Using your Deckhand 40 (DH40) (2004-present)

Automatically raise and lower your anchor at the touch of a button. DeckHand 40 (DH 40) has a 40-lb anchor capacity (anchor not included). Pre-spooled with 100 feet of 800-lb test nylon rope. Universal davit can be mounted at base of DeckHand or in remote position on boat deck. Davit also stows anchor horizontally to eliminate anchor swing. Anchor shackle allows for quick changes between anchors. A special anti-drag system senses the bottom to allow for controlled drifting. Runs on 12-volt battery (not included). Remote accessory (sold separately) allows for 25' corded remote operation. DH 40 is designed to work with anchors weighing at least 20 lbs and not more than 40 lbs.


  • Davit can be mounted at base of DeckHand or in remote position on deck
  • 20- to 40-lb anchor capacity (anchor not included)
  • Pre-spooled with 100 feet of 800-lb test nylon rope
  • Universal davit can be mounted at base of DeckHand or in remote position on boat deck; stows anchor horizontally to eliminate anchor swing
  • Anchor shackle allows for quick changes between anchors
  • Stow and deploy switch integrated into the base of the unit
  • Compatible with DeckHand 40 Remote Switch (sold separately)

Rope Length and Size Recommendations

Deckhand 40 models are designed to hold 100 feet of rope. Rope should be 3/16" diameter diamond braid polyester or nylon.

Using the Deckhand in Saltwater

All of our DeckHand electric anchors are intended for use in freshwater only. Use in salt or brackish water will void the warranty.

Anchor Recommendations

The Deckhand 40 is able to accommodate the anchor of your choice with a minimum of 20 pounds and no more than 40 pounds. The anchors that work the best with the DH40 are river anchors and similar styles. They function the best with the davit assembly that comes with the anchor.

Deckhand 40 Remote

If your Deckhand 40 does not come with a remote, you can add a wired remote with a 25 foot cord. The Deckhand 40 Remote is only able to communicate with the control board on the Deckhand 40 and therefore is not compatible with other Deckhand models. Click here to purchase the Deckhand 40 Remote.

Installing the Remote

  1. Remove the cap from the accessory plug that exits the DH 40 unit near the power cord.
  2. Plug remote connector into DH-40 plug
  3. Mount switch in remote location.

Installation Considerations

  • The Deckhand 40 can be used with the Deckhand 40 and the davit connected and mounted directly to the bow, the Deckhand 40 and davit connected and mounted to the MKA-16-03 Quick Release Bracket, or the davit mounted to the bow and the Deckhand 40 separately.
  • The davit needs to overhang the bow of the boat by 9 inches so the anchor can clear the boat and properly pivot into the davit.
  • The Deckhand 40 needs to be mounted so that the anchor rope enters straight into the front of the Deckhand at a right angle to the spool shaft. If it does not, the rope will wrap unevenly around the spool.
  • If the DH-40 is mounted separate from the davit and the rope path is not straight into the spool, you can use pulleys and/or rollers in the rope path for proper alignment.
  • If the DH-40 is more than 2 feet from the davit, the rope stop will need to be repositioned. If it has not been repositioned, the rope may completely unwind and rewind on the spool backwards causing the switch to operate backwards and can damage the gear system.
  • The Deckhand 40 needs to be connected to 12 volts. If the DH-40 is too far from the the battery and you need to extend the battery leads, use a minimum of 10 gauge wire.

Attaching the Anchor

  1. Remove the DH-40 cover if rope end is not accessible.
  2. Put the switch in the "DOWN" position and pull off about 4 feet of rope.
  3. Route rope through cover window, through davit roller and guide (see illustration).
  4. Put the switch back to the "OFF" position.
  5. Attach chain to rope with special knot as shown.
  6. Shackle is used to attach the anchor to the chain.
  7. Replace the cover

Adjusting the Rope Stop

The DeckHand is equipped with a rope stop near the end of the rope inside the spool. This device will come in contact with the davit, rope pulley or other obstruction and stop deploying the rope before the spool is completely empty. It is critical that the spool does not empty completely. If the spool does empty completely, the rope will be wound backwards on the spool. This will cause severe wear on the gear system and the unit will not operate correctly. A correctly wrapped spool has the rope exiting the spool from the top of the spool. If the davit is placed remotely from the base the rope stop will need to be adjusted.

  1. Put the switch in the down position. The anchor will lower until it comes in contact with the ground. The unit should stop. If the anchor is not yet attached go to step 2.
  2. With the switch still in the "down" position grasp the rope and pull on it. The DH-40 will feed out additional rope. As long as there is a pulling force on the rope it will continue to feed out rope. Keep pulling out the remainder of the rope until the rope stop appears in the cover window.
  3. Place the switch in the "OFF" position.
  4. Loosen the knot on the rope stop and feed the rope through the stop. Slide the stop along the rope towards the anchor until it comes in contact with the first obstruction. The obstruction can be the upper davit roller and the upper line guide or a rope pulley if applicable. Be sure that there are approximately 5 wraps of rope remaining on the spool when the rope stop is in full contact with the obstruction. The unit may have to be operated in the "up mode to obtain 5 wraps of rope on spool.
  5. Holding the switch in the "UP" position, allows the spool to fill with rope. Apply slight tension on the rope to insure smooth, even refilling of the spool.

Operating the Deckhand 40

  • To lower the anchor, press the control switch to the "DOWN" position. The anchor should lower automatically and the gear motor will shut off when anchor comes in contact with ground surface
  • To raise the anchor, press and hold the control switch to the "UP" position. The anchor should retract into the davit. Release control switch when anchor has rotated into the davit and is fully seated.

Replacing the Rope

  1. Remove existing rope.
  2. Remove cover
  3. Thread new rope through davit and window opening in cover.
  4. Remove rope stop from old rope, thread rope though rope stop as done on old rope and position rope stop as described in "Adjusting Rope Stop" section.
  5. Thread end of new rope through hole in spool and tie knot near end of rope.
  6. With match flame melt both ends of rope to prevent rope from fraying.
  7. Re-attach anchor.

Circuit Breaker Operation

The power control circuitry and gear motor are protected by a manual resettable circuit breaker. Should an operational situation occur where a prolonged overload is present the circuit breaker will disconnect the battery positive supply in approximately ten seconds. The circuit breaker needs to be manually reset by pushing the small black button on the side. Repeated tripping of the circuit breaker indicates an operational or equipment fault that requires correction.

Deckhand 40 Maintenance

  • After use, rinse unit in fresh water and wipe down unit with a damp cloth. This unit is not intended for saltwater use. Saltwater use will void your warranty.
  • For prolonged storage, lightly coat metal parts with silicone spray or similar product. Avoid spraying switch components with any cleaning, lubricating or moisture absorbing compounds.
  • Check rope periodically for frays or cuts and replace if necessary.

Troubleshooting the Deckhand 40

  • Unit fails to operate or lacks power

    1. Check circuit breaker, be sure button is pressed. If circuit breaker is tripped, investigate the cause of the problem before resetting.
    2. Check battery charge and connections. Be sure terminals are clean and corrosion free. Use a fine grade of sandpaper or emery cloth to clean terminals.
    3. Check your battery water level. Add water if needed. If connections are good and battery has a full charge, obtain service as instructed.
  • Anchor does not go down but will go up

    • Check circuit breaker, be sure button is pressed.
    • Check battery connections.
    • Unit will not function properly if anchor is less than 20 lbs or more than 40 lbs.
    • Check the momentary switch clicks audibly when it is actuated. If it does not click, the switch will need to be replaced (part number 2374010).
    • Test the momentary switch for continuity between the 2 tabs of the switch. There should be continuity between the tabs when the rope is pulled and the button of the switch is extended. There should not be continuity when the spool is pushed back in its resting position. If the continuity is not as described, , the switch will need to be replaced (part number 2374010).
    • If the momentary switch is good, test the UP/DOWN switch. Check the wires are connected correctly. If the wires are connected correctly, check the UP/DOWN switch for proper continuity. You should have continuity between the middle and top terminals when the switch is pressed DOWN. You should also have continuity between the middle and bottom terminals when the UP is pressed. If you do not have proper continuity, the switch will need to be replaced (part number 2374019).


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