Simple windlass water stopper

As the days get shorter up here in the Northeast, lots of boats are gearing up to head south. I’m organizing a ride on one of those boats once hurricane season is officially over, and that reminds me of a clever trick to keep water from migrating down the windlass and into the anchor locker that I learned about on a previous offshore delivery. It’s so simple and clever it had to come from a guy who lives in Maine. And you know what, it did.

No matter what kind of windlass you have, there’s a hole in the deck that the chain passes through to get into the locker. To keep the green water that we were probably going to see in the Gulf Stream from going down the hole, my Maniac buddy came up with a simple solution. He takes a small deflated inner tube (the kind that are used on wheelbarrow wheels and available at most hardware stores) and stuffs it down into the hole with the air valve sticking out. Then all he does is pump up the tube. The photos tell the story. Here’s the top view. See the air valve sticking out?

And here what it looks like underneath.

I love solutions like this. And if you have a clever idea I’d love to hear it.

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