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Anchor Roller, Sampson Post & Toe Rails

In setting up the fore deck of Storm Petrel I wanted to achieve a number of functions: 
  • A good bow roller for my smaller 18lb anchor to live on so it could be deployed quickly and easily. 
  • A good Sampson post for general tying off anchor lines and other secure lines. 
  • A bomb proof attachment for the fore stay. 
  • A toe rail around the fore deck for general tying and good hand holds for climbing aboard from a canoe or dingy. 
  • Last but not least, a hawse pipe down into the chain locker that was weather proof. 

Oh yeah, I wanted to build it all out of salvaged and recycled materials!

Philip Merchant  M20 “Storm Petrel”

(Click on images to enlarge)

foredeck1.jpg (28537 bytes)

The overall result

sampson.jpg (24258 bytes)

The Sampson post (similar to a mooring bit) is built out of the base of an aluminum satellite dish frame. It is hollow and the hawse pipe is inside (see later photos). It is bolted through the deck with a generous backing plate and a piece of oak that is also bolted under the deck to the chain locker bulk head. (One of the Coast Guard’s common complains is deck cleats that pull off in tow). You could suspend the boat from this post. The post is fitted to the curve of the deck and mounted on a plastic base with good drainage (see previous stanchion base article). The corners of the post are protected with high density plastic (used for hockey rink boards and cutting surfaces) to avoid chafing lines. Bolted to the sides of the post are two pieces of aluminum angle that extend forward to form the bow roller. The “bit” (horizontal pin) is ¾ inch solid aluminum bar stock with plastic caps to finish ends. In the top aft edge are both a cutout to allow passage of line and a slot for chain. In the top just for options is a hole for a line that can be plugged by a standard marine drain plug (as seen with keeper chain not yet secured).
hawse_pipe.jpg (29400 bytes)

The top cap is just held tight with a piece of good bungee cord but a more secure system is in the planning (probably with a gasket and ski boot buckles which are very good all purpose adjustable weather-proof clasps that can be salvaged by the dozen). 
The actual hawse pipe is a PVC threaded tank fitting well caulked to the deck and standing about two inches high. This way any water that gets in does not go into the chain locker but rather drains away from in the Sampson post. I am thinking about putting a bow light in the top of the post but this might get too busy. The wiring, if protected, could just pass down the hawse pipe.

foredeck2.jpg (31712 bytes) The deck set up shown above has the anchor in place ready to be deployed. A keeper pin holds it in secure with a line aft for release from the cockpit. The shank of the anchor has PVC water hose over it to reduce dents and damage to the deck.
roller.jpg (36072 bytes) The roller is just a boat trailer bow bumper on a stainless steel bolt (with a smooth shaft). Lines are lead forward through fair leads and protected from chafing with small fire hose. The sides of the aluminum angle are protected with slabs of high density plastic that widens at the roller to give some chafing protection to the anchor line when deployed.
attachment_point.jpg (19802 bytes)

There are attachment points for the forestay and the jib pendant which attach slightly off center (due to the anchor shaft). The original fitting is still used.

side_view.jpg (26977 bytes) The bow roller has the appearance of a short bow sprit (or “bumpkin”) and gives the boat a rather good appearance. A stainless steel turn buckle serves as a miniature “dolphin striker” and both supports the bow roller and counters the pull of the fore stay and jib.
toe_rails.jpg (24653 bytes) The fancy toe rails that both strengthen the deck and provide great attachment points, butt into the front of the cabin with stainless fittings (which I actually bought). These two railings are handrails from the cab of a transport truck and were salvaged from a local dump. The shape works just fine.        

Last updated  26 February, 2007 - © Matilda Owners Association.