How to Seal Anchor Chain Pipe Hole - SailNet Community

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Old 03-27-2009
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How to Seal Anchor Chain Pipe Hole

I can't remember or never knew the name of the hole in the deck that the anchor chain passes through on its way down to the anchor chain locker. A nice little metal tube or pipe device with a loose metal cap with a hook on the bottom is incorporated into this. Is a hawsehole or hawsepipe, or is that name just for holes that allow hawses to pass through the hull?

Anyhow, I'm wondering what methods have been devised for sealing it so torrents of green water don't go spilling down it when the bow is underwater. Take the anchors off the bow, drop the chain down into the chain locker with a tag line on the last link so you can find it, and then how do you properly seal that through deck hole? Anybody have any ideas? Or do you even bother with it as it isn't that big of a hole....... Maybe a tightly screwed hose clamp holding strong fabric or sail cloth over the hole? On my boat it is sort of an oval shape, not round.

Thanks.

Ian
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Old 03-27-2009
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I've never disconnected my anchor from the chain while underway....and never even considered it....is this normal practice for others as well?
Mine just takes on water below...I am looking at a couple chain locker drain ideas to keep the water out of the bilge.
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Last edited by kaluvic; 03-27-2009 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 03-27-2009
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It's usually called a hawse pipe or chain pipe. There are a few different ways to seal them. One is to have a cap that fastens over the opening that is held in place by a screw coming up the hawse pipe. Another is using a fast pin to hold the existing cap in place. Another is to use an expandable plug to fill the hole.

With an oval shaped one, I would probably recommend using a fast pin to hold the cover in place. Drill a 1/4" hole through the side of the cap and the hawse pipe itself and insert a 1/4" fast pin.
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when on an open water passage, where the water is too deep for the anchor to be of any use, many sailors will remove the anchor and stow it below. This is to prevent the anchor or bow roller from being damaged in heavy seas as well as removing a large heavy item from the very bow. Anchor lockers should drain overboard.

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Originally Posted by kaluvic View Post
I've never disconnected my anchor from the chain while underway....and never even considered it....is this normal practice for others as well?
Mine just takes on water below...I am looking at a couple chain locker drain ideas to keep the water out of the bilge.
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The pipe between the deck and the anchor locker is properly called the spill pipe. While upsetting to the aesthetics of the yachtsman, there is nothing wrong with sealing in the same manner as done on ships for scuppers and other holes that need plugging; shove a rag in it and then cement over the top of the rag. It will seal, and when needed open will break out readily enough.
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How about making a cap or plug the shape of the pipe, then clip or shackle the chains end to the bottom/inside of the plug or cap....and let the weight of the chain pulling down on it hold it in place.
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Old 03-27-2009
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If the anchor and chain have been unshipped, a tennis ball shoved into the chain-pipe works quite well. If the cap has a chain hook, merely cut a slot in the ball to accommodate the hook. If the anchor and chain have not been unshipped, split the ball half-way and pass the chain through it and proceed as before.

FWIW...
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Sailaway21 has it partly right...
Spill pipe; leads from the deck down into the Chain locker.
Hawse pipe; a fairlead that leads from the deck down through the side of the vessel and overboard.
Now pending on the size of the spill pipe, I just stuffed a rag down it and covered the rag with canned styrofoam(sp?). And it pops out easily when you drop the hook.
I have seen canvas truncated cones, split to wrap around the chain. The cones were stuffed with rags or foam in order for them to hold their shape. A lanyard was attached to keep it from going overboard or being pushed down into the chain locker.
Then some yachts have fancy bronze caps over their spill pipes... and you get to polish them every morning before you have breakfast. A routine job for the deck hand.
For the Hawse pipe we used a 'Buckler plate' also known as a Jackass cover This stops the water from coming up the Hawse pipe and unto the deck.
But it can be a bit moot when you are burying your bow into the seas...
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Old 03-27-2009
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West Marine: West Marine Search Tool

Here's a page of Deck Pipe fittings from Worst Marine.....i2f
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Thanks, guys. Good info. Spill pipe. Sounds like whatever you can invent that will stay stuffed into the spill pipe will work. My though about removing the anchors from the bow was the same as SD's - lots of weight on the very pointy end of the boat, more surface area for water to torque on........ More applicable on longer passages further from shore, maybe not if you might have to duck into an anchorage. At what point do you decide to lash the anchor down tightly in the bow roller, if you aren't going to remove it? Mine has a nice beefy pin and the usual dog on the windlass, but there is plenty of room for it to slam around if the bow is getting pounded.

Ian
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