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Old 31-08-2014, 23:19   #1
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Replacing Chain Under Bowsprit

Hi all, I'm replacing the chain under my bowsprit which holds the load for both the main and the mizzen mast. The masts are raked back and there is no back stay, so the load really is held by the forestay and chain under the bow sprit.

The bottom 12 inches of the chain where it attaches to the hull will be consistently under water in the Chesapeake Bay. The rest of the chain will be above the waterline and extends to the front of the bow sprit.

I think that replacing this with HT chain. Can anyone think of a reason to use a different chain?

Thanks!


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Old 31-08-2014, 23:45   #2
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

Yes, don't use chain at all. Why put a weak link in your rig? Chain is not nearly as strong as wire. You only use chain if you are too cheap or lazy to use wire, or maybe you think your boat needs to look salty..
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Old 31-08-2014, 23:49   #3
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

True wire will be stronger, but I do want to keep some of the old look charm to the boat given that it's a bugeye.


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Old 01-09-2014, 00:28   #4
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

Glue plastic links of chain to the 316 SS cable. No one will see the wire, and your rig won't fall down on top of you. I have an 8' ss 1/2" wire that runs from the bowsprit to the bow waterline, aka the bobstay. I'm welding up a 3/4' ss rod to take it's place. Think that might look good on your boat. Or maybe galvanized wire.
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:15   #5
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

Galv chain will be far more reliable than 316 wire under water.

Can't see major issues with HT chain if its good stuff, but does it really need it if the old chain (presumably g30?) is well proven? Its going to be hard to find shackles that match the strength and fit the links of G70 unless you get a custom length made with oversize links.

Maybe some G43 would be a good compromise.

Watch out for galvanic mismatches underwater, like bronze fittings and copper antifouling paint.

Those bugeyes look cool, any pics?
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:51   #6
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

Those workboats been using chain for bobstays and whiskers for --what now--150 years ?

Use what looks good on YOUR boat.

My Friendship sloop used chain in the Gulf Stream ( High salinity) for 30 yrs.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:48   #7
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

Not a fan of rod as a bobstay. If you happen to encounter a log or obstacles such as a dock, a bent rod may result. Idoras bobstay is wire. The submerged nature of the lower attach point merits frequent inspection. I have heard of aged swaging failing but not galvanized chain.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:50   #8
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

Blue Stocking has it right, sgumedic.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:48   #9
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

Boy oh boy...

I just google image searched "Bugeye Sailboat", as I didn't know it...

I might have to start a CF campaign against any further advice until you post a few pictures of your beauty...
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:54   #10
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

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Old 01-09-2014, 12:54   #11
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:55   #12
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

These are old pictures from when the boat was listed for sale, but you get the idea.


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Old 01-09-2014, 13:07   #13
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

A thing of beauty. Just joking of course about the plastic glue on. I agree with keeping it chain.
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Old 01-09-2014, 14:02   #14
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Re: Replacing chain under bowsprit

The highest loaded stay on a bowsprit boat is the bob stay. Using anything questionable in that position is not a good idea. Chain was used because it was the strongest, low stretch material available and weight wasn't a big concern down that low back in the old days. Unfortunately, chain is considerably weaker than wire even in the more exotic versions. Chain may have worked in the old days but some newer stuff is way better. Actually think I'd go with Dyneema Dux synthetic line for the bob stay. The stuff is stronger than SS wire, has no corrosion issues, is cheap to replace when the time comes, and looks traditional with the spliced eyes. UV degrades the material but 6-10 years is a useful life and even longer if you oversize it. Big expense is the solid thimbles that the commercial companies like Colligo use. Suppose one who is reasonably handy could make them up out of a suitable hardwood to keep the costs down.
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Old 01-09-2014, 14:23   #15
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Re: Replacing Chain Under Bowsprit

A rope bobstay around docks and anchors and chain sounds dangerous. Race boats seem to use it though.
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