Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dropping the Homemade Barrel Anchor

Removing excess rebar.
Two weeks ago, I shared how we made a new anchor for our float cabin’s log boom.

A 55-gallon barrel, bag of cement, an old boom chain, sand and rocks from the beach, and water from the lake made an inexpensive weight.


We used rope to connect to the anchor.
John came up to help us with the drop. He chose heavy-duty rope rather than steel cable. It’s debatable which lasts longer. Steel rusts, rope deteriorates when exposed. John got 1 ½ inch Steel-Strength Polypropylene. It’s strong, less expensive, and safer to work with.

John laying out the rope for the drop.
We needed 200 feet of rope to reach the bottom at 120 feet and swag inward to the log boom. Extra isn’t a problem. Not enough? Well, that’s an expensive mistake. We chose to set the anchor with the water at the mid-point. That way, the log won’t be pulled underneath during high water, or sag too much during low water.

Melting the end of the rope.
John first removed the rebar protruding over the edges of the barrel. It was needed to hold the boom chain in place during curing. Now, it would be a hazard during the drop, possibly snagging the rope on the way down.

Next, John melted the underwater end of the polypropylene rope with a propane torch to keep it from fraying over time.

Knotting the rope to the end of the anchor's boom chain.
John knotted the rope around the ring of the boom chain embedded in the anchor. John knows knots. This one will tighten when pressure is applied. He then used waterproof tape to secure the tag end to keep it from floating loose.

Moving the raft with the tin boat.
Wayne used our tin boat to push the cedar log raft out to the drop location about 45 degrees from the end of the log boom’s corner, and about 50 feet distant.

That gave it a good pulling angle to keep the boom in position.


John pushing the barrel anchor overboard.
Once the drop location was reached, John gave the barrel anchor a shove and it went right to the bottom. Wayne took the raft back to the dock, and returned with just the tin boat. John picked up the floating rope and snugged to the boom log, taking out the slack.

He chiseled a notch in the log for a secure attachment, used a log staple to keep the rope in place, wrapped the log three times, and knotted the end. We had some extra rope, so John weighted the end down with a piece of old boom chain. You never know when you might need to make an adjustment.

Tying the rope to the ends of the protective boom log.

The last step was to cover the exposed rope with mill felt. This will help reduce sun damage. Now we have two anchors at this critical point on our log boom. If the old steel cable one installed in 2000 breaks, we have the new “steel” rope to take over. Now that’s a good feeling for the stormy winter months to come. -- Margy

17 comments:

  1. It looks like you know what you're doing. That scenery is gorgeous!

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  2. Such lovely scenery!

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  3. So glad it all went well! Lovely views and images. Enjoy your week ahead!

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  4. yes, better to be safe. I'd hate to think of waking up and my house is floating away.

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    1. I sometimes have dreams of that happening, but each time we come to rest with no damage. Maybe that's a good omen. - Margy

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  5. You are very lucky to have a guy like John full of knowledge of this type of thing at your disposal.

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  6. What a good idea to anchor your float deck this way! I'm sure it makes it much safer if the water gets turbulent in a storm.

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    1. That's why we wanted to do it before there were problems with the old anchor. In the middle of a storm (especially at night) there is very little that can be done safely. - Margy

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  7. Nice to be doubly safe in stormy weather. There are so many things to learn about living in a float home.

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    1. And we are so lucky to have John to teach us. It has been a huge learning curve. - Margy

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  8. Interesting procedure - it is amazing the skills that are attained when one lives in rough territory. Great photos and explanation.

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  9. Wow that's quite an endeavour but something that needed to be done.. better to be safe.
    I think the reason the potato field didn't look like spuds was the pretty sunlight on them. Potatoes here have white, blue/purple and pink flowers. A whole field of color is really pretty.
    Love the post about the cabins for sale and/or rent. I wish!
    MB

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  10. The ingenuity and expertise shown here is exceptional!!

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  11. Hi! Very interesting post! I enjoyed your former ones too. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Was good to hear from you Margy.. Good post of a major project.

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  13. Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting on My World Tuesday post. It's fun to share our off the grid adventures. - Margy

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