Date: 9 August 2017. Anchor Locker
of summer have arrived and with a vengeance. Much to my chagrin I
discovered that water can seep into my cabin from the anchor locker
door. When making my bunk with fresh sheets I discovered the far end
of the mattress was damp. Here's how I solved that problem for less
than a dollar.
Access to the anchor locker is via
the small square locker door at the foot of my bunk.
On a boat when a leak is discovered part one is always
finding where the drip originated. That can be problematic as water
tends to go a long way before showing up inside the boat. It's a
real pain in the transom to track down leaks.
This time I was lucky as I could
easily see where the water was entering my cabin. Of course using
the word "lucky" when it comes to having a damp mattress could be
considered a misnomer. The good thing was this: I discovered the
leak quickly. The best part was that I was able to remedy the
situation with materials found onboard the boat.
Side Note about my anchor locker doorway: When I
first bought Seaweed the door you see above was secured to the
bulkhead by four screws. That was a safety fail in my view. If
there was a chain snarl having access to the locker IMMEDIATELY
would be critical.
Digging out a Philips
head screwdriver, then removing the screws would take too much
time. When I need access to the chain, I need it right now.
I chose to remove the screws and replace them with
some 1/8" braided line. The door is simply tied to the bulkhead. A
slip knot keeps it secured when closed. Opening is easy. The knot
slides and the door opens.
This is not fancy. It works as
required. A boater can't ask for more.
The loop of line shown in previous picture on left side, hooks on a
SCREW. That keeps the door open.
The door naturally wants to close. The screw/loop
the door from shutting.
The problem was this: Water was
flowing down the inside of my anchor locker. It's supposed to do
Then the door happened. Water
would go along the inside of the door panel. At the bottom water
would then come to the other side of the panel and into my
bunk/cabin. That's when the foot of my bunk got damp.
down the anchor locker door and then into my cabin.
Having tools and
supplies is important for extended life afloat. That said, it is not
my belief that you should go out and buy tons of tools as soon as
you buy a boat. Your basics of course are needed. The esoteric
however can be bought as you go along. Simply buy extras as you come
upon a need.
If I need four nuts and bolts in a particular size, I'll buy ten.
Four to use immediately, two to drop in the bilge or overboard, and four more
for the next project. Although I started out with what I thought was
a lot, I have more now than ever.
Some items are repurposed. For
instance, I had run across a set of flexible cutting boards at the
Dollar Tree. I originally thought they'd be great for their marketed
use. Then the leak caused me to rethink that.
This is the package I bought:
My anchor locker problem entailed
water. I needed to prevent it from coming into my cabin. I thought
that if I could divert the water away from that forward bulkhead at
the doorway the
problem would be resolved. After much thought I pulled out my plastic
cutting board set.
One flexible plastic chopping mat
aka cutting board was used for this project. Two come in the
package. I did buy a second package for future projects.
When I find an
essential and inexpensive item I usually acquire a spare for ship's
I used regular scissors. It was easy to cut to the width of the locker
opening. I made the plastic piece
one inch longer than the door. It fits inside the anchor
locker when the door is closed.
Because the mat is flexible
bending is not an issue. I can easily tuck it inside the locker as I
shut the door.
An old ice pick poked holes into the cutting board.
Two screws secure it to the door.
Please note the cutting board is attached to the
frame. This is both above and outside of my anchor locker
interior. The teak frame does not extend into the anchor locker.
Only the small cutout section is inside the locker.
I wanted to make sure that water
would have a straight down hill track. I did not want the water to
ooze out the bottom of that door.
As the water flows down the inside of my anchor
locker, it hits the cutting board. Water goes all the way down the
plastic until it passes the bottom of the locker door. That
diversion prevents water from
leaking into my cabin at the bottom of the door. The water simply
drains to the bottom of the anchor locker.
Aboard Seaweed, the anchor locker
drains into the bilge.
Though not perfect, this is a working solution. Water does not get
into my cabin. My bunk has been dry over the past few
thunder-boomers. When tropical storm Alice came through, my bunk
repeated for your convenience.
← GLASSES AND A FLASHLIGHT
are stashed near the anchor locker door.
Every place aboard Seaweed where I might need to see I have an
extra pair of Dollar store magnifiers and a flashlight too.
Previously, it seems
that every time I sat down to reach into a locker I had
forgotten my glasses. If I remembered the glasses, my
flashlight would be across the boat.
After that happened
enough times I chose to buy a half dozen pairs of glasses.
They are stashed anyplace I might need or want them. The same
holds true for flashlights.
I could have hard-wired more 12-volt lights. Realistically speaking
however, the flashlights are used for brief periods
of time. The batteries seldom need replacement. I have dropped a
couple in the bilge which is the death knell for the inexpensive
flashlights I use.
If it's easy and it
works, it's not wrong. That's the way I look at things anyway.
There are professional ways to fix a dripping anchor locker door.
They would include gasket material and secure latch-down systems. I
opted for an inexpensive, simple and effective solution.
That said, I live aboard a small
boat without a lot of cash flow. I am so blessed to be out here. I
honestly require nothing more. This is a wonderful life. Even a damp
bunk can't keep me down. The mattress dried out nicely too, so all is
Besides, I've got friends.
One friend of mine is Gus. He likes hotdogs.
Have I mentioned it's rained quite a lot lately?!?
This is a rather damp Gus. He is a Night Heron. Gus lives in the
mangroves behind Seaweed.
Hoping you and yours are having a
Is access to your anchor locker on deck or in your
And, does your anchor locker drain overboard or into the bilge?
In the Bilges,
What to Wear ~
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