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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Great Malvern
    Posts
    2,508

    Default Flook the Flying Anchor

    About 12 or 13 years ago I bought a shed load of these Australian anchors and sold most of them through a limited dealer network. I had test results, and videos, and testimonials but I had never used one.

    As time went by all were sold except one that's been growing verdigris outside my barn for years. It's one of a few I had powder coated in garish colours for a boat show.

    Anyway, being a boat owner again I took it with me last weekend. "Baltic Air" was parked off the beach and I was bored, so I tied a long old halliard to the end of it and launched it belly flop style over the stern. As advertised it flew away from the boat, I watched it go through the clear water like a ray on heat until it came to rest on the sand. Following the advice I had read a thousand times I gave a heave on the line to open it into the anchor shape and dig it in.

    I thought that was a good experiment until I came to leave. I could not break that thing out by hand, it was a LEACH! I was in shallow water and didn't want to take up the main anchor and use the windlass facing the beach for fear of becoming driftwood, so I walked the rode forward and tried to pull it up on the drum of the windlass leaving the main anchor down. There followed a tug of war in which the CQR won, but it's a really heavy old girl, and the fight was long and hard, and the Lofrans squeaked and complained, until finally old Flook gave up its hold on the sea bed.

    So, 13 years too late, I can confirm by personal experience that "Flook the Flying Anchor" works very well in sand. Just as a final thought I met the inventor in Paris all those years ago, and I talked to him in my English voice about "Flook the Flying Anchor", and he said to me, "No mate, it's 'Fluck the flyin anchor', which I guess is the final word.

    <hr width=100% size=1>John
    http://www.on-line-marine.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Dover
    Posts
    5,051

    Default Surprising.

    I have a dim and distant memory that these anchors were tested by PBO (or maybe YM) many years ago and slated as quite unable to get a grip. Is that not true then?

    If they really worked they would of course be ideal for kedging.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Nr Plymouth
    Posts
    3,571

    Default Re: Surprising.

    Hi Andrew,

    Yes, I think I remember those too. Wasn't the idea that you lobbed the thing over the stern, and it would glide out 'a long way', so that you could use it as a kedge to haul you off the putty when you went aground.

    At first I thought, what a damned good idea, then thought about it some more. It occurred to me that at the rate of descent and travel advertised, and bearing in mind how shallow the water would be when I'd gone aground (in my case 5' 3") the rotten thing would only have glided about twelve feet from the boat!! The chances of it burying well enough to give a sensible pull, was negligible!!

    Seems like others thought so too! Perhaps Milltech snagged it on a stone or something. Interesting to see it crop up again though.

    Cheers

    Jerry

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Great Malvern
    Posts
    2,508

    Default Re: Surprising.

    Snagged a stone! SNAGGED A STONE!! Outraged of Finchampstead here. Actually I don't remember a PBO write up, I'm sure I would have done, but you may be right.

    I think the light weight, moving parts and limited potential for absorbing catenery (sp?) action without a chain would make it a bad choice for a main anchor, but as a kedge or stern anchor probably pretty good. I don't think you can criticise it on the basis of your own draft, that's like saying a Rolls Royce is useless because it won't hold my 13 kids or carry my builders waste.

    Anyway I don't suppose it's made anymore, so one for the history books. Perhaps I'll put mine on eBay....but I have to admit to having been impressed.

    <hr width=100% size=1>John
    http://www.on-line-marine.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Nr Plymouth
    Posts
    3,571

    Default Re: Surprising.

    Pax John!!

    I don't really know if the one I read about was similar to yours or not, but they didn't get a good write-up in whatever mag it was at the time. The problem wasn't the holding if the anchor was rowed out, or dropped in the normal way to a sensible scope, but that the advertising indicated, as i mentioned, it's 'special suitability' in the situation I described!

    Of course, with a ratio of about two and a bit to one (in my case) the anchor couldn't get a grip and so was rated as pretty useless.

    Hope you're not still outraged!! Seems like yours set very well, judging by your post.

    All the best

    Jerry



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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Fife
    Posts
    2,199

    Default Still available?

    John. Within the last couple of years I bought two ( one small, one larger ) cost just over £20 from Jimmy green marine.

    They were bought as disposable back up anchors more for kedge or tender use.

    I have never used them yet.

    Look quite light construction.

    Iain

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Great Malvern
    Posts
    2,508

    Default Re: Still available?

    There were originally three sizes. I did sell off my final inventory to someone but I can't remember who, it could have been Jimmy Green. I think I would be surprised if they were still being imported but you never know.

    <hr width=100% size=1>John
    http://www.on-line-marine.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Great Malvern
    Posts
    2,508

    Default Re: Surprising.

    I was thinking, as you do, about your comments on the depth of water. Assuming you'd run aground I presume you would know where deeper water lay, and that it would be very close to the boat. So you would launch the Flook anchor in that direction and the distance it might travel is not going to be governed by where you are, but by where it's going.

    <hr width=100% size=1>John
    http://www.on-line-marine.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Nr Plymouth
    Posts
    3,571

    Default Re: Surprising.

    Hi John,

    Yes, I see your point, and in those conditions it might work. But I suppose I'm thinking of the River Tamar where my mooring is situated. A mile or so above the bridges, it gets shallow ..... full stop!! There ain't no deep to shallow, so unless you could spin the anchor over your head (throwing the hammer style!) as an alternative, there's just no chance of it 'gliding' far enough to be of any use!

    Theory's good though.

    Cheers

    Jerry



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