A clean approach to anchoring

To the editor: Those of us who anchor most of the time are constantly cleaning and repairing dings in the foredeck. For many active voyagers, handling the anchors and anchor chain while keeping the foredeck clean of mud and debris is a major part of our anchoring routine. Two of the most important additions we have made to our boat are the deck wash pump and foredeck grates.

The deck wash pump is a standard FloJet 4325 12-volt pump with a T on the output. We like the deck wash pump because it shuts off when pressure builds up in the line, and it can be run dry. This means it only runs when water is being used. One side of the T goes to a standard 5/8-inch male hose fitting on the foredeck, and the other side of the T goes to a galley seawater faucet. The deck wash 12-volt switch is located in the galley. With the pump switch on and deck wash nozzle off, seawater is available at the galley faucet. Conversely, with the galley faucet off, seawater is available at the deck hose. The galley faucet is a 3/8-inch stainless-steel and brass drinking-water faucet available from a plumbing supply house. A couple of barbed plastic hose adaptors may be needed to make up the plumbing. We leave a length of garden hose on the foredeck with the nozzle off. The deck wash hose is long enough to reach all parts of the boat and works well for cleaning the deck as well as the anchor and chain. When the seawater is clean enough, we use the galley faucet for washing. The deck wash pump and our watermaker use the same galley seacock.

We discovered early on that our foredeck took a beating when we deployed our second anchor, particularly when anchor chain rattled out of the hawsepipes. The problem was solved by cutting commercially available Dri-Dek sheets to fit around all the foredeck fittings. The anchor chains are disconnected from the anchors and led through the holes in the grates made for the hawsepipes or the windlass, then reconnected to the anchors. The sheets should be arranged so they join fore and aft down the middle of the foredeck and cut to fit around the windlass and cleats. The Dri-Dek sheets are available in different colors from Kendall Products (www.dri-dek.com). They have survived five years in the Florida sun. When using the deck wash pump, the water runs under the grates and over the side.

– Dick de Grasse spends half the year living aboard his Tartan 34 Endeavour and is a frequent contributor to Ocean Navigator.

By Ocean Navigator