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Thread: Top Deck Anchor Line Windlass

  1. #1
    Senior Member Endurance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lake Powell, Utah

    Top Deck Anchor Line Windlass

    I am considering adding a way to attach an anchor line to the rear of my top deck.

    At Lake Powell, the typical way to "anchor" a houseboat is to nose it up onto shore, then use anchor lines that start at each of the rear corners of the houseboat and leave the boat at about a 45 degree angle to an anchor point on shore. We do the same thing with the two corners of the bow, but that is a separate discussion for another day.

    The issue with the rear anchor lines is that if you imagine an anchor line leaving each rear corner of the boat and heading to the shore at a 45 degree angle, you have put a line across the best spot to tie a smaller ski boat or fishing boat up to the side of the houseboat. At Lake Powell, you typically take a "play" boat for skiing, fishing, or sightseeing on every trip.

    Over the years, I have tried a lot of workarounds like tying up the little boat to the back of the houseboat instead of the sides, attaching my rear anchor line to the houseboat 20 feet or so forward of the rear corner to leave the back part of the boat side more open, or tying the "play" boat directly to the houseboat's rear anchor line using a Prussic knot.

    While my workaround methods all have their good points, what I would really like to do is attach the anchor line to the top deck so that I just dock my little boat alongside the houseboat by going under the anchor line. I am thinking of something like an aluminum post that would top out 3 feet or so above the rear portion of my top deck and extend down through the roof and my rear deck area to ultimately attach at the bottom to crossmembers at the hull.

    While I'm at it, I am considering using something that sailors would call a sheet winch on top of the aluminum post to allow me to better tighten the anchor lines.

    Does anyone have any experience with anything like this?
    Last edited by Endurance; 03-26-2018 at 11:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    No experience. But, it seems like the aluminum posts would have to be pretty stout and their attachment points to the hull would have to be very robust. You are talking about applying leverage on your hull using a 12 foot long pole. Based on the videos that I have seen about the winds on Powell, that could be a ton of force.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Dayton, OH
    Be careful someone boating by doesn't get decapitated.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Stmbtwle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Ruskin, Florida
    A sheet winch would work but they're not cheap. And I wonder if there's anything on the top deck strong enough to attach one, or any other fixture. Repairs could get expensive if it tore out.
    She's a tired old barge but she's paid for!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    have a look at all the Bravada's, it took me a while to figure out what it was for but they all have em.

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