Why Boats Need Anchor Rollers
An essential installation on all but the smallest of boats, anchor rollers make it easy to drop or weigh an anchor and on many boats provide a place to store an anchor when it is not in use. Anchor rollers also create a fairlead for the anchor rode so it doesn’t chafe against the gunnel, stem fitting or chocks. In addition to making it easier to manually weigh an anchor, they are essential for boats that are equipped with a windlass, since they guide the anchor rode to the windlass gypsy, and keep the chain from gouging the hull and deck.
Match the anchor roller to the primary anchor you use for your boat
Select an anchor roller that fits the size and design of your boat’s primary anchor. Choices include anchor rollers suitable for use with Bruce-, Delta-, Claw- and Danforth-style anchors. Mismatching an anchor to a roller can result in an ungainly installation where the anchor may be too large for the roller, extend too far forward or hang at an odd angle.
Anchors that are stored in anchor rollers must be properly secured. One way to do this is with a chain tensioner. These devices are used to draw the chain tight and secure the anchor against the roller. Running your chain through a chain stopper is another way to do this. Often used to take the load off a windlass, chain stoppers are like one-way gates that secure an anchor chain under tension and hold it in place. If you manually weigh your anchor, they are a good idea too. For example, if your back says “uncle” midway through weighing the anchor, you can use your chain stopper to hold the chain and anchor in place while you take a break.
Anchor Rollers/Chocks versus Anchor Rollers/Mounts
Anchor rollers/mounts can be used for dropping, weighing or storing an anchor. Anchor rollers/chocks can also be used for dropping or weighing an anchor, but because they lack the elongated, channeled design of anchor roller/mounts cannot be used for storing an anchor.
For additional help, see a West Marine associate at a store near you. For some examples of anchor roller/mounts and anchor rollers/chocks, see our West Advisor article Anchor Rollers.