We’re fellow houseboaters and, like many, have been enjoying Lake Powell for decades. We understand, appreciate, and respect the culture of houseboat etiquette that’s developed on the lake over the years and do our best to abide by it.
We’ve heard the comments regarding Beach Bags running a business to “save the best spots on the lake”. It’s not our intention, or business practice to operate in that fashion, although we do understand how we, and circumstances, have caused that to happen.
Our operational objectives are to place Systems once a houseboat is enroute to its destination and to pick-up Systems as soon as possible after the houseboat departs its anchorage. We strive to ensure Systems are not left unattended for more than a few hours. We have, however experienced multiple situations where this has not occurred.
We believe acknowledging the problem is the first step to fixing it. To reduce the likelihood of these occurrences we’ve been making the following changes to our operations.
We’re adjusting operations to reduce the likelihood of houseboats leaving Beach Bags Systems unattended because our customers failed to reach their site in time, or at all, due to mechanical issues, weather issues or other circumstances.
We’re increasing our communications with customers after they’ve been anchored to improve our ability know if boats end their vacation earlier than scheduled – leaving a Beach Bags System unattended.
As the season has progressed, we’re increasing staff and equipment to be able to respond more quickly to unforeseen circumstances that would leave Systems unattended, and will continue to do so.
We started Beach Bags with the goal of providing a powerful, safe, legal, go-everywhere anchor system for better houseboating, as well as protecting and preserving Lake Powell for everyone’s enjoyment. We look forward to the journey ahead and we’ll continue to work to earn the respect of our customers, fellow houseboaters and the Lake Powell community as a whole.
The Beach Bags Team
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
West Canyon (West Side Only)
Last Chance Canyon (West Side Only)
Face Canyon (West Side Only)
Kane Wash/Cookie JarNavajo 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.
Beach Bags Anchor Systems were invented by a crew of avid houseboaters hailing from Lake Powell's Antelope Point Marina who have a successful product development and engineering firm in Scottsdale, AZ. We understand the wind speeds, gusts and storms that occur on Lake Powell and why this is probably your biggest question.
From an engineering standpoint, Beach Bag Anchor Systems are designed to provide holding power similar to stakes used for pin anchoring and have successfully held Lake Powell houseboats secure in storms exhibiting +50 mph winds. Learn more by clicking here and here.
Through our extensive research development, testing and wind loading we understand the right size Beach Bags and Beach Bags Systems needed for different houseboat sizes. We welcome emails and phone calls to chat with you about our technical work.
Select from among our various Beach Bags Anchor and System options to make the right decision for your houseboat's needs.
The extensive use of pin and stake anchors is causing significant damage at Lake Powell. The drill holes left behind accelerate erosion, weaken the slickrock shoreline and may damage the fossil record (dinosaur footprints). Additionally, pins, stakes and rebar that become trapped in the rock and left behind can injure swimmers and puncture boat hulls.
Using pin anchors and stake anchors at Lake Powell is against the law. Per the National Park Service, Pin anchoring and stake anchoring are illegal because they result in permanent, irreversible damage to the slickrock geologic and mineral resource and can weaken the integrity of the slickrock (these are violations of 36 CFR 2.1(a)(iv)), have adverse impacts to scenic/visual resources, and damage paleontological and cultural resources.
According to the National Park Service, the current fines for the use of pin anchors and stake anchors at Lake Powell are $250 per pin. Considering houseboats typically use 6-8 pins, total fines for a properly secured houseboat range from $1,500 - $2,000 per incident.
It is likely the fines for using pin anchors and stake anchors will increase beyond the $250 per pin fine. The National Park Service has indicated that a single act of pinning may, in the future, violate multiple regulations.
The National Park Service has indicated its intention to end the illegal practice of pin anchoring houseboats on Lake Powell through transitional pilot anchoring programs, education, increased enforcement and escalating fines. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.
Low water levels are rapidly changing Lake Powell’s shorelines and some of your favorite spots may now be well above the Lake’s water line. Beach Bags Anchor Systems however are quite versatile and can be placed on rock, sand, and mixed surface shorelines with slopes up to 20°. This means many houseboats can anchor in the same general areas they always have. Locations requiring the placement of anchors on steep slopes or rock walls are not serviceable with Beach Bags.
There are several ways rental and private houseboaters can use Beach Bags Anchor Systems. These include:
Do It Yourself Anchoring
Full Service Anchoring
Click herefor more details.
Yes, Beach Bags are a sack filled with water, but they’re not just any old bag. In fact, they’re specifically engineered to withstand many of the rigors and demands of the forever changing, and often unpredictable conditions on Lake Powell.
For example, as Lake levels rise and fall, your favorite spot’s shorelines can change from relatively flat sand to undulating slickrock slopes. How do you burry a fluke anchor in rock? How to you place an ordinary bag on a slope and keep it from rapidly rolling downhill, and quite possibly injuring someone, when it begins to fill? Or, how do you secure your vessel to an ordinary water filled bag and have it safely hold your houseboat during strong winds?
You don’t. That is unless you use Beach Bags. Each unit contains more than three years of R&D expertise driven by engineers and product developers possessing decades of boating and, in particular, Lake Powell houseboating experience. Our Patent Protected Beach Bags (US Patent 10,780,952) are equally effective on sand and rock, are engineered for use on slopes up to 20°, and provide superb holding power. Try houseboating with any other bag. You’ll soon discover it was meant for the trash.
Beach Bags are cleverly designed and patented (US Patent 10,780,952 ) to be filled and used on slopes up to 20°. That means you can deploy them just about anywhere (rock or sand shorelines) without worrying about them sliding or rolling downhill. Yes, Beach Bags may be on a roll, but they're engineered to stay put.
Yes. Beach Bags are specifically patented (US Patent 10,780,952)and designed for safe, convenient and effective use on rock or sand and are ideal for use on stable surfaces with slopes up to 20º. Beach Bags' holding power will vary depending on a number of factors including surface type, condition and slope, as well as their angle in relation to you're houseboat. However you're using Beach Bags, please make certain to rent the right size Beach Bags System for your boat to achieve simple, safe and effective houseboat anchoring.
Yes. There are applications where you may choose to use a combination of Beach Bags and Sand anchors (separate lines).