Poor Anchor Chain Maintenance


James Sterling
 

Do yourself a favor and properly maintain your chain.  While I've been working on various other refits in the last couple of years we've anchored in fairly shallow waters and not used much of our chain.  We had never pulled it completely out since purchase 3 years ago.  When I finally got down to chain replacement on my list I found myself in a nightmare.  After pulling a good part out, everything stopped.  Closer inspection revealed terribly rusted chain that was kinked and wouldn't come out.  I hammered on links for 2 weeks removing a few feet at a time and then realized the remainder was balled up into what I can only describe as a dragons egg.  Welded together by rust.  I tried everything.  Finally I resorted to soaking it all in 10 gallons of white vinigar with salt for 3 days.  Some progress was made but not enough to get it out.  It was wedged tightly in the locker and would not lift out.  I thought about it a day or two and got creative.  I ran a hook snubber line up thorugh the hawsepipe from the anchor locker and attached it to the primary halyard.  I winched with what I estimate was about 300lbs of force and the whole mess broke free.  At that point, I had to look at it kind of like a diamond cutter as to which link to cut to start making headway.   Then I went to work with a battery powered angle grinder, cutting a section at a time and pulling bits of the mess out through locker access to the forward compartment into a bucket.  This took a lot of time and taught me to take care of the chain.  New chain was eventually marked and installed.  It will come out yearly to reverse and maintain.  Take care of your chain.


Gary Silver
 

Hi James:  

WOW!! If anyone needed additional impetus to take care of their chain (in addition to Kent on Kristi's story), you have provided it.  

May I make a couple of additional suggestions that have stood me in good stead for the last 18 years of my SM ownership (80% in Caribbean waters):
1.  Convert the anchor wash down system to fresh water.
2.  Install a fresh water deck wash down fitting (T'ed off with a valve from the anchor wash down line in the port forward locker).  Every time you wash down the deck, direct some fresh water down the hawse pipe to douse the "pile" with some fresh water. 
3.  Make sure to plug the hawse pipe when sailing to prevent salt water flooding in there. 
4.  Pay out all the chain when going on the hard or at least twice per year.

Thanks for sharing, and "motivating" us to be careful with this. 

Sincerely, 

Gary S. Silver, M.D.
s/v Liahona 
Amel SM 2000 Hull #335
Puerto Del Rey  Marina, Puerto Rico


Chuck_Kim_Joy
 

Great suggestions. One more. We anchored all over the Caribbean this season. Sometimes as long as 10 days in one spot. In Prickly bay Grenada we saw the worst fouling of chain. 2 inch thick growth on about 60 feet of chain. The worst smelling goup you've ever encountered. We we're 12 days in one spot. We could do nothing but sail with it to Trinidad and remove all chain power wash and disinfect the chain locker. It will never be the same neither will we. 
All the best 
Chuck 
Joy #388
Trinidad 

On Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM Gary Silver via Groups.Io <garysilver=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi James:  

WOW!! If anyone needed additional impetus to take care of their chain (in addition to Kent on Kristi's story), you have provided it.  

May I make a couple of additional suggestions that have stood me in good stead for the last 18 years of my SM ownership (80% in Caribbean waters):
1.  Convert the anchor wash down system to fresh water.
2.  Install a fresh water deck wash down fitting (T'ed off with a valve from the anchor wash down line in the port forward locker).  Every time you wash down the deck, direct some fresh water down the hawse pipe to douse the "pile" with some fresh water. 
3.  Make sure to plug the hawse pipe when sailing to prevent salt water flooding in there. 
4.  Pay out all the chain when going on the hard or at least twice per year.

Thanks for sharing, and "motivating" us to be careful with this. 

Sincerely, 

Gary S. Silver, M.D.
s/v Liahona 
Amel SM 2000 Hull #335
Puerto Del Rey  Marina, Puerto Rico


karkauai
 

James, I am sure that we aren’t the only two to have experienced this debacle.  I am going to pass my nickname “Rusty” on to you officially until the next person admits to dealing with the same problem.

I recommend cutting the floor out of the bow locker to access the chain locker.  Everyone will eventually need to do this anyway and it will make removing the ball of rusty chain a 1/2 day job, and allow access for yearly cleaning.

When you think it’s time to turn the chain end for end, my advice is to have it re-galvanized.

Kent
Kristy
SM243

On Jul 3, 2019, at 1:49 PM, Chuck_Kim_Joy <clacey9@...> wrote:

Great suggestions. One more. We anchored all over the Caribbean this season. Sometimes as long as 10 days in one spot. In Prickly bay Grenada we saw the worst fouling of chain. 2 inch thick growth on about 60 feet of chain. The worst smelling goup you've ever encountered. We we're 12 days in one spot. We could do nothing but sail with it to Trinidad and remove all chain power wash and disinfect the chain locker. It will never be the same neither will we. 
All the best 
Chuck 
Joy #388
Trinidad 

On Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM Gary Silver via Groups.Io <garysilver=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi James:  

WOW!! If anyone needed additional impetus to take care of their chain (in addition to Kent on Kristi's story), you have provided it.  

May I make a couple of additional suggestions that have stood me in good stead for the last 18 years of my SM ownership (80% in Caribbean waters):
1.  Convert the anchor wash down system to fresh water.
2.  Install a fresh water deck wash down fitting (T'ed off with a valve from the anchor wash down line in the port forward locker).  Every time you wash down the deck, direct some fresh water down the hawse pipe to douse the "pile" with some fresh water. 
3.  Make sure to plug the hawse pipe when sailing to prevent salt water flooding in there. 
4.  Pay out all the chain when going on the hard or at least twice per year.

Thanks for sharing, and "motivating" us to be careful with this. 

Sincerely, 

Gary S. Silver, M.D.
s/v Liahona 
Amel SM 2000 Hull #335
Puerto Del Rey  Marina, Puerto Rico


Paul Brown
 

Re-galvanising is a good option when there are signs of rusting and I found it economical

Regards Paul 


On 3 Jul 2019, at 8:47 pm, karkauai via Groups.Io <karkauai@...> wrote:

James, I am sure that we aren’t the only two to have experienced this debacle.  I am going to pass my nickname “Rusty” on to you officially until the next person admits to dealing with the same problem.

I recommend cutting the floor out of the bow locker to access the chain locker.  Everyone will eventually need to do this anyway and it will make removing the ball of rusty chain a 1/2 day job, and allow access for yearly cleaning.

When you think it’s time to turn the chain end for end, my advice is to have it re-galvanized.

Kent
Kristy
SM243

On Jul 3, 2019, at 1:49 PM, Chuck_Kim_Joy <clacey9@...> wrote:

Great suggestions. One more. We anchored all over the Caribbean this season. Sometimes as long as 10 days in one spot. In Prickly bay Grenada we saw the worst fouling of chain. 2 inch thick growth on about 60 feet of chain. The worst smelling goup you've ever encountered. We we're 12 days in one spot. We could do nothing but sail with it to Trinidad and remove all chain power wash and disinfect the chain locker. It will never be the same neither will we. 
All the best 
Chuck 
Joy #388
Trinidad 

On Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM Gary Silver via Groups.Io <garysilver=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi James:  

WOW!! If anyone needed additional impetus to take care of their chain (in addition to Kent on Kristi's story), you have provided it.  

May I make a couple of additional suggestions that have stood me in good stead for the last 18 years of my SM ownership (80% in Caribbean waters):
1.  Convert the anchor wash down system to fresh water.
2.  Install a fresh water deck wash down fitting (T'ed off with a valve from the anchor wash down line in the port forward locker).  Every time you wash down the deck, direct some fresh water down the hawse pipe to douse the "pile" with some fresh water. 
3.  Make sure to plug the hawse pipe when sailing to prevent salt water flooding in there. 
4.  Pay out all the chain when going on the hard or at least twice per year.

Thanks for sharing, and "motivating" us to be careful with this. 

Sincerely, 

Gary S. Silver, M.D.
s/v Liahona 
Amel SM 2000 Hull #335
Puerto Del Rey  Marina, Puerto Rico


Arlo
 

Stiff brush avery couple of days while anchored in heavy growth sreas will keep that from happening. Regarding the rust, great incentive to wash down with fresh water when hauling anchor and to pull all the chain out 2x annually! Thanks for sharing so we can avoid that headache


James Sterling
 

I've learned many things from this boat.  The original angular anchor chain washdown attachment is missing and probably no longer made.  One could convert the line to fresh water but I'm told that the original wash pump did not have a pressure switch so putting a hand sprayer on it or one that doesn't would pop a breaker.  The shortest distance between two points for us was to use our zero G waterhose we keep onboard.  Put quick connects on it and attached it to the vertical cockpit shower valve under the helm seat.  The hose will reach the entire boat for washing off boat salt and my wife uses a hand sprayer to wash the anchor chain and anchor as it comes up.  Then it's stowed away.  The fresh water pump has a pressure switch on it so no worries.  It's not super high pressure but it's sufficient.   The hawse pipe has been plugged with a piece of foam rubber insulation around the chain.  We learned that lesson after 14 hours of 40knt winds and 10ft seas a 1 1/2 seconds apart.  Every couple of seconds we had our nose under the water submarining through the waves.   First time in my life I've ever gotten really sea sick.


Duane Siegfri
 

Regalvanizing is very economical, and you can do it as many times as you want.  The problem is finding a galvanizer when you want one, that will work with chain.  There is one in Jacksonville FL, but they don't have a "chain tumbler".  They galvanized my chain and it came back with many of the links glued together by excess zinc.  They warned me about this and it was fine with me, it only took a few hours with a hammer to knock them apart.  However one of the other folks whose chain was in the group (they give a discount for quantity) was sorely pissed, even though I had passed on the warning.  The tumbler would have taken my chain and tumbled it in a drum to knock the links apart.

The one proviso is I have heard that if you have 70ksi chain, the heat in the galvanizing process will cause it to lose some strength.  I'm sure someone else will chime in to explain that.

Duane
Wanderer, SM#477


James Sterling
 

I haven't heard anything on temp affecting strength but it's a conceivable issue.  I've also had mixed reviews on re-galvanizing. My chain as you can see was beyond help.  Some shops also balk if the chain has been paint marked for depth.


Duane Siegfri
 

James,

The galvanizer I used said they would have to sandblast if there was paint on it, and they would have an extra charge.  I would regalvanize every time if I could, I think my cost was about $250 if my memory serves.  The last treatment lasted for 3 years (where we were anchored 75% of the time), but now needs attention.

Duane