We’re in the middle of spring, just few weeks before summer cruises. Sea trips become more frequent but we have to sacrifice some days to carry out some checks and maintenance works. What about starting from the bow and the anchor locker?
The first thing to do is to check and clean it. So, we need to remove the anchor and its chain. The best way to do that is to have a fore mooring and ease all the equipment out inside a heavy and strong plastic box placed on the quay. This way, the locker is completely free and we can inspect it and wash all the anchorage line with some fresh water.
Once cleaned, we have to inspect every metre of chain. All links are important but some crucial points require more attention. The first of them is the junction between the chain and the anchor. We have to check the tightening screw, the oxidation level and the general conditions. At the first sign of wear, we must replace everything.
Pay attention to the false links, the classic weak link of the chain. They’re generally used to add some chain parts. They’re usually less enduring than zin-coated and stainless steel chain.
Another important point is the clevis/shackle system through which the anchorage line is fixed on the boat. In this case, too, we have to check any eventual sign of wear and replace the little textile strop linking the shackle to the clevis. This is an important precaution, since the strop can be easily cut in an emergency situation where we need to get rid of both anchor and chain.
After cleaning the anchorage line and checking all, it’s the locker’s turn. The first thing to do is to wash it and remove sand, mud, seaweeds and any brackish water remains. This operation might take a long time.
Then, we have to inspect the locker’s bottom and walls. We’ll certainly find some small scratches due to the normal use of the locker, stressed by the chain’s rubbing. We can repair them with some epoxy plaster and gelcoat. In case of some more serious problems, we have to call a technician.
We can grasp the opportunity to check the windlass, too. Unless there’re some problems – and in that case, we can only count on our skills – we only need to check, clean and oil with some simple CRC the barbotin.