Anchor Locker Swamped

drying-linesThe Anchor Locker on the bow of your boat is a compartment that is designed to store and protect your anchor rode and chain.

When not in use, the locker keeps everything untangled and ready for instant use when you arrive at your anchorage or for deploying in an emergency.

Anchor lockers get hot and wet with little or no ventilation causing hidden problems……..

On most boats, the drain isn’t at the lowest point (for some unexplainable reason), but rather above the lowest point, allowing water to accumulate.

When you haul your anchor, you feed the dripping wet anchor rode and chain, that are quite often covered with guck and gunge from the anchorage, into the hot, wet, unventilated anchor locker creating a nasty shallow swamp!

Your anchor rode marinates in this wet, hot gucky swamp; until it becomes a gucky, slimy, slippery mess, expediting its demise—not what you want to find when you arrive at your next anchorage.

How do you drain the swamp?

Well, Bob arrived the other day and wanted to do just that. We started by emptying his anchor locker and scrubbing the gunge off the anchor rode with a mild biogradable boat soap. Then, we spread it out to dry.

The next challenge was to clean the anchor locker itself. Again, using mild soap and a little bleach, we rid the locker of the yucky swamp and odour.


To prevent the rode from marinating again in the future, after another anchorage; we decided to install deck tiles from the local hardware store.

They are 12″ square soft plastic grates designed for use around pools, decks, porches, garages, laundry rooms and cold cellars.

The antifungal design of the deck tile, prevents the growth of fungus and other nasties, leaving your anchor rode “high and able to dry”, so it is ready for use the next time.

tiles-in-lockerWe snapped them together and trimmed the soft plastic with scissors to fit the anchor locker floor.

This would keep the anchor rode above the water, because the deck tiles are filled with holes and have dozens of tiny legs creating a dry deck above the drain hole for the anchor rode to lay on.

The water could drain out of the rode and run between the plastic legs of the deck tile.

The squares were around $3.50 each, which is a small price to pay to prolong the use of your valuable anchor rode and eliminate or greatly reduce cleaning time.


Bob cruised off the next day, with his anchor locker and contents clean and protected.

He was confident that his anchor and rode would be dry and ready when he arrived at his planned anchorages.

To learn more about caring for your anchor locker, see “The Oft Forgotten Anchor Locker” article.

See related e-Lessons:

Anchoring Your Boat

Making Ropes into Lines

Tying and Using Knots

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap