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Old 21-08-2017, 19:26   #1
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Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

Hello everybody,

I am building 200-300ft of 5/16" anchor chain for a South Pacific voyage. I have been looking for used chain but it is very hard to find 5/16" continuous 200ft. I'm getting quotes for new anchor chain at $3.75 plus tax... upwards of $800! As I search Craigslist and other realms, I'll find "40ft of G4"... "100ft of G3"... "70ft G7"... it's so hard to find a continuous 200ft segment, used. (All 5/16" of course)

SO- does anyone have any experience or thoughts with "piecemealing" a 200ft segment made up of different chain grades, all 5/16" using Sealinks? I assume my Maxwell VW700 windlass will tolerate the minor discrepancies between G3, G4, G5, etc.

I understand anchor and chain are cornerstones to safe cruising. Do I NEED to spend $800 new for something that can equally be achieved safely and more economically for around $300?

Any thoughts welcome- thanks!
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Old 21-08-2017, 20:38   #2
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

To the best of my knowledge NO!!!!!!!!!!!

1. Unless your windlass is different from any I've used it will NOT be tolerant of what you call minor discrepancies. A gypsy is designed to fit a certain link size, the most critical dimension being the length of the link which determines the number of links per foot. If that doesn't match very closely then the chain will slip or jump or jam or all the above. Different types of chain have different link dimensions so 3/8"BBB will not fit a gypsy for 3/8"G4. Some types and sizes will mix but you have to check that very carefully.

2. Most important, the anchor and rode is a CRITICAL boat system. The life of your boat and even possibly your own life could depend on it. Save money somewhere else. If you can't afford the critical equipment for a boat then you need to save up and delay your cruise until you can. I would also be very reluctant to trust my boat to an anchor with multiple connectors and different chains of unknown and possibly dubious origin.
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Old 21-08-2017, 21:05   #3
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

If you are planning the South Pacific I'd avoid used chain. The anchorages are very tough on chain. You will loose a lot of galvanizing in one season anchoring in coral rumble, among bommies and in shallow sand. If the chain is used, then it might be a rusty mess by the time you get anywhere to replace or re-galvanize. Probably a false economy.
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Old 21-08-2017, 21:25   #4
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

You can buy chain by the drum and then sell off what you don't need. Gr 43 High Test Chain, GALV
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Old 22-08-2017, 04:31   #5
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
If you are planning the South Pacific I'd avoid used chain. The anchorages are very tough on chain. You will loose a lot of galvanizing in one season anchoring in coral rumble, among bommies and in shallow sand. If the chain is used, then it might be a rusty mess by the time you get anywhere to replace or re-galvanize. Probably a false economy.
Not sure if you are kidding here or serious. If serious, what would one use instead of chain? If the coral will grind the galvanizing off a chain then it would certainly chaff through a rope rode in short order.
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Old 22-08-2017, 05:05   #6
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

Believe it or not, West Marine is now having a sale on Acco 5/16 G-4 High Test hot dipped galvanized chain at a very reasonable price. At $2.37 per ft. with free shipping.
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Old 22-08-2017, 05:18   #7
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Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Not sure if you are kidding here or serious. If serious, what would one use instead of chain? If the coral will grind the galvanizing off a chain then it would certainly chaff through a rope rode in short order.


I believe Paul meant to use brand new chain because of chafing, and therefore avoid using old, used one

I would add: avoid weak links between various portions, that's where the problems may come first
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Old 22-08-2017, 08:13   #8
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

"Can I Mix Types Of Chain?"

You can't be serious!
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Old 22-08-2017, 08:48   #9
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabeau View Post
Believe it or not, West Marine is now having a sale on Acco 5/16 G-4 High Test hot dipped galvanized chain at a very reasonable price. At $2.37 per ft. with free shipping.

Thanks Seabeau, I will check this out today. Last quote I got from WM for this was over $3.50 with my port supply. Are you sure of your number?
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Old 22-08-2017, 09:39   #10
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

What anchor are you using?

With our anchor only 20 feet of chain is needed for chaffing the remaining rode can be all rope. Saving weight and $$.

Most new generation Anchors do not require 200 ft of chain as the anchor design is holding the load rather than the weight of the chain.
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Old 22-08-2017, 11:11   #11
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

After a few decades in the marine industry, I have a few thoughts on this:

1. Chain in the drum ships for free. If a vendor orders from Acco/Peerless, etc. the manufacturer will drop ship to US addresses at no cost.

2. The standard pack for 5/16" is 550' if memory serves. My guess is that if you can get a great deal on a drum of chain, you'd be able to sell the remainder at your cost or perhaps a profit.

3. There's a ton of margin in chain. What bothered me about my recent job was that they gave teeny discounts on long lengths of chain, and people who buy long lengths of chain are likely the company's best customers.

4. I would remind whomever is making the quote that they have to make ONE phone call and pay ONE invoice to make this happen. No inventory carrying costs, no employees pulling 20' at a time in an expensive store. This is the ultimate example of a low marginal cost transaction. If I were an independent-thinking associate, I'd do this transaction for 15% GM, and buy your loyalty for some time to come.

So, my point is that I think you should get a few companies to bid on this, and consider buying an entire drum. You might try to pre-sell the chain you don't need for your use. Obviously, this would make more sense if the buyer were in your marina, or at least your town...

One final point: although not windlass-friendly, I think a double clevis is about the strongest way to bend two lengths of chain together. It won't work well in the windlass, but it might help if you need to pay out a long length of chain prior to a hurricane.

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Old 22-08-2017, 11:16   #12
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valmika View Post
Thanks Seabeau, I will check this out today. Last quote I got from WM for this was over $3.50 with my port supply. Are you sure of your number?
I purchased 35 ft. last night and checked the site again before I made the post, hope it helps.
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Old 22-08-2017, 11:23   #13
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade Anchor View Post
Most new generation Anchors do not require 200 ft of chain as the anchor design is holding the load rather than the weight of the chain.
Don't disagree that anchors (new or old gen) don't require all chain, but like anything boating, there are pros and cons to different options.

Chain rode is nice with an electric windlass as you can raise the anchor automatically and remotely. Rope rode you need to tail.

Rope is lighter and cheaper but the weight of the chain will allow anchoring with less scope in a crowded anchorage.

Anchoring in deep water with a coral bottom I think more than 20' of chain would be better to make sure the rope end doesn't snag a coral head and chaff through.

Personally I have one all chain rode and one rope and chain.
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Old 22-08-2017, 12:49   #14
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

On the West Marine site now - 5/16 Acco G4 at $5.59/ft
?
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Old 22-08-2017, 13:35   #15
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Re: Can I Mix Types Of Chain?

It appears to have sold out

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/acco-...03?recordNum=9
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