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Contrary to what our friend Peter, Captain of Grand Cru, implied in his comment on my post the other day, I was not really kidding when I questioned Leopard’s installation of the bow roller on the cross beam. I had only briefly considered the cleat in the anchor locker as a proper attachment point for a secondary anchor rode as I had assumed that it would lead true. Upon inspection this morning though, I can see that yes, it would basically work. While an anchor rode wouldn’t lead perfectly true from the bow roller to the cleat, it would still rub a bit on the front of the locker, it would do in an emergency situation, the only time I could see using it. And yes, the cleat has a reasonable backing plate behind it. If it were me, I’d still rig a bridle onto that rode to split the load between the hulls, and to stop the cat from sailing around at anchor. Another mystery solved, and em>Peter, I owe you yet another beer 🙂


  1. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for your excellent blog/newsletter/whatever you call it.

    I am posting this as a prelim to getting engaged with you regarding tha various merits of |Leopards versus Lagoons in teh 44-50 ft range.
    Currently my preference is Leopard but Im only just starting my search.

    I look forward to contributing to your lifestyle. I am in Cancun Mexico.


    • I don’t know all that much about Lagoons but our good friends Kirk and Donna have a 440. I’m sure they’d be happy to share info when it comes to that.

  2. Can’t tell what the fair lead would be from the photos but wouldn’t the rope rode run first to the windlass capstan before continuing to the cleat?

  3. A bridle would definetly be the way to go. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about chafe from the roller or the lead to the cleat.

  4. Hi Mike, Peter again… a couple of points if I may… I would set the first anchor on the bridle directly from those bridle strong points… then motor off at 90 degrees or so and drop the secondary via the fairlead we’re talking about… Again any of this is only necessary in extreme conditions… Can’t remember ever feeling I needed a second anchor here in the BVI’s, even in 40 knots of wind! But anyway… I would not see the need to rig up any sort of bridle on the second anchor as just running through the fairlead, even though not flared, will do the job in extreme conditions. I might come up with some sort of anti-chafe device on the fairlead just in case in extreme weather… Talking about the cleat… I would slacken the brake on the chain side of the windless having set the main anchor an use the rode side of the windless as the primary securing point and take the tail off to the cleat thereby maintain the best possible angles. One final point if I may… Those forward cleats on the main cross beam… Later Leopard 4600 ha warning stickers applied next to the cleats saying that they must not be used for mooring lines… Bizare I know, but those are the stickers applied by Robertson & Caine before the boats leave the factory ! We all ignore that signage and use them to attach twin lines to mooring balls but I guess all the factory are saying is that if the cross beam and/or cleats get damaged then don’t think you can go back to them under warranty! If you look at the yachts manual you will see that the bridle is the only attachment point that should be used for any sort of anchoring, mooring and towing! One final thing… the fairlead we’ve been discussing is perfect for lots of Ball Front, Dock rear mooring situations (Hodges Creek, Wickhams Cay, Village Cay etc. And for leaving the boat on a hurricane slip during the summer… You can set the distance from the dock with your stern lines an then apply huge amounts of pressure at the bows, via the rode side of windless, this will ensure that the bow lines will not have sufficient slack to let you fall back and come into contact with the dock. Something that otherwise can only be achieve by setting the bow lines, motoring back as hard as you can, drifting forward, shortening again and by trial and error find sufficient tension so that you can leave the yacht on the dock as safe as she can be during hurricane season! (Obviously pinned in between fingers with a dozen lines and lots of tires etc etc etc)

  5. Ah well, I’m glad you have found an answer you can agree with on this. Well done Peter.

    As you saw, several other people told you the same, or similar.

    For once, possibly the first time ever, I disagree with Drew. You can be towed over this slightly of centre roller perfectly well, you just set the rudders very slightly to one side, and it works. Done it, with a powerful fishing boat and a Lagoon.

    You could well have your kedge permanently set on that roller and back to the cleat. This is good for emergencies. It is also good for quick simple anchoring for lunch or a short snorkel, without the full procedure for anchoring with the bower and all the bridle procedure required because it is deployed from back near the mast.

    Just my penny-worth. 🙂


    • Well, my question was not really “what is it for?” My question was how is it supposed to work, specifically regarding the attachment point. I wrote…

      “The easy assumption is that it’s for a secondary anchor but if that’s really the designers’ intent, how is it supposed to work? Even if the rode was flaked out on the trampoline before letting the anchor go, how would the bitter end of the rode be secured to the boat? Also, what’s with the pin on that roller? What kind of anchor could that possibly secure? For the record, this bow roller exists on every 4600 and if I’m not mistaken, on other Leopard models as well. That said, I have never come across a single Leopard with an anchor anywhere near that roller. Anyone care to take a crack at explaining this to me?”

      It is definitely not an appropriate spot to leave an anchor rigged all the time so would not be good for anything other than emergency use IMO. We do keep a couple of other anchors nearby though.

  6. Now that I see the full setup, I would speculate that this is really a roller fairlead for the warping drum on the windlass, opposite the gypsy. The fairlead could be used to weigh an auxilliary anchor or also possibly to retrieve a sea anchor or drogue.

    FWIW, we have a similar horizontal windlass (Lofrans Falkon) with a chainwheel to starboard and a warping drum to port. The windlass was mounted with the chainwheel on the centerline, the chain leading straight forward to the anchor roller. With our solid bulwarks forward, we had no way to really even use the warping drum, and we ended up cutting another hole in the bulwark forward of the drum and fitting it with a hawsepipe so we could at least use the drum to retrieve our auxilliary anchor or our Jordan Series Drogue. No good way to fit a roller there, unfortunately, so we will just have to put some chafe protection down and winch the lines through the bare hawsepipe.

  7. ^^… though before I used the capstan to warp the boat I would think about whether it is rated for continuous load. Very few are, and are intended only for raising chain. Read the manual to be certain.

    Every time I’ve been faced with a warping challenge we used the primaries.

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