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Projects: Bow Roller-Main Sail Cover

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Sep 25, 2008
2,288
C30 Event Horizon Port Aransas
I built a bow roller for the 33 lb. claw I have. I gave up on the idea of a one way roller and decided to build a conventional one for now. Blah! Anyway, I wanted to ask about the roller. I bought one that is a solid piece of urethane. It's see through yellow. There is no bushing in it. It just rides on a 1/2" shaft. I think it's supposed to be for a trailer roller.
Is the roller supposed to match the anchor? Is there supposed to be a groove that the anchor shank fits into?
I see in pictures that there is a bail on the end of some bow rollers. What is the function of that bail?
When ever I do something on the boat I try to think 'what if the boat rolled over?' What is the best way to hold the anchor in place so that it's totally secure but easy to release?

I cut up the sunbrella shade I had that was barely used. I would never take the time to set it up so now it is a main sail cover that will get used. Well almost. I don't like the steel twist locks that the old one has to secure it. They seem to be designed to cut through the fabric in high winds. What is the best way to hook the cover together under the boom?
I thought of sewing 1" flat strap and having nylon buckles, but this doesn't seem to be the best way. What have you seen that you think is the best way?

BTW-I sewed the main sail cover with a regular 'Suzy Sews A-lot' sewing machine. It sewed through 4 layers all right. But I am going to have to take this cover to an upholsterer I know to sew the corners where it's 6 or 8 layers.

I am so addicted to the sailing now. I can't wait until the weekend!
 

shorty

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Apr 14, 2005
298
Pearson P34 Mt Desert, ME
The bail

holds the anchor in place, if I'm thinking of the same thing. It's a pin through the eye in the anchor stock on mine.
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,572
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Bow Roller

Scott, here is what the original on my 34 looks like.. It has a roller that has a centering groove.. that is tapered to a low spot in the middle so the rode or chain comes through easily and doesn’t rub/jam on the sides. I don’t have a bail on mine but the anchor can be secured in the locker.. The little quarter turn stainless catches are pretty standard for sail cover bottom retention.. Mine (31 years, two boats, four covers) have been through some pretty good winds without harm to the cloth. They are installed on a double thickness for strength. Ya need the cover to be a little loose, especially at the bottom, to breathe and so not mildew the sail.
 

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Benny

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Sep 27, 2008
1,149
Hunter 320 Tampa, FL
The bail is so that the anchor rode or the anchor do not jump the roller frame mainly when pulling the anchor. I keep the bail stationary for best results.
 
Sep 25, 2008
2,288
C30 Event Horizon Port Aransas
Kloudie-The sunbrella on the main sail cover I had looked like it was out of a tomb. All the turn locks were tearing out through the fabric. They are designed with little claws that get pushed through and then bent over to hold it. I don't have a camera right now but I am sure you know what I am talking about. That would be the easiest thing to do at this point, I was just wondering if there were any things that were sewn in to the fabric to hold it.
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,334
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
Hermit, were there backing plates under the bent over little claws? If the sail cover was made too tight, anything can wear out.
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,933
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
I see in pictures that there is a bail on the end of some bow rollers. What is the function of that bail?
When ever I do something on the boat I try to think 'what if the boat rolled over?' What is the best way to hold the anchor in place so that it's totally secure but easy to release?


The bail is not to keep the anchor in place when the boat rolls over. It's to guide it when it comes up and many folks have (had to have) removed the bails based on the particular anchor they have. In many cases the new and far superior Manson Supreme and Rocna anchors don't mix well with bails. If the conditions warrant concern about rollovers, then the anchor shouldn't be on the bow, it should be stowed for sea. The bow roller will work just fine without a bail. Don't know if you took my earlier suggestion to look into another marina and check stuff out. Holding the anchor in place: the newer roll bar anchors, including ours, use some line tied off to a stanchion or pulpit or cleat. The older anchors and many roller assemblies had pins that went through drilled holes in the anchors; sometimes the anchor would have a hole that would actually line up with the pin, imagine that! The trick is to keep the anchor on the roller until you intend to use it: you know that concept, but each arrangement is somewhat different. For instance, a fellow C34 owner and I have come to the conclusion that the newer extended bow rollers may not necessarily be the best approach compared to what we have, which we call our "toy bow rollers." His point is that when the wind and waves come up, having the point of the rode as close to the bow of the boat, instead of cantilevered out, may well be safer. If the anchor fits, try it. Here's our new
Rocna on our bow.
 

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Sep 25, 2008
2,288
C30 Event Horizon Port Aransas
I have walked the marina looking for ideas but all docks have gates and I can't walk down them, I can onlt look from a distance. And I have read articles on how to anchor. The west marine link you provided was ver concise.
A cantilever beam is best kept as short as possible in my opinion. I designed it to be as close as possible with out the fins on the claw hitting the bow. One other thing I haev to figure out is if I have the anchor out and the line through the bow roller, where do I cleat it off? I see your's has a center cleat that would work for you, but on mine the anchor locker is too far forward.
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,933
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Easier said than done, BUT

I understand about other marinas having gates, and most SHOULD have them. You have a Catalina 30, probably one of most popular and prolific boats EVER MADE. I am sure there is a Catalina 30 group in your area. Or once you get on a dock, by asking nicely pretty please when someone comes along: "I'm a new sailor and I'd like to get some ideas, can you help me out?" with a BIG smile, you can get on any dock. Find one that has 30 foot boats. Or bring your binoculars with you and look around, or bring your dink and row around.

You bring Jeanette with you and you should be able to get into Fort Knox!:):)

The C34 came with that single cleat, we all had to add second and third cleats later until they came out with the Mark II with a better arrangement, although they removed the centered cleat and only had the side cleats, which made tying up an anchor a bit harder.

By now, I would have expected that you should have read and remembered everything written on the C30 Association website. I'd be very surprised if they don't have anything on anchoring and cleats.

And given the favorable location of a center cleat for anchoring, why not just install one? Access below is very easy through the V berth. Or just use the side cleats if you can get a fairlead without hitting the pulpit.
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,334
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
My C30 slip-neighbor put a middle cleat just behind the anchor locker. Hermit, you must have a scrap of metal angle to put under the deck and against the bulkhead to reinforce such a cleat mount?
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,165
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
One other thing I haev to figure out is if I have the anchor out and the line through the bow roller, where do I cleat it off? I see your's has a center cleat that would work for you, but on mine the anchor locker is too far forward.
Bow rollers are like car roof racks. They are for transportation and some light retrieval and setting but not for carrying large loads. In a blow the last place you want the rode is over an anchor roller. Unless it's a Halberg Rassy, Hinckley, Morris or other super over built vessel. I have seen some very heavily built rollers twisted like pretzels due to the rode being left on it in a blow.

This is how I route my anchor line back to the mooring cleat and through the closed bow chocks my boat has. Even in conditions where I know it will remain benign I still do this to avoid the roller snapping side to side. Sure I could shave the shim washers so it fit perfectly and prevented the roller racket while sleeping but it's LOW on the priority list and running it back to my mooring cleat takes just seconds..

Out of the locker, over the roller, back through the bow chock, to the cleat, back out to the anchor. My chafe guard is velcro'd to the port side bow pulpit in "ready when I need it" mode:


I don't use bails and much prefer a pin thought the roller and anchor as shown.



Pretzels anyone:
 
Sep 25, 2008
2,288
C30 Event Horizon Port Aransas
I do have some aluminum plate and I have 2, 10" hershoff cleats. Hopefully this bow roller I made will hold up. It is made of plastic. The only other bow roller I can look at is the freedom 35 next to me. It's bow roller is fiberglass. So mine should hold up.
A cleat behind the anchor locker looks like a great place to stub my toe. But if it's the only place than that's where it will go.\

Edit:I was typing while you were posting that. That is a great way to do it. I will do something similar, that way I can put the cleats off to the side and not in the middle of the deck.
 
Sep 25, 2008
2,288
C30 Event Horizon Port Aransas
One problem I have is, the bow pulpit front stanchion is right in the way to install the bow roller straight forward, parralel to the centerline of the boat. I am considering cutting it off and relocating it. Probably on both sides to make it symetrical.
Maine -What did you have on your C30/
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,165
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
One problem I have is, the bow pulpit front stanchion is right in the way to install the bow roller straight forward, parralel to the centerline of the boat. I am considering cutting it off and relocating it. Probably on both sides to make it symetrical.
Maine -What did you have on your C30/
Mostly stuffed it in the locker. Here's what I did on my C-36. It came with a center mounted cleat, which I later removed. I then added or replaced it with two Herreshoff cleats both port & starboard. I also cut the starboard side factory roller off the stem head and replaced it with a Windline pre-made roller from Hamilton.

Ummmm good luck with the plastic roller and please snub to a bow cleat.....;)

Removed this side of the factory POS roller:


Replaced with this and added real mooring cleats:

Backed the cleats well (ignore the sealant I took the photo before cleaning it):

Still using a Bruce back then:
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,933
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Pretty similar

situations with the original C36 and C34 setups, hermit. The first picture MS shows is what I called our "toy" bow rollers. We opted NOT to extend with a new bow roller assembly, and I've shown you what we've done. I personally think chocks are a chafe hazard waiting to happen and don't like them if I can maintain a fair lead from a cleat to any object. MAS may disagree.

Point being, no one can tell you what YOU need to do on YOUR boat, all we can do is show you the options and perhaps get you to discover some on your own.
 
Sep 25, 2008
2,288
C30 Event Horizon Port Aransas
This is the solid model of it. This is what i have built so far. The sides are 1/2" starboard material. The base is 3/4" PVC. I think the roller is urethane.
All the stainless one's I saw didn't look substantial enough. The steel looks too thin.

That's a 3D pdf, so you can click on it and roll it around and zoom.
 

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Feb 6, 1998
11,165
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
This is the solid model of it. This is what i have built so far. The sides are 1/2" starboard material. The base is 3/4" PVC. I think the roller is urethane.
All the stainless one's I saw didn't look substantial enough. The steel looks too thin.

That's a 3D pdf, so you can click on it and roll it around and zoom.
Starboard and PVC are unfortunately not very good structural type lumber. The flex is tremendous. The one piece rollers of stainless are bent in a U shaped beam which helps with the strength. Good luck and please post some pics of the final product..
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,334
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
Oh, let him go MS- I'd like to see what happens.:eek: AND, he may invent a better mouse trap?
 

Bob S

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Sep 27, 2007
1,495
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
Hermit,

On my C30 there is a cleat inside the anchor locker on the aft wall. I keep a chain hook attached to it. I hook it to the chain when the anchor is on the bow. I have the Mason Supreme and tie it similar to Stu's. Mainesail has posted the dangers of leaving your anchor through the bow roller before and I always take his advise. (Thanks Maine). Once I have enough line deployed I have to reach out in front of the roller and grab the rode to bring back to the mooring cleat. Sometimes if I'm anchoring in shallow water I will be all chain and use the chain hook and cleat that. If you have room inside the locker it's a great place to add a cleat.
 
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