Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Down, Umpteen to go

New Bern, North Carolina

We haven't finished our to-do list yet. I'll publish it when we do. Nevertheless, I finished at least one project.

We have a deck pipe in the bow under the windlass for anchor chain. From the deck, one simply lowers the chain into the pipe and it disappears. On our primary anchor, Betty, we have 220 feet of chain. Down below there is a chain locker under the v-berth to hold all that chain. All that chain is very heavy, so it should be stored as low, and as close to the boat's center of gravity as possible. Therefore, the lower chain locker is 3 feet lower and 3 feet aft of the deck pipe. There is a chain pipe system to connect the two. On Tarwathie, the pipes were made of sch 40 PVC. It was comprised of a series of rigid pipes, elbows, and a floor flange, all held together with screws.

You can see part of the pipe angling down in the middle of the V-berth in the picture below. Behind the wall is the forward chain locker (for the rope/chain danforth anchor rode) Under the cushions is the lower chain locker. The steep angle assures that the chain feeds itself down by gravity.

Recently, we started having trouble with the chain getting stuck in the pipe. Investigation showed that friction from the chain had worn grooves in the plastic pipe. In several places the grooves cut all the way through sothat the pipes were U shaped rather than round. They all had to be replaced.
Above: I decided to use PVC flexible pipe to replace it, rather than rigid pipes and elbows. I found this 10 foot by 2 inch piece of flex pipe on EBay for $30. No elbows, no screws needed.
Above: you see the underside of the deck with the old damaged pipe. See the chain inside the pipe.
Above: parts of the damaged pipes after removal. The brown is mud. The chain is usually muddy when put away. The chain had been getting stuck in those grooves.

Above: the underside of the deck with the new flex pipe in place. I was able to keep the old flange.

Above : The last step was to add a short elbow on the bottom end and a strap to hold the bendy pipe in the middle of the locker. You can see the pile of chain underneath in the lower chain locker. The view is from the V-berth.

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