Mike Mills’ Black Watch 26 had a perfectly fine anchoring system, the standard chain and robust anchor accessed through a nice bow locker where it all sat happily until needed. But the motivation to use the anchor was often dampened by the hassle of sending a crew member to the bow to extract the anchor, free up the bulky chain and then deploy without damaging the deck or hull, the bow rail or the First Mate. Often times too, Mills would go out alone which was even less appealing as he had to leave the helm to prepare the anchor and rode and then again to drop it – and as you can imagine or know first hand, it is difficult to back the boat down and get a good hold when the helm and the anchor and bow are not nearby to each other.
Solution: Install a Lewmar V700 Electric Windlass using the existing anchor locker to hold the windlass motor. This plan would allow Mills to operate the anchor without leaving the helm for both dropping and pulling up the anchor. With electric foot buttons installed at the bow as well as toggle switches at the helm, it is now much easier to anchor and after a summer season of use, Mills says it changed the way he thought about dropping anchor and he found himself anchoring often – even when alone – as opposed to avoiding the hassle in the past.
Check out the video below about transitioning the anchor locker from messy anchor storage to convenient access for the windlass motor. A fairly easy project and a super solution to enjoying little harbors and finding more quiet coves for a short touch down, swim or dinner aboard.