Backpinning Data Collection Program


Backpinning Data Collection Program

Beach Bags Anchor Systems are a pin-less solution for anchoring houseboats on Lake Powell’s rock shorelines. There are however some instances where pins are temporarily being used in conjunction with Beach Bags Anchor Systems.

This anchoring method is called “backpinning” and is performed under a temporary pilot program authorized by the National Park Service that is set to expire in October 31, 2022. Backpinning involves placing pins on the rear of a Beach Bag Anchor. It’s currently used on less than 30% of Beach Bags anchorings, and only on houseboats 80’ and larger.

Backpinned houseboats are first anchored with a Beach Bags System sized appropriately for the houseboat. System sizing includes a safety factor of approximately 1.3 to 1.5. The backpins are then selectively placed to provide an additional “safety net” while Beach Bags is collecting real-world wind loading data, via portable measuring systems, installed on select backpinned vessels.

To date, no large houseboats, despite being out in very windy conditions over the past several weeks have engaged their backpins to hold the boat - Beach Bags are successfully holding on their own. We look forward to publishing the collected windloading data soon.

 The ultimate objectives of the temporary authorization to backpin are twofold:

  • To allow Beach Bags to collect the real-world windloading data necessary to definitively size Systems, determine the viability of using these systems on very large houseboats, and phasing out the use of pins, as soon as possible, altogether.
  • To provide owners of very large houseboats the peace-of-mind of knowing they are safely and securely anchored during this temporary backpinning and data collection period.

Backpinning is restricted to a handful of locations on the lake per the National Park Service authorization. The locations, from uplake to downlake are:

  • Oak Creek Bay
  • Wetherill Canyon
  • West Canyon (West Side Only)
  • Last Chance Canyon (West Side Only)
  • Face Canyon (West Side Only)
  • Kane Wash/Cookie Jar
  • Navajo Canyon

Per the NPS authorization, holes created by backpinning must be tracked using GPS coordinates so they can be re-located and restored. The National Park Service is currently exploring various methods for their restoration.

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