One of the cool things about running this site is that gear manufacturers are now beginning to recognise the purchasing power and general clout that you, our readers, wield. So now when I ask a whole bunch of questions about a manufacturer's products—many of them dumb, I’m sure—they are more likely to find the time to educate me than they once were.
This seems to be true of most all of the manufacturers we contact these days, but the good folks at Peerless Chain, manufacturers of Acco Chain, bent over backwards to educate me and sort out many of my misconceptions about chain by providing not just one, but three experts during a recent conference call I had with them.
Here are some useful things we learned.
John, please include some content on gypsies as well. I find getting a match-up is not always as straight-forward as it should be.
Hi John, thanks for the wonderful article! It was a pleasure speaking with you. I just want to add a couple of clarifications to your article in regards to the embossing (stamping) of the G43 and G70 chains. The “ISO Short Link” dimension G43 that we manufacture and is used for anchoring, has a “G4” stamp on it. We also manufacture our standard “NACM” dimension chain that has the “P4” or “P43” stamp on it.
The G70 Chain can be stamped “P7” or “P70”.
Please let me know if you or your readers have any more questions.
I’ve only one question – how and when will we poor people in the benighted EU be able to get your excellent product?
I tried for ages to source G70 chain in Europe, and failed miserably – we have G40, and it’s been fine, but like John I like the idea of all chain and putting the weight in the anchor. If we could have sourced G70 we’d have been able to go down a size in chain dimension, and had an all chain cable.
We have several U.S. distributors who would be willing to drop ship product to you. It would be the ACCO brand, which is the chain featured in this article.
We’re heading slowly in your direction anyway, so we may well pick it up when we get there!
It’s a thought. But we have found that many of your distributors have a pretty high mark up, particularly those that serve the recreational market. Add in the shipping and documentation (can be as much as the shipping) charges for a single length of chain and the total is going to be cost prohibitive.
I think it would be a lot better if a European distributor was appointed who could ship over a whole container of chain.
I know this is an old link, but i’m getting ready to purchase 275′ of 5/16″ G4 supposedly ACCO, but the links are stamped G43. Is this ACCO?
That’s what my Acco G40 chain has stamped on it. That said, I don’t know if that stamp guarantees its actually from Peerless chain. I think I’m right in saying that other vendors may use the same stamp to indicate G40 chain, but don’t know for sure.
Thanks for the reply. Your stamping of G43 is contrary to the ACCO’s statement, “The “ISO Short Link” dimension G43 that we manufacture and is used for anchoring, has a “G4” stamp on it. We also manufacture our standard “NACM” dimension chain that has the “P4” or “P43” stamp on it.”
I just completed some research and found that West Marine’s ACCO 5/16″ ISO is stamped G4 and CMP’s Titan is stamped G43. A lot of boating news groups are stating ACCO’s quality going downhill and prematurely rusting.
I’m confused as to what to purchase.
Oops, sorry, just shows old farts should not write from memory. Now I think about it more, I’m sure you are right that my chain in stamped G4. I will check the next time I’m at the boat.
On the choice between Titan and ACCO, I just don’t know since I have no experience with the former. I have used ACCO (Peerless) for years and have always been happy with it. Our current chain was bought in 2013. It does have a bit of rust, but then it’s had hard usage too, so nothing excessive. Bottom line, any galvanized steel item thats regularly dragged around over rocks is going to rust some.
One thought, I think Titan is made in China, and, at least the last time I talked to them, all Peerless is made in the USA. I’m not a guy that thinks that necessarily makes Peerless better but I do like the idea that I’m buying chain from a company in a country with a very aggressive tort Bar—Peerless just can’t afford to screw up! (When I talked to their engineers they kept pointing this out.) Anyway, a good test is to ask if you can get a proof certificate for your piece of chain.
One other thought, it may be true that Peerless quality has dropped, but it may also be that one or two people had their chain rust a bit from normal use and then a meme got going on the forums that’s in fact pretty meaningless. I’m always amazed by how upset yachties can get about what are to me trivial cosmetic issues like some rust spots on the deck. To me a banged up anchor and chain is a badge of honour showing that a boat has actually done some real cruising.
Hope that helps with what is a tough call.
A note re snubbers and shock loading. One of our Sundeer 64 ketches went through the big hurricane in Grenada some years back. She was anchored with Grade 7 Acco/Peerless 3/8″ chain, secured at the deck with a Maxwell chain lock, connected to an 80kg Bruce, and NO SNUBBER. She had headsails removed, but her very bulky main and mizzen were on their booms, and she was unattended. She was one of the few boats at anchor to survive. After this we ceased to worry about shock loads.
This is good to hear, but it changes nothing for me. A taut chain undergoing shock loading is at high risk of tearing out the anchor, damaging the bow, or snapping the chain. It is very easy to put on a snubber (in this situation I would use a few snubbers) to spread out the shock should it happen.
I agree in that we always rig a snubber. If for no other reason than it is a lot quieter.
Thanks for the comment. Very comforting for a whole group of reasons.
A word of caution for all the European readers. We were buying 200m of Grade 40 DIN 766 chain 5 years ago from an English well known chain manufacturer. (Claimed that they made the chain in the UK.) We fortunately asked for a sample and had it tested. The 1/2″ 13mm chain was claimed to be 3 Ton proof tested (and 8.6 t Break load) but yielded (initial distortion) at 2.8t and broke (actual destruction of the link, not a distortion) at just over 3.7tons. When we contacted them and offered the test result, they did not even question it. They just asked if we wanted to place the order! We bought from a Polish manufacturer (AIP) whose chain passed our test with flying colours. WL 2.1t, Proof L 4.3t, BL 8.6t. Check before buying if possible and do not believe the manufacturer’s claims. And always get a copy of the test cert and keep it on file.
A sobering story indeed. Thanks for the warning.
We too have heard of these types of stories, but Peerless Chain Company who manufactures the ACCO brand of marine chain, does proof test all of our marine chain and can provide a certification for any of the chain we manufacture and sell. I do agree that consumers should expect quality product from the manufacturers and ask the appropriate questions before buying a product. Glad to hear that you were able to obtain quality product for your boat.
More good info us usual—thanks.
How does one decide what length of chain to carry for normal situations; e.g., places that do not require anchoring in extreme depths?
P.S. The picture in your Rocna vs. Spade article is “Bluewater”, our Tayana 55 which you may identify as such if you wish.
A good question without an easy answer. How come that all questions about boats are that way? I will have a crack at it as the chain series continues.
We carry 50 to 60m of 3/8 or 10mm chain: this will allow us to anchor in up to 25m in normal conditions.
John; Your article and the following posts are timely. I am still “serving my apprenticeship” and have just started to outfit our vessel for an extended cruise. Thanks for all the great info. Ken
Hi John, We will also be replacing our anchor chain next year. I totally agree about the snubber, though we have found about 10′ of rope to provide adequate snubbing in most conditions. Look also at chain hooks – claw types provide less sideways bend to the chain and are less liable to break it. I agree that re-galvanizing the chain is a waste of time – our chain is usually well worn on the inside of the link after 3 to 4 years in service. This degrades the working load by about 30 to 40%. Do your experts have any comments to make on electolysis? Using galvanised chain on a steel boat makes the chain look like an anode, and unless insulated from the yacht, the galvanising doesn’t last long. How do you cope with an aluminium hull?
Mike, White Princess
I’m surprised that your chain would wear to that point so quickly. Our Acco G43 is now 12 years old with some very hard use on rocky bottoms and shows almost no wear although the galvanizing is pretty much shot where it rubs on the bottom. We turned it end for end four years ago.
I had not thought of the idea that the zinc on the chain would act as an anode for a metal boat. I can’t say that I have seen any evidence of this. My guess is that the electrical current path through a chain would not be good enough to make the chain act in this way, but I could be wrong.
In light of my previous comments on galvanic action on boats, it’s very much an “it depends” situation, John. Proximity to a “leaky” marina or anchoring close to a compromised power line running beneath the harbour could in fact cause problems, but not likely in a couple of days. The solution, of course, involve the very same precautions I mentioned in a previous post on how to keep the aluminum and the steel from interacting. As far as I can determine, the various attachment points (chain hook, bitter end, bollards, etc.) are ideally electrically isolated from the hull, as is the windlass (with bushings, a HDPE pad, and so on). The current, if present, has nowhere to go. Of course, this assumes one has a painted deck in good order, which is not something I recall getting mentioned about alu boats very much, the “you don’t have to paint them!” aspect being touted as a Good Thing. Well, maybe, maybe not from the point of view of galvanic wastage.
On another point, I find the use of the terms “bridle” and “snubber” a little imprecise. I see a bridle as a nylon or “other” line run from bollards or cleat either side of bow more or less evenly, and shackled to the chain to reduce shock loads, increase quiet and lower the pivot point at the boat end of the catenary from the deck to the water itself. A snubber I see as a *single* line, with or without the rubber shock absorber commonly called a “snubber”, led from a plate or an attachment point forward to the chain or, for that matter, on a dock line. I assume when you specify 30 feet of line off the bow, you mean 15 feet of bridle either side of a shackle. But that’s just an assumption on my part.
That reminds me that I have been meaning to write a post on “hot marinas”. Actually, there is no such thing, as long as the boat in question has an isolation transformer, which any metal boat should.
As to any damage from an anchor chain being connected to aluminium boat through the bow roller, this is, based on my 20 years of doing just that, another aluminium boat myth like “a penny will burn through the hull in week”. Aluminium boats are just not that fragile.
As long as you keep up with the hull zincs and keep the electrical system isolated, there is very little danger from galvanic action.
By the way, in 20 years we have only gone through one set of hull zincs and have spent hundreds of days anchored with the chain touching the bow roller, which is in turn connected to the hull. If there was a problem, the zincs would have gone first and faster, that’s what they are for.
Good to hear, John. I know considerably less about aluminum boats in practice than steel, other than that aluminum is less noble and the French make some beautiful boats out of it.
Had my budget allowed, it would have been my choice as I think it’s ideal in terms of allowing a fast cruising design in metal that you can work with power tools. I would learn how to weld it, just as I’m learning how to weld steel.
Do you use the typical zinc zincs or something else? Where do you keep them on the hull? How are they affixed?
We use zinc, as any metal boat should in salt water. In fresh water, an aluminium boat needs magnesium anodes. I would assume the same is true for steel boats, but I don’t know that. Another issue is the quality of the zincs, you need to buy from a reputable manufacturer, not a no-name brand.
Our zincs are in four “pockets” on the hull so that they are flush with the hull and are affixed with two bolts each. Every time we haul, we remove them and clean the mating surface to make sure that there is a good bond.
Must do a post on this whole issue.
Interesting article, however not sure to understand how a 30 feet snubber would work out unless you never anchored in depths of lets say less than 25 feet.
In shallow water we frequently do as you do, and don’t use the whole snubber. Having said that, there is no reason that I can see that the snubber can’t be longer than the water is deep, particularly if it is blowing hard.
Denis, I have used a long small diameter snubber for decades now. It eases everthing, especially the anchor resetting when abrupt and powerful wind shifts in squalls as it provides so much rubber band effect. In shallow water, I use less length, about the depth of water, with the rest coiled and ready to veer if things get boisterous. Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
I would not write off re-galvanizing. For years we anchored out 200+ nights a year. After 8 years or so the chain diameter (Acco G4) was not compromised, but the rust was just getting everywhere and was a cosmetic problem. We were in Turkey where I could find no chain whose history was known, so I re-galvanized in Antalya. Many other boats I know have done the same over the years. Three years later, the chain is still rust free and looking good and has been through some rough anchoring situations. In this area, as in so many, there is much anecdotal and little empiracal and the issue is so important that it leads to much wild thinking. (I turn end for end every 2 years.)
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy, Guernsey, The Channel Islands
Good point. In fact some years ago I re-galvanized our anchor chain too. Having said that, I was always a bit concerned about what degradation in the strength the process may have caused. Particularly keeping in mind that, as I understand it, powerful acids are used to clean the chain prior to the hot dip. Like so many things, I guess it just depends on how much faith you have in the company doing the re-galvanizing.
Since we seem to get at least 10 years from our chain, despite very hard usage, I just sleep better when it is blowing hard knowing that we are hanging on a piece of chain every link of which has been proof tested by Acco.
John, Agreed. I just said don’t write re-galvanizing off as a possibility. When we get to England for the winter we will try to find some G4 chain from a good manufacturer. As to knowing the company doing the re-galvanizing when you are in out of the way places speaking a language I do not understand—sometimes you just keep your eyes open and cross your fingers. Dick Stevenson, s/v alchemy
Can stainless steel chain be BBB.
Suncor does make a 5/16″ and 3/8″BBB Stainless Steel Chain.
As a general rule, we do not recommend using stainless steel chain for anchoring.
What grade chain do you recommend for a Belize 43 Cat? Grade 40 or grade 70? Only used in Caribbean, anchorages less than 30 feet deep. time to replace the 10 mm original chain. Love this site!
I guess it depends on whether you want more chain in the rode, or more to the point how much chain you already have. I’m no expert on cats, but in my experience weight is always an issue with them, and many seem to use short lengths of chain in a mixed rode.
Going to G70 8mm would allow you to have more length of chain for the same weight, the only downside being that you’d have to change the gipsy on the windlass. But you’d gain from having a less vulnerable rode in terms of chafe and prop damage, plus the extra chain might help the boat to lie quieter.
In December 2011 I purchased 200’ of BBB 5/16, galvanized chain made by Acco, 4 months later my chain was rusted. I got a replacement and now my new chain is rusting event more than the first one. I got a second replacement. It steel in the delivery barrel it looks like electro plated not hot deep galvanized. I know it will rust again. Save yourself a lot of trouble don’t buy Acco chain.
What a drag. Getting substandard products is so frustrating.
Having said that, I agree with Dick, in that our experience with Acco chain has been universally good. Could it be that the dealer you bought the chain from did not understand that they need to actually specify that the chain be galvanized? I’m fairly sure I’m right in saying that Acco supply that chain in both galvanized and un-galvanized versions. For example fishing boats, who buy a lot of chain, do not normally specify galvanizing.
Gilbert, So sorry for your troubles. Messing with chain is a lot of work. I am very surprised to hear of Acco chain problems. I have used it for decades with good experiences only. My present chain (Acco, G4, 5/16″) lasted 8- 10 yrs before needing re-galvanising and we anchored 200+ nights per year those days. Could you have gotten chain that was not Acco in some kind of slippery shenanigans? Did you contact Acco directly? It would be a shame to lose a trusted name. Thanks for your report. Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Very well written article and comments.
We have been an ACCO/Peerless distributor for a few years now and have had a lot of experience with many boaters and I think I have had only one complaint on ACCO’s galvanizing and that was recognized as a bad batch that inadvertently was shipped out and rectified immediately. ACCO was so well known for their galvanizing process that, from what I have been told, one of the main reasons Peerless bought the company was to get their galvanizing equipment. That said, of course it’s possible to get a bad batch of galvanizing but they will replace it with good – that’s what a reputable company does. The fact that Gilbert’s second batch of chain looks like a shiny zinc plating doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Sometimes in the hot galvanizing process a white coating may develop and some manufacturers will run the chain though a shot blasting process to clean it off. That will leave the surface somewhat smooth but very shiny. As long as Gilbert’s chain is stamped “3B” and the label says “ACCO” he should be fine with his second batch. There is a lot of Asian chain out there that they buyer should be very wary.
Regarding re-galvanizing. I found an alternative to Hot-dip in the melted zinc tank. Hot-dip BTW requires special equipment to first strip the old plating an to shake the chain as it exits the zinc tank so that the links remain seperated. It is done hot. It is difficult to find platers partly because it is an evironmental mess to operate. It is expensive.
In Muskegon Michigan, I found a sand blaster shop with a specialized chain tumbler for stripping the chain. It gently rolls the chain on a belt sling while metal beads are propelled by a rotating wheel onto the chain. Beads are recycled back tothe top and detritus is sucked away and filtered out. NICE! In 2010 it cost 70 bucks for 320 feet of 7/16 G4. The chain was cleaned to bare white metal – easy to inspect and necessary for re-coating.
For plating I used http://www.armorgalvmi.com/ ARMOR GALVANIZE The owner met me at the door (Agritec in Holland Michigan) and handled my pre-stripped chain. Scattered around the shop were barrels of chain identical to mine, on its way to US aircraft carriers for securing jets on deck. This coating is superior to plain zinc as it is alloyed with hard materials for greater mechanical durability. This powder-process takes place in sealed drums at much lower temperature than hot-dip. 360 bucks in 2010.
A good tip and a reason to sail to Michigan…to get a load of chain redone!
Marc, With regard to snubbers: for us this means a single line of 30 odd feet of 7/16 inch 3 strand nylon attached with a rolling hitch (a tad modified). This is for a 40 foot 30,000+ pound boat. There is no rubber shock absorber. The stretch of such a small line has always been more than sufficient. We also have a bridle of 5/8 inch 3 strand, each leg is 25 feet and able to be attached with a moused on metal attachment to the chain This is rarely used and for storms. It is good to ask for details for these terms as they are used to mean different things.
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Thanks, Dick. Your terms match my understanding. I have yet to launch my own “Alchemy” and before we hauled for an endless refit, we had no call to make use of the half-inch plate at the waterline; the top hole pins the bottom of the bobstay, and the bottom is for a snubber as you describe.
I hate asking somewhat redundant questions but I can’t seem to find a definitive answer anywhere. Well I actually did find a page that had a table that showed if your boat was this big it generated X amount of pull it Y wind speeds but I can’t seem to find it again.
But I digress. We have a 43′ Spindrift full keel cutter. Last haul out showed 32,000 lbs. The anchor chain is old G4 5/16, the first 150′ looks good then rust spots and then a rusted ball. This is attached to a 32kg Northstar Bruce. I am planning to replace all of it starting with the chain. The plan is Acco G4 5/16 300′ with a 44lbs Spade. Is this the correct course of action? Thank you for the great site.
Sounds like a pretty good plan. However, if it were me, I would go up to 3/8″ G40 chain, 5/16 is a bit light in G40. Also, given the weight of your boat, I would consider going up one size on the anchor.
The conversion to 3/8 would be a pain as changing out windless may not be that easy. Switching to G70 5/16 would be easier if it fits.
I afraid G70 won’t fit your windlass wildcat properly, the link dimensions are different from the G40 you had before. One way or another, you are going to have to change that wildcat if you want to up-strengthen your chain to where I think it should be.
As to it being a pain, yes, it probably will be. But then I guess you could define seamanship as doing a lot of things that are a pain.
While you are at it, you might want to really look at your windlass in the light of this post.
John, Agree about going up a size in anchor. When you say G40 is a bit light, are you referring to the weight of the chain being too light or to the strength of the chain (or both)? Thanks, Dick
I was referring to 5/16″ being too light in a G40, given the weight of Syd’s boat. On the other hand 5/16″ would be OK in a G70 chain.
I have a fundamental disagreement with those who say 30 feet of line is enough for a snubber in even a moderate blow. My experience is totally different. When anchored in with 100′ chain and 30 feet of anchor line out, the boat becomes uncomfortable in winds of 25 knots and greater. Even though I already have 6 to 1 scope out, I let out another 60 feet of line and the boat simply relaxes over the waves. This has been true in every boat I have had in every condition. And sometimes I let out 125 of line if the waves build up over 3 feet or the winds go over 40knots. Not for the holding but for the comfort.
In a big blow I think you need a minimum of 125 feet of line out to ease the strains. But I never see that even when the big boats look uncomfortable at anchor
To me all chain is not a good rode for any boat except in coral…that is the only place I would use it. My guess is that the ‘all chain people’ are simply saying that because they don’t have proper anchor lockers and simply have haws holes to drop the chain through so you almost have to buy the all chain cool aid….all the time.
I have been on 42 foot boats with all chain out and a small snubber in 30+ knots and it was jerky compared with the 100+ feet of line out on my smaller 32 foot boat.
1/2 chain and 1/2 line is, in my experience, the goal to reach for according to the average depths you intend to anchor in. I have NEVER dragged in 40 years with winds up to a steady 55 with higher gusts and have always found the ride to be smooth and comfortable. I have left open road stead anchorages in the middle of the night not caring to ride the 5 to 7 foot waves and simply sailed to a better anchorage.
I personally think the 20/30 foot snubber idea is an idea of convenience and has little basis in reality. But most of you probably disagree with that statement but it is my experience.
I think you are right, there are a lot of advantages to a hybrid rode. But, like most things in voyaging, there are disadvantages too.
Having said that I think your condemnation of all chain rode with a 30 foot snubber is rather too harsh. You have had a good experience with your system.
On the other hand, we on “Morgan’s Cloud” have had good service and experience with an all chain rode and a 30-foot snubber in very high winds on many occasions.
Having said that, if I were faced with riding out a blow in an anchorage that was subject to swell—unusual in our cruising grounds—I would certainly consider taking a page out of your book.
Thanks for your comments, John and I respect them. On big boats it may also be that using 1″ line is not that much fun to store either.
I have another two question to ask you and everyone else:
What are peoples experience with the reinforced plastic thimbles? I have used one for 8 years on 9/16th 3 strand…the big one with closed loops holding the rode. I just swapped ends on my line and looked at the thimble….I did not find any wear where the galvanize shackle met the plastic. None. That surprised me as I anchor for 5 months of the year for 8 years. Plus the plastic did not cut into the rode like I have had stainless fittings do! So I installed another one at the other end of the line. So my experience has been good but probably not appropriate for a boat of your size. I wonder if anyone has had one of these fail or break on them. My boat fully loaded is only 8 tons .
Second…what are peoples experience with Brait vs 3 strand..is it worth the extra money….does is wear as well?
We had nothing but good experiences over 2 years in the S. Pacific using Yale 8 Brait for 30 foot snubbers 3/4 inch and for our secondary anchor, 100 ft chain 200 foot 3/4 brait. We felt it had a lot more give than 3 strand nylon and held up better as far as wear was concerned especially as snubbers, seems like less friction wear. More expensive but easy to store about 1/3 the area as 3 strand 3/4 nylon and it didn’t get tangled in its locker space.
Thanks Steve for your comments on 8 Brait line. It certainly is more expensive but it does store so much more easily. I am glad to hear that it held up so well….I think I will try a length of it and see….I use 9/16 3 strand with a breaking strength of 9400 lbs which works for my Rival 8+ ton boat. I thought the 5/8ths at 12,000lbs was going to be too big so I will look for a Brait with a similar breaking strength.
One thing I thought about doing in a hurricane was to have about a 140′ length of 5/8 Yale Brait and attach it in the middle of two pieces of 60’+ of 5/16 HT chain so I could end up with almost 10 to 1 in 30 feet….average depth in Sea of Cortez. That way the line stays in the water and cannot over heat and supplies the needed shock protection when winds go over 100 and the waves pick up to 5 to 6 feet even in a protected anchorage. The chain supplies the needed chafe protection just were it leaves the boat. I also plan on anchoring from the stern if at all possible.
I have spent most of my cruising life with hybrid rodes, usually 60 feet of chain and then 3 strand nylon. I now have 12 years of all chain with a 35 foot very light snubber, like a big rubber band. I have not found the comfort level noticeably different between the two, but I am talking about different boats. You mentioned the 42 foot had a small snubber, which if sized large, say 5/8 inch as many do, would very likely snatch and grab at every wave and create the discomfort you found and reported. A very light snubber acts quite different and smooths things out impressively.
One concern is that hybrid rode allows for more wandering of the boat in blows. This is most problematic when the boat rides up much farther towards the anchor in a lull when there is a good deal of nylon out and then when the gust hits the boat has far more distance to travel where it is picking up momentum the whole way and snatches up on the anchor. This does not happen so violently with all chain as there is considerably less distance to pick up steam. I want steady forces on my anchor in a blow and to minimize large fluctuations. My sense is that all chain does better at this.
The second plus to all chain is that I take up much less space. Sometimes the anchorage is crowded, sometimes it is small, but it always is better to take up less space. Your options always increase.
Finally, we use only 3 strand nylon. Nylon braid does not stretch as much and in my somewhat limited experience, gets easily snagged and develops small “hernias”. Our 3 strand dock lines (we bought top quality) are 10+ years old of full time live-aboard use and going strong. With 3 strand they are easily spliced to make a repair that returns the line to almost as good as new.
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
A couple of very good points, thank you. On MC we use 35 foot 5/8 three strand nylon snubber, which seems to be about the right gauge for our 26 ton boat. We did try 1/2 inch, but it started to look very frail after a short period of use due to elongation (creep). The point being that we all need to experiment to determine the right gauge snubber for our respective boats. I’m guessing that for your Valiant that about 1/2″ would be right?
Also, we have had the same experience with the difference between all chain and hybrid rode. Having said that, I think that if we ever got stuck in an anchorage with a swell running into it, I would take a page from Dennis’ book and experiment with a much longer snubber.
John, We actually used 3/8 inch for years, but I finally could not tolerate how insubstantial it looked (performed fine) and the last 6+ years have been using 7/16 inch 3 strand. Still looks small, but performs like I want it to. Dick
Good last few points on snubber size….it is possible that the boat I was on had too large a line……and a friend of mine on a 50 footer used 3/4 and I think that was too big and the reason for the jerks during gusts.
I usually use enough chain to have out at least 3 to 1 on chain and then the rest line as I see fit. I know Beth and Evans only used 75 feet of chain all around the world except in the South Pacific where they added another 75 feet. They said the 75 allowed them to anchor on all chain almost all around the world and the few times they had to let out more scope were happy for the line…up to 20 to 1 in a muddy harbor.
If I ever get to the South Pacific I will install 275 feet of 1/4 inch HT instead of using 5/16 BBB. Too many other things to carry to put 300 lbs into the bow. I will have to change the gypsy…another expense.
Interesting comment on Braid not stretching as much as 3-strand. But I am talking about the new 8 strand BRAIT. I use NE premium 3 strand and it has held up very,very well. I know in a recent test of rodes the above out did all other nylon rodes in the chafe department so until I hear that Briat does as well I will forget the temptation to replace my 3 strand but I do love the way Brait stores so easily. But 3-strand is easy to splice as Dick says.
I understand that in Europe Brait is what they prefer so perhaps I will buy a length of it and try it out.
I use BRAID for my drogue because it does not stretch as much.
Dennis, You mention hurricanes which brings a neglected point to mind. I believe one of the unplanned for, but quite common, dangers in hurricanes are other boats dragging down on you (actually the following concern not exclusive to hurricanes, just easier to handle when the wind is more moderate). In a prior vessel, we weathered Hurricane Bob in Onset, Mass. The harbor was destroyed. Many (most?) of the boats on shore were moored and had their mooring lines cut 20 feet or so from the bow by boats dragging back on them and cutting their rope mooring pennants with their props rudders etc. It seemed likely that they might have stayed in place otherwise. There were 5 anchored boats and in the 1-2 day preparation we had we divied up the anchor field to make it least likely that a dragging boat would meet another. One anchored vessel had to cut away one of his anchors because the “2 anchor V bridle” was “catching” a dragging vessel. All anchored vessels were unhurt. Two of the 4 were on hybrid lines and, in a post hurricane discussion, we all agreed that chain was an important protection against dragging boats. We also felt having 2 (most of us had 3) anchors out was problematic because of the funneling in of dragging boats potential, but did not come to any solution. I have decided that the number of anchors deployed is a situational decision to be taken at the time.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Other boats, especially unattended ones is the biggest problem in big winds. Agreed. But if you have to cut your anchor rode I suspect I would rather have line to cut and not chain. That said, maybe my thought of have a mid line between two pieces of chain is not such a good idea if someone else drags down on me.
Which goes right to Johns advice on picking the right anchorage!
I know that in the Sea of Cortez there is one up North that is so popular that too many boat will show up as they did one year. So I have decided to use my brain like John suggests and pick a place which might have a bit more exposure but way fewer boats and lots more room. So my pick is Bahia Conception. The other reason is storm surge….that is the only anchorage in Baha where the surge can go to 15+ feet and it would not matter while Don Juan and Puerto Escondido might be wiped out by surge if not wiped out by unattended boats dragging down on you. My pick would be a bit more exposure to the waves and less to other boats and lots of room!
I completely agree that using 1 BIG anchor is the way to go…where to put the 100+ foot of line is my only question and boats dragging and cutting the mid placed line is a possibily I had not thought about so thanks. Other than that I sort of liked the idea.
And because one might have to cut the rode I think having another anchor ready to go even if on short chain and very long line is a smart thing to do as well. I sure hope I never have to do this but pre thinking about things is always the way to go.
Thanks for your imput.
Have you considered/tried any of the zinc sprays. I know it isn’t as effective as hot dip galvanizing, but the cost is quite reasonable and it makes it relatively easy to recoat once or twice a year just by spraying. The main issue I see is to ensure the entire chain gets coated, but if you spray, let dry, move then spray another can’s worth in a second pile it seems like it would be ok. I’ve already bought the can of spray for my chain, but I only sail freshwater right now so I doubt it will give you a good test.
One of the links (10mmDia) of my anchor chain got bent by 7 mm during handling.This chain is fitted on small interceptor boat.I have repaired the bent by cold pressing. Will it loose the mechanical properties?
With (almost) any metal part, if you bend it far enough for it to yield and hold the new shape, you have changed the microstructure of the metal.
Exactly what consequence that change will have, well, that depends on a lot of things (metal composition, the process by which it was made, etc.). But, generally speaking, it will be weaker than the original.
I am finally getting around to trying to solve a 2 year old problem. Three years ago I bought new chain in Panama represented by Abernathy’s as BBB Acco made. A year later I replaced the my windless and discovered eventually that my chain was not as represented. When comparing 4′ length of my chain to 4′ of 3B Acco, my BBB had 4 fewer links, hence each link was slightly longer. I think I now know that BBB is not the same as 3B. Does any one know what chain I actually have? Two years of 200 +/- days at anchor have done quite a job wearing off the galvanize. At this point I am at the crossroads of deciding whether to replace the chain or the Gypsy, assuming Imtra can find a better match. Also my 5 year old 22kg Rockna is looking pretty grim cosmetically. Is there any reliable galvanizers near Maine, or should I just paint it until I can find one on my way south next fall?
Fair winds, Denis Moonan S/V Glide
Are there any markings on the chain? If not, it’s not Acco chain. I’m guessing here that it’s not marked in which case the sad truth is that the person that sold it to you lied and it’s probably some no-name low quality far east chain. If so, I would recommend replacing it with Acco G40 or G70, since I don’t recommend BBB (too much weight for a given strength).
This post will give you more information, as will the Peerless Chain catalog link at the end of the post above.
Hi to all. Can anyone comment the forged shackles that I found in DEFENDER.COM. Are they up to the quality of the PEER-LIFT regular blue shackles? Anyone care to compare? Thanks.
Hi Manuel Jose,
Those are the shackles we recommend. More here: https://www.morganscloud.com/2007/09/01/which-anchor-shackles/
By the way, if you are looking for this kind of information, try using the search box at the top of the sidebar here at AAC. We now have 900 articles, so you are very likely to find the information you are looking for.
John, can you update or respond to this forged shackle comment, unless I’m missing it when I click the link it takes me to the most recent Tips page, but not a specific article. The above Defender link no longer works either. Thanks.
Sorry, bad link on that comment. I have fixed it. https://www.morganscloud.com/2007/09/01/which-anchor-shackles/
Hi John, I am likely going bonkers but I could have sworn that a) you had a page dedicated to snubbing; and b) said page advocated snubbing from the midships cleat to enjoy the extra stretch capacity of a longer snubber. Now I’m unable to find such a page. In any case, I recently tried snubbing from the midships cleat for the first time, and the line came back covered in (ablative) bottom paint. Which doesn’t seem like the best use of bottom paint. Now I’m wondering if I dreamed up this midships snubbing business altogether. Perhaps you can set me straight?
Midships snubber, definitely not a recommendation here at AAC.
Thank you for setting the record straight, John – I’m indeed bonkers!
For posterity, here’s the location of the discussions on spring and damping: https://www.morganscloud.com/2018/12/10/anchor-chain-catenary-when-it-matters-and-when-it-doesnt/
On our 41′ yacht we only have 25m of 10mm chain and 20m of rope. I was looking at adding more chain.
Is it safe to add chain (and what is the strongest way to do this, and make sure it goes through the windlass), or do I have to take the hit and replace the whole chain?
Many thanks for the thoughts.
I’m sorry to say that my advice is to buy new chain. I don’t know of any way to join two pieces so that the joint will be as strong and reliable as the rest of the chain and be able to go through the windlass. https://www.morganscloud.com/2007/09/01/which-anchor-shackles/