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post #1 of 25 Old 07-24-2017 Thread Starter
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Chain locker modifications

I'm planning the projects I'm hoping to do on my Tartan 37 during this coming off season. I know it's early, but I'm an obsessive planner.

One thing I'd like to do is some upgrades to the chain locker and associated hardware. I've identified 3 concerns:
1) There's no windlass
2) The chain locker drains into the bilge
3) The only access to the chain locker is through the vberth

After lots of research, thinking, and a bit of crawling around inside the chain locker, this is my plan:

1) Add a power windlass and a dedicated battery under the vberth. This will allow me to run lighter gauge wire from the rest of the house batteries to the windlass battery and allow the heavy gauge wire runs to be significantly shorter. I'm still trying to find specific advice on exactly how to size the wire, but this seems to be a common setup. I'm wondering about opinions on whether the dedicated battery is really necessary, or if I should just fork out the cash for heavy gauge wire the whole length of the boat. I'm also planning to install a saltwater washdown for the chain, so this makes me think a dedicated battery is an even better idea.
2) I'm planning to glass in the bottom of the locker so it no longer drains to the bilge and drill a hole and mount appropriate fittings to allow it to drain overboard.
3) After much deliberation, I've decided that the shape/size of the Tartan's bow makes it impractical to retrofit a hatch to allow access to the chain locker from the deck. This saddens me, but I'm curious to hear opinions from more experienced sailors who have had boats without deck access to the chain to hear if it has caused enough headaches to make it worth trying to figure it out.

As mentioned, I'm still in the early planning stages, so everything is still rather mutable, but this plan seems like the best value for my effort.
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post #2 of 25 Old 07-24-2017
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Re: Chain locker modifications

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Originally Posted by BillMoran View Post
I'm wondering about opinions on whether the dedicated battery is really necessary, or if I should just fork out the cash for heavy gauge wire the whole length of the boat.
Every function getting a dedicated bank is wasteful, adding dead lead weight, complications and ongoing expense.

Wiring is one time.

Adding capacity to House, or consolidating all starters, windlass bilge etc batts into one big "boat bank", whatever, but fewer banks the better, in so many ways.

An LVD "battery protector" can isolate critical batteries from being pulled down too far.
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post #3 of 25 Old 07-24-2017
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Wink Re: Chain locker modifications

As a newbie (one year) Tartan owner I have no advice to offer.

But I do want to Thank You for giving me the answer to "why does what look like mud/silt keep showing up in my bilge?" Now to start cleaning off my chain before it goes down the hawse pipe!

Good luck!

Rich
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post #4 of 25 Old 07-24-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Chain locker modifications

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But I do want to Thank You for giving me the answer to "why does what look like mud/silt keep showing up in my bilge?" Now to start cleaning off my chain before it goes down the hawse pipe!
That made me laugh out loud. Glad I could help
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Re: Chain locker modifications

Get a bow anchor roller to go with the windlass and store the anchor in the roller. Voila, no more need for that ugly hole in your fore deck and your anchor will always be ready for immediate use. You might rethink the dedicated battery. You will still need fairly heavy gauge wire if you plan on running the engine while working the windlass. The weight of a battery will equal a number of feet of chain which I'd much rather have. Get a vertical winch with combination rope capstan and chain gypsy. The rope gypsy will come in handy for kedging off when you run aground or winching yourself into med moor slips. Horizontal winches will essentially only work for straight ahead inline pulls while a vertical rope capstan will work in all directions as long as the pull is horizontal or lower.
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post #6 of 25 Old 07-24-2017
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Re: Chain locker modifications

Isolating the anchor locker from the people space on your boat makes a lot of sense. My boat has a forward-sloping anchor locker floor and drains out a 3/8" hole in the stem--all of which is above the waterline. I also have a bow roller to capture the anchor, so it doesn't need to go in the anchor locker.

If you do install a new anchor locker floor, you need to have a reasonable height drop from the deck, or the chain and rope can pile up on retrieval and jam the windlass. I have a deck hatch, which is located near the winch control buttons and provides ready access to the area where the chain and rope drop. If the OP can't install a deck hatch, perhaps a smaller access hatch to reach jams needs to be a priority. Deck access will also facilitate flushing the anchor locker.

In my case, I have a second anchor and rode stowed under the primary anchor rode, but that requires a sizable hatch. My windlass configuration included the rope capstan and rope/chain gypsy, as roverhi recommended--and for the same reason cited.

My configuration is shown in the thumbnail for reference.
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post #7 of 25 Old 07-24-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Chain locker modifications

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But I do want to Thank You for giving me the answer to "why does what look like mud/silt keep showing up in my bilge?" Now to start cleaning off my chain before it goes down the hawse pipe!
On a serious note, you should probably pull up the cushions and get under the vberth to make sure the silt hasn't clogged up the weep holes between the compartments. IIRC, the weep holes in mine aren't very large.
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Re: Chain locker modifications

Take a look at the types of windlasses.
The verticals will require space inside the anchor locker for the motor.
Some people feel like a windlass is a requirement, some see them as nice to have.
You'll probably have 45ish lbs hanging off the pointy end to deal with.
I've pulled up anchors routed back to a jib winch when setting in places I never should have set. You have good multipliers on your boat now.
You'll have a jillion things you 'want' to do, and you'll prioritize them...yourself...
After air and water...the list begins...
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post #9 of 25 Old 07-25-2017
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Re: Chain locker modifications

Most 37 Tartans I know have Bow rollers so that's probably a non issue

If I was obsessed to spend thousands on an electric windlass and then the issue of stalling it I would go with the dedicated battery
The weight of the battery pales in consideration of the weight of adding heavy gauge wire the length of the boat. How large is your house bank now.

We added a dedicated group 27 AGM from Sams for Less than $100 under our V Berth and got an inexpensive iota charger which plugs into a 110 outlet in the v berth area,. Installed a simple Small Blue Seas panel to run a washdown pump and holding tank monitor. This should be enough recharge time for most who visit the slip frequently.

If it were me I would get a manual windlass. We have that and it's a cinch. Many cruisers use them as they are so simple. T37chef who has a 37 Tartan has the identical one we have. Ask him if he likes it.

I am 63...it's an easy solution...easy to use. Won't EVER break or leave you stranded. Keep it simple

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For some smaller vessels without sufficient electrical systems, a manual windlass makes sense. Royal is easy to install and features a smooth, double-action operation that makes anchoring a quick and
simple task.
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Re: Chain locker modifications

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Most 37 Tartans I know have Bow rollers so that's probably a non issue

If I was obsessed to spend thousands on an electric windlass and then the issue of stalling it I would go with the dedicated battery
The weight of the battery pales in consideration of the weight of adding heavy gauge wire the length of the boat. How large is your house bank now.

We added a dedicated group 27 AGM from Sams for Less than $100 under our V Berth and got an inexpensive iota charger which plugs into a 110 outlet in the v berth area,. Installed a simple Small Blue Seas panel to run a washdown pump and holding tank monitor. This should be enough recharge time for most who visit the slip frequently.

If it were me I would get a manual windlass. We have that and it's a cinch. Many cruisers use them as they are so simple. T37chef who has a 37 Tartan has the identical one we have. Ask him if he likes it.

I am 63...it's an easy solution...easy to use. Won't EVER break or leave you stranded. Keep it simple
This is all very helpful information.

I've never been on a boat with a manual windlass, so I have no first hand experience; but when I did some research I discounted it because it just looked like too many extra hands. What I mean by that is that all indications are that I'm going to be single handed most, if not all of the time.

It seems to take a lot of manual winching to pull up the anchor (based on the few videos I've been able to find of the Lofrans) I don't mind the physical aspect of it. But I do have concerns that when single-handed, it results in a lot of time required at the bow and away from the helm. That doesn't seem like a big deal at a calm anchorage, but I worry that if I'm trying to leave with an uncooperative wind or current, I won't be able to do so alone. With a power windlass, I'll run secondary controls back to the helm and in adverse conditions I should be able to leave an anchorage without issue.

I liked the idea of a manual windlass when I first researched it (especially the fact that there's essentially nothing to go wrong with it) but it just doesn't seem practical when I'm alone.

I'm still pretty new to this, so I'd love to hear opinions if you still feel that my approach is misguided.

My house banks are pretty standard 2 battery now. But I'm in the process of gathering information to determine what I want to upgrade to. I expect that's going to take longer to determine, as I don't have any history of my power usage yet.

And, yes, I already have a bow roller. Sorry I omitted that in the original post.
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