Anchor Locker Design

The anchor locker design has been one of the more challenging aspects of the Bolero conversion project for me. There is very little space to house a full size anchor and rode on the Shields. I am committed to carrying a properly sized and easy to use anchor on Bolero. It has often been suggested that I carry my anchor in the cockpit or cabin. But having done this for three years I have found many challenges with this setup. First, since I don't anchor often, the anchor tends to get buried in the cabin and becomes almost impossible to get to in a hurry. And second, Bolero will have a finished wood cabin and I can't imagine getting the anchor, chain and nylon rode in and out of the cabin without eventually damaging the finely finished interior.

I decided early on that the solution would be an anchor locker. Then I proceeded to conciously and subcouncisios ignore the whole thing until Tim finally dove in. Tim measured Bolero's forepeak six ways to Sunday and likewise measured the anchor. He then modeled the anchor in many different orientations inside the forepeak. After getting a pretty good idea of what might work he mocked up an anchor locker door that seemed right to him.

The full in depth details of Tim's mockup can be found in the Dec 7th log. I have to admit that on first looked I thought it was a terrible solution (even though I was the one who proposed it). I called Tim the next morning and was cranky and irritable basically because I thought I wasn't getting what I wanted. I couldn't imagine a way to use the anchor in this locker under sail. Tim was very understanding during this call. Especially considering the amount of time and effort he had into this mockup and layout. I decided to think about everything we talked about and call him back.

I made two decision immediately after calling him. First I called a friend with a Newport 30 who has a anchor locker design that he loves. But he wasn't home. Then I decided to created a mockup of the foredeck on my living room floor. I had just enough room in my small one bedroon house to layout the 11 1/2 ft foredeck from the front edge of the cabin to the tip of the bow. This was something I should have done months ago. Pictures, especially with wide angle lenses, distort lengths and sizes something fierce. Here is Tim's anchor locker mockup laid out on my living room floor.

You can't imagine my elation at the spaciousness of the Shields fordeck, especially once I moved the coffee table out of the way. Most of my concerns and worry was a direct result of the picture distortions. I quickly became comfortable that this design would work with some minor tweaking.

Another key to my new found enthusiasm was when I opened the anchor locker door all the way. I thought having the anchor locker door open all the way and resting on the toe rail might be a solition to the door being in the way of the jib during anchoring. For me the pieces were dropping into place one by one.

The next idea which seem to help was the inclusion of take apart hinges, like the ones shown, on both sides of the door. This would allow me to open the door on the windward side as I sail on a downwind reach. This would also let me completely remove the anchor locker door if I wanted it completely out of the way.

After another call to Tim and tentatively deciding where the bow chocks and deck cleat could go this anchor locker design looks good to go. In my enthusiasm I boasted to Tim that this was our last big hurdle. He laughed a little and promise we would have more. Even so, I am glad to have the bulk of this issue behind.