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Mud is often way too sticky to come off as the OP described.

Best approach with a windlass, of course, is to get a section of PVC pipe about 4" ID x 1' long. Cut a 2" wide slot from end to end and attack a few wood stiff bristle brushes to the inside. These will brush the mud off your chain.

Next get one of those hinge type fittings to connect a pipe... the ones used for dodgers and biminis... attach the hinge to the middle of the pipe opposite to from the slot. You want to be able to attach and detach a 5' length of 3/4 or 1" tubing easily.

Once you have your scrubber rigged up... push it on to the chain and press the windlass and the brushes will clean your chain. If the tubing is long enough you can do it just under the water and this will keep the mud from building up on the scrubber.

DIY easy peasy... it works!
 

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Mud on the deck is a badge of honor. You anchor. 99% of boaters seem afraid to anchor, especially overnight. Wear it proudly!!

I have a high pressure wash down pump that I use to limit the mud, but we always get some. I attached a long self coiled hose to the washdown that stretches about 30 ft. Instead of keeping the mud entirely off the deck, I use it to rinse the deck off afterward. I always return to the slip with mud on the anchor itself. Can't reach it well with the hose, especially beneath.

I also pull back on the rode, before weighing anchor. Varied results with cleaning the chain. I do it so that the road is laid out directly in front of me. Unless winds are very high, the chain road can be snaked all around on the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Mud is often way too sticky to come off as the OP described.

Best approach with a windlass, of course, is to get a section of PVC pipe about 4" ID x 1' long. Cut a 2" wide slot from end to end and attack a few wood stiff bristle brushes to the inside. These will brush the mud off your chain.

Next get one of those hinge type fittings to connect a pipe... the ones used for dodgers and biminis... attach the hinge to the middle of the pipe opposite to from the slot. You want to be able to attach and detach a 5' length of 3/4 or 1" tubing easily.

Once you have your scrubber rigged up... push it on to the chain and press the windlass and the brushes will clean your chain. If the tubing is long enough you can do it just under the water and this will keep the mud from building up on the scrubber.

DIY easy peasy... it works!
You may be right, my super easy method may not always work.

I had thought along the lines of what you are proposing but never built it. The reason is that I did not see how to prevent the contraption to ride up the chain when you haul it (the chain) in. Or, alternatively, fall off into the deep. How do you hold it in position? Do you attach your 5' tubing to the pulpit or something?

A picture might be helpful?
 

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You may be right, my super easy method may not always work.

I had thought along the lines of what you are proposing but never built it. The reason is that I did not see how to prevent the contraption to ride up the chain when you haul it (the chain) in. Or, alternatively, fall off into the deep. How do you hold it in position? Do you attach your 5' tubing to the pulpit or something?

A picture might be helpful?
You can hold it like you hold a broom while you press the windlass foot switch... or can make a bridle and attach it to port and starboard cleats... it shouldn't ride over the roller. You can figure out what works for your boat... You can do it!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
You can hold it like you hold a broom while you press the windlass foot switch... or can make a bridle and attach it to port and starboard cleats... it shouldn't ride over the roller. You can figure out what works for your boat... You can do it!
Hm, I guess I could do it if I had a windlass foot switch -- or a windlass to begin with :frown

Maybe somehow clamp the whole shebang under the anchor roller?

Seems much more complicated than going hard astern a couple times...
 

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It's kinda nuts to have all chain and not have a windlass... and I would suggest an electric windlass. It you have to pull the chain or crank a manual you would be short of hands!

As I anchor mostly and cruised for a number of years in the Caribbean, adding all chain and a Maxwell reversing windlass with a cockpit remote switch was part of my preparation. Easy up and easy down and not back strain. Money well spent. If you go from marina to mariana or mooring to mooring.... the windlass and chain seem to be an unnecessary expense. But if you are paying dockage/mooring... the cost of the windlass and chain will amortise very quickly.
 

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bell ringer
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I find that most of the mud on the chain comes off if you just bring it up slower and stop more often to allow it to wash off. But when it comes right down to it I just assume I'm going to end up with some of that baby poop looking mud on me.
 

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Don, I don't know where you are right now, but what you say is correct for mud UNTIL you reach some areas of the Chesapeake. The only way some of that mud finally left our chain after 2 years was when we replaced the chain…

Mark
 

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Don, I don't know where you are right now, but what you say is correct for mud UNTIL you reach some areas of the Chesapeake. The only way some of that mud finally left our chain after 2 years was when we replaced the chain…
Once Chesapeake Bay mud dries it is remarkably like concrete. You can get it off mechanically which is laborious. If you think law enforcement won't take a dim view of it you can drag your chain down a road behind a truck. 35 mph should do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
It's kinda nuts to have all chain and not have a windlass... and I would suggest an electric windlass. It you have to pull the chain or crank a manual you would be short of hands!
I suppose that depends on where you anchor. I never sailed in Alaska or the PNW where, apparently, anchoring in depths of 50' or more is not uncommon. That might me make reconsider my choice. But pulling up 100' of chain, plus a 35# anchor, from a depth of 10' or so (typical for many anchorages in the Chessie) is really not a big deal. I lift many times more than that in the gym several times a week.
 

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Don, I don't know where you are right now, but what you say is correct for mud UNTIL you reach some areas of the Chesapeake. The only way some of that mud finally left our chain after 2 years was when we replaced the chain…
This is a good point. We never get it totally off. Dry crusty pieces are often deposited to the foredeck, as the anchor is deployed the next time. If that's a concern, it's best to use the washdown, or even a good toss of a bucket, to rinse them off, before they become wet and run down the deck.

It reminds me to mention that a good fresh water rinse of the chain locker, when back at the marina or taking on fuel/water, is a smart move. If you have topside drains in the locker, they could become clogged over time and occasionally rinsing off the salt water has to be good for chain longevity, let alone preventing the chain from sitting in a salt water bath. If your locker drains to the bilge, it depends on how much of a workout you're willing to give your bilge pump I suppose.
 

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Mud on the deck is a badge of honor. You anchor. 99% of boaters seem afraid to anchor, especially overnight. Wear it proudly!!
.

Exactly. And if you sail fast enough, it will wash off.
 

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I like the idea of the OP... with the cautions others have mentioned.

I do have a wash down pump and set it up to clean the chain as I bring it in, currently by hand as my manual windlass needs some maintenance and I dropped the arm overboard as well.

I usually let out more scope than I probably need to but I sleep better. When I know I am going to be leaving that day I often go up and pull in a few feet at a time letting the majority of the gunk fall off as the chain swings with the boat. This works well. So if I wake up at 7:00, and want to leave by say 10:00... about every half hour I will start bring in some chain.

I used to use a bucket with a rope attached to wash down, but that get tiring as well. I will try your technique though, if anything out of curiosity.

Cheers
 

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You guys need a better wash down pump it sounds like. I don't careif I get all the mud off, just so it keeps the baby poop down. It's anchor chain why the hell do some of you feel it needs to be clean?

BTW - I'm in NC now and the mud as Southern Charm :)
 

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Late to this discussion--was out sailing.

But I use a chain scrubber made by Davis Instruments which works quite well. Unfortunately they no longer make it but perhaps you can find a used one.

I attached it to a carbon fiber golf club shaft whose head had broken off. I glued an adaptor for connecting to a telescopic scrub brush handle to the other end. The shaft allows scrubbing under water without immersing the aluminum handle.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I like the idea of the OP... with the cautions others have mentioned.

I do have a wash down pump and set it up to clean the chain as I bring it in, currently by hand as my manual windlass needs some maintenance and I dropped the arm overboard as well.

I usually let out more scope than I probably need to but I sleep better. When I know I am going to be leaving that day I often go up and pull in a few feet at a time letting the majority of the gunk fall off as the chain swings with the boat. This works well. So if I wake up at 7:00, and want to leave by say 10:00... about every half hour I will start bring in some chain.

I used to use a bucket with a rope attached to wash down, but that get tiring as well. I will try your technique though, if anything out of curiosity.

Cheers
OK, we have an N=2! I went sailing this weekend and repeated the procedure. Same result: the water that dripped off the chain was a bit muddy but not a single clump in the links, until the very end, a foot or two before the anchor came up (and even there only very little). This would probably easy to get rid off, by letting'er swing a bit, as several have suggested.

This was in a different anchorage (within APG). However, N=2 is not exactly a huge number. And of course this is still the same season (fall) and RichH noted that the mud problems might be more acute in summer. May well be, have to wait for the new season.

I will continue to employ this procedure, though likely not many more times this year. Indeed, this one may well have been my last outing for 2016.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
You guys need a better wash down pump it sounds like. I don't careif I get all the mud off, just so it keeps the baby poop down. It's anchor chain why the hell do some of you feel it needs to be clean?

BTW - I'm in NC now and the mud as Southern Charm :)
That's all what it does, keep the baby poop down.

As far as I am concerned the chain does not have to be clean. But I draw the line at having to shovel the mud from deck, or out of the chain locker.
 
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