Being able to anchor a kayak opens the door to new fishing opportunities. In order to anchor safely i would need to install an anchor trolley system to the new Outback. This component of an anchoring system allows for safe and easy anchoring from the bow or stern of the kayak. This is how i installed an anchoring system on the new Outback....
To safely anchor a kayak your anchor line need to enter the water at either the bow or stern of the kayak. This allows the kayak to sit in-line with the prevailing wind, tide, swell and any associated chop. Sitting in-line with the conditions allows the kayak to remain stable at anchor. The confines of a kayak make it difficult to manually reach to the bow or stern. This is where an anchor trolley comes in handy.
An anchor trolley is essentially a pulley system which allows you to move the point of anchoring along the side of the kayak from the bow to stern. It allows you to set up the anchor line at the seating position and then shuttle it to the front or back of the kayak without you having to struggle to reach anywhere.
There are various universal anchor trolley kits available but over the years i have refined my own system using high quality components.
Components Required for the Anchor Trolley
- 8m of 5mm braid-on-braid cord
- 30cm of 5mm bungee shock cord
- 3 x 60mm Stainless Steel Karabiners
- 2 x 30mm Stainless Steel Rings
- 2 x Hobie Chrome Pad Eyes
- 2 x Harken Micro Block Pulleys
- 1 x Sealect Zig Zag Cleat
- 4 x Marine Trifold Rivets
- 2 x M5 A4 Stainless Steel Pozi Pan Bolts
- 2 x M5 A4 Stainless Steel Washers
- 2 x M5 A4 Stainless Steel Nyloc Nuts
- 2 x 22mm Seasure Parell Bead for 6mm Lines
- 1 x 32mm Seasure Parell Bead for 8mm Lines
Tools & Materials required:
- Drill with 5mm Drill Bit
- Handheld Pop Rivet Gun
- Sealent/Adhesive e.g. Sikaflex Clear EBT+
Fitting an Anchor Trolley to the Hobie Outback 2019
It is then a case of fitting two pad eyes at either end of the kayak. These act as attachment points for the pulleys used in the system. I am using the Hobie Chrome Pad Eyes for this install. These pad eyes are used as standard on Hobie Kayaks so it keeps all the fittings looking the same. They also won't rust or break.
Ideally they want to be fitted close to the bow and stern. I have drilled the holes for the bow pad eye around 4 inches back from the bow using a 5mm drill bit.
I clip a pad eye directly to the stern pad eye using another karabiner. The bungee at the front allows for some buffering in the system, which helps prevent the kayak jolting the anchor line in choppy waters. It also keeps the system taut to the kayak, which allows for smooth shuttling between the pulleys. With the pulley clipped directly to the stern pad eye, this allows the point of anchoring to be as close to the stern as possible.
It is then a case of assembling the trolley cord loop. I use 5mm braid-on-braid as it is durable and does not stretch. Pass one end of the cord from top to bottom of the bow pad eye, and the other end from top to bottom side of the stern pad eye and bring the two ends together. this should see a continuous length of cord along the top side of the trolley system. To complete the trolley system we just need to join the ends of the cord using a karabiner, however the cord is not directly tied to this.
I tie each end of the cord to a stainless ring which can then be clipped to the karabiner. This serves the purpose of allowing the trolley to be disconnected forming a tow rope / towing line. Unclipping the anchor trolley and leaving the karabiner on the bow side ring allows the line to be clipped to another vessel to tow your kayak. Likewise, if the karabiner is left of the stern ring then this can be clipped onto a kayak behind you so that you can tow them. This adds versatility to the system and may come in handy when you need it most.
I also incorporate a smaller 22mm Parrel buffer bead against the stainless ring with an overhand retaining knot tied behind it. It's not essential but i like it. It can take sometimes take a few goes to tie the second ring in the right position to allow sufficient tension in the trolley cord once the rings are connected with the karabiner. Once happy with the tension, the tag ends of the cord can be trimmed and ends melted with a lighter to prevent fraying.
Some thought must be given to it's positioning. It needs to be within easy reach, yet out of the way of your paddling arc so that you don't catch your hands on it whilst paddling. It's also good if you can keep it out of the way of the seat/footwell area as this will be your route of entry for self-rescue should you need to climb back on the kayak after a capsize. A cleat can cause potential snagging so is best kept out of the area you would use to pull yourself back onto the kayak. I tend to place these just back from the seating area and the Outback has a nice flat area here for cleat installation.
On the Outback this is a tricky place to reach the back of to use bolts/washers/nuts for fixing. I used marine trifold rivets and a dollop of Sikaflex to install this to the kayak.
Using the Anchor with the Kayak Anchor Trolley
I use two types of anchor depending on what type of ground i am anchoring on. A 1.5kg folding grapnel anchor with 1m of 6mm short-link chain is great for mixed ground and rocky ground. A 1kg Bruce anchor with 1-2m of 6mm short-link chain is great for shallow sandy and muddy grounds. Sometimes a 2kg Bruce anchor is required for deeper sandy/muddy grounds or in faster tides. Both set ups use a small 1.5mm cable tie weak link to allow the anchor to trip and be pulled backwards from a snag, and this works most of the time. Some snags are just unforgiving and you have to cut free! The chain attaches to the anchor with a D-Shackle and the anchor line clips to the chain with a karabiner, making it easy to disconnect the anchor from the anchor line when on the kayak.
Using a Drift Chute / Drogue on the Kayak Anchor Trolley
I use the Hobie Drift Chute which is very good. It features a square mouth opening with a weighted bottom section and a floating top section which keeps the chute open in the water. This attaches to the anchor trolley with around 1m of cord and a karabiner. It simply clips onto the anchor trolley karabiner.
My first session on the new Outback involved anchoring and the system worked perfectly. I even caught a few Thornback Rays whilst anchored too.... result!