When you’re pulling up an anchor or a crab pot, you’ll get a better purchase on the line if you get up next to the rail, but putting your weight so far off center in a small boat might bring the gunwale uncomfortably close to the water. The alternative is to sit in the middle of the boat to keep it on an even keel, drag the line over the gunwale, and wear through the paint or varnish.

The Pocket Puller holds line clear of the gunwale, preserving the finish. The fairlead and jam cleat allow for one-handed operation.both photos by the author

The Pocket Puller holds line clear of the gunwale, preserving the finish. The fairlead and jam cleat allow for one-handed operation.

The Pocket Puller is a device for pulling anchors and pots back aboard small boats. It’s made of cast aluminum and fits in a standard 1/2″ rowlock. I’ve only used the Pocket Puller in the rowlocks that I have for rowing, but you could install another socket specifically for the Pocket Puller anywhere on the boat. A nylon sheave on a stainless-steel axle brings the line turn the corner outboard so it’s not scarring the rail or bringing lot of water aboard. Inboard the Pocket Puller has a fairlead and jam cleat that takes line from 1/4″ to 1/2″. A diagonal slot in the side lets you slip a line into the fairlead and keeps it captured there when it’s under tension.

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