Anchor Tackle Inspection Time

Posted: August 1, 2012  |  Tag: Anchoring

By: John Temple

I enjoy anchoring and want to have my anchor ready in case of an emergency. I have a windlass. What kind of periodic maintenance should I practice?
Every year, no matter how often or how seldom you use your anchor, all of the rode and chain need to come out of the locker to be checked. I nose the bow up to the dock and use the windlass to drop the anchor, chain and rode on the dock. My admiral, Candy, runs the windlass while I guide the chain and rode onto the dock. Fortunately, our home pier is long enough that it takes only a few runs back and forth to lay out all of our chain (100 feet) and rode (200 feet) in single rows.

Once the anchor and rode are all out, I inspect every inch very closely. Of special interest are the anchor swivel — something I highly recommend in most applications — and all other connections from the anchor to the inside of the anchor locker. Look for any fraying of the rode, and replace or add any length markers as needed. Finally, wash it all off before winding it back into the locker.

The windlass itself needs to be inspected. From the outside, you can inspect any electrical connections and check for any leaks from the deck. Carefully inspect the capstan assembly. Look for any rust throughout. The windlass needs to be removed, cleaned, inspected and lubricated about every five years, depending on use and operating conditions.

One last thought. I added a raw-water pump outlet at the bow. I use it to make sure all mud and seaweed are off the chain before entering the locker. It’s a good addition.

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