling and other was expensive Danforth type. Screwed around with the ball and ring for many attempts to break loose the anchors. Tried many different angles but could not get the anchors released. I watched the manufacturers video directions to make sure I was attempting to use the retrieval system correctly. Never had a problem except for the Ocean side in the Keys. Now I just use cheap anchors when in the Keys. I keep a diving mask and fins aboard if I need to physically get my anchor back when in the Keys. Both times I lost anchors with this system I used allot of force and was worried about popping a cleat. Now when in the Keys I use attach the anchor attachment with heavy wire ties on the top of the anchor and drill a hole at the bottom of the anchor and attach the chain to the base of the anchor. Using this system I can snap the wire tie and pull the anchor out backwards. Some folks in the Keys attach a second anchor line to the base of the anchor and use the second line to pull the stuck anchor out backwards. Bottom line is if I am going to anchor on the reefs in the Keys, I am occasionally going to have anchor lose problems. I just chalk it up to the cost of boating. Losing anchor, chain and part of rode is costly. I am not a diver but if I were I would hunt for lost anchors in certain areas of the Keys. I assume I could subsidize my retirement selling anchors that folks lost. Over the years I have found several anchors, chains and rode when pulling in my anchor. Once I was lucky enough to find about 200' of 1/2" Golden Braid attached to chain and expensive anchor in Oxford, Maryland, I have pulled in several lost anchor rigs in St Michaels, MD as well.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:26 PM
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A keys solution is to always have a scuba setup on the boat. No more lost anchors if you’re on the reef and under 100’ deep.
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by spearfish25 View Post
A keys solution is to always have a scuba setup on the boat. No more lost anchors if you’re on the reef and under 100’ deep.


Where were you 9 years ago when he asked?

07-19-2010
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:05 PM
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I just lost a nice scoop anchor yesterday and cut off a 100 feet. OP We bottom fish exclusively and anchor a lot. The ball is the way to go better then a windlass.Sometimes however you drop you anchor right into a hole in the reef and then nothing but a diver is getting it out.
There are lightwehight rings and there are heavy wheight rings. Get the heavy one or you will be looking at an oval by next year.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:48 PM
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Chain length isn't critical. It just has to be heavier than your anchor so it will all stay up on the buoy.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:49 PM
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Some threads can reach 9 pages in a day, some take 9 years to reach 1 page!
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