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Old 07-08-2017, 10:39 PM   #1
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Anchor locker revelation

Anchor locker revelation:

So ive owned this trawler for a year now. Got about three months of total time away from home port over the two seasons. Im slowly developing an understanding of the "why" of the many anomalies it has developed in more than 40 years.

The anchor chain has one of those small oval ports below the windlass. As one winds in the chain, especially the last 60 feet or so, it piles up and spills out on the deck if one is not attentive. The cure is to pause frequently and shove the chain away from the port. The boat even came with an 18" steel bar with a teak handle for this purpose. You can imagine how irritating this can be, especially when one is attempting to complete the evolution with alacrity while drifting to leeward in an anchorage.

I have sworn repeatedly at the designer who created this situation. Thinking to enlarge the port, I discovered that the entire foredeck is underlaid by a massive steel plate...okay, maybe better engineering than I thought, but I still need a fix.

Early on my familiarization process, I emptied the locker and found that my 210 feet of chain is backed by 150 feet of 3/8 nylon stranded rope. Which, by the way, is not secured at the bitter end, and I find no provision for securing it.

So yesterday, while battling the chain for the umpteenth teeth-grinding time, it dawned on me: I've been swearing at the wrong guy; the problem may not be the design, but the previous owner who filled my chain locker with space-consuming rope.

Whatdya think?

'Prof
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:55 PM   #2
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Makes sense. If you use all chain, your problems might be resolved. Can your bow carry the additional weight?

Mine holds 5/8 Brait behind the chain. It lays flatter that 3-strand...about 40% less pile height.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:10 PM   #3
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The 3/8" stranded nylon is quite small for a 41' boat anyway. I would replace it with some larger line even if it is only long enough to get all the chain out of the locker. And I would find a way to secure the bitter end to the boat.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaProf View Post
Anchor locker revelation:
The anchor chain has one of those small oval ports below the windlass. As one winds in the chain, especially the last 60 feet or so, it piles up and spills out on the deck if one is not attentive. The cure is to pause frequently and shove the chain away from the port. The boat even came with an 18" steel bar with a teak handle for this purpose. You can imagine how irritating this can be, especially when one is attempting to complete the evolution with alacrity while drifting to leeward in an anchorage.
Early on my familiarization process, I emptied the locker and found that my 210 feet of chain is backed by 150 feet of 3/8 nylon stranded rope. Which, by the way, is not secured at the bitter end, and I find no provision for securing it.

So yesterday, while battling the chain for the umpteenth teeth-grinding time, it dawned on me: I've been swearing at the wrong guy; the problem may not be the design, but the previous owner who filled my chain locker with space-consuming rope. Whatdya think?
'Prof
Two thoughts. Is this a huge issue? - only if you let it. Then how to make it not one..?

Firstly, as you have 0ver 200 ft of all chain, I doubt you ever get to the rope rode anyway. (Unless up in Alaska, as Eric (Nomad Willy), might point out). So, instead of worrying about the thickness, (3/8 is probably ok), ask if you'd ever need all that 150ft, and maybe lose the 100, leaving 50, then definitely secure it in the locker somehow. Mainly because the last 50 ft of rope comes in very handy if in an emergency, eg, you have snagged the anchor, and need to leave as soon as possible, so you can let her all out, cut the rope near the gypsy, and tie a float like a fender or something to it before letting it go over the side, for hopefully later retrieval. The shorter rope rode length can also act as a snubber if you do let all the chain out. That would make more room, for a start.

Coming to the pile of chain on the foredeck. I also occasionally have this happen and I like to up-anchor from the helm, so ducking out to push the pile over is definitely annoying - especially as the front cabin top obscures my view of the locker opening, so often quite a pile has developed before I notice. Usually, the more you have out, the more likely to happen. Then one day I thought, "why bother, why not just let what piles up, pile up..?"

It's quite safe and secure where it is, gets in no-one's way, and next time the anchor goes down, it goes back in the water anyway. If it's still there when we get to the dock it gives me a chance to wash it all down with fresh water, before feeding it quite easily manually, back down the hole into the locker, as I rinse off what's still down there anyway. Just a thought.

Some boats just have the anchor chain/rode lying in an open topped locker or tub up front anyway. Just because there is a locker down under the deck does not mean all the rode has to go back down into it every time, especially when dropping and upping quite a few times during an outing or cruise with a number of stop-overs, is I guess what I'm suggesting.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:18 AM   #5
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Two thoughts. Is this a huge issue? - only if you let it. Then how to make it not one..?

Firstly, as you have 0ver 200 ft of all chain, I doubt you ever get to the rope rode anyway. (Unless up in Alaska, ...


then definitely secure it in the locker somehow. ...


It's quite safe and secure where it is, gets in no-one's way, ...
Thanks. The short rope is a good idea, and certainly part of my plan.

As to Alaska, 5 months in Southeast and Prince William Sound definitely in next year's cruising plan.

Piling the chain on deck not workable. It only takes 3 or 4 feet to jam the windlass as I learned early on.

Securing the bitter end still problematic, as there is no fitting in the locker, and the aperture is not large enough to allow me to bring the end back on deck to lead it to the bitts.

Currently considering some sort of rod which would pull up against the plate which constitutes the top of the locker.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:47 AM   #6
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If this is an electric windlass, the teak handle bar might actually be the handle for cranking the windlass by hand.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:47 AM   #7
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Thanks. The short rope is a good idea, and certainly part of my plan.

As to Alaska, 5 months in Southeast and Prince William Sound definitely in next year's cruising plan.

Piling the chain on deck not workable. It only takes 3 or 4 feet to jam the windlass as I learned early on.

Securing the bitter end still problematic, as there is no fitting in the locker, and the aperture is not large enough to allow me to bring the end back on deck to lead it to the bitts.

Currently considering some sort of rod which would pull up against the plate which constitutes the top of the locker.

Drill a hole through a piece of 2x4, tie the anchor line through the hole.. drop it in the bottom of the locker. If it ever pulls up to the deck it will do a lot less damage that a metal rod.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:50 AM   #8
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This is a frequently discussed issue. Check previous threads.
In my anchor locker:
1 200' of chain, backed by 200' of nylon braid, 5/8" or so.
2 If I just wind in the chain, it will pile up to the bottom of the ABS pipe that guides the chain from the gypsy to the locker, then spill out till it jumps off the gypsy, so the pile has to be knocked over before that occurs.
3 If I let it pile up to just below the ABS pipe, the first time I hit a large wash or get out in a blow, it will fall over and trap the outgoing chain the next time I anchor, so I can't allow it to pile up that far and need to knock it over more frequently as it comes in.
4 I use the manual cranking handle to knock the pile over. I can do this as the chain is winding in, by reaching down through the deck fitting that is big enough to allow my arm to reach down into the locker from above. It may look awkward, but is way easier than heading below, climbing on the forepeak bed, opening the door to the chain locker and from there, knocking over the chain, every 50 ft, then returning to the foredeck to bring in some more chain.

Not being a fan of chain to chain connections, I have not considered removing the rope and substituting more chain, though if I was faced with rusted chain or for some other reason needed to replace what is there, I might go for 350' of new chain. I am not certain the problem would go away just by getting rid of the bed of rope at the bottom of the locker. It would still pile up, just lower in the locker. It would still fall over when the next big Sea Ray goes by, trapping the top 50' of chain under a ball that would be hard to untangle. The pile might be too low to reach from the fore deck, so the only option may be to have someone on chain control duty down on the front bunk.
my $0.02 worth.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:41 PM   #9
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If this is an electric windlass, the teak handle bar might actually be the handle for cranking the windlass by hand.
That's why I love TF! Would probably explain the notch near the end. Thanx.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:47 PM   #10
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Drill a hole through a piece of 2x4, tie the anchor line through the hole.. drop it in the bottom of the locker. If it ever pulls up to the deck it will do a lot less damage that a metal rod.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:53 PM   #11
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4 I use the manual cranking handle to knock the pile over. I can do this as the chain is winding in, by reaching down through the deck fitting that is big enough to allow my arm to reach down into the locker from above. It may look awkward, but is way easier than heading below, climbing on the forepeak bed, opening the door to the chain locker and from there, knocking over the chain, every 50 ft, then returning to the foredeck to bring in some more chain.
After a recent anchor/anchoring thread, I decided that I should really think about using the clutch on my windlass, something that I had never done.

Last weekend I was trying to find the problem that was causing my anchor to come up at a rotation that wouldn't all it to enter my bow roller as well as add some nylon line between chain and boat. In the process I lowered and raised the anchor probably 5 different times, letting out almost all 300' of rode each time. I noticed a couple of things.

If the rode piled up on its own, it stayed in a very steep, but acceptable pile and using the clutch to the let out the chain worked really well. If I knocked over the pile, it then trapped the near rode under the pile. This meant that the 20' of chain between roller and bottom didn't have enough weight to get the trapped chain out from under the pile when using the clutch to lower the rode. However, the windlass had no problem doing so.

My guess is that most of the time this wouldn't happen, but as Keith mentioned, if I got hit by big waves or wakes, then the pile would likely fall over trapping the rode.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:14 AM   #12
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Because the rope portions of my rodes are so seldom used, it is worth the trouble of flaking it (by hand) into these laundry hampers. This eliminates chain pile problems and keeps the rope clean and accessible for other purposes like an emergency warp.

Steve

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Old 07-11-2017, 12:19 AM   #13
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Because the rope portions of my rodes are so seldom used, it is worth the trouble of flaking it (by hand) into these laundry hampers. This eliminates chain pile problems and keeps the rope clean and accessible for other purposes like an emergency warp.

Steve

Steve, I'm a little concerned about your rode washing system you have there.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:39 AM   #14
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Just trying to save precious resources

Steve
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:48 PM   #15
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I moved along and left this issue for later, but as this summer's Alaska Cruise approaches, it keeps coming back. I was about to add more chain, but decided to look at this thread one more time. I think these two responses had the answer all along:

Quote:
Firstly, as you have 0ver 200 ft of all chain, I doubt you ever get to the rope rode anyway. (Unless up in Alaska, as Eric (Nomad Willy), might point out). So, instead of worrying about the thickness, (3/8 is probably ok), ask if you'd ever need all that 150ft, Peter B
Quote:
Because the rope portions of my rodes are so seldom used, it is worth the trouble of flaking it (by hand) into these laundry hampers. This eliminates chain pile problems and keeps the rope clean and accessible for other purposes like an emergency warp. Steve
I'll store the rope in a deck locker and shackle it to the chain in the unlikely event I need it. (And yes, I will implement the suggested bitter end solution for the chain)

Thanks to all who replied

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Old 02-25-2018, 09:54 PM   #16
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I like that Panope can mess with the anchor chain while seated, performing multiple tasks at once, so to speak.

Go to your local safety store and buy a traffic cone (or steal one - did I say that out loud?) and put it in the anchor locker so the chain piles around it. No more mess in there. And lose the 3/8" rope, its only useful to mark where you lost the anchor and rode...
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:55 AM   #17
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I have 550 feet of all chain, yet the designer of my yacht decided to give me a shallow chain locker, so like you every 40 feet or so, I have to run down from the bow , down through the salon, down through the galley and climb up on the bed and knock over the pile. So when I have had 250 feet out, this tends to keep me in shape.


So my friend Crusty would get a little say tired of waiting on me!! Of course he had stand up chain lockers!!!
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:43 AM   #18
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I'm in the process of fitting a new windlass, a Muir 3500. It has an integrated hawse hole to feed into the locker. Also changing from 300' of 5/16 BBB to 360' of 3/8 chain. I secure the bitter end by 3 strand rope, but not enough length to come through the gypsy. If I need to cut it I'll do it from within the anchor locker.

We have taken the floor of the anchor locker out. It was just wedged in place. There were gaps for water, and mud, to drain into the bilge. I did not like that at all. We put a new one in about 1' lower, this time glassed in place, and with an overboard drain. So I now have about 4'9" of height in the locker. Hopefully there will be plenty of room for the chain and no knocking over of the pile on retrieval will be needed. The BBB pile never got high enough to stop the chain from feeding down.

I'll likely flake the chain over the locker floor when first loading. I usually don't need more than 100' out in the Brisbane area. The extra is for when I'm on the outer Great Barrier Reef where I find I'm in 80' of water quite often to get enough swing room away from the coral. I would have liked a bit more chain for that, but the particular supplier I'm using has small full drums (360') only.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:57 AM   #19
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I have 550 feet of all chain, yet the designer of my yacht decided to give me a shallow chain locker, so like you every 40 feet or so, I have to run down from the bow , down through the salon, down through the galley and climb up on the bed and knock....
UNacceptable! I've had similar issues with rope rodes on sailboats in the past, but even there, I could let the whole mess pile up on deck and after clearing the harbor, go below and pull it down into the locker.

As much as I loathe my present set-up, I can wrestle with it right at the winch where the controls are, as illustrated above.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:32 AM   #20
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I have 300í of 5/16s HT in our locker. It is very deep and I donít have a problem with the chain falling over. In fact, I divided the rope locker in two so I could store my backup rode in the rope locker. Actually I could divide it into 3 sections if I had a reason to do so.
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