The Chain Scrubber


I made this for my husband, he gets so muddy when he brings up the anchor :-).
Found the design on another blog. Basically, it is three scrub brushes fixed in a triangular shape to capture and scrub the chain as it comes to the surface. We will also have a saltwater wash down. 





I got the scrub brushes on amazon for about 4 bucks a piece. I drilled 8 holes in the center brush and 4 holes on the outer brush to accommodate the line for the soft hinges. 

The hinges are 1/8th Dacron tied with a square not and three half hitches on each side of the knot. I then finished it off by whipping the knots for extra security. I’m trying Dacron instead of metal hinges to avoid corrosion.




The soft hinges allow us to reverse the bend to create an anchor scrubber.





The chain scrubber works by capturing the chain. With a weight on one end and a messenger line to a bow cleat, the scrubber should sit below the water, scrubbing the chain as we weigh anchor. I attached a line to encircle the whole scrubber to secure it closed, but I may add a Velcro strip or a positive latch. We will see how this hold together and how quick it is to deploy and remove.





26 thoughts on “The Chain Scrubber

    • Good Grief! If they ever actually sailed instead of just tinkering I would be more impressed. They have a most excellent blue water yacht so it’s a shame they seem to have a scrub brush mentality. I’m particularly impressed by the lack of roller furling. Now, if only they would take the sail covers off once in a while.

  1. How dumb is that! Lose the chain and go to a nylon rode and you won’t have to worry about muddy chain. Use a short length of stainless steel chain (about six feet) between the anchor and the nylon rode. I see so many fools using heavy all chain rodes and then I see them rigging snubbers of nylon to reduce the sharp yanks on the bow. Duh! It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people are! All chain rodes are OBSOLETE now that quality nylon is available. Are you sailing in the 21st century or are you stuck in the 1900’s?

    Capt. Neal

      • Today’s so-called sail cruising boats
        are mostly faddish and obscene!!!

        Yes, I know. I know because I see them.

        They come into an anchorage all so proud
        of themselves but looking all so stupid
        and dysfunctional.

        They all share the common obscene follies
        as displayed in magazines:

        1) Roll-up headsail(s)which break and
        foul with regularity,

        2) Red, yellow and blue plastic jugs
        tied to a board which is tied to
        the lifeline stanchions on the side
        decks so as to make going forward
        tedious to dangerous.

        3) All-chain rode rattling down across
        some sort of bow roller the sheave
        of which is made for use with line and
        powered by a way too heavy electric

        4) Idiots fumbling and hanging over the
        bow trying to connect a *snubber* to
        take the *snatch* out of their all-
        chain rode. IOW, adding folly upon

        5) The obligatory noisy wind generator.

        5) The obligatory noisy Honda portable
        generator grinding away.

        5) An obnoxious barking dog running around
        under foot.

        6) Stern davits for carrying an inflatable
        which inflatable is never deflated because
        it has a heavy *hard* bottom. IOW the
        dinghy is a proud display of the worst of
        both worlds.

        7) Way large outboard engine for the inflatable
        proudly displayed on the stern rail along with
        various other clutter such as man overboard
        devices, rows of fenders, etc. all rotting
        and mildewing in the sun and rain.

        8) A tiny, dim and illegal law light for an
        anchor light despite all the generators
        and probably a thousand pound battery

        9) Bent and dysfunctional Windex at the masthead.

        10) A way tall and faded *dodger* with yellowed
        plastic front window through which nothing
        can be seen so the helmsman or woman is on
        tippy toes trying to look over the top of
        the dysfunctional piece of shit.

        And these fools are today’s proud and arrogant
        cruising show boaters?

        OMG! How a dignified and honest pursuit has
        been commercialized and turned into a sordid

        Sir Gregory

    • Your observation that nylon rode is frequently sufficient due to advances in chemistry is correct but you are too harsh on sailors with chain. There were times during a recent circumnavigation that 50m chain rode was handy if not critical.

      • Perhaps sailors should place more emphasis on identifying suitable anchorages instead
        of causing mass destruction to coral, plants, mollusks. fish habitat, etc. which all are trying
        hard to survive down there? Sure, go in there, drop hundreds of pounds of chain on the
        wildlife and spend a day or two there with it scraping and plowing back and forth across
        the bottom. Real cool!

        I just don’t agree with the *brute* force approach when the *finesse* approach makes much
        more sense for all concerned. It’s high time we sailors stopped raping the very resources
        we make a false pretense of caring about.

        Lose the all-chain rodes please!

      • You make good points Captain Neal. Some of the things I will be looking at when we cruise as we have 250 ft all line rode (30ft chain) and will have a 150 ft of chain with 100ft of line. This does not include our stern anchor which is all rope with 6 ft of chain and we want another rode set up specifically for storm situations. For me I’m thinking the anchor will play the biggest role( obviously) we have 4. An anchor that doesn’t drag leave less of an impact. The area one cruises in makes is a big factor.
        Anyways, happy sailing on your beautiful vessel ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Rhapsody,
        Great point! Sorry took so long to reply. My parents circumnavigated with 350+ all chain, and 300+ line rode. Sometimes that nice safe harbor can turn very bad very quickly. Plus the risk of chafe isn’t only below the waterline, it the darn hawse pipe / anchor roller than can be the downfall. My parents used chain 75-80% of the time. Having a manual windlass, I’m sure they wanted to use the line rode as much as possible!
        Anyways, hope all is well.

    • You, sir, are the fool. Or, an armchair sailor who has never had to anchor amidst coral and other sharp, geologically-forged shapes, let alone winds of 50+knots (which definitely require a snub line). Using anything but chain plus a snub in many cruising circumstances (outside of the marina scene) is asking for serious trouble… the kind we have witnessed many times throughout the Pacific (and over 40,000 cruising miles from the 1980s to present), while boats with severed “quality nylon” anchoring systems (irresponsibly) drift on by. We have spent hours helping people search for lost anchors due to severed “quality nylon” of the “21st century.” Luckily, we haven’t yet witnessed a lost life or boat, though I’d venture a guess that it’s only a matter of time, since several have actually grounded ashore (Mexico, Fiji, New Zealand). Perhaps those old salts “stuck in the 1900’s” knew a thing or two after all. It’s clear that you, sir, would really like to see a return to those days yourselfโ€”except for the anchor chain, of course.

    • Erika, you sound pretty cool. That you can compliment a grumpy old sailor such as myself indicates you might not be wasted on sailboat. Now, for a little advice. Time’s a wasting. Get to it. Don’t be like Capt. Skippy and Lydia of the “Flying Pig” infamy who spend more time bouncing grandchildren on their arthritic knees than sailing. Any excuse to not leave port. Sad. You guys have a fine cruising vessel. No excuse. GO!

      Capt. Neal

      • Thanks Captain Neal. We were all set to go then I got sick with brain tumors, doc said had to have surgery. It kicked my butt, big time. But finally, after three long years, we are able to start looking at cruising. We originally planned for heavy offshore travel but with my health we have decided for now to stick to local Bahamas and east coast for hurricane season.
        I know these projects may seem silly, but (1) I stand by my nifty scrub brush! It will keep mudd of my hubby and off our pretty vessel (2) it was something I could do while lying in the berth( I wasn’t allowed to stand up unless absolutely necessary). I also was doing some sweet splicing but haven’t posted that. I’m the official Bosuns for Rain Dog ๐Ÿ™‚
        We choose not to have furling system, cause they break, and usually at 1 am during a squall. lol, like you pointed out!!

        So much wisdom, between your curmudgeonly comments ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you will let us have you over for a sundowner when we pass through Florida on our way to the Bahamas.

  2. While we appreciate the spirited debate, not sure this is the best place for a “chain vs rope rode” debate. You can get plenty of that on Sailnet or Cruisers Forum. Let’s keep future comments to “chain scrubber” comments.

  3. Pingback: Gunk buster? - YachtForums.Com

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