Assessing the Build Quality of an Anchor Locker

The build quality of an anchor locker can tell you about the construction of a boat.

Anchor locker build quality
Opening the anchor-locker hatch and taking a look inside gives you great insight into the quality of a boat’s build. Courtesy Regulator Marine

It’s hidden away under a hatch at the bow, but what’s inside can say a lot about your boat. Of course, there are certain things to look for in an anchor locker to help the stowed anchor inside do its job, but it also can reveal much about the quality of your boat’s construction. Take a look inside the anchor locker shown here, from a Regulator 41, to get an idea of what to look for in a quality build.

[1]Gas-Assisted Struts

Gas-assisted struts or shocks that hold open the hatch are essential for keeping your hands free to work the anchor. The last thing you want in rough seas is to have one hand holding up the hatch while you work ­inside the locker.

[2]Gasketed Hatches

A gasketed hatch ensures a snug fit with the anchor locker and helps prevent rattling or pounding while underway. It also helps prevent water intrusion into the locker from the deck.


[3]Self-Draining Gutter

The gutter around the locker’s opening prevents water intrusion from the deck, and the two drains help the water quickly exit so that it doesn’t collect. Pooling water in an anchor locker can cause mildew and damage the anchor line.

[4]Easy Access to the Anchor Rode

Note how Regulator made a cutaway in the locker to access the anchor rode. This is essential to manage any issues with the anchor chain or kinks in the line that can jam up the works, particularly when dealing with an electric windlass.

[5]Chain Stop

Every anchor locker, whether it has a windlass or requires manual deployment of the anchor, should have a chain stop to hold the anchor in place while it’s being stowed so that it doesn’t accidentally cut loose and drop under the boat while you’re running. 


[6]Rode Washdown

Not every boat has this, but the Regulator 41 installs a washdown hose in the anchor locker so that you can rinse dirt and debris off the anchor rode and the anchor ­itself as you haul it in or it gets weighed by the windlass.

Anchor locker build
A windlass remote makes anchoring easier. Courtesy Regulator Marine


While a boat without a windlass can still possibly have a ­high-quality anchor locker, having one properly installed—as shown here—sure makes life easier when you’re on the water.

[8]Windlass Remote

Installing a windlass remote allows you to work the anchor from the bow if needed.


[9]Interior Light

Regulator installs a small LED in the anchor locker to help you see inside in low-light conditions.

[10]Through-Stem Anchor Roller

While many boats still employ a pulpit at the bow of the boat, a lot of high-end builders now fit the bow with a through-stem anchor roller that stows the hook in place at the bow externally. This equipment keeps the anchor and rode out of sight and allows for cleaner lines. This setup also prevents the anchor-rode line from chafing your gunwale topside at the bow.

[11]Full-Gelcoat Interior

The hatch on the ­Regulator is finished, gelcoated fiberglass on both sides, as is the anchor locker’s interior, a sure sign of high-quality construction.


Read Next: Remote Anchoring

 What You Don’t See

Looking at a boat as well-built as the Regulator 41, you won’t find any rough, unfinished fiberglass when you lift the hatch. You also won’t find any exposed, sagging or sloppily run wiring in the ­anchor locker.


More Boats