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Old 03-02-2016, 16:12   #1
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Moving the anchor chain aft

Hello Cruisers,

This week I took our anchor chain off to be regalvanised. It is around 100 meters of 10mm chain, so it weighs quite a bit, a little over 200 kg if my numbers are correct. As I walked away from the boat last night I was surprised by how much higher the bow is sitting, which got me thinking about how the anchor chain is stored in our boat.

The whole lot is in a locker as far forward as is possible, some of it is actually forward of the waterline at the bow. The anchor chain locker is immediately behind the stemhead and forward of the first bulkhead, it also has a pretty high base, annoyingly high in fact, the chain has to be jiggled around with a stainless steel pipe kept on the boat for this purpose, to make it settle into the locker which is a right PITA when you are pulling up the last few meters of anchor chain. So much of a pain that I often end up leaving it lumped on the deck behind the stemhead and attend to it once we are under way.

So I got thinking about other chain arrangements I have seen, and thought about the sort that have a long pipe down into the bow of the boat. And, as luck would have it, we have a forward section of the boat, immediately behind the first bulkhead and forward of the head that is used only for storage of sails, ropes and stuff like the spare anchors and drogue. I realise that it would be pretty easy to run a pipe down into this section which would bring the 200kg of anchor chain back good three or four feet from the bow, and a good 4 or 5 feet lower than it is currently sitting. A cover could easily be made to keep it all safely contained in a readily accessible "box".

The downside is I have no idea how these sorts of arrangements are drained, currently our anchor locker drains out through clamshell drains either side of the bow, about two feet above the waterline.

So can anyone tell me how drainage is usually handled for these sorts of anchor chain setups, and I would also welcome thoughts on whether the idea of changing the setup has any downside I may not be aware of.

Matt
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Old 03-02-2016, 16:22   #2
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

I asked a similar question a while back:
How do you distribute chain in the boat?

That might help. The lower and closer to center, the better, and in a way that a knockdown won't throw it around anywhere of course. Drainage will be to the bilge.
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Old 03-02-2016, 16:25   #3
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I asked a similar question a while back:
How do you distribute chain in the boat?

That might help. The lower and closer to center, the better, and in a way that a knockdown won't throw it around anywhere of course. Drainage will be to the bilge.
Oops, I am getting lazy with my searching. Using the Ipad App too much.

Thanks Don C L.
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Old 04-02-2016, 00:42   #4
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

Matt, the issue of draining into the bilge is not to be ignored! Our I-one had such an arrangement, and we hated it. Constant source of smell (some of the places one anchors have very,er, organic mud bottoms, and even with a washdown pump you never get all the mud off. And then there is the issue of getting lots of water down the chain pipe in heavy weather. Idunno how wet your foredeck is, but sealing the chain pipe isn't a trivial challenge. Finally, many folks with such slanted chain pipes report problems with jamming in the pipe; this can be a bitch to clear, especially at 0-dark40 with a rising onshore sea...


So, try to evaluate just how big an advantage the small aft relocation of the chain would be on your boat. As massive as she is, I kinda doubt that you would notice much of a difference in performance. You might take her for a sail with your chain offloaded and some similar weight stowed in your proposed locker... see if it is a big deal!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:22   #5
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

Hi Jim,

I've moved the discussion over to the back of Don CL's excellent thread and I am being mercilessly torn apart by the gurus over there.

But in answer to your comments, see my post on the drainage and cleaning issues in that thread and my perceived benefit in the split locker arrangement, plus if I dump to the shower sump I could chase any (suitably filtered) crud out using some water from the shower.

Regarding the test sail without the chain on board, I should get a chance to do so this weekend with orchidius when he gets here. I am guessing in normal conditions there will be no discernible difference even with no chain on the boat at all, but I am thinking ahead to situations where things are bad, and imagining ways to make the boat as well behaved as possible. And even with our very big blunt bow and a definite lack of hobby horse tendency, 200 kg right up at the very tip of the bow feels like it can't be a good thing.

Yeah, I know, I am probably over analysing things again, but that's me and it is what I do.




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Old 04-02-2016, 09:49   #6
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

Wanuskewin is a Catalina 42. We have 200' of 5/16 G4 chain and 150' of rope rode. We have a hole cut into the anchor locker directly below the windlass. The chain ends up being in what was the forward hanging locker. We have a slat water washdown pump that we sometimes use. We've been anchoring out the last 4 years, many times in places like Cartagena and Panama City, where an entire ecosystem seems to grown on the chain in a few short days. We've also we've made the passage from Panama to the Eastern Caribbean (1,200nm upwind, in steep short period swells).

Regarding stuff in the bilge, yep -- we get that -- of course we have traditional stuffing box that I keep dripping a little extra in order to keep it cool (I use an infrared thermometer to measure the stuffing box's temp, and can tell you that the one drip every 30 seconds "rule" doesn't work in my case -- it gets up to 140F or more!) So I always have water in the bilge which I sponge out periodically, and with it the rust, grime, and gunge that comes off the anchor. In the waves between Colombia and the ABCs, the boat was more like a submarine than a sailboat. I stuff a bit of yoga matt around the chain in the hole and it helps keep some of the water out. Having the weight further aft makes our boat sail better for sure, but the best thing about it, is no pushing the chain around when raising anchor. It all just falls nicely through the hole into the locker and comes out just as easy. After being on boats where one has to push clumps of chain aside in order not to have the gypsy/wildcat fouled by the chain -- not very handy if you are trying to raise anchor in the middle of a squall at night because you're dragging ...
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Old 04-02-2016, 16:03   #7
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

Hi I carried out just such a modification to my 39 foot steel yacht (feltz skorpion II). I have 80 meters of 10mm chain, a Lofrans Tigress windlass, the chain passes through the deck via a small stainless section of pipe welded into the deck. The pipe actually fits through the chain hole in the foot of the windlass so the chain is not much smaller than pipe internal diameter but this section of pipe is only 6 inches long and I have never had the chain jam in it. Also because of the tight fit and that it protrudes slightly above the windlass foot plate I get next to no water going down it.
On the inside on the end of the stainless pipe (it fits over it) I have about 5 feet of plastic tubing with an internal diameter of 50mm (if I remember correctly), it is the industrial tubing they lay under the pavement for gas (yellow), water (blue), drainage (black) and has about a 8mm thick wall and is pretty stiff, mine just happens to be black but am sure any colour would do. It lies in a curve from vertical to about 20 degrees at the bottom. On the bottom end I have a stainless car exhaust clamp and U bolts holding it to a cross member and allowing a small anchor chain bow pulley wheel to be mounted on the end which aides the smooth running of the chain into the tube when the anchor is dropped. The ends of the anchor locker itself are sealed with sheets of 10mm polycarbonate mounted on the hulls frames with a 19mm hose fitting at the bottom of the aft bulkhead. A 19mm hose runs aft along the bottom of the boat to the holding tank which being mounted in the top of the keel is very low. Hope this gives you some ideas on how to proceed.

Dave
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Old 04-02-2016, 16:17   #8
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

Hi
We decided to move our chain back and down lower. Also to increase the working area of the forepeak and reduce the V Berth. Fairly large job but we solved some issues. Our chain tub is sealed and a pipe goes to a diaphragm bilge pump mounted in a cabin we keep our dive gear in next door so smelly stuff doesn't migrate through the bilge. Rollers for the turning points on the chain and a large diameter chain pipe with a smooth radius made from slippery black poly. I've attached some pics that show how we did it. Finishing refit this year and haven't anchored yet but it tests perfectly so should work.
Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:42   #9
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

I like it. Do you mind me asking, how much chain and what size? Trying to get a feel for the scale of the setup.


Matt


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Have you heard the news? Esmeralda is OK.

I had resolved on a voyage around the world, and as the wind on the morning of April 24, 1895 was fair, at noon I weighed anchor....
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:04   #10
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Re: Moving the anchor chain aft

Hi Matt,
We have 60 meters of 3/8 chain. We may have more in the future.
The chain tub is around 500 diameter and is from salvaged vinyl ester pipe. There is a long fall for the chain and it just pulls itself through beautifully. We used to have to knock over the piles as we pulled the chain in. Annoying.
The black poly pipe is 90 dia long radius - salvaged again. Poly wears well especially with water as a lube.
The red roller is an anchor roller with a 5/8 hole from a fishing boat.
The internal roller is stainless with a bronze bush on a 12mm shaft as I wont see it very often.
I epoxied a stainless skid wear plate into the hole where the chain drops off the gypsy so it doesn't expose the decks plywood core during the coming years of anchoring ahead of us.
We used west system for the structural work and coated it with International interprotect and then overcoat with technirez epoxy flowcoat.
I have attached a pic of our bow.
Sing out if you would like to know any other details.
Cheers
Steve
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