I have an 1983 Keith Steele drift boat that I have restored and I am trying to make the anchor lock function.  It wont let the rope easily run out when I want to drop anchor unless I hold this piece down with my toe. I have taken the anchor lock apart and this is the main catch mechanism. It seems to me there should be a spring that holds it into the open position to allow the rope to run freely, then an upward pull of the rope  causes this device to pop up and cinch the rope.  I don't see any evidence of a spring, or hooks for a spring on the mechanism, so what holds it open>

My other thought is that my anchor rope is too old and I need a new smooth rope, which will slide through this assembly. So, am I missing a spring or do I just need a new rope?

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If your goal is to restore your boat to how Keith built it in 1983, then you should know that anchor system is not original to the boat.  Keith's anchor system was a hole in the transom thru which the rope passed under the guide's seat and thru a marine pulley mounted on the right rib in front of the guide which the guide pulled back until it was jammed in a marine cleat which was part of the guide's seat.  To release the anchor you just free the rope from the cleat.  If 100% restoration is your goal, you can buy the parts from his sons' boatshop.  541 451 1532.  The original anchor system is crappy;  the rope easily gets unintentionally out of the jam cleat.  I have kept the original system in one of my boats because Keith would have been pissed if I modified it, and since his passing I have wanted to keep it pure Keith.  On my other Steele I switched anchor systems as soon as I could!

Thanks David, I have heard this from others.  I have tried to keep it close to original but I fiberglassed the bottom to seal up the hundreds of holes from decades of owners redriving ring nails trying to hold down a shoe. I also need a safe boat to take my grandkids out in, so I need a reliable anchor lock. My anchor lock is shown in the photo (note bolts and pulleys are missing because I have dissassembled it). Interesting note is that my boat was made for a guide in eastern Idaho, yet this anchor lock is made by Steele Welding in Lebanon, Oregon, which I assumed meant it came with the boat. Was that a relative of Keith's? I would like to keep this piece since it seems to have been with the boat for a while and should work effectively if I can clean it up.

OK, with this info you may be able to get a solution.  Steele's Welding Shop is Steve Steele, one of Keith's sons.  Steve is still building wood boats and great trailers in Lebanon, OR.  Call the number I posted yesterday, not the one in the last photo (that was Steve's number before he moved).  He still has miscellaneous boat and trailer stuff from the past, or may be able to tell you what you need and who he bought a part from.  Glad you are keeping the old Keith afloat, and Steve will be also.

I finally talked with Steve Steele about this and he says they sold boats with this anchor lock for a year or so and found it tended to bind and not free wheel line out, so they changed systems.  He suggested taking the locking mechanism out and adding a cam cleat to the rower's seat, which is what I have done.


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