We have only used galvanized chain on our Super Maramu. There are times (usually after quite rough sailing) that the chain pile has fallen over and needs help coming out of the locker. In every case the only help needed was to give it a pull--by hand--to help the windlass lift the chain out from the bottom of the pile.
Stainless chain does pile more neatly, and is sure looks pretty. Neither of those attributes would sell me on using it because it has a slightly lower breaking strength than G40 high test galvanized chain, and I have seen stainless parts fail in ways that are not obvious to visual inspection.
Not to mention the very high cost premium! In the USA 100 meters of 3/8" (10mm) stainless will cost about US$7000 MORE than the same length of G40 galvanized.
If you do use stainless, 316L is the better choice. With a higher molybdenum content it is much more resistant to chloride corrosion than 316. Unfortunately it is slightly weaker... (15,000 lb breaking for 316L vs 18,000 lb for 316, vs 20,500 for G40 galvanized). Be sure the chain is fully electropolished after welding to help prevent crevice corrosion.
On the hard at LMC,
Fort Lauderdale, FL
---In amelyachtowners@..., <alexramseyer@...> wrote :
Dear Amelians, my original stainless steel anchor chain that came with the boat in 2005 doesn't look good anymore. I want to replace it. Given the position of the anchor chain locker and the inability to access it immediately in case something is stuck, I believe it's a good idea to to buy a stainless steel chain again, given it's characteristic to drop nicely without building up piles.
However, some sailors tell my stainless is a waste of money (because the maybe only real good stainless chain is from Walder in Germany and is VERY expensive and others aren't worth the investiment due to bad quality) and galvanized is the way to go. Can you share your experience?
Also, does any of you know which company was the AMEL OEM for stainless steel chains in 2005?
Thanks as always for your valuable input,
SY NO STRESS