A bigger anchor locker

The original anchor locker is part of the deck. It is so shallow you cannot store a 33 lb. Bruce in it; the lid won't shut. However, the area under and around the locker is just a void of unused space. In addition, this unused space is very hard to access and it must be accessed to tighten or re-bed any of the fittings on the bow. It takes a real contortionist to get to those fittings. Any leakage ends up right in the v-berth and keeps the bunk wet. Another problem is that all the condensation that accumulates on the inside of the hull in this inaccessible area will run down and, again, the v-berth bunk stays wet. There is a solution to all this.

In a nutshell, the anchor locker is to sawn out, then a new bottom is installed at the level of the drain opening and a new back is built that goes out to the hull.

Here's a more detailed description:

First, take the staysail stay loose. This relieves the pull on the deck. I didn't and have a slight bulge there.

Remove the cabinet work in the v-berth.

Then, make a mark around the inside of the locker on the sides and front, about 1" down from the lip the locker lid sits on. Take a hand grinder, then saw along this line. On the back, cut down the sides and across the bottom, leaving the back that the chain plate attaches to.

Now, cut some plywood, using 1/2" or thicker material, to make up the remainder of the back side of the locker. This piece will go out to the hull and down to the level of the drain and simply extend the back of the original locker the chain plate attaches to. Then cut a "v" shaped piece of plywood to make a bottom, going from the intersection of the other piece to the point in the bow. I cut about a 3" diameter half circle where the drain goes out the side of the hull to make a place for the water to collect and drain.

Grind away all the gellcoat, paint or glue and to get to real glass, going into the interior part of the boat about 3" for good adhesion of the glass you'll put in.

Now, fiberglass this all in fairly heavy. I ran the glass all the way up to the hull/deck joint area, using about 4 layers of "stitchmat". Keep in mind that your anchors may pound the sides occasionally, so you want it to be strong. Then glass it on the inside, both the back of the locker and the underside. You don't need to use as much as on the inside, but you want to sleep well at night, so extra heavy is ok.

I formed a "cup" of sorts where the drain is, glassing it both on the inside and the underside, leaving a little well for the water to drain into from the main bottom, then out the side through the original drain hole.

When you are done, you'll have an anchor locker about 5 times, maybe 10 times as big. You'll have access to all the bolts, etc, in the bow. You will have a dry v-berth, since all those bolts won't leak and all that condensation won't run down into the v-berth. You'll also salvage all that wasted space that used to be up there. At the foot of the v-berth, you'll have a small "stuff" place under the anchor locker to store things also. If you're going cruising, I'd strongly recommend this change, as nasty as the grinding and all the work will be.

No before picture is available, and it's still got resin drips, but here's the idea.

This is just a view from the other side.

Looking backwards, you can see the original back of the anchor locker where the chainplate attaches. The bottom of the chainplate used to be the bottom of the anchor locker. If I did it again, I'd take more care to get a smooth job, but I don't plan to do it again!

I'd also recommend putting some opening ports in the hull of the v-berth. If you do it at the same time, you can save a second mess.

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