E-38 Anchor Locker Upgrade

rwthomas1

Sustaining Partner
I am planning on using a vertical windlass mounted at the aft-most section of the anchor locker. One of the reasons I want a bulkhead that mirrors the factory fore-peak bulkhead, that is, a vertical bulkhead is so that the rode falls to the deepest point in that space while also being as aft as possible. Because the windlass is aft, the windlass motor should end up in the space aft and above this vertical bulkhead. Sealed and glassed, then cut from the inside, the windlass motor will be inside the hull, away from the elements, which is one of the major problems with Mr. Reeds installation.

Why not use a horizontal windlass? I've yet to see one that can use a rope/chain rode, the horizontals all seem to use all-chain. I'm not willing to put that much weight in the bow of my E38, that fine hollow bow simply doesn't have the buoyancy for that.

Regarding the rode-hatch clearance issue I admit, this is a problem, but not an insurmountable one. One way is to do it the "Catalina way" and have a hump or tunnel in the hatch that allows it to close over the rode stretched out between the windlass and the anchor. The other way is simply procedural. When the anchor is stowed, the hatch is blocked, since the rode is tight. To deploy the anchor, it may be done with the hatch open or closed. Simply pay our some scope, enough to open the hatch, then deploy the anchor with the hatch open. Once the hook is set, and a snubber taking the load, or the rode cleated on a bow cleat, there is as much slack as needed to close the hatch again. I would imagine having the hatch open is the smart thing to do as if the rode snarls, it becomes much more difficult to slack enough to open it after the fact.

Just some thoughts. RT
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Rob,

While in the thinking stages of this project, I had the "Catalina way" under serious consideration. After all, I was already spooled up to do fiberglass work which included some cutting on the anchor locker hatch. I still think that would be an excellent approach. The reason I didn't do it was because the chain drop would have been too far aft to take advantage of the best depth available in the new chain locker. That's why your idea of a vertical or near vertical new bulkhead would be the key to making a farther aft windlass placement work. I opted to do a diagonal bulkhead placement both to simplify the installation, and to preserve a little space in the forepeak locker accessible from the V-berth. The aft placement may play to the strengths of a vertical windlass better, while I think the forward better suits a horizontal windlass.

The weight issue is a real consideration, for the reason you mention. My windlass weighs about 25 lbs., and the 90' of 5/16" high test weighs around 95, replacing about 25 lbs. of lesser chain. I'm demoting my 33 lb. Bruce to make room for a 45 lb. Manson Supreme, so there's another 12 lbs. Haven't calculated the weight of the new bow roller weldment or the plate to mount the windlass across the locker hatch, but it appears I'm adding around 125-135 lbs that wasn't there before. That's like having my wife (er...dressed in a lot of foul weather gear & heavy boots, you understand) standing in the bow pulpit. Or like me standing there after my wife quits feeding me for a month; whatever. Even moving some of that weight a foot further aft is moving in the right direction on the lever arm. It would help to make a practice of stowing the anchor aft on passages.

My windlass gypsy is SUPPOSED to take 5/16" high test or 9/16-5/8 line. But if it won't work on the line, it's probably because a horizontal windlass can only engage the rode for 90 degrees, whereas a vertical one can engage for almost 180 degrees. Maybe no big deal on chain, but line is a different story.

Dan Morehouse
1981 E-38 "Next Exit"
 

rwthomas1

Sustaining Partner
Dan,
Your thoughts and choices are all valid, and I agree entirely. My choice of vertical leads me to wanting the windlass motor inside the hull, away from the elements. I considered a horizontal but could not find one that did rope/chain, if you did, I hope it works out. A self contained deck mounted horizontal is much simpler to mount and setup. The specs on most verticals also need a decent amount of "drop" or depth under the windlass so the rope/chain can properly self stow. From what I have read on verticals, more is better. That led me to the deeper locker and loosing any access to the forepeak from the V-berth. I figure I could live with that. Properly thought out and installed, your way or mine will work just fine. I'm looking forward to seeing the completion of your project, it will motivate me to get moving on mine. Lastly, are you planning a washdown hose to get the muck of the hook? RT
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
I will probably install a washdown hose in the future. Shouldn't be too hard, since the cabling for power will already be present. I've heard more (pressure) is better there, too.

Had I gone with the windlass aft configuration, I think I would have also done the Catalina Tunnel at the front of the hatch. I would much prefer to be able to open & close the hatch regardless of whether the anchor was in or out. Then mount a nice beefy mooring cleat inside, right at the top of the new bulkhead. Nice and clean and accessible, all great features of any boat equipment installation!

Dan Morehouse
1981 E-38 "Next Exit
 

tdtrimmer

Member II
I sure appreciate your documenting your installation as I have been considering how to do the same thing on my 1981 E-38. I had considered leaving the pan in and cutting out the forward section of the floor to create the anchor locker. Seeing your installation, I like your approach better.
Thanks again,
Tom
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Bow roller fabrication

I am replacing the factory bow roller with one designed for the Manson Supreme 45. These three pieces are 1/4" stainless plate. I had them cut at a local shop that does CNC water jet cutting. $100 bucks for material and cutting. Pretty amazing machine...they showed me some chunks of mild steel 5" thick they had cut to an impressively accurate tolerance. The two pieces in foreground are the cheek plates that form a channel for the anchor shank; the triangular piece behind is the base plate shaped to fit the raised portion of the very front of the E-38 deck.
bow roller fabrication 002.jpg

The 3 pieces clamped up ready for the welder. The original cast factory bow roller is behind. The problem with the original is that it didn't appear designed to hold the anchor...just to guide it and the rode. I have seen this same casting on an E-35II, and suspect they were also installed on E-35III's.
bow roller fabrication 006.jpg

Another angle of the old roller next to the clamped assembly of the new one. I will be able to reuse some of the deck holes the old roller bolts occupied to bolt down the new roller, by carefully locating those holes on the pattern supplied to the cutting shop. Their machine cuts so precisely that it also cuts the holes...they aren't bored with a drill.
bow roller fabrication 007.jpg

The most difficult part of the fabrication was bending the base plate to a camber. I was able to get a mechanical shop with a big press machine to do it, but it wasn't their normal sort of operation, and it took some eyeball estimation of how much pressure to use. We actually overbent it a little, so we will see how much trouble it causes on installation.

Dan Morehouse
1981 E-38 "Next Exit"
 
Last edited:

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Hey all,

Managed to get the bow roller mounted last week. The camber turned out just about right for the deck, and everything bolted down well. The only issue was I didn't have a bit capable of making a proper countersink for the 3/8" flat head machine screws. So the heads stand up a little from the base plate. Will have to remove them one by one when I get the right bit, then countersink and rebed.

In this picture, the anchor is in place in the roller. The chain in the background on the locker shelf is an old 50' length that came with the boat. I ran out of Kiwi Grip before finishing the short upper bulkhead.
chain & roller 002.jpg

I was a little worried that the bow roller would end up looking too bulky, but this picture gives a better perspective of the profile appearance. I'm pretty happy with it.
chain & roller 003.jpg

This is what 90' of high test chain looks like in the bottom of the new locker. "Plenty of room" isn't a luxury you get very often on a sailboat. Kinda makes me want to divide it for two rodes...but that's another project. This picture doesn't show the shelf, which is part of the locker. The shelf is proving to be a great place to plant your foot while messing about with chain. Sitting on the shelf with your feet on the chain pile gives you great leverage for pulling in the chain by hand, too...which I hope never to have to resort to after the windlass install!
chain & roller 001.jpg

The Kiwi Grip makes a nice clean finish, but it doesn't stand up well to chain banging on it. I'm thinking a better solution would be the rubber-like stuff used to coat the beds of pickups, if it can be applied away from a shop.

Dan Morehouse
1981 E-38 "Next Exit"
 
Last edited:

rwthomas1

Sustaining Partner
Oh, now you're just making me jealous! Very nice work! I thought the chain pile would have been much higher, that really did end up pretty low and aftwards after all. Keep the pics coming! RT
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Yeah, Rob, picture that chain pile about a foot further aft and maybe eight inches lower, and that's what you might be able to get with a vertical bulkhead instead of a sloping one. You can see that you'd probably have all the fall you needed, without the complication of a hawsepipe...even if the chain were sitting on top of two hundred feet of nylon rode.

Dan Morehouse
1981 E-38 "Next Exit"
 

celtium

Member III
Question

Hey Dan,

Once again VEREEEEE NICE! I think I will do the same this summer.

You note with a vertical bulkhead the rode would sit lower, in retrospect, do you wish you had done a vertical bulkhead? It does make sense.

Thanks,

Jay
Celtica
E38-200
SF Bay
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Jay,
I'd probably do it this way again. I like having a little storage space under the anchor locker, still accessible from the V-berth. And I like that my triangular bulkhead enlarged and deepened the locker without installing the small floor piece that would likely be needed if the bulkhead was vertical. You would need a small floor to limit the depth of the locker with a vertical bulkhead if you wanted to drain the locker overboard...the very bottom of that space would extend below the waterline otherwise. That's extra work that doesn't seem necessary unless you're installing a vertical windlass and need to locate the motor nearer the back of the space to keep it out of the way.
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Jay, haven't finished yet. Have gotten intercepted by other projects...haul & bottom paint, pulled the main water tank cuz I thought it was leaking, rebedded the main hatch because it WAS leaking, etc. But I'm getting a drawing of the windlass mount plate ready for the water jet cutter, and have started pulling cables for the windlass.
 

celtium

Member III
Let's get er done!

Hey Dan,

I know what you mean, I just got done with my bottom job...gets expensive.

Look forward to the finished product!

Jay
 

celtium

Member III
Question

Hi Dan,

I think I found an 'easier' way to relo my windlass. I think I can use the existing pan, cut the cover in half making the back half a hinged cover, the front half fixed for the windlass. (In fairness, I'm copying my neighbors design which works quite well, she used this setup on a cruise in Alaska.)

Here's the problem though...her cover has a flange that insets and she could through bolt the cover into glass. With our boats, there is not a flange. The cover sits down on top of the pan flange. It appears as if the pan flange is simply screwed into a piece of wood framing? I think I am correct re the wood from your pictures and removing a cpl screws on mine.

From what you have seen on your vessel...would it be feesable to through bolt the cover through the wood with oversized washers or a piece of SS backing flat bar? She was able to access her back of pan by putting deck plates in the side of the pan so she could reach the bolts with the nuts.

Thoughts?

Jay
Celtica
E 38-200
SF Bay

PS, how's your progress?:)
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Jay,
I actually finished this in July, but have been so pressed with other "stuff" I have neglected to post the pics. Here are some I hope will prove useful:

windlass installation 001.jpg
The windlass plate in place, not bolted to the deck yet. Up & down toe switches can be seen behind plate to either side.

windlass installation 003.jpg
Detail of the windlass plate. Note square holes for carriage bolts around perimeter...this is the kind of precision available from water jet cutting. Oval hole is for windlass wiring; large hole is where chain drops from gypsy.

windlass installation 006.jpg
Windlass plate bolted to deck with carriage bolts, and windlass bolted in place. Rear 2/3rds of hatch remounted with hinges, affording excellent access to the chain locker...including wiring, and the nuts securing all the deck hardware.

windlass installation 007.jpg
Deck view of finished installation. Note windlass mounted at angle to align with anchor roller.

windlass installation 011.jpg
View from chain locker below windlass mounting plate. Note that the forward 1/3rd of the original chain locker hatch wasn't reinstalled. The windlass plate is 3/16 stainless, and it seems sufficient to support the windlass and bridge the chain locker. Black lines were guides for bending the plate to the deck camber.

When a snubber is attached to the chain rode and led back to the Samson post, it just brushes the starboard side of the windlass case. I doubt it will produce any chafe. It does cross the hatch and prevent it from opening (or closing), but it can also be temporarily snubbed on the starboard mooring cleat to address that. I've only been able to try it out once or twice, but it has worked like somebody smarter than me installed it.
 

celtium

Member III
Outstanding!

Dan,

What a nice job! You're being way to humble! Now, if I did that job, I would believe someone else did it! I'm sure it will serve you well.

Re my question, in your pictures, it appears the flange for the access hatch is actually part of the deck and goes all the way over and ties into the toe rail and has glass under it? If I'm correct, my lazy man method might work. I could take a piece of SS drilled and extending underneeth back as far as possible, maybe to the cleat and bolt it in. The bolt at the flange would pull the SS tight to the underside of the deck. I think that would be quite strong. What do you think considering you've been up close and personal?

Jay
Celtica
E 38-200
SF Bay
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Jay,
That might work, but the bottom of the lip the hatch sits on actually sits a little lower than the underside of the deck. Any plate or strap bolted underneath wouldn't be able to lay flat because of it.

I'm still convinced that removing the pan by cutting it out is the best answer. Once you've glassed in the bulkhead to seal the locker off from the V berth, you've got everything the pan gave you, and two things the pan prevented: more space, and real access to hardware. Even if you're not inclined to do the glasswork, hiring it out would still be money very well spent.
 

Doug177

Member II
Hi Dan. As others have already mentioned, thank you for the awesome documentation of "the proper anchor chain locker" for our boats. I have an E35-3 and it looks just the same. As I attempt your project this Spring one of my first questions is....The new bulkhead is angled sternward as it comes up to give more room for the cuddy behind the v-berth door and facilitate chain and line going in and out (funnel-like) . I like that idea instead of having it parallel to the existing bulkhead. Has that worked out well?

1579818011796.png

1579818011796.png
 

Dan Morehouse

Member III
Hi Dan. As others have already mentioned, thank you for the awesome documentation of "the proper anchor chain locker" for our boats. I have an E35-3 and it looks just the same. As I attempt your project this Spring one of my first questions is....The new bulkhead is angled sternward as it comes up to give more room for the cuddy behind the v-berth door and facilitate chain and line going in and out (funnel-like) . I like that idea instead of having it parallel to the existing bulkhead. Has that worked out well?

View attachment 30869

View attachment 30869
Doug,
In practice this arrangement has worked pretty well, since the chain drop from the windlass is located almost directly over the deepest part of the locker. But chain has an affinity for castling up if given the smallest chance, and mine does it too. After MUCH anchoring with this system over the past 8 or 9 years, most recently in Alaska, I find myself with all 210' of my chain out frequently; and when it's brought back in it wants to pile up like a pyramid. I normally retrieve the rode with the hatch open and occasionally have to boot the pile down with my foot to prevent the chain pile reaching the top of the locker and jamming the windlass. It is just barely able to do this. But this just reinforces my conviction that I did the right thing by gaining all the depth it was possible to gain with this installation. Even though I have to knock the pile down with my foot regularly, this method would probably still work if I had 400' of chain in there, just because of the sheer volume now available in that locker. Rob Thomas on this site did a similar modification on a 38, but with a vertical bulkhead and a vertical windlass, and would have had a little deeper locker as a result. I believe he no longer has that boat, and don't know if he still frequents this site, but his posts are worth examining.
BTW, a year & a half ago on our way to Ketchikan, my Lewmar windlass failed. I had to go back to Port McNeill on Vancouver Island and order a new one. They shipped it up from Victoria the next day, and I had it installed less than 3 hours later. It was plug and play. Not everything I've done to this boat has been a raging success; but suffice it to say, If I had to do this project over, I would do it exactly the same way.
 
Top