The Ideal Boat – Chain Locker


Andy and I were crossing the Atlantic on tiny CARRONADE, our 30 foot wood sloop, on our way to England for our honeymoon! We spent a lot of time in the cockpit discussing what an ideal boat would have if we built it ourselves when BANG! A shot gun noise rang out up forward. CARRONADE had blown her turnbuckle apart and we lost the head stay. Like a typical woman she did not like our discussing anyone other than herself when she was taking such great care of us. A quick leap to the bow with a new turnbuckle and we were on our way again! But we never discussed another boat while sailing in the lovely petite CARRONADE!

I would like to go from fore to aft with a series of blogs to give you an idea of what we considered would be the ideal boat! I am not saying that this is what anyone should have, but I am going to suggest to you some ideas that we incorporated when we built KANDARIK, our “Ideal Boat,” and these ideas have proven to us that they have made our boat more comfortable, efficient, and safe!  For sure everyone should feel their boat IS the ideal boat!  That is how it should always be.  These are just ideas that worked for KANDARIK and, if you know me, you know I love to share what we found worked very well for our boat. I hope you find these helpful:

Starting up forward, Andy wanted to have a lot of chain aboard for our ground tackle. He also knew he did not want a lot of unnecessary weight in the bow. KANDARIK was built for high latitude sailing and he wanted to make sure the bow did not bury in seas because she had too much weight up forward.

For those who have seen KANDARIK in photos or presentations, or in person, you will note that the windlass for the anchor chain is well aft of the bow, five feet aft of the headstay.


This was done on purpose to stow the weight of the chain away from the “eyes” of the boat, and to have a deeper chain locker further aft of the rise of the bow, where the chain could freely fall without any chance of pyramiding and choking off the hawsepipe.


This has worked very well and keeps KANDARIK much more buoyant on the bow. It also keeps the weight of the chain away from the foredeck, and allows the chain locker to be so deep that there is no chance of getting the chain piled on top of itself.

I will be giving more of these “Ideal Boat” blogs in hopes that they may help others and also share good ideas that took a lot of careful and knowledgeable thought!