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Old 29-11-2007, 17:59   #1
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Anchor locker too shallow-pyramid of rode!

On both my power and sailboat the anchor lockers are too shallow and the rode pyramids until the windlass jams. Reducing the amount of rode is not an option. Has anyone tried adding a cone or ? in the locker to help disperse the rode more widely?? Both boats are all chain rode. Reducing the size of chain is also not an option.
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Old 29-11-2007, 19:42   #2
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Idea

I was thinking about the same problem the other day and thought of soemthing that may work but im not sure.

If you have ever seen the things that fire hoses roll up on in buildings and hotels and such, that could be a good way. You could fasten it on it's side in the locker and have a handle kinda like a winch handle to put into it and roll it up when you need to. When you want to drop anchor just let it free spin and nothing gets tangled. You would want it to have a little friction though so that when your anchor hits the bottom it doesnt "birdnest" like on spin casting fishing reels.

This is just an idea that popped into my head the other day and I thought it would be a great way to keep you rode from tangling and allow for ease of use.
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Old 29-11-2007, 19:52   #3
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We've got something like that for our garden hose... works fine pulling it off the reel if it's organized... but it's a pain to roll back up and keep untangled and organized... probably somewhere around the same amount of work as just coiling it by hand would be, although chain is a bit different than garden hose, so I don't know if it'd be any different.
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Old 29-11-2007, 20:40   #4
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Could it be stacked higher if you added nets?...or is it at the height of the bottom of spill pipe?

I used to climb down in the chain locker of a 214 foot offshore supply vessel and pull the chain off to the side to make room for more chain. That was some scary sht, especially when the chain slipped on the wildcat and went up the spill pipe a few links with my hands right there.

Is it possible for you to do the same? ...by sending someone down there to spread out the chain.
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Old 29-11-2007, 23:15   #5
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Some people actually lube the chain as it comes in (with biodegradable soap, for example), to help it settle better. In my chain locker, with nice new galvanized chain it spread out fine. Once it got a bit old the chain surface became rougher, and it would pile steeper. I tried redirecting the chain with different hawsepipe arrangements, but couldn't improve the situation. What I do before weighing anchor now is to first arrange the chain still in the locker so there is a clear space for the pile. I can usually raise 150 ft before jamming -- of course every chain locker is different.

I've seen people keep a stick near the windlass that they can poke down through the pipe to knock over the chain castle.
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Old 30-11-2007, 07:44   #6
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Quote:
On both my power and sailboat the anchor lockers are too shallow and the rode pyramids until the windlass jams.
Yes, I have had that too. You need about 15 inches of free fall of chain so the weight of the chain retains the chain on the gypsy. My solution was to take up half the chain, run below and knock down the cone before the chain slips. You then continue pulling in the chain. It worked for me as long as I didn't wait for it to start slipping. I just came to the conclusion that if it hadn't started to slip yet at least it will hold on until I can get below. With 100 ft of chain or less out splitting it two attempts always worked.

If the locker is deep enough the angle of repose will give up and the cone falls down on it's own. Every substance has an angle of repose (how high can you pile it).

In a shallow locker you can't make extra gravity. The soap idea from Paul seems like a worthwhile idea. Just time the soap until you have the pile started then add a little bit as you go along. Might actually wash off some crud over time too. New chain is slippery and can't be piled as high. Thick chain piles higher too. I had 3/8 in chain in a 33 ft boat locker and it didn't work well or I should say it piled well. I did have an upper and lower compartment so leaving a smaller amount in the upper compartment worked.
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Old 30-11-2007, 08:10   #7
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My chain locker can be opened to the deck, so I use the stick method, but I have a friend who rigged a loop of wire and bungy cord in the chain locker. The wire comes up through the deck. As he brings in the anchor chain he pulls on the end of the wire every few seconds and knocks the stack of chain over--the bungy cord resets the wire on the other side of the stack, ready for the next pull.

I know this is a bit vague, as I only saw it in operation once, but maybe you can figure out how the concept might apply to your chain locker.
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Old 30-11-2007, 08:35   #8
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I've been using a boat hook, as the chain coms off the lower side of the windless, I'll hook the chain and pull it forward so it lays in lines about 2 feet long. It takes some practice but you can do it..
My brother has created a great setup on his boat.. He cut a hole in the bottom of the anchor locker, about 8 inch round and installed a PVC pipe about 6 feet long and 8inch diameter with a cap on the lower end.. the pipe runs down the forward end of the V-berth into the bildge.. The 6 feet of pipe holds a lot of chain.
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Old 30-11-2007, 11:08   #9
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FWIW, saw a picture of a rotating elbow, below the deck, that was part of the hawse pipe. The elbow could be turned from side to side as the chain came in distributing the chain over a larger area. It was a commercially available unit but don't know from when, whether it's still available, the manufacturer or even if it worked. It was just picture on a website or something and can't remember (seems to be an ever increasing problem) where or how I cam across it.

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Old 30-11-2007, 17:05   #10
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Thanks everyone for all the ideas! I'll be on the power boat this weekend and will be anxious to try some of this. The power boat locker issue is more of just a nuisance since it is only used for day trips. But with the sailboat it's more of a safety issue as I'm concerned with getting caught in difficult conditions and short handed. Unfortunately, I won't be back to the sailboat for a month or more.
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Old 30-11-2007, 17:06   #11
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Dog Pile

I have a similar situation on my boat. I can pull about 100' or so before it needs pulled toward the back of the locker or simply knocked over.

What I'm thinking of doing is putting a steeply angled plastic "plate" in there to let the chain slide toward the back of the locker. The size, shape, angle, and friction of this material is important to its success. This is not a new idea and has worked for others.

If it doesn't work, then I'll continue with my runs between the anchor locker and bow to keep things rolling.

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Dan
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Old 30-11-2007, 18:40   #12
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Originally Posted by Conch Cruzer View Post
What I'm thinking of doing is putting a steeply angled plastic "plate" in there to let the chain slide toward the back of the locker. The size, shape, angle, and friction of this material is important to its success. This is not a new idea and has worked for others.
This will depend a lot on the geometry of the locker/pipe. I was considering something like this, but I realized that in my case the ramp would be shallower than the chain's "angle of repose". This means that the chain would initially slide to the bottom of the ramp, then as it came in it would cover the ramp in a single layer until it was directly below the pipe, only making things worse than if I had no ramp at all.

If the ramp, or as I've seen, a secondary pipe, were to feed the chain into a much deeper section of the locker, then it could be a big improvement.

If you like stainless steel chain, this is much slipperier than galvanized, and will spread out better. In my case, I would have to up-size the stainless for strength, and would lose the benefit in locker space.
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Old 30-11-2007, 21:03   #13
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Is there any particular reason why yacht manufacturers don't seem to make large enough chain lockers? This is not the first time I have heard about this problem.
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Old 30-11-2007, 23:26   #14
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Is there any particular reason why yacht manufacturers don't seem to make large enough chain lockers? This is not the first time I have heard about this problem.
It's all a compromise. Boats with a plumb bow make it easier to have a deep chain locker up forward. But, these tend to be lighter and racier boats, where you try to keep the weight out of the ends for performance sake, so large lockers are less likely.

Boats like mine, where the bow is less plumb, have a hard time making a place for a deep locker without taking space away from the v-berth. My PSC44 is a great cruiser in most respects, but the chain locker isn't all it could be. There are some minor mods I could do that would improve the situation, but I've managed to make the current arrangement work well enough. If I find myself anchoring in deeper waters, I might make some changes.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:16   #15
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[QUOTE]What I'm thinking of doing is putting a steeply angled plastic "plate" in there to let the chain slide toward the back of the locker. The size, shape, angle, and friction of this material is important to its success. QUOTE]

That works only so long as the fore aft length of the locker is great enough to offset the increase in the angle of repose. Stacking chain on a ramp increases the angle of repose on the ramp should the chain back up. Since many lockers are deeper in the aft of the locker it might work for some situations.

If the ramp top is higher than the required freefall for the chain then it also increaes the drop required to maintain the downward force on the gypsy. It's a pretty fine line to walk given you don't have enough freefall as it is. I'm sure if you got it to work it might take a lot of attempts to adjust it just right.

Adding the ramp to the very bottom of the locker might shift the base of the pile and also give you more room to pile the chain before it cones. The weight of the pile might tumble it out from under. If you can afford some forward loss of storage that might work as well.
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If it doesn't work, then I'll continue with my runs between the anchor locker and bow to keep things rolling.
So long as you can get there before it cones it's not that bad. I timed it with the depth markers on the chain. You get know know when it is piling up based on the amount of chain. Being in a hurry to go aft then below then all the way forward and back can be something dangerous too. Being in a hurry is not a thing to strive for when sailing.
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