There are many different ways of setting up an anchor trolley but are all essentially built around a continuous loop of cord running through 2 pulleys - one at the front of your kayak and one at the back. Some people use a trolley running only half the length e.g from midpoint to stern or midpoint to bow, others have full length trolleys set up on both sides of the kayak to provide more options for positioning the kayak at anchor. I use a full length anchor trolley set up on the starboard side of the kayak.
An anchor reel is also an essential piece of kit used to store the anchor line. There are many variations from expensive dive reels to a simple plank of wood. I have made my own suited to my needs.... more on that further down. So here's how i set up the anchor trolley and reel on my RTM Abaco.
Step 1 - The Anchor Trolley
- Marine sprint line - 6mm diameter and just over twice the length of your kayak
- 2 x stainless steel carbine snap hooks around 60mm in length
- 1 large aluminium hook around 100mm+ in length
- 2 x mini marine pulleys
- 2 x stainless steel pad eyes/deck loops
- 1 x zig zag cleat
- 3 x parrel beads
- Marine trifold rivets - enough to attach all the components - i used 6 on this set up.
- 1 x stainless steel ring - anything from 40-80mm will be ok
- Small length of bungee cord
- Clear silicon or Marine Goop
Once the pad eyes are in place you can clip on the small carbines and pulleys. Then set up the loop of cord that will run the length of the kayak, set up as shown in the images below, with the large carbine, beads and stainless ring incorporated into the loop. I have used a doubled up length of elastic (threaded through a stopper bead and knotted) that i have passed through the plastic D-ring on the very front of the Abaco then through the pad eye i have fitted. The carbine/pulley then clips onto this. This helps buffer some of the movement between the kayak and anchor line and keeps the loop of cord taut. The length of elastic could equally just be attached to the pad eye i fitted. At the stern the carbon/pulley is clipped directly onto the pad eye.
Once i was happy with the set up of the anchor trolley the next step was to position the zig zag cleat and rivet it in place. I position mine within easy reach of my seating position. I applied a good coating of silicon to the base of the cleat to create a waterproof seal. The cleat is used to stop the trolley sliding between the pulleys therefore keeping it held in your desired position - at bow or stern. It is also used to lock the anchor line in place.
I decided to have a go at making my own anchor reel that would allow me to easily wind on anchor line when needed whilst being able to be placed somewhere where it would be out of the way. I decided on a reel mounted onto a plastic pipe that would fit into the scupper holes on the Abaco and in the flush mounted rod holders. I managed to get an empty plastic reel used to sell cord on from the local chandlers for free as it was destined for the bin! I made a small handle on its side using a bolt/nut, a couple of washers and a small piece of plastic tube. The reel was then mounted onto a 'wall storage hook' found at the local hardware store. This is bolted to the plastic pipe as shown in the photos. A small length of wood was shaped to fit snuggly within the pipe and then chamfered to fit the scupper hole.
A buoy is clipped onto the anchor line so that it is free running. This allows the anchor reel to float should i need to unanchor at speed thus allowing me to come back and retrieve when possible. All i need to do is unclip the stainless steel ring from the large carbine on the anchor trolley and throw the whole anchor reel overboard! To stop the reel unwinding a couple of lashing loops are tied around the small peg on the metal wall hook.