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Old 04-12-2016, 21:12   #16
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Ground tackle is one thing I would not recommend a do it yourself job simply because angles are more critical than good or bad welds. Lots of gear can be home made, but there is so much perfectly functional gear for sale used that it might be more trouble than its worth. I am the poster boy for the frugal sailor thread due to being on a fixed income, so I buy very carefully and mostly used. In the last month I have bought an anchor windlass for $125 that retails (slightly newer model) for $4600 and a propane stove that retails for $2000 and paid $300. One burner has to be light with a match, but that wont bother me nearly as much as spending $1700 more for a new one would. My point is that many people have the emotional need to buy the newest and latest gadget that is on the market (or is heavily advertised) and most of it is WANTED BUT NOT NEEDED. If you dont have that need, Craigslist and Ebay become your friend. You can cruise safely without spending huge amounts of money. You just wont be the fancy boat on the dock, but again,I dont think an anchor is a good place to save money. Just my (very frugal) 2 cents worth. ____Grant.
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Old 04-12-2016, 21:28   #17
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

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Originally Posted by scottorious View Post
Oh wow! Thanks for all the answers. I certainly understand the dangers of the gas engine. But with a proper working bilge blower do I not mitigate that risk substantially? How many diesel boats still have gasoline on them or even propane? I just love how that little engines purs. I can't imagine switching over to a diesel. I also like the idea of only keeping one fuel on the boat.

I understand that often times someone has gone through hours of research and development to come up with anchor design as well as other things but part of what I love about sailing is my independence and the more I buy from other people the more reliant I am on other people if said gear breaks or malfunctionsomething.

I might be way off here but I'm used to just building or improvising whatever I need and I definitely want to do more of that on my boat.
Scottorious. If other experts here wish to disagree with me they can and I couldn't care less. But re your bilge blower suggestion. Yes, a bilge blower and I have the best one Jabsco make.
BUT, any fuel leak which is so severe that it could ignite comes on very quickly. A needle and seat seals...or it doesn't. !! If it fails then it usually does so without warning and fuel will gush out of the carburettor at great volume..no warning. Fuel pump diaphragm have no splits....or they split. Long before a detector can detect and long before your magical blower can evacuate (even 10% of the vapour/ liquid) you are likely to have a catastrophic explosion.
Your suggest of a blower reeks of SECONDARY safety , too late, horse has bolted. Boom.
Read again about the PRIMARY precautions I spoke of in my previous post.
PREVENT THE CAUSE, DON'T TRY TO CURE THE EFFECT BECAUSE WITH PETROL, NO 2ND CHANCES.
Do as I suggested in my previous post and you'll be fine. Remember, carburettor, fuel pump, fuel filter (no toys!) and perfect hoses.
You'll be fine if you read carefully.
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Old 04-12-2016, 21:39   #18
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

I think the reason you don't see a lot of people building anchors is it's mostly used boat buyers who would consider building their own but used boats typically come with an anchor...or four and anchors on most boats will last decades so, there isn't a lot of need to build anchors.
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Old 04-12-2016, 23:08   #19
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Just in regard to making our own anchor. It may well be worth a quick call to your insurance company to see if they will still cover your boat if you have a home made anchor. It may be the case they will require an engineers certicate as to the holding power of your anchor otherwise they may not honour a claim where an incident has occured where you have dragged anchor.


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Old 05-12-2016, 06:29   #20
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Good call on the insurance. Sv seeker on YouTube has some good looking anchors I saw.

I understand all the points said, I'll have to be really careful with it.

Synthetic rigging seems really diy.

I've seen some diy windvane designs, anyone have good input on that?

Has anyone used 12 volt self contained refrigerators?

Does anyone build sails? That one seems beyond my ability.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:56   #21
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

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Originally Posted by brianlara 3 View Post
My biggest objection regading Atomic engines or ANY gasoline engine "when fitted within the confines of a hull" is this.
Unless a gas engine is fuel injected (and Atomics et al ) aren't, they have a carburettor.
And by design a carburettor MUST have a 'needle & seat'.
This component plays 2 roles:
First, to control float level so that correct air:fuel ratio is maintained. Easy.
Second, the n&s also stems the uncontrolled volume of fuel supplied by the fuel pump. Easy.

Here's the crunch. A foreign body as long a 1/32 of an inch and THINNER than a human hair can (and does) render the needle & seat inoperable and gasoline flooding MUST occur.

Sure filters help, but.
I'm simply saying that if two identical boats were being considered, one gas, one diesel, then the diesel equipped boat is worth thousands more than the gas for multiple reasons.
Not my humble opinion. More than qualified.
Hi Brianlara,

As I mentioned in my first reply, there is absolutely no argument that diesel is safer and in many ways better than gasoline as a fuel for boats. I am not a professional mechanic and will bow to your expertise in this area regarding the potential causes of leaks in a gas engine from the carbs. I will however say that in my years of boating I have not seen this as a common problem and, in fact, cannot remember a case in a boat engine of this occurring. Small engines in lawn mowers, chain saws, etc yes.

Do I prefer diesel? Yes without a doubt. It's safer, diesel engines generally more reliable and easier to work on, better mileage, last longer and more. But if I was in the market for a cheap boat and found a deal on one with an Atomic 4 I wouldn't turn my back.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:01   #22
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Way back when I was a contract welder in the US oilfield, until it collapsed about 1980.
I have two Rocna's, a 25 and a 40, I guarantee you that I could weld one up in way less than a day. If you have the equipment and expertise, why not?
Now I don't have the time or the equipment anymore, so I bought mine, but I'm the type that if I had the time I would likely enjoy making my own. I feel sure they are just plate steel, I would make the curve with a big Rosebud and a log with a sledge.
My Father would have used his Forge, but I never did Blacksmithing.

Gas boats? Last Sportfisherman was a 36' boat with twin 454's, never had a problem with them, did religiously run the blowers for 5 min before starting, and did have fume detectors, they were carburated too. The generator was gas too, only problem we had was feeding the things, they were thirsty buggers.
Over the last 50 or more years there have been tens of thousands of gas boats, I bet nearly all boats were gas in the 50's?

It's like propane, dangerous as the Devil, but acknowledge the danger, respect it and keep up with maintenance and very unlikely you will have a problem, the statistics just don't show it to be that big a danger
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:22   #23
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

I guess the easiest of the new anchors to make would be a copy of the Bugel anchor.

New Generation Anchors: Bugel, Manson, Rocna, and Spade
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:23   #24
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

In my opinion, gasoline engines on sailboats are not such a bad idea: Much lighter, easy to fix, and much less expansives parts, when needed. In fact most of the motors cruisers under 40 ft are powered by lighty modified gas engines. A good and secure installation is off course mandatory, with a good forced ventillation of engine room, alarm for explosives fumes. I was thinking of a marinazed modern 4 cycle motorcycle engine for a catamaran: Light weight, direct fuel injection, sump pump, powerfull, and less expansive ...
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:43   #25
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Most of the gear that you see discussed is want based, & most often the desire from it comes from advertising & commercialism. In order to get more of an idea as to what's truly need, look at boats of a few decades, or half a century (or more) ago. As a ship's systems needn't be complex, nor expensive.

A good rig, a good rudder, self steering, solid sails, & good ground tackle. Plus decent, simple nav gear pretty much covers it. Much of the so called "must have" gear is touted as such by those who will to profit from it. That, & to some degree, those who'd be well served by learning better seamanship, instead of attempting to compensate for lesser amounts of same via their wallets. And yep, I know, that comment may cause me to get flamed on a bit

My neighbor of 20-something years ago had a DIY Bruce copy that she'd used all over the world without issue. It was one they'd made when building the (steel) boat. And I've been tempted to do something similar myself, at least in order to have a good sized Northill on hand. But...

The catch about anchors is that you can find good used & new ones for $2-3/lb. Unless you absolutely "must" have one of the latest designs. But otherwise, anchors are cheap. Even used Fortresses; especially when you figure in the fact that they're "endlessly new", given the warranty. So that unless you can get a DIY anchor galvanized gratis, then fiscally speaking, purchasing an anchor may make the most sense. Even if it means paying 1/2-2/3 new cost for a used new gen anchor. Since there are always people looking to switch to a different sized hook, & wanting to sell their current (old) one.

As to engine choices, much of it has been covered. And while I'd prefer a diesel (more so for long range crusing), I had an Atomic-4 for half a decade. With my only issue with it being that I didn't own a dwell meter, nor know how to operate one, until the time I replaced the points. Which, from an ease of maintenance standpoint, a diesel is a bit easier. But gas engines have been around on boats for a number of generations now. With the issues for keeping them safe being known ones.

Edit: I think that with gasoline engines, a large percentage of the incidents with them stem from poor refueling practices. Something perhaps worth looking into, the statistics on said engines & where the dangers truly lay, I mean.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:50   #26
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

You need two things for a gasoline fume explosion: fuel and spark. Yes, you need to be very careful with fuel issues but you must be even more careful with insuring the integrity of the components that need to be explosion proof.

I see many aspects to building or re-building of gear. Just to start, you need to have the ability, you need to have the tools and you need to have the time.

All exist on a sliding scale. We may have the ability to weld but do we have the ability to weld stainless or aluminum? Anyone who works with their hands knows there is always another tool you need in the shop. The straight edge and the file are replaced by the milling machine, etc. as we look for higher levels of accuracy and fit, for example. Many projects require specialty tools and whether you purchase or fabricate, can you justify it? I made up a set of dies for crimping lifeline connectors. Hard to justify if you are only doing one set of lifelines and you can’t do it at all without milling equipment and the shop press sitting in the corner ready to do the work.

A big consideration for many of us is the challenge of doing what most others can’t do and the personal satisfaction that comes from being able to do quality work that not only creates new but maintains the old and keeps them in good shape for continued service.

Then we come to the aspect of re-engineering. There is not a boat out there with everything done right. We may see design flaws and wish to change them, but bringing plans for new ideas to the welding or machine shop can get very expensive.

I believe the more work you do yourself and the deeper you dive into the workings of everything on your boat, the more you prepare yourself for sailing. Once over the horizon there is no SeaTow. You need the tools, the spare parts and the technical expertise to fix it yourself.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:35   #27
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Diesel is safer than gas.

According to wikipedia, WRT the atomic 4: "Over 40,000 of the engines were produced during that time, with an estimated 20,000 still in use today."

Don't think many of the boats blew up. Almost all the boats on my dock are gas powered (I'm the only inboard gas powered sailboat though). Most power cruisers, sport fishers, etc.. don't blow up either. The A4 has a scavange tube that mitigates the flooding problem a bit. And any proper marine installation has spark-arrested starter and alternator.

Propane is as dangerous as gasoline and folks seem to be fine with that.

Just be sane: Shut off the fuel when the boat isn't being used. Check for leaks often. Use good fuel filters. Smell for gas every time before start, and use the blower (and leave it on).

If the needle valve goes bad but you have the fuel shut off, the lower part of the carb will be filled with gas - with a decent O ring on the spark arrester it won't leak into the bilge - but you'd definitely smell it when opening up the boat.

All things A4 - moyermarine.com

Biggest problem I have with my gas powered sailboat is it's limited range. A diesel version of the same boat gets 2x range.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:42   #28
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

I made some drawings for my new DIY 20 kg Anchor..
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:52   #29
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Keep in mind the Rocna "bent shank" scandal of 5 years ago. A batch was made with mild steel shank instead of Bisplate 80 high-tensile steel, and some of those shanks bent like wet noodles under a side-load. And you can't just double the thickness of a mild steel shank, as it throws the balance off and the tip won't set properly. It does get tricky. . . .
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:03   #30
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

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Keep in mind the Rocna "bent shank" scandal of 5 years ago. A batch was made with mild steel shank instead of Bisplate 80 high-tensile steel, and some of those shanks bent like wet noodles under a side-load. And you can't just double the thickness of a mild steel shank, as it throws the balance off and the tip won't set properly. It does get tricky. . . .
I know about material choices and balance, i am a retired Marine Engineer. BTW, the little green dot is the center of gravity..
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