Say hello to the Anchor Retrieval System (ARS). It is very popular among saltwater anglers who use one or two sets of ground fishing tackle while fishing at the bottom and fishing on inland rivers. But the system is also becoming more popular among the general boating public.
The ARS consists of four components: a vinyl solidified buoy with a large wire hole connection point; a short wire; a stainless steel spring clip and a so-called appropriate device, an anchor ring. The size of the buoy corresponds to the weight of the anchor and chain as it must provide sufficient buoyancy to float the weight onto the surface. When you use these components together, one end of the wire is connected to the wire hole of the buoy and the other end is connected to the spring clip. These joints are usually done by stitching the braided wire, but you can purchase a pre-assembled system so you don’t have to worry about having to learn the ropework.
The picture below was taken on Duct Work, a Yamaha-powered 31-foot CapeHorn® center console for a bottom fishing trip with Capt.Phil Leo. The ARS is used multiple times during the day, making it easy to retrieve large Danforth® anchors and long chains from 130 feet deep.
When you need to pull the anchor, either pull it by hand or use the engine to slowly move the boat forward so that you can take a part of the ride to the side. Slide the anchor ring over the ride.
Slide the spring clip over the two rings on the anchor ring, effectively closing the circle and throwing the buoy out of the boat. Wrap around the spring cleat on the boat.
Carefully advance forward, slightly away from the position where the anchor falls, forming a loop in the ride between the boat, the buoy and the anchor.
At slow speeds, drive the boat forward past the anchor point. As you get further and further away from the anchor, the ride will hold the buoy and open the anchor from the bottom. As you move on, the ride will slide over the anchor ring and the buoy will bounce on the surface or slightly below. The anchor will reach the surface and be captured within the anchor ring. When this happens, the buoy will bounce more violently and turn from side to side. When you drive or slowly drift back to the buoy, stop the boat and turn the boat to the buoy to retrieve the ride. When the buoy is almost at the side of the boat, carefully lift the chain and secure it to the boat, taking care not to scratch or apply gel coat.
The entire process takes much less time and effort than lifting the anchor point by hand, and it is easier to arm and back the poor soul called the “weighing anchor.”
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