If you spend any time anchored in warm water, your anchor chain will attract enough growth to make bringing it back on deck a messy operation. I’ve watched cruisers whose anchors have been down for a while take a full day to scrub each link of chain clean. I have a better and easier way.
Because growth on anchor chain will be limited to the section of the chain that extends from the surface to the bottom, you’ll need to clean only the section of the chain that’s equal to the depth of the water, not the entire length of of rode you have put out.
Here’s the gentleman’s way to clean that growth, no matter whether it’s slime, weeds, or barnacles. A few days before you plan to get under way, let out an amount of chain slightly greater than the depth of the water you’re anchored in. That’s all you have to do. The chain’s scouring action along the bottom will clean it thoroughly in a couple of days, not enough time for new growth to appear on the “fresh” section of chain you’ve let out. Although a sandy bottom makes the best cleaner, of course, this technique will work in almost all bottom types, even mud.