Preview: How to Build and Use an Outhaul to Anchor a Boat

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Here is a system that allows you to disembark from your boat or dinghy when you are unable to land ashore.  It also secures your boat so that a drop in the water level won’t leave it high and dry or banging against the rocks. Whether you call it a clothesline or an outhaul, it’s slicker than moss, and it’s easy to do.

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10 Responses So Far to “How to Build and Use an Outhaul to Anchor a Boat

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    Alan Berdoulay says:

    I too would like to know how you’d store the excess anchor rode at the cross…..?

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    Gilberto Sanchez says:

    I use a similar “clothesline” system to tie-off in my dinghy. But I don’t have the floating cross. Instead, I simply run the “clothesline” through the last link of a short chain attached to the anchor. Otherwise, the operation is the same.

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      Reiner Gudd says:

      I just bought a 20ft Gaff Cutter with a 2ft keel so I have to use this System. I was just going to ask why not go straight to your Anchor with the clothesline …..I agree Gilberto that has to work too and the line pulls more horizontal on the Anchor.

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    David Platt says:

    My experience with these rigs tells me (a) how important it is to keep the two halves of the haul out line separated — by tying them off to a pair of stakes on shore; and (b) that it’s important to protect the “running” hole on the cross/buoy from wear, by fastening a little hardwood crosspiece to the end facing the shore where the line would otherwise wear a notch in short order. The scope of the mooring is less important than one might think, since tension on the running line will keep the boat more or less in one position — it won’t circle the cross/buoy as an ordinary mooring arrangement would.

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    Rob Macks says:

    Thanks this video adds some clarity to the method.

    I wish you had shown attaching the anchor rode to the cross and how you stowed the excess rode at the cross. That must be a neat trick!

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    Jonathan Mc Donald says:

    I would very much like to live in Maine.

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    Neil Moomey says:

    This works. I’ve been experimenting with systems like this for many years and now I’m using a Purse Ring with 12 inches of gangion line and a 16 oz cannon ball The weight tied to the bottom of the ring keeps the ring oriented vertically. The system is very compact and weeds on the line will go through the ring. For the big tides in AK I use 300ft of floating line. A 4 inch steel ring will work as a substitute.

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      Neil Moomey says:

      Oh, I tie a small float to the top of the ring too.

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    Ben Fuller says:

    I use an outhaul pretty much permanently to hold various small boats on mudflat in my cove. For a long time I used a cross, and had to deal with it getting waterlogged and sinking. Light came on one day and instead of tying off to a single point on the shore I put a carbiner on a strop and fastened it to a stake, basically spreading the legs, which keeps things from twisting.

    Since my boats are too small to carry a cross, I do the same thing with a ring to which the anchor rode is fastened, and a big ‘biner with a strop. I’ve never had a problem finding an extra tree or rock to spread the legs of the haul out.

    My boats are pretty small I’ve been able to get away with potwarp for the haulout and anchor line.

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      Robert Blais says:

      Can you draw this? I’m confused by how it works…


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