AnchoRight – new anchor chain solution goes from strength to strength

AnchoRight manufactures a new anchor chain marking solution in Dorset, UK. What started as a pipe dream has grown into a fully fledged operation, with the company taking its first international online orders within a couple of weeks of launching and its first overseas distribution order within a couple of months. Here, Quinton Watts, managing director, discusses the concept and building the business.

“I have always been immersed in the world of boats, owning my first, a Shakespeare Magnum 15, when I was 15,” explains Watts. “Throughout the years, I’ve had my fair share of anchoring adventures, including a memorable incident as a 13-year-old on a Grand Banks, where we found ourselves dragging anchor during an overnight storm off the northern coast of Mallorca. I came on deck to see a sheer cliff looming a few metres behind the transom and was handed a life jacket and spotlight to ‘keep an eye on the rocks’….. enough said.

“Much like many leisure boaters, I’ve dutifully marked up my chain as part of the spring seasonal ritual, the only challenge really being deciding how to best make it last a whole season. Paint wore off, cable ties broke off (or sliced hands) and pop-in markers popped back out. A problem faced worldwide by so many boaters. I determined there simply must be something better. It was this thought that sparked the birth of AnchoRight in February 2022, with the goal of revolutionising the anchoring experience overall. Accompanying this was a big incentive to address the negative environmental impact caused by traditional methods such as paint and plastic markers.”

Watts started tinkering with the idea of a solid chain marker which would hold itself in place, endure for numerous seasons, reduce paint and plastic pollution in the sea and essentially be simple, intuitive and well suited to inexperienced leisure boaters and their guests. “I proceeded to toy with different ideas, using a 3D printer and CAD software to create prototypes,” he continues. “Through numerous iterations and testing on my own and my father’s anchor chains, I gradually developed the concept of a durable and user-friendly solid chain marker.”

The early prototypes paved the way for further development, leading to the evolution of a wide range of colours and a customisable guide plate as a reference tool. Watts continued to refine the design, moving from 3D printing to injection moulding to ensure consistent quality and durability. This transition allowed AnchoRight to meet growing demand and provide boaters with a reliable and long-lasting chain marker solution.

“We firmly believe in providing constant support to our customers, ensuring their utmost satisfaction with our premium-quality products. In line with this principle, we guarantee a no-quibble response to address any concerns or issues that our customers may have regarding their purchase.”

Stepping out of the increasingly fickle cyber security industry in November 2022, Watts decided to take a break from corporate life and give the chain markers a 12-month push to see what could be achieved.

“I registered AnchoRight as a company, applied for patents for both the chain marker and guide plate and started networking within the marine industry. AnchoRight’s drive and success is not solely attributed to my efforts. Collaborative partnerships have played a vital role in the company’s growth. Working with Ginger Agency, for marketing in the marine industry, and Barrow International for efficient overseas distribution, AnchoRight has gained exposure and expanded its reach.

“Currently, we have six European distributors stocking our products and our webshop has successfully served customers from 21 countries worldwide, from Hawaii to Iceland and Singapore. While the majority of orders are for smaller chains, private orders for larger chains have come in from owners of a Fleming 65, Arksen 85, Sunseeker 75 and Oyster 885, to name just a few.”

AnchorRight chain markers for anchors

The product range now comprises chain markers for 8, 10, 12 and 14mm chain in 15 colours, which allows boaters to mark each position with a colour and can in turn be referenced from the customisable guide plate.

“We are actively exploring new product developments to assist in evening/night-time anchoring, with an internet of things-style technology potentially being incorporated,” adds Watts.

“I was once asked what advice I’d give my younger self in seven words. It is fair to say I have adopted this now as a personal mantra – ‘watch, listen, learn, adapt, be humble’. This has enabled me to take on board feedback from customers, distributors, manufacturers and marine specialists, all of which has served to influence and augment the product certainly for the better.

“Looking ahead, our vision for AnchoRight is to make anchoring as safe and intuitive as possible, for experienced and novice boaters alike, as it is imperative to know how much chain is deployed. It is clearly a little worrying that one of the most important parts of anchoring is currently being serviced by cans of spray paint, pots of whatever is left in the garage and bits of plastic that pollute the sea when they come free. AnchoRight is a huge step towards a safer, cleaner and easier solution all round.”

Following the 2023 Southampton Boat Show, AnchoRight is in talks with two premium boatbuilders, has a membership scheme in the pipeline with the Cruising Association and is forging a partnership with members of the Westerly Owners Association.

Due to its increasing popularity, AnchoRight now has distributors in another four countries. It is also working on a solution for superyacht anchor chains with an Italian manufacturer, among other innovative projects for 2024.

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