Anchoring – a complete overhaul

When we bought Artemis, we changed to a Rocna anchor and it has been doing a fantastic job of holding the boat each night – the statistics are here.

But there is more to anchoring than just the anchor. There is:

  • the anchor
  • the chain
  • the anchor winch with it’s gearbox and motor
  • the switch that you press to work the motor

The all important switch rusted and fell apart in Grenada but we managed to clean it up and put it together so that it worked (mostly) until friends brought a new one to the Grenadines. The new one fitted perfectly after we modified it a bit.

repairing the anchor winch

The chain started to deteriorate as soon as we reached the Caribbean and by the time we reached St. Martin it was more rust than chain so that was replaced.

The anchor motor stopped working in Curacao but we found some one to repair it for us. While it was being repaired we had to lift the anchor by hand – but luckily two out of four times Joop was on board to do the lifting. The repair lasted a week and then it stopped again. Neill was very annoyed. By then we were in Aruba so took it off to another shop to be repaired again.

Another week and the motor wouldn’t turn again. This time Heidi was extremely annoyed. We took the motor off the gearbox and it ran perfectly but the gearbox wouldn’t turn. We took the gearbox off the winch and the gearbox turned but the winch didn’t. We took the winch off the deck and sent it to some one with a big hammer and a hydraulic press.

When we write ” we took something off” what we really mean is that one of us crawls on our back in to the tiny anchor locker and lies on the chain with no space and immediately starts to sweat copiously. With no space to work he or she removes immovable nuts and taps things with a hammer. The other one reaches through the tiny trapdoor, across the sweating person and tries to catch dropped bolts in a sieve or hold the other end of something. For the gearbox we kept this up for about an hour!

The winch has now been completely rebuilt and sealed back to the deck. The gearbox has been cleaned and greased. The motor is back on with improvements in the wiring and (at the moment) everything works like new.

We’ll keep you posted.

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