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Thread: Simple anchor solution?

  1. #1

    Default Simple anchor solution?

    So last year I nearly killed my self trying to row against the current in the Kenai for DBM. Nearly all the boats we floated by anchored up just out of the main current in differnet spots along the river. I was hoping to have an anchor system rigged up for my little boat by now, but haven't done so.
    Is there a cheap and easy way to rig an anchor for a raft? My boat is a 12ft non-bailer.

  2. #2
    New member
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    Jul 2009
    Nesttuca River in Beaver,OR


    Do you think you would need an anchor on a pulley system, or can you just pull one over the side?

  3. #3
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Kenai, Ak

    Default Cheap Raft frames

    I'm not sure there is anything really cheap in the rafting world! I'm working on a motor mount for my aire fly-fishing frame right now. In this instance, it is not only that I'm looking for an inexpensive solution, but that nobody makes a motor mount for this frame. I purchased some chain-link fence pipe from Lowes the other day, and a few elbows (which I'm guessing will be the weak point in my plan) a couple of u-bolts, some left-over trex decking, and I'm planning to give it a shot anyway. If it fails, I'm out 30 bucks. I think you could make a similar frame for an anchor (you wouldn't have to worry about the wieght of the outboard, afterall.) My frame, as built by aire, uses cam straps to hold the front and rear casting decks to the rowing frame. The integrated anchor system on my raft works like a champ. I don't see why you couldn't purchase some inexpensive 1 1/4 inch pipe from Lowes or home depot, a couple of elbows to make the turns where you want them, a couple of cheap pulleys, cam strap the thing to your rowing frame and your in business. If you really want to get fancy, you could purchase a cam-lock A cam strap to the back elbow from the rear d-ring would keep the back end from sliding around. If you really want to get creative, (and spend a few more bucks) you could check into some of the fittings described by Jim Strutz in a recent post :

    "For a simple rod holder you can use a Hollaender #10 or #12 offset cross fitting and stick an 8" piece of 1 1/4 schedule 40 pipe in it. I think I would use the #12 short barrel version since this would give you a little more flexibility in where it could be pointed. Either way, just attach it to one of your frame's side rail. These are the same fittings that are used for oar mounts in Hollaender based frame setups.

    Or you could use a #21 adjustable cross fitting and attach it to a cross rail on your frame. I think that one's long enough you could use it without the pipe.

    Here's a page that shows them:

    You should be able to get the fittings local. In Anchorage, AK Steel sells them. And Jim King at Alaska Series rafts sells a beefed up version of the cross fitting for his oar stands, but I think he stocks 1 1/2 inch gear for his frames."

    I live in Kenai, so I haven't checked into these fittings yet, but if my cheapie elbows crack as I expect them to, I'm hoping I might be able to intergrate my inexpensive lowes pipe with a few of these Hollaender fittings to make a relatively inexpensive, yet functional motor mount for my raft.

    Here's a pic of an nrs anchor system to give you something to build from:

    Just some ideas, since nobody else seems eager to jump-in. Good luck!


  4. #4


    I've been on vacation for a week in Soldotna. Had extra cargo and guest so, taking the raft fell through. (Didn't want to drive two vehicles on vacation.)
    I built my frame using the Hollander type fittings. I got them off ebay for dirt cheap. I have 10 tee's and 2 off set tee's. Keep an eye out next time you on ebay. Search "handrail fittings" or "slip on fittings".
    I have a 12ft raft, so 1 stick (20ft) of non-anodized aluminum pipe was all I needed to make my long sections and two cross members. It was about $60 I think.
    For my foot rest, I used the same fence post pipe from Lowes. I think with a couple of extra tee's and some cheap pipe, I could make something work. As I was typing this out, I had a couple of ideas. Thanks for sparking the old melon Scott.

  5. #5


    What size anchor for the above mentioned 12ft raft? Sportsman's has 10lb and 25lb on the shelf. I was thinking the 25lb?

  6. #6
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Kenai, Ak

    Default Too light doesn't work.

    I'm not sure about official recommendations but I tried to go light with my 14 footer (15lb) and was disappointed when it didn't work (duh!)

    I'd definitely go with the 25lb, or even a 30 if they have one. I think it's important to always leave yourself a way out though. (a way to release a hung anchor in fast current.. a knife close by, etc.)

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Default Anchoring a raft

    You probably know this, but for those who don't, here are a couple of things to think about.

    Anchoring is about more than just the weight of the anchor. Scope is also important, as is the shape / configuration of the anchor itself. Some of the best river anchors I know of are the pyramid, mushroom, and even the bag of rocks (btw, Alaska Raft and Kayak has a better "Bag of Rocks" anchor that won't wear out. It's made of steel cable mesh with a plastic disk at the bottom. It's "bullet proof". I would avoid anchors with flukes, such as the Danforth and the so-called River Anchor. They are easily caught in rocks and you lose your anchor.

    If you use enough scope, you can use a much lighter anchor. This is because the longer scope allows the current to push the anchor line down closer to the bottom (eliminating the need to use a chain at the end of your anchor rode / line). The low angle allows the anchor to grab the bottom better than a shallow angle. One of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced boaters is using too short of a scope; this, more than any other factor, is what causes anchors to drift.

    Avoid anchoring in swift water; it can cause your boat to swing back and forth, with the outside beam dipping close to the water on each swing. Boats have capsized this way. This effect is minimized by 1) anchoring in back-eddies or slack water (best), 2) using a long scope, 3) using a Forked Moor (two anchors) or 4) anchoring off of a mooring buoy. Back when I used to fish the Inlet for halibut, we frequently did the latter to avoid excessive swinging in heavy tidal currents.

    Anchoring a raft in swift water is inherently dangerous and should only be attempted by people who know what they're doing.

    Hope it helps!

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  8. #8


    thanks mike. I always appriciate your input any topic. I'm still new to this stuff, so keep the advice rollin!

  9. #9


    I have the same boat you do except the 14' model Kenai Drifter. I use a 35 pound pyramid and that does not stop the boat in any channel unless I'm along the shore or in an eddy. The raft has too much drag on it. I also put the NRS pulley anchor system on my boat and working with the cleat is perfect. I can't imagine horsing it any other way.

    Quote Originally Posted by bstacy1974 View Post
    What size anchor for the above mentioned 12ft raft? Sportsman's has 10lb and 25lb on the shelf. I was thinking the 25lb?


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