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S&S Swan General - Anchor locker Swan 37
06 June 2014 - 14:27
Join Date: 15 March 2013
Posts: 32

Anchor locker Swan 37
Hello All,
We are getting some sailing done and really enjoying it. Great boat to sail!
One thing I don't know if I like so much is that the anchor locker drains into the bilge. I was thinking to put a floor in the bottom with a small drain out the bow as many yachts have. Any thoughts? Good bad idea? Anyone else done or have a similar setup?
How high above the water line do you think the drain should be? I was thinking 100mm or 150mm and a small stainless fairing over the drain hole



07 June 2014 - 16:14
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Fletch
A drain through the topside works fine in harbour and smooth water, but at higher speeds and in big waves it causes water to enter. Would be advisable to close the drain in such conditions, and provide an alternative.
The size of the locker has importance - a small locker filled with water is not a serious problem, but a big one depresses the bow and causes more waves to come on deck. If the deck hatch is leaking this does not improve things.
The recommendation is to lead a drain hose aft from the locker, branch it into an existing sea cock, and make the deck hatch as tight as possible.
If you prefer not to connect to a sea cock, one possibility is to use a transparent canister which provides a simple way to check the situation in the locker. A manual drain pump could be added for convenience.
Kind regards

03 July 2014 - 16:41
Join Date: 31 January 2007
Posts: 46


My solution to this "problem" was to have a Sailmaker make a watertight cover over the windlass. This keeper the watert out of the bilge and also protects the windlass, see the enclosed pic

Best regards,

14 July 2014 - 15:39
Join Date: 28 July 2008
Posts: 79

I would be interested to hear how effective the windlass cover is?

We have been thinking about this problem as well, and on one recent passage, circa 120miles into F5-6 headwinds, probably took on 10-20 gallons of water, and it takes hours to clean up and dry off after such a passage!

We have been thinking about curing it permanently and making a watertight chain locker; with overboard drain.  We would need to make a watertight floor and two bulkheads.  We would need access into the chain locker; and also through to the very fwd parts of the bow.  This would be by putting hatches in the new bulkheads.  The only down side I can foresee is the configuration would raise the chain/rode and hence COG, but I think against the amount of water this would be a negligible thing.

Has anybody done such an arrangement, and is so, any thoughts good/bad indifferent would be appreciated!



14 July 2014 - 19:52
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Dear All,

this is my Simpson Lowrance windlass, the chain enters into a bronze tube which is slightly raised from the deck, and I have nearly no water inside.

Fair winds!

matteo (38/067 Only You)

17 July 2014 - 13:32
Join Date: 31 January 2007
Posts: 46

Adrian, the windlass cover has worked very well. I have made 3 fairly long passages in reasonably heavy conditions after I had it put in, and the anchor locker has been dry. What I do, is store the anchor under deck and attach a thin line to the end of the chain and drop it half way down the pipe before attach to the windlass. I also stick a wooden cone in the pipe opening for good measure. A bit cumbersome, but not something you need to do very often. Hope this might be helpful.
Kind rgds,

19 July 2014 - 10:51
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Hello every one.
Taking water thru the windlass chain inlet is indeed quite a problem. Here is our very efficient solution which I made myself during the osmosis treatment process of Soeur Anne. It took some time to make (could not sail anyway!): it's wood and polyester reinforced with fiberglass. I do feel sorry windlass manufacturers never thought of providing such a device.

19 July 2014 - 11:10
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 162

Amazing! What a great idea and realization! I am very impressed --

19 July 2014 - 14:22
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Philippe
Very good!
It appears you have flexible foam around the chain where it enters the cover. If this does not work well the watertightness can be improved further by putting a split plug around the chain where it enters. Such a plug can conveniently be cast in situ using deck mastic.
On installations where the chain pipe upper end is free - i.e. horizontal type windlass - a plug for the chain pipe hole can be cast with the same method. To be fitted with a hook at the bottom for the chain end. The weight of the chain will keep the plug in place. A lifting ring needed on the upper side.
Kind regards

11 October 2020 - 17:29
Join Date: 11 November 2017
Posts: 26


Where is your anchor chain?



Swan 37 #12

12 October 2020 - 09:04
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Hello Jere.

Our anchor chain is in the normal position as the Swan 41 was built. The anchor locker was modified to avoid knots in the chain, but it is also in the normal position.

Philippe 41/022

12 October 2020 - 15:23
Join Date: 11 November 2017
Posts: 26


Is the locker under your bunks or inside forepeak. I want to lead chain inside pipe from deck slightly backwards under my bunks.


jere, 37 #12

13 October 2020 - 16:23
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

The anchor locker is under the forepeak as originally designed.

Try to find the proper thread where leading the chain in an other place has been discussed at length, and pictures were posted.

All the best and fair winds.

Philippe 41/022

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