Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stern Tie Reel

When anchoring in British Columbia it is very normal to use a "stern tie", to keep your boat from swinging around the anchorage. 

In the Pacific Northwest we don't have much wind in the summer to keep all the boats aligned when anchored; with 10 to 20-feet of tidal height change between Seattle and Alaska, the chance of boats swinging and touching in a tight anchorage is too large to risk.

The solution is to run a "stern tie" line ashore, around a fixed object like a ring or tree stump, and back to the boat.  The stern line pulls the transom of your boat towards the beach, keeping your anchor line taut.  The stern lines are typically 300-400 feet long and made of 5/16" or 3/8-inch polypro line.  The inexpensive polypropylene is ideal as it floats and is normally a bright color like yellow whch makes it easy to spot if you are cruising around in your dinghy.

I have long searched for a "reel" good solution.  Many boaters will use a plastic hose reel and are embarrassed by its appearance, but appreciate its simple functionality.  If you search the internet you will find a variety of recycled line reels and PVC pipe home brew set ups, extension cord reels that don't quite hold enough line, and overly elaborate custom mounts.

Brooks Marine in Anacortes, WA makes the simplest and best I have found.  They run about $230.  Steph reports he has a few more in the shop, but is not sure if he is going to make another batch.  Brooks Marine is at 360-299-2956.  You might want to hurry!

Let me know if you have a good alternative.  Email me at

PS:  The reel pictured is aboard Forever FridayYou can buy the reel and the boat here.

New Listing: 2008 American Tug 34 w/ EC Package

2008 American Tug 34     Cracker Jack    $344,500

EC Package with extended side rails, sliding doors and hydronic heat!
Cracker Jack has been beautifully kept by her original owner. “Whisper Grey” colored hull with “Polar White” deck, she looks great and is timeless in appearance.
In late 2008 the American Tug 34 received an upgraded standard equipment list. Some of the changes were to certify the AT-34 for export to the European Community (EC), and other changes were just nice updates. The mid-year model changes included extended length stainless side rails, sliding pilothouse doors, an aft door with 3/4 glass, Hurricane hydronic furnace system with zone heat, and interior doorways with arched tops. Cracker Jack was built to this new spec.

Ordered from the AT factory with all the best options including; Sapele & Maple salon sole, Magnum Energy 2kw inverter & extra battery, Stern thruster, Village Marine watermaker, full-height door windows, shaft line cutter. She even has the large Buell double trumpet air horns!

Full details and over 60-photos are here.

An integrated Furuno navigation suite includes: NavNet 3D 12″ color multifunction display with GPS & chart plotting, 4Kw radar, and high-power fish finder. Integrated wth Furuno NavPilot autopilot, Furuno FI-50 Multi and Wind instruments. An Icom IC-M502 VHF radio completes the electronics package.

Hull #124 is an extremely late model boat with gorgeous sapele joinery work, excellent interior & exterior colors and all the popular options and upgrades. She is in really great shape and shows a pride of ownership. Professionally maintained and ready for your family’s next Expedition.

Call Steve Scruggs, CPYB and let’s go see Cracker Jack in Gibsons, BC. I sold her new and this is a great boat. I have sold nearly 60 American Tugs and am a great resource for you, I really know these boats. Anytime at 206-321-2164.

 Thank you, Steve