Exploring Anchor locker
Getting ready to shove off for a few weeks. The process includes cleaning up the anchor locker. The chain had moved since I last anchored, last summer, and had forced the door open. I had refinished the door, but hadn't been able to close it as the chain was not moving back by itself.
I pulled up to a vacant float at 90° to the one I am tied to. I dropped the anchor onto the float and most of the chain too.
While out, I had some paint left from my haulout, the spray on zinc that I bought to try on my running gear, so I re-galvanized the CQR and the first 6' of chain. When I wound it back into the locker, I noticed that having the last 6' marked was handy to know when to watch for the anchor coming up.
My Windlass had been re-wound last summer. The shop that did the job told me that the windlass had been abused! I was a bit miffed, as this is just a piece of machinery, so how could one "abuse" it? I confess that once, many years ago, I had trouble getting the anchor up, I had continued to use the windlass to pull on it until it did get to the surface. It brought with it about 2000 lb of steel. It had been fouled on a car hauler trailer, which I returned to deeper water a mile or so from the anchorage.
In the interim I had routinely used the windlass without any further extraordinary use, until it just didn't want to do it any more, hence the rewind.
Over the years, I have had various switches replaced, for controlling the windlass. It seemed that the foot switches were not very robust, so were replaced more than should have been necessary. The ones I have in play at the moment are micro switches covered by a red rubber dome that is exposed to your foot when you flip the cover open. They each have a pair of wires that go to the nearby solenoid, and activate the windlass in either direction.
As part of the rewind project last summer I replaced the solenoids, as both were showing some rust, but left the switches alone.
Today's project was to clean up the wiring. It seemed like every time something had been replaced, another crimp connector or two, or even three, had been added to the mess in the most inhospitable locker in the boat. I pulled out a few feet of unnecessary wire, several crimps, and put in some much shorter, more direct runs of continuous wire. Then I tried the foot switches and all worked as it should.
The paint on the anchor really improves its appearance. It looks like it just returned from the galvanizing shop. Not as nice as the shiny, polished stainless anchors some have, but lots better than the worn, rusty at the edges look it had before I started. In a week or so it will all be worn off from use, but I still have some paint left.