Anchor Locker drains to bilge - good? bad?

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mikebikeboy
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Anchor Locker drains to bilge - good? bad?

Post by mikebikeboy »

Currently my anchor locker drains down underneath the integral water tank via a PVC pipe I glassed into the bottom of the hull. I'm worried that over time all the mud will build up in the bilge and clog up the bilge pump

Other than washing the dirty anchor rode prior to feeding it into the locker does anyone have any other tips as to how to prevent issues of too much mud / stinky sea-stuff from getting into the boat? Trying to keep things simple, not sure if I want to install a sprayer but maybe that's the best way. Weigh anchor, secure the anchor, leaving all the dirty rode on deck, then spray it all down before feeding it back into the locker.

Any tips for a newbie?
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atomvoyager
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Re: Anchor Locker drains to bilge - good? bad?

Post by atomvoyager »

On my boat I never had an issue of bilge pumps clogging on mud. The drain hose might clog though. I have a shut-off valve on the chain locker drain hose at the aft end where it drains into the bilge with a short piece of hose aft the drain and if it plugs I can pull up the end of the hose and blow into it and it clears out the obstruction and then the muddy water flows into the bilge. But you need to clean the chain somewhat as it comes aboard before getting into the locker to cause a more thick blockage that might be hard to clear. If the chain is coming up full of mud I bring in a few feet at a time with the windlass then stop and lean over the bow with a stiff brush on a 5' handle and use the seawater to clean it. Or I'll sometimes rinse it just below the roller with a bucket on a lanyard. It's a slow process sometimes but usually the rode is only dirty in a short section near the anchor. If you bring the rode in to short scope of say 2-1 and wait a couple minutes the mud may drop off on its own. And once the anchor breaks free of the bottom I might use the way of the boat at slow speed to drag it through the water for a minute for an easier way to clean it before bringing the last bit in. An easier way if you have an engine is to throw it in reverse to lift the chain out of the mud bottom for a minute and that should clear most of the caked on mud.

If you have a short chain with mostly nylon rode and no windlass then there will be less mud to deal with. You can do the same by cleating it off as needed and motoring in reverse and once on short scope motor forward and in reverse and that should take care of it. Bringing it on deck to clean and then cleaning the deck will work but I always clean it as it comes aboard to avoid the mess.

You could install a saltwater washdown pump and hose it down over the roller as it comes aboard but the if the pump has a weak stream it will need the help of brushing anyway and that complexity and clutter doesn't seem warranted to me on a 27-footer.

Davis Instruments used to sell a rode scrubber on a handle that slips over the rode in an improved version of my brush on a long handle but may no longer be available. You could make your own from a large diameter PVC pipe with a slot in in to slip over the chain, brushes screwed inside and a hinge for a long handle or something similar. You use it by working it back and forth at the waterline.

You could try to make a version of this:
https://2knowabout.blogspot.com/2014/06 ... ubber.html

https://www.yachtforums.com/attachments ... jpg.66972/

Maybe someone here has other solutions?
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Re: Anchor Locker drains to bilge - good? bad?

Post by CapnK »

James covered it well - the linked 3-brush thingy is neat, as is the long handled routine! I'm usually a dipper-n-shaker. :)

I have at times just let dirty chain ride on deck while spray from the bow cleans it (mostly), finishing the chore once well underway with searoom. Conditions have to be right for that to work, and if you try it, use a small piece of line to secure it loosely in place so that it doesn't get washed down the side deck or even off the bow. Maybe a mesh bag of that tough open-weave stuff to drop the last muddy 15-20' into would be a simple solution.
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mikebikeboy
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Re: Anchor Locker drains to bilge - good? bad?

Post by mikebikeboy »

Thanks you all for the great, practical information. Very helpful. Glad to hear I don't need to install a sprayer. Less stuff to break.
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