Bow Roller

Keeping Your Deck Secure and Safe with a Bow Roller

Everyone knows that an anchor can be dropped to slow or “anchor” a boat at sea. However, not everyone knows the safe and secure ways of dropping the anchor without scratching the hull or deck. A bow roller can make dropping even the heaviest anchor safe and easy.

Dropping Anchor
One of the most important safety features on a ship is the anchor, but inadequate processes by which the anchor is dropped or retrieved from the water can create problems and compromise safety on a boat. If dropped carelessly or improperly, the very grooves that give an anchor purchase on the ocean floor can dig grooves in the deck or along the hull. Deep scratches along a hull can affect a ship’s integrity, damaging its water impermeability, and allowing water to seep into the inside of the boat.

Keeping the Hull Safe
Bow rollers are great tools that can prevent the anchor from damaging the boat’s deck or hull. Bow rollers attach to the ship’s bow sprit or the bow itself. Located at the most forward part of the ship’s hull, the bow is a one of the most common places for mounting an anchor chain. Because it protrudes out at an angle from the bottom of the boat, the bow allows the anchor to lower or retract easily without obstruction. Coupled with a bow roller, the anchor’s chain is set even further out from the edge of the boat, and instead of dragging along the edge of the ship’s hull, it winds through the bow roller.

Safe Floating
Attaching a bow roller and subsequently the anchor line to the front of the boat can also help minimize damage caused by inadvertently floating into an anchor line. By attaching the anchor to the front of the boat on a bow roller, an individual ensures that the nose of the boat will always be pointing toward the anchor line. This allows the boat to float perpendicular to the waves that might edge the boat along. It also helps prevent a boat from floating against its anchor line as can happen when an anchor is dropped off the side or back of the boat.

Proper Installation Required
To enjoy the greatest benefits and the safety and security of a bow roller, it is important to properly install and mount the device in place. Most bow rollers affix alongside the bow sprit, though they can just as easily be mounted to the most forward part of the bow itself. Affixing to the bow sprit requires bolting the edges of the roller securely to the bow sprit at a point close to the boat; too far out and the sprit may break under the weight of an anchor caught on coral or the ocean floor. The roller should have sufficient surface area to reduce concentrating the anchor’s weight on any singular spot on the sprit. Attaching the roller to the bow itself may require an additional stainless steel channel to reduce friction on the boat’s edge.

A bow roller can prolong the life of a boat by minimizing damage caused by anchors and their chains. A boat owner should always be sure to purchase the right kind of bow roller and always install it correctly to enjoy its full benefits.