chain jumping in the gypsy


David Vogel
 

Hi Dean,

 

We experienced jumping links on the gypsy, at first on deployment, and then under load on retrieval - getting progressively worse until basically unusable.  We ended up needing to haul the anchor by hand - which was a real job in the deep anchorages prevalent in the Marquesas, where we were at the time.

 

The cause turned out to be the links had become very slightly corroded during an extended period on anchor in Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva, during lockdown (we were not allowed to raise anchor or move and, by the time we knew we had a problem, it was too late).  The out-of-spec links increased (significantly) the wear on the gypsy so that, eventually, even when the lesser-used boat-end of the chain was let out, this part of the chain too was jumping.

 

We found out later that this (chain erosion / corrosion) is a commonly known problem for boats at anchor for extended periods in this bay, due to the suspected increased sulphuric nature of the mud and grit at the bottom of this bay, which is a volcanic caldera.

 

The immediate (and short-term) solution was to flip (or reverse) the gypsy, inside for out, but with the loss of the flip-over gypsy lock mechanism as a result.  This was not an issue for us, as we don’t routinely use the gyspy-lock, because we always use a snubber to take the load off the windlass/clutch mechanism.  The chain-jumping problem was solved immediately.

 

We were fortunate that, once the problem with the gypsy (and chain) was correctly identified, we were able to then replace both the chain and gypsy within a week - considered to be a small miracle in the Marquesas, and also especially so when lugging the chain by RIB across 800m of choppy water, and then load on-board in 'interesting' swells.  However, that done, and having done the chain swap (in the more protected waters in Daniel's Bay), then problem was then solved for good.  (The outer 50m chain was gifted to local folk who were happy for it to use for their shallow-water moorings up the rivers; the inner 50m was held on-board as spare.)

 

For info, the time between first noticing the issue of an occasional jumping chain, to the gypsy showing significant signs of wear and needing to haul by hand (before I understood that we could reverse the gypsy), was less than 50 lifts, all in deep water, with 70-85m of chain paid out.  This gives you an idea of the rate at which the gypsy was being chewed out by the slightly out-of-spec chain.  BTW, the stress of not having the usual confidence to be able to raise anchor at will, whilst anchoring in deep water, with wonky forecasts & topographic-related changeable winds of strength, and in a remote locality (with dubious supply chain to boot), has to be experienced to be understood.  Had I had a little more knowledge about my windlass and gypsy, then a lot of this stress could have been averted.

 

This is part of why I urge anyone planning a trip to remote localities, to:

a. make sure their gear is absolutely top-notch condition;

b. to have a full stock of tools and spares (e.g. perhaps including a spare chain, and at least a spare gypsy);

c. know as much as much as possible about your gear and equipment, and how to service and repair it; and

d. to have as many as possible of the user manuals and other help-info available and immediately accessible on-board (meaning, not needing on-line access), or with a reliable helper on-shore who can do remote trouble-shooting for you.  In my case, it was another cruiser motoring past by chance who said "have you tried reversing your gyspy?".  Perhaps everyone knows this, but I didn’t, so on the off-chance that this anecdote may help you, or someone else ...

 

 

Blue skies,

 

David

SM#396, Perigee

 

 

On 16/8/2022, 9:25 am, "Dean Gillies" <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io on behalf of stella@...> wrote:

 

    Hi all,

    I am now monitoring the twisting in my chain very carefully. I removed all twists from the chain yesterday and dropped anchor today. I still get the chain jumping in the gypsy on deployment (per my original video).  I suspect this is where my twist is being generated, rather than the jumping being caused by a twisted chain in the locker. 

 

    I will have some time tomorrow between cooling dips and plan to do some more serious investigation.  I have some ideas, but let's see what transpires.

 

    For what it's worth, I have never used swivels other than the one on the Wasi Buegel that came on my Amel, but that anchor was retired pretty quickly, along with the swivel.

 

    My current Rocna rarely comes up the wrong way and if it does then it rights itself very quickly on the bow roller. No need for a swivel to solve that problem.

 

    Cheers

    Dean

 

 

 

 

    --

    Dean Gillies

    SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154

 

 

   

 

 


Dean Gillies
 
Edited

Hi David,
Ok, it's on the list for tomorrow, along with attempting to verify by measurement that I've actually got a 203/ISO gypsy, and its not mis-labelled!
I've posted some slow-motion videos today on another thread which show the problem in-detail. 
--
Dean Gillies
SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154


Bill Kinney
 

David,

That's a new one on me.  I have never before heard of a gypsy going south like that. Was this galvanized or stainless chain? Was the result of the corrosion visible on the chain?

I would worry a lot about the strength of the chain, if it had lost enough metal to go significantly out of spec on the link size.  I guess another quick check to add to my maintenance list is putting calipers on the chain near the anchor more often than just at haulouts.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada
http://www.cruisingconsulting.com


David Vogel
 

Hi Bill,

Rainy days here, so not many boat chores being done, but a lot of admin catch-up ;- )

The chain, both original and replacement, was galvanised, not stainless. This is a deliberate choice, due to the warm-water cruising we are doing (mostly), and the time spent on anchor (that is, with the chain immersed).

The portion of the chain resting on the bottom for the extended period (in Taiohae Bay) during lockdown showed signs of corrosion which, initially, I did not worry too much about, thinking it was only “surface” stuff, and would wash off (like sludgy mud). Nevertheless, I did inquire with the local shore-folk with sailing experience = A: “Nah, nothing to worry about - it’s normal, happens to everyone”.

Then, with a few more lifts, with overnight sailing around the Marquesas (during which the chain dried out and became more exposed more to oxygen = rusting, rust flaking off) the chain started to: a. leave black-brown-red rusty crud on the deck - yuck-o; and b. jump, initially only when under load upon retrieval close to the anchor end, then all the time on hauling, eventually being incapable of being hauled by the windlass (until the gypsy was reversed). Closer inspection then revealed that the corrosion was deeper, and the detritus was actually coming from the body of the links, with the links kind of disappearing before our eyes.

What happened, I think, is that the out-of-spec links, possibly exacerbated by rust grit (and maybe even compounded by chemical/sulphur contamination), then rapidly chewed out the loaded end of the gypsy’s pockets. And, I mean, really quickly.

Once I realised what was actually going on, both the chain and gyspy were replaced, as an urgent priority. (I kept the boat-end of the old chain, as the galvanising on this end was still intact.)

As it happened, speaking later to the guy in Tahiti who supplied our replacement chain and thankfully got it on the next morning’s sea-freighter (otherwise a few weeks delay), he said, “Ja, that Bay is known for it. It happens to me that everyone comes asking for new chain. I sell lots of chain, that is why I have so much chain here, ha, along with the same gypsies”. (Anyone who knows Michel, and his chandlery in Marina Taina, will be able to hear his delivery.) Funny story - well, funny, only because it has a happy ending - but true. Sometimes 'local knowledge' isn't always the best.

Anyway, I end-for-end the chain more often now, and am more diligent too in doing a full inspection of the complete length, generally each time I'm hauled out (or, every 6 months docked nose-in / alongside for more than a few days/weeks).

Best,

David
SM#396, Perigee


From: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...>
Reply to: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Date: Thursday, 18 August 2022 at 6:17 am
To: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] chain jumping in the gypsy

David,

That's a new one on me.  I have never before heard of a gypsy going south like that. Was this galvanized or stainless chain? Was the result of the corrosion visible on the chain?

I would worry a lot about the strength of the chain, if it had lost enough metal to go significantly out of spec on the link size.  I guess another quick check to add to my maintenance list is putting calipers on the chain near the anchor more often than just at haulouts.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Port Louis, Grenada
http://www.cruisingconsulting.com


Dean Gillies
 

David,
I don't know if you saw my other post. I reversed the gypsy, and the situation is much much improved. Only the occasional twist happening. Thanks for your experience. I am now in the process of ordering a new gypsy.

Bill,
I know you are interested in this stuff. Have a look at this forum thread (in French, but Google page translate works well if you need it).
https://stw.fr/fr/forums/cafe-du-port/la-chaine-fait-des-noeuds
In particular have a look at response No 271333.  Another possible reason for this problem.

Cheers
Dean

--
Dean Gillies
SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154


Nick Newington
 

I am a fan of Chaineries Limousine. They make first class chain and shackles. Response 271333 shows a photo with two chains dangling. The one on the left is from Chaineries Limousines, perfect links v the Maggi on the right. Chalk and Cheese!

In addition they sell G70 10mm chain for only a marginal extra cost than the 40 but much more strength. They also sell the connecting forged bow shackle that is super strong. All for sensible prices.

Slange Var

Nick


Amelia AML 54-019 Leros GR



On 18 Aug 2022, at 07:05, Dean Gillies <stella@...> wrote:

David,
I don't know if you saw my other post. I reversed the gypsy, and the situation is much much improved. Only the occasional twist happening. Thanks for your experience. I am now in the process of ordering a new gypsy.

Bill,
I know you are interested in this stuff. Have a look at this forum thread (in French, but Google page translate works well if you need it).
https://stw.fr/fr/forums/cafe-du-port/la-chaine-fait-des-noeuds
In particular have a look at response No 271333.  Another possible reason for this problem.

Cheers
Dean

--
Dean Gillies
SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154


Lior Keydar
 

Dean,

I had/have the same problem after replacing my chain. I also searched for a long time for the reason and think I found it.
If I release or take in the chain without load preasure everything goes well. The chain goes in and out correctly. When the chain gets in under pressure, I can see that the chain got in twisted.
The next time when the chain is released, it gets out at the start usually without the effect on your video but it is already twisted inside a little bit. Now, every time you take in the chain under pressure, it gets more twisted inside. After a while, when the chain is very twisted inside, it comes out like in your video. The solution for me is to release all the chain once in a while and untwist it. I did not find a better solution. I hope what I wrote is understandable...

Best,
Lior A54, SHARONA, #18







Dean Gillies
 

Hi Lior,
Yes I understand what you mean. 
With my problem, the I had already untwisted the chain by hand inside the locker, but the problem continued to happen, even under the small load of the chain the water only.  However, when I turned my gypsy upside down, it improved a lot.
I have ordered a new gypsy today, and will see what improvement that brings.

Nick,
Interesting thread that French one, and the Maggi chain was appalling. My chain is a lot better than that!

See you in a few weeks.
Slàinte Mhath

--
Dean Gillies
SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154


karkauai
 

I am starting to have a similar problem with the chain jumping off the gypsy, almost exclusively when under some load.  My chain is not corroded, and the gypsy looks fine.  The chain is definitely developing significant twist after a couple of years anchoring in places with strong tidal currents.  When I try to untwist the chain by letting a lot of chain out. I find that with any wind and drift of the boat, the anchor (88kb Rocna) aligns and doesnt untwist itself.  When I find myself in smdeel water on a dead calm day, I will try again, but I suspect it will require removing the anchor and dropping just the chain out.
Anyone have any other suggestions?
--
Kent & Iris
KRISTY
SM243


Lior Keydar
 

Dean,

I replaced the gypsy with the one on the second winch (which is new). It did not help. the main problem is when the chain gets twisted and this happens on my boat when the chain gets in under a bit of load. I really think that it has to do with the chain itself. I had this problem since I replaced the chain. But now, after two years, it happens more seldom.

Best,
Lior 


 

Just a few words of cautionary opinion that probably everyone knows and believes.
  1. A load should almost never occur on the windlass except for a momentary load when recovering an anchor. That momentary load should be interrupted by releasing the UP button until gravity causes the tightened chain to fall toward the bottom, moving the boat forward.
  2. Any load while anchored should be 100% absorbed by an anchor chain snubber.
  3. When a heavy load occurs on the windlass the cone brake should slip allowing some chain to pay out. The cone brake should not be over-tightened and should be greased.
I have seen this caused by a gypsy under load on both horizontal and vertical shaft windlasses, Lofrans and Lewmar. In every case the load was excessive and the windlass brake cone was not greased. Although I do not have direct knowledge, I heard that one Amel had its windlass pulled out of the deck because of excessive loads.

This is a photo of a horizontal shaft windlass that required about 400 € in repairs:
image.png

A snippet:
image.png


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Fri, Aug 19, 2022 at 8:17 AM Lior Keydar <lior246@...> wrote:
Dean,

I replaced the gypsy with the one on the second winch (which is new). It did not help. the main problem is when the chain gets twisted and this happens on my boat when the chain gets in under a bit of load. I really think that it has to do with the chain itself. I had this problem since I replaced the chain. But now, after two years, it happens more seldom.

Best,
Lior 


Dean Gillies
 

Lior,
Have you seen this forum thread on a French forum
https://stw.fr/fr/forums/cafe-du-port/la-chaine-fait-des-noeuds
Look in particular at reply n° 271333.

By the way, what kind of windlass do you have on your boat? Is it vertical or horizontal?

Best regards
Dean


--
Dean Gillies
SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154


Dean Gillies
 

Solution: New Gypsy

Hi everyone, yesterday I ordered a new 203 gypsy from Nautilus in Athens. It arrived this afternoon and I have fitted it and tested.

The difference is astounding. The chain now runs out (and in) flawlessly.  I could see "some" wear on my gypsy after 12 months, but I would not  have countenanced that the amount of wear I can see compared to the new one would have such a huge effect.  The gypsy I fitted 12 months ago was from the secondary windlass, which had never been used - maybe once by Olivier when he did the survey for me!  I'm kicking myself a little that I did not think of buying a new gypsy before now.  It only occurred to me that the gypsy was worn too much when I saw the improvement caused by turning it upside down.  

My hypothesis:

1. It is very clear from the slow motion videos that the significant wearing action (by far) happens as the gypsy pulls the chain vertically out of the locker and the links slam into the lower teeth as they enter the gypsy.  This is why the lower half of the gypsy is going to wear out first. 

2. The twist which is imparted to the chain in the locker is caused by the worn lower teeth of the gypsy causing the chain to jump and rotate as it runs out through the gypsy. 

3. The twisting will start with the occasional jump, and as the wear increases it will happen more and more. In the beginning it may be barely perceptible, as it is just a little extra clunk amongst all that noise and blur of the chain running out at speed. 

4. Possibly the first thing you notice is that the chain finally jams because the twists in the locker are so bad that the chain will no longer feed into the gypsy.

5. When you have to untwist that chain in the locker, I'm 99% sure that you already had some jumping on deployment of the chain.  Maybe that's the time to turn the gypsy upside down, or maybe you can put up with a few evolutions of manually untwisting the chain before that time. At some point, a new gypsy will be required.

Here are the deployment and retrieval videos with the new gypsy.

I am now a slightly poorer but much happier camper.

--
Dean Gillies
SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154


Lior Keydar
 

Dear Dean

I looked at the forum thread 271333. Exactly as I said, I think that the reason for the twist is the chain. With my old chain, it never happened. In the last thread on the French forum, the guy said that the chain gets twisted when he takes in the chain and his solution is once a year to untwist all the chain... Maybe the ultimate solution is really to replace the chain.
In your videos, by releasing the chain it goes out perfect. Did you untwist the chain in the chain locker before? and when you take in the chain it looks also good. In my case, the chain gets twisted in the chain locker when I take it in for example in a windy weather, and I cannot completely release the pressure from the chain while taking it in. I might buy also a new gypsy and look if it will solve the problem.

I have also A54 and the same windlass as yours.

Best,
Lior A54 #18, SHARONA


 


Apparently, the Lewmar vertical gypsy eventually wears out with the chain wearing the "gypsy chain slots" larger. At first, I thought it might be because the vertical gypsy is required to twist the chain 90 degrees for the chain to align with the hawse pipe. I am not sure of this because I am not aware of other vertical windlasses encountering this "wear of the gypsy chain slots." It could be Lewmar's choice of gypsy material or it could be the fact that it is a verticle

There are enough 54's encountering this issue for it to probably be a common issue that 54 owners should keep an eye on. This reminds me of one Amel owner buying a new A55 and insisting that Amel change the Lewmar vertical windlasses to Maxwell. I know the first A50s came with Lewmar windlasses, but I am not sure if Lewmar is still the preferred source for Amel. As probably many of you know Lewmar was acquired in 2019.

Bill


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Sun, Aug 21, 2022 at 12:29 AM Lior Keydar <lior246@...> wrote:
Dear Dean

I looked at the forum thread 271333. Exactly as I said, I think that the reason for the twist is the chain. With my old chain, it never happened. In the last thread on the French forum, the guy said that the chain gets twisted when he takes in the chain and his solution is once a year to untwist all the chain... Maybe the ultimate solution is really to replace the chain.
In your videos, by releasing the chain it goes out perfect. Did you untwist the chain in the chain locker before? and when you take in the chain it looks also good. In my case, the chain gets twisted in the chain locker when I take it in for example in a windy weather, and I cannot completely release the pressure from the chain while taking it in. I might buy also a new gypsy and look if it will solve the problem.

I have also A54 and the same windlass as yours.

Best,
Lior A54 #18, SHARONA


Ian Park
 

I replaced the Gypsy and chain on my SN 8 years ago. Last season it was jumping links when raising the anchor. I fitted the Lewmar anchor chain counter this season and through carelessness on my part drilled the magnet hole without checking which side I was drilling on. So the gypsy is now reversed. No more jumping!! So yes, the chain wears the windlass.
I’m going to switch to 8mm chain (grade 70) with a new gypsy next year, to save weight in the bow. The new gypsy will have 8 chain slots instead of my current 6, so I’m assuming the wear will be much less.

Ian

Ocean Hobo SN96

Falmouth


Dean Gillies
 

Hi Lior,
Yes I did manually untwist my chain in the locker. So now, with a new gypsy I have no jumping and therefore don't expect to see any new twists appearing in the locker.
I will be monitoring closely !!

If you see the chain jumping on your gypsy when you bring the anchor up then that is a different problem to mine. I never had any chain jumping when bringing the anchor up, only when lowering it down.

Just a thought ... you probably have a slot in your bowroller. This is intended to stop the chain rotating between the roller and the gypsy to help feed the gypsy. Sometimes the chain can become twisted between the gypsy and the roller. It's worth keeping an eye on that section of chain, and if it gets twisted, then it's simple to ease the twist over the roller to make sure there is no twisting moment as the chain enters the gypsy.

Good luck!

--
Dean Gillies
SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi all. The critical thing is to ensure the chain and gypsy are a perfect match. I took half a meter of my chain when selecting a replacement gypsy so I could check the match. Then over time wear will occur and you will progressively lose that match. Following this thread shows how this happens. As to how to prevent wear. Always use a snubber to take the load off the gypsy when anchored. When pulling the anchor up dont just grind away, Wind in a bit until it loads up then stop to wait for the boat to move forward then wind again. If tide or wind are there, use the motor to move forward. If the anchor is deeply set, give it time. wind wait, wind wait. Nudge forward with the motor to break it out. I have seen people discussing getting bigger motors for the windlass. More load equals more wear.
Kind Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl

On 21/08/2022 17:28 Lior Keydar <lior246@...> wrote:


Dear Dean

I looked at the forum thread 271333. Exactly as I said, I think that the reason for the twist is the chain. With my old chain, it never happened. In the last thread on the French forum, the guy said that the chain gets twisted when he takes in the chain and his solution is once a year to untwist all the chain... Maybe the ultimate solution is really to replace the chain.
In your videos, by releasing the chain it goes out perfect. Did you untwist the chain in the chain locker before? and when you take in the chain it looks also good. In my case, the chain gets twisted in the chain locker when I take it in for example in a windy weather, and I cannot completely release the pressure from the chain while taking it in. I might buy also a new gypsy and look if it will solve the problem.

I have also A54 and the same windlass as yours.

Best,
Lior A54 #18, SHARONA