Anchor damaged my pulpit!

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Well-known member
Feb 27, 2006
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Brooklyn, NY USA
Hey everyone. I hit some rough seas today and the anchor was really bouncing around. When I got back to the dock I noticed a chip of gel coat/glass missing from my pulpit. It looks like the screw from the shackle caused the damage. What can I do to prevent this from happening again? Also, how do you think I should repair the damage? Epoxy and gel coat? :cry:

Sorry about the bad pic. I used my cell phone.

The gelcoat is easy enough to do...see my thread on it.

You'll have to fill the gouge sufficiently so that the gelcoat is only about 1/16" thick. If I remember Dale made a comment in my thread about filling the larger gouge I displayed with something before applying the gelcoat.
I also have a few nic's on my pulpit...My plan is to put a piece (approx 18") of fire hose around the anchor shank/chain to prevent further damage from bouncing... I have 1.5 & 2.5 hose; let me know if you need some.
Porkchunker, I know how to do minor gel coat touch ups, but this is kind of deep. Maybe I should use some Formula 27 first, then gel coat? Dale?

JimH, I was thinking about using some hose, but the damage was caused specifically by the shackle, not the chain. If I cover the shackle with hose, would the anchor be stiff with the chain? I want it to swivel a bit. Thanks for offering me some hose, but its cheap enough. I'd only need a few feet. I don't want you to go through the hassle to ship it out.

96TL":18ejedwj said:
how do you think I should repair the damage? Epoxy and gel coat?

That should do it.
Epoxy to seal and fill... gelcoat to cover.

This is what I do to protect my pulpit from chain and shackle damage.


It is basic 3/4" pipe insulation sourced from Home Depot and I use it to wrap my anchor chain...
So far... it's worked. :D
Ouch! ... but easily fixable ...

Securing the anchor & chain: 1st - why does your anchor move that much? Do you have a windlass? Even if you do, or even if not, but with a std bit or a sampson post, I put a UV-proof bungee from one point on the chain, around the deck bit, and then back up to the anchor.

Now my deck has one large Vetus Sampson post in the center of the rear of the pulpit. I take a piece of parachute cord about 18" long and it is tied to the chain link that passes next to the post. This gets tied around the s-post as a safety. This is really an "aw shit ..." cord for when I hit heavy seas while offshore ... it takes but seconds to un-do, and if I know I am staying inside and not heading offshore, I un-do it when I leave my mooring.

I also use this achor chain "stop" both as a safety and to hold the chain centered on the pulpit. Note that the pin can have some slop equal to the length of the ID of the chain link - that's why I use and recommend the bungee. If you had this, this should stop the chain from bouncing sideways and smacking your gelcoat. The bungee from this up to the anchor would keep it secure.


Repair: If really deep, I'd fill with Formula 27, I would not use epoxy as you do not get a chemical bond when gelcoating over epoxy. If needed, I can send you some cabosil (which is a thickener) for the gelcoat.
96TL":zfflrgkp said:
Megabyte, whats that "hook device" that pulls the shackle called?

That is an 'anchor tensioner'. It keeps the anchor (reasonably) tight in the pulpit.
They are made by several companies... TH Marine sells one, or this one which is similar from Windline.


Dale mentioned having a secondary 'safety' in case your primary means of securing your anchor fails (or simply slips from your hands).

If you look to the left of that anchor chain, you can just see the stainless clip that is attached to the port side bow cleat by a piece of parachute cord.

Once I've secured the anchor via the tensioner, I attach the safety to a link of chain, then cover it with the pipe insulation to protect the gelcoat.

I had considered covering the face of the pulpit with a thin piece of starboard to protect it from the chain, but my gelcoat was still in good shape, so I went with the method you see in the photo instead.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for the help so far guys. I don’t have a windlass yet. The anchor is held by the factory anchor chock (see pic below). It doesn’t tighten the chain enough. If I could get it to the next link, it would be tight, but that’s not possible. I think the anchor tensioner and tubing over the chain is what I need. The bungee sounds like a good idea also. I have a 16.5# claw anchor, so it’s pretty heavy. I should’ve realized that this would have happened sooner or later.


Dale, last time I tried using Formula 27, it hardened up really quick. I didn't even have enough time to get it in place. I tried different mixes using less hardener each time, but it would still cure in under a minute. Does it usually cure really fast like that?
96TL":1mul8f0h said:
... last time I tried using Formula 27, it hardened up really quick. I didn't even have enough time to get it in place. I tried different mixes using less hardener each time, but it would still cure in under a minute. Does it usually cure really fast like that?
It does setup pretty fast, but that's with the golf ball sized dollup. I go with a marble-sized piece and a 1/3rd of the hardener and haven't had much problems. With any epoxy product, the more you mix ... the faster the reaction time.
A really simple and cheap alternative which has worked for us is to use 2 bungy cords and attach to the anchor (where the shackle conects) back to each cleat to hold it tight against the pulpit. Sorry I don't have any pix...

Dom... Here is a better shot of the tensioner.


And here is the safety...

This is my first post to this board, but I have been reading with great interest.

I have been wondering how to protect my pulpit and the entry edge of the anchor locker as I let out and retrieve my anchor. I was thinking that some sort of paint on surface coating might be worthwhile. I recently came across a product called Herculiner ( which is a paint on protective coating for truck beds. It is supposed to be usable on metal and fiberglass. I have been thinking that using this product to paint a stripe along the path of the anchor chain on the pulpit and also around the circumference of the anchor locker entry hole might provide adequate protection for the fiberglass below. The material can be touched up so that inevitable wear and tear is repairable fairly easily. I don't know if this will work but it may be worth a try. The bungee cords and anchor tensioner will prevent damage while the anchor is secured, but while the chain is running in and out I don't see any other easy way to prevent damage to the fiberglass.