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Old 04-12-2016, 13:55   #1
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Homebuilt anchor and other things

So I recently found myself caught up in the world of shopping around for all the latest and greatest sailing equipment. That was exciting but also very disappointing. Anything that says "marine grade" or for sailing in general just seems prohibitively expensive. Trying to educate myself on how to properly outfit my Cal 34 I see so many people saying that it's just unwise and dangerous to not have X item and the countless other things. Is there a large resource for people building their own gear? I could cut and weld up an anchor in an afternoon and send it to the galvanizer for seemingly 1/3 the cost of a new fancy anchor. Is there a reason I don't see more of that? Why are people so deathly afraid of the atomic 4? Seems dead simple and smooth as glass, most people have gasoline dinghy engines and keep gas on board anyway, same with propane. Seems like there are countless other things which seem more like wants than needs and someone fairly handy could do there own. I'm just wondering if anyone knows of resources or places where DIY guys congregate.
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Old 04-12-2016, 14:56   #2
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

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Originally Posted by scottorious View Post
So I recently found myself caught up in the world of shopping around for all the latest and greatest sailing equipment. That was exciting but also very disappointing. Anything that says "marine grade" or for sailing in general just seems prohibitively expensive. Trying to educate myself on how to properly outfit my Cal 34 I see so many people saying that it's just unwise and dangerous to not have X item and the countless other things. Is there a large resource for people building their own gear? I could cut and weld up an anchor in an afternoon and send it to the galvanizer for seemingly 1/3 the cost of a new fancy anchor. Is there a reason I don't see more of that? Why are people so deathly afraid of the atomic 4? Seems dead simple and smooth as glass, most people have gasoline dinghy engines and keep gas on board anyway, same with propane. Seems like there are countless other things which seem more like wants than needs and someone fairly handy could do there own. I'm just wondering if anyone knows of resources or places where DIY guys congregate.
With respect, I can't see a LOT of followers coming on board re making a cheaper anchor etc.
Atomic 4. I'm an old mechanic and so can see very clearly why petrol engines are WAY less safe than diesels.....the hull of a yacht is a collector for explosive gases.
Take an old tin can. Put in 3 drops (only) of gasoline. Leave in sun for ten seconds, light the end of a ten foot stick, lower stick onto can but have eyes closed. That is why for inboard installations diesel is WAY !!!! safer than gasoline. Trust me.....I implore you.
Fwiw.
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Old 04-12-2016, 15:25   #3
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

No argument that diesel is far safer than gas but at the same time, with proper care gas can be very safe. Yes if you screw up you just made a bomb (boat blew just last week at Green Cove Springs from a gas leak) but at the same time there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of gasoline powered boats around the world and even with careless newbies operating a lot of them, very few blow up.

Regarding a homemade anchor, sure you might save a few bucks but I think some of the weights, balance, angles, etc on the new gen anchors can be fairly critical to quick setting and holding power. I would focus on saving more money in other areas.

Regarding you will die if you don't have X on your boat. Bull. I cruised for many years on boats with nothing but depth sounder, knot meter and a VHF radio. No radar, GPS, chart plotter, satellite radios. Paper charts and for long passages a sextant.

I will say, having cruised with and without all the gadgets, having a GPS can make it a lot easier to cruise safely (using the GPS properly and not forgetting to use your other tools) but you can get by with a handheld that you buy used for $100.

So don't get hung up in the gear deal. Learn navigation and seamanship and the gadgets can come when you can or want to afford them.
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Old 04-12-2016, 16:20   #4
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

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.
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Old 04-12-2016, 16:41   #5
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Homebuilt anchor and other things

See I think in some instances a gas motor could be better.
Usually lighter weight and much lower NVH, meaning noise,vibration and harshness.
For a day sailer I see the benefits, but then I see many benefits for an outboard in that situation too
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Old 04-12-2016, 16:44   #6
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

The designers of the best anchors have spent years or sometimes decades perfecting thier work (art?). They make and test an endless number of prototypes.

A "cut and weld up anchor in an afternoon" effort would have a near zero chance of performing in the same league as the top performers.

If one were to painstakingly COPY an existing design (with the exact same metals), I suspect a proper job will take a bit longer than an afternoon, and cost nearly as much as the real thing.

I'd look for a second hand anchor if money is tight.

Steve
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Old 04-12-2016, 16:57   #7
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
See I think in some instances a gas motor could be better.
Usually lighter weight and much lower NVH, meaning noise,vibration and harshness.
For a day sailer I see the benefits, but then I see many benefits for an outboard in that situation too
I agree A64. Indeed, I'd cruise the world with an Atom or similar if necessary.
Trouble with gas monitors re fuel leaks is that with numerous things on the motor pruducing sparks continuously, by the time the monitor tells you that vapours exist I suspect that they might already have ignited (i.e. exploded)
I think a top shelf monitor, perfect fuel hoses at all times, renew the needle and seat regularly, fit a new fuel filter diaphragm &valves regularly and have the best Racor gasoline filter available. I think with those precautions, not forgetting tank filling and venting precautions, that in some instances, eg a catalina 30 or 34 etc, a gas engine has benefits : NVH especially.
A gas engine wouldn't stop this expert from buying THE RIGHT BOAT.
FWIW.
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Old 04-12-2016, 17:05   #8
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

I have seen homebuilt anchors, some of them to a very high standard. So this is definitely doable. The rest of it (the boat) can also be built very well at home. Where there is skill.

I am not sure there is anything sailing that cannot be homebuilt. You CAN get a fine cruising boat this way and way cheaper than in the dealership .... but ... how much time will it take?

Would you not prefer to BUY stuff and spend the time SAILING?

I have a homebrew proverb and I like repeating it: building boats and sailing boats are two completely different sports.

But, an anchor, a mast, a new ballast bulb, yes, one can build them.

;-)

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Old 04-12-2016, 17:11   #9
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Building your own stuff (anchors, roller furling, self steering tankage, rigging and on and on) used to be common here in BC. I 've made nearly all the bits at one time or another and assure you it was as good or better than storebought Times and expectations change and it's gotta be shiny /new.to cover a common lack of skills. (I was into classic wood and Brent S was into cruising steel . If you want real ,don't waste time on gas Can be done .A clean wake , eh!
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Old 04-12-2016, 17:19   #10
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Well sir. I am a journeyman fabricator and welder and i am here to tell you that i can and i absolutely intend to cut up and weld my own anchor. Its not very hard to walk down the docks and measure uo a roccna and re-create it. Ive checked pricing on stainless and i can do a 45# roccna for about 300 bucks. I think if your handy. It an absolutely viable savings.
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Old 04-12-2016, 17:32   #11
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

This never reached a working prototype that I know of, but there was a lot of input toward a homemade "open-source" anchor design a few years back:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ct-113732.html
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Old 04-12-2016, 17:36   #12
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

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Originally Posted by yalnud View Post
Well sir. I am a journeyman fabricator and welder and i am here to tell you that i can and i absolutely intend to cut up and weld my own anchor. Its not very hard to walk down the docks and measure uo a roccna and re-create it. Ive checked pricing on stainless and i can do a 45# roccna for about 300 bucks. I think if your handy. It an absolutely viable savings.
Yep! It's all about a balance between the time v's money .availabilities
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Old 04-12-2016, 20:22   #13
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

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.
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Old 04-12-2016, 20:24   #14
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Oh, and the question about time. I'm a great Lakes sailor so my boat spends as much time out of the water as it does in the water. Winter boat projects sound fun!
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Old 04-12-2016, 20:55   #15
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Re: Homebuilt anchor and other things

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottorious View Post
So I recently found myself caught up in the world of shopping around for all the latest and greatest sailing equipment. That was exciting but also very disappointing. Anything that says "marine grade" or for sailing in general just seems prohibitively expensive. Trying to educate myself on how to properly outfit my Cal 34 I see so many people saying that it's just unwise and dangerous to not have X item and the countless other things. Is there a large resource for people building their own gear? I could cut and weld up an anchor in an afternoon and send it to the galvanizer for seemingly 1/3 the cost of a new fancy anchor. Is there a reason I don't see more of that? Why are people so deathly afraid of the atomic 4? Seems dead simple and smooth as glass, most people have gasoline dinghy engines and keep gas on board anyway, same with propane. Seems like there are countless other things which seem more like wants than needs and someone fairly handy could do there own. I'm just wondering if anyone knows of resources or places where DIY guys congregate.
As a former marine supplier....

The major problem with building for the maritime industry and why things are so expensive is that the quality is generally higher, and the number sold I see much, much lower.

Just as an example, if you want to build a quality stainless product for anyone else 304 and simple welds are fine, maybe grind the weld a bit and call it a day. A qualitystainless weld for the maritime world needs to be tig welded, then ground, then passivate/electropolished. And for marine parts it needs to be welded at the very minimum temperature to prevent chromium dropout. It tricky, hard to do well, and results in a lot of rejected parts.

Then you sell maybe 10% the number of parts that you would in any other industry with long shelf times. All of which adds up to more expensive parts.

As for a homemade anchor... sure you can do it. But evena set of calipers won't be enough. Modern anchors are composites. Most use a steel body with lead weights to get the balance correct. So you also need to take an anchor and match the external dimensions, then add enough lead to the tip to match the balance. Off course you also need void less full penetration welds all done under inert conditions at very low temperatures followed by polishing and passivation.

I guess if you have the equipment and skill to do quality marine work you could make it for less than retail, but not if you pay yourself for the time.
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