Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Repairing a Broken Anchor Cable

The boat dock behind the cabin.
Our float cabin and docks are anchored in place with heavy steel cables. Because steel rusts over time, they sometimes break at key pressure points.

One day while we were entering the back of our water lot, I noticed that one of the cables that anchors our boat dock to an old tree snag was broken.

Fortunately, it was snagged on the secondary cable. We like to have two at each anchor point just in case, a  good thing this time.

Wayne used the tin boat and temporarily reattached it with a rope. Later, our good friend John came up to help with a permanent repair.

John pulling up the boat dock end of the cable.

Since it was already secured with a rope, the next thing Wayne and John had to do was take the pressure off the far end by raising the cable up out of the water. Did I mention it was made of steel? That means it's very heavy.

John uses a log to support the cable's weight.

John is a master aquatic engineer. He figured the process out in his mind and adjusted as needed as he went along. They borrowed the log we use to keep floating debris out of our natural swimming pool.

A notch at the end of the log holds the cable in place naturally.

John situated the log at the dock end and used a pike pole to raise the cable up. A natural notch at the end kept the cable from slipping off. Once the cable was half way down the log, he drove a log staple over it, but with enough room for the cable to slide through.

Driving a log staple over the cable to hold it in place at the middle of the log.

When the cable got to the far end of the log, he used another staple to hold it in place. Using the boat as a platform, he fed the cable through until the log was a little over half way to the snag. This reduced the weight of the cable because it was no longer hanging low in the water.

Another staple at the end of the log allowed John to feed the cable through.

At the stump, John and Wayne used the pike pole to pull the cable up, trim it, wrap a good section around the snag, and secure it with large clamps. The repair shortened the cable, but it still sinks deep enough to get Wayne’s sailboat out without snagging the keel.

Once the log was half way to the stump it took off enough pressure so they could work.

At some point, the whole cable will need to be replaced, but for now it makes a good secondary connection (just in case we need it again). And the log got to go back on swimming pool duty. -- Margy

16 comments:

  1. Lucky you have people you trust nearby for fixes like this :)

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    1. It sure is! We don't have the tools or skills to do it alone. - Margy

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  2. Oh my, what a job. I often moan about the maintenance around here but I thinks you out did me on this one.

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    1. It isn't the first cable to go. Seems like there is always one that needs replacing. - Margy

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  3. My friends up at Second Narrows did the same thing year, though they had to replace a cable, it was 2 short pieces.

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    1. Cable is expensive, sometimes you can salvage two shorter pieces that can work for a few more years. - Margy

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  4. Interesting little challenges you face on a floating home!

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    1. It's always something, but in the last two years we've had to redo quite a few things: anchors, cables, decks, bridges, etc. - Maryg

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  5. Your river seems so calm, does it also expand often? I am not a water person as i am scared of depths even our place is a small peninsula. I cannot go deep more than half waist, or i already felt drowning. Funny, but that's real. By the way during our latest typhoon a big boat sank and 18 crews still missing. Only 14 are saved. Fortunately, the boat is just in our bay hiding from the storm, but still gave in!

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    1. We actually live on a large lake. The lake does rise and fall over the seasons, maybe up and down twelve or so feet. But it is a very deep lake so it doesn't expand or contract very much. Wearing a life jacket gives you a much greater chance of surviving when a boat sinks. We always wear ours on the water, but lots of people don't bother. - Margy

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  6. Oh wow, Margy. Sounds like quite the operation. Aren't you glad you didn't have to do the heavy work? I've always admired you for living up there. It's beautiful, no doubt about that, but someone like me would be useless in an emergency. Bravo, all three of you.
    K

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    1. That's why it's good to be the photographer. I can also carry stuff, hand out tools and fix lunches for the guys. Everyone helps in some way. - Margy

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  7. That's something I know nothing about but I bet you are an expert now! It's good to get it fixed before it caused a lot of trouble.

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    1. We keep learning as John helps us with projects. Sometimes we don't have the necessary tools or talents, so he takes over for us. - Margy

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  8. John is a gem, but then so must you two be, to have him helping you!

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    1. It would be really hard for us to live up the lake without his help, that's for sure. - Margy

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