I run my anchor chain on deck and am very happy with it. It is better from a few viewpoints.
You get to see the state of the chain as it runs in and out, you can also see any fishing
line or weed that gets entangled in the chain, you can use painted marks on the chain to use as a guide to the amount of chain you have out and it allows you to easy change anchors.
There are a few problems with the chain going straight to the locker - it looks good but it can be a real pain to get the boat to pull nicely up to the anchor when dropping or retrieving. A friend had a sistership to mine with this setup and whereas I would drop the chain and be all safe and happy on my own, he would have to ask his partner to stand up the front and use a sort of slipping snubber to get the boat to lie head
to wind. He found if he put the bridle
on early, the line would get caught under the bows.
Also it is hard to quickly change an anchor if it is below the deck. This is not something that happens regularly but in out last cruise
we swapped anchors when our normal one would not set. This is easy to do on the setup where the chain goes over the forebeam and along the deck.
For beating to windward for a long time, I can grab our anchor and bring it back to the locker, but I usually don't bother.
Of course you should not be near the chain when it is moving. With our electric winch
, we don't even have anyone up the front of the boat most times, we use the switch at the helm
. We don't have another switch anywhere else. There is no need to be near the chain when it moves.
Try both set ups, but I will not be changing mine.