An anchor trolley is essential for the safe anchoring of a kayak. It allows you to set the point along the kayak at which your anchor line enters the water, usually the stern. It can be fully operated from the seating position for ease of use. I often fish at anchor for numerous species so i an anchor trolley is a must for me. This is how i installed an anchor trolley on the Hobie Revolution 16....
What is an Anchor Trolley and what is it used for?
An anchor trolley is basically a loop of cord that runs from bow to stern. The loop incorporates a karabiner or ring that the anchor line can pass through and be shuttled to either end of the kayak. Full length anchor trolleys are most common although some people prefer half trolleys that run from midship to bow or midship to stern. A midship to bow trolley works well for using a drogue.
I quite often fish at anchor so an anchor trolley and anchoring system had to be installed on the Revolution 16. It needed to be durable and reliable. I mainly anchor in waters from 6ft upto 200ft+ and in tidal flows up to approx. 2 knots. The water is often lively with chop and swell. I like the versatility of having a full length anchor trolley but there was an issue before i even started.... which side to fit it on! I'm used having an anchor trolley on the right hand side of a kayak but on the Revo 16, the paddle holder is on this side. As the paddle won't often be used and for the majority of the time be in it's holder, it would constantly be interfering with the anchor trolley. I couldn't be having that, so i opted to install the anchor trolley on the left.... i'll soon get used to it! So here is how i done it....
Anchor Trolley Components
- 4mm Braid-on-Braid - 10m
- 5mm Shockcord - 50cm
- 2 x Hobie Chrome Pad Eyes
- 2 x Harken Micro 22mm Stainless Block Pulley
- 3 x A4 (316 Marine Grade) Stainless Steel Karabiners - 60mm
- 2 x Stainless Steel Rings - 30mm
- 3 x Black Parrel Beads
- 1 x Zig Zag Cleat
- 6 x A4 (316 Marine Grade) Stainless Bolts - M5 x 20mm
- 6 x A4 (316 Marine Grade) Stainless Washers - M5
- 6 x A4 (316 Marine Grade) Stainless Nyloc Nuts - M5
- Drill with 5mm drill bit
- Screw Driver
- Marine Grade Sealant/Adhesive - see recommended Sealants and Adhesives here
- Marker Pen
Fitting an Anchor Trolley to the Revolution 16
Fitting the Stern Pad Eye
I wanted the pad eye to be as close to the back as possible without interfering with the rudder, which up hauls to the left hand side of the kayak. The pad eye will have a karabiner and pulley attached to it, so once in place should provide enough clearance between the anchor line and rudder blade to allow the rudder to be hauled if i forget to do it before anchoring.
Fitting the Bow Pad Eye
Creating the Anchor Trolley
This is the same set up i use on my RTM Rytmo and it works well however i have made one small modification this time around. Instead of letting the Parrel beads run free on the trolley line i have tied a small knot behind each one to hold them in place against the Stainless rings. I find this allows the trolley to run smoother - the beads hold the karabiner and to some extent the rings off the kayak hull wth just the beads in contact. Also, when shuttling from bow to stern (or vice-versa) the beads allow to line to smoothly hit and then run past the cleat (shown further down) without hinderance.
The Anchor Trolley positioned at the Bow of the Revo 16....
Fitting a Zig-Zag Cleat
This needs to be positioned where it can be easily accessed from the seating position but also out of the way of your paddling arc so that you don't go catching your hands or knuckles. After a bit of thought i opted for placing this approximately inline with the back rest on the Vantage seat, and above the seam line of the kayak. Holes were marked and drilled, again with a 5mm drill bit.
Adding an Anchor Reel and Anchor
The Finished Anchoring System on the Revolution 16
It should look something like this!
The Anchor trolley can also be used to position a Drogue/Drift Chute off the bow to help slow a drift in windy conditions. Simply clip the drogue line onto the anchor trolley karabiner and shuttle to the bow position, and lock off the trolley line in the cleat. The drogue opens out in the water like a parachute and slows the kayaks drift in the wind. The drogue will still move the kayak at the same speed as the tide/current but often the wind speed is more than this.