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Old 03-03-2012, 15:45   #1
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How to Buy Anchor Chain

I need to buy 300' of 3/8 BBB anchor chain. When I looked at the price per foot I almost had a coronary. Do any of the members have suggestions on the best way to save money when buying new chain?
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Old 03-03-2012, 16:14   #2
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

You just have to call around your local area. There is the chinese stuff and domestic stuff. Be sure you know when you get a quote of 300'.
Shipping chain is not cheap unless you buy it by the barrel.
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Old 03-03-2012, 16:34   #3
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

First of all, unless your windlass can only handle BBB chain, get 1/4" G-4. It's the same SWL as 3/8" BBB and costs only $3.09/foot at Defender.com (25% less).

You might be able to find chain by the half barrel-it might be less expensive.
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Old 03-03-2012, 16:50   #4
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

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Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
First of all, unless your windlass can only handle BBB chain, get 1/4" G-4. It's the same SWL as 3/8" BBB and costs only $3.09/foot at Defender.com (25% less).

You might be able to find chain by the half barrel-it might be less expensive.
Windlass and I require 3/8th chain
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Old 03-03-2012, 17:32   #5
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

If you find a better price on 10 mm it should fit a 3/8 gypsy. The 10 mm is about .02 inches bigger. Our CSY 33 had 10 mm chain and it really was nice so I like the idea even if you don't really need it. We only carried 165 ft.. I only deployed 150 ft one time. 300 ft of 3/8 in. chain in the bow is going to make a performance difference even on a Westsail 32. With 165 ft it's like having an engine block in the water. At 300 ft you'll need a horse of a windlass too. It will be impossible to pull in 300 ft by hand. The boat won't sail at anchor on 165 ft. ever! I would go with less than 300 ft then use the money for a second anchor, a short chain with a long rope rode stowed in the rear of the boat to shift the load. The second anchor / rode would be worth more than the extra chain and weigh less. A long stout rope just solves so many scenarios too.
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Old 03-03-2012, 17:44   #6
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

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If you find a better price on 10 mm it should fit a 3/8 gypsy. The 10 mm is about .02 inches bigger. Our CSY 33 had 10 mm chain and it really was nice so I like the idea even if you don't really need it. We only carried 165 ft.. I only deployed 150 ft one time. 300 ft of 3/8 in. chain in the bow is going to make a performance difference even on a Westsail 32. With 165 ft it's like having an engine block in the water. At 300 ft you'll need a horse of a windlass too. It will be impossible to pull in 300 ft by hand. The boat won't sail at anchor on 165 ft. ever! I would go with less than 300 ft then use the money for a second anchor, a short chain with a long rope rode stowed in the rear of the boat to shift the load. The second anchor / rode would be worth more than the extra chain and weigh less. A long stout rope just solves so many scenarios too.
Paul, the anchor locker will allow as much chain as I like to nest down low in the bilge over the keel. I have always loved the CSY boats.
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Old 03-03-2012, 18:05   #7
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

What I did when I needed to purchase 275' of anchor chain was to shop on the internet and boating suppliers like Defender for the best price. Then I went to th a local marina/boatyard with this info to see what they would do. They bettered the price I got on the chain because they made up the difference in holding the boat in the haul-out slip to load this much chain aboard. You will still have to go into a yard to load the chain so you might as well give them a chance to quote.
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Old 03-03-2012, 18:32   #8
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

If I remember correctly a barrel of 3/8" chain is 400'. The good prices are for 1/2 barrels and whole barrels so it makes sense to find someone who needs 100'. We found it worked well to buy from West Marine. They had good quantity pricing (the local store did not know this but checked with someone to find this out) and (a big 'and') they offer delivery to the local store free. Defender's price was a tad better but delivery cost almost as much as the chain so West was much better. We pulled the car up to the loading door and they brought the barrel out and we unloaded into the truck. It fit into two dock carts that we wheeled down the dock together. We got the ACCO (US) chain and it has stood up really well so far.
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Old 03-03-2012, 18:59   #9
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

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If I remember correctly a barrel of 3/8" chain is 400'. The good prices are for 1/2 barrels and whole barrels so it makes sense to find someone who needs 100'. We found it worked well to buy from West Marine. They had good quantity pricing (the local store did not know this but checked with someone to find this out) and (a big 'and') they offer delivery to the local store free. Defender's price was a tad better but delivery cost almost as much as the chain so West was much better. We pulled the car up to the loading door and they brought the barrel out and we unloaded into the truck. It fit into two dock carts that we wheeled down the dock together. We got the ACCO (US) chain and it has stood up really well so far.
This might make sense, my West Marine has a policy where they will beat any advertised price and when you factor in the shipping issue it could work out well.
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Old 03-03-2012, 19:50   #10
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

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Paul, the anchor locker will allow as much chain as I like to nest down low in the bilge over the keel. I have always loved the CSY boats.
That's 500 pounds of chain in the bow of a 32 foot boat. yes it should be just fine.

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Old 03-03-2012, 20:16   #11
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

I would recommend checking out commercial rigging supply companies - they don't mark up products like "marine" outlets do. When I bought chain 20 years ago that was the best source. Fortunately the timber industry in Portland supports a thriving rigging supply industry. If you do order through a rigging company you can specify oversized end links from the factory, which allows for stronger shackles.

I started with 3/8" chain on a boat roughly similar to the Westsail 32, but went to 5/16" within a couple of years (I had a manual windlass back then). Both were high tensile, so plenty strong. I always felt that if I wanted more weight it made sense to just pay out more chain - I carry 300'. YMMV
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Old 03-03-2012, 20:37   #12
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

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Windlass and I require 3/8th chain
You might check if there's a gipsy available for your windlass that can handle 1/4" chain. Besides the cost, you could save more than 250 lbs by going with a 1/4" chain instead of 3/8.

I would also consider a rode with 50% chain, 50% rope.
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Old 03-03-2012, 22:14   #13
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

Don't even think about about going with a chain/rope rode. If you are seriously cruising, the peace of mind with all chain rode is worth thousands of dollars. Also wouldn't go with 1/4" chain. It's just not heavy enough to keep a decent catenary should the wind and seas kick up. We had 230' of 3/8" chain in our W32. We only used the whole rode once and that was just precautionary. Never needed more. There are some anchorages, but few, that require longer rode but think I'd go with a rope tail for those few times it was needed.

The weight of chain in the bow does effect the windward ability of a W32. We loaded our chain into the boat when we stepped the mast. Never had experience sailing without till we had it regalvinized. Not having that weight up front made a big difference. Instead of plowing into waves, the bow rode up and over and didn't slow the boat down like going through the wave did. Still wouldn't go with smaller chain wouldn't want to carry too much.

If you haven't anchored with chain in your boat, you will find you absolutely have to have a rope pennant on the chain. When the waves kicked up, the chain would get out of rhythm with the bow and create a horrendous experience. One short stint at anchor and we added a pennant attached to the bobstay fitting. Kept the load on the chain close to the water line and cut down on the boat sailing at anchor. We used about 30' or 5/8" three strand tied to the chain with rolling hitches. Tried a chain hook but that came undone at the most embarassing times. The rolling hitches worked perfectly in more than a year of 24/7 anchoring and the price is right.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:42   #14
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

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Don't even think about about going with a chain/rope rode. If you are seriously cruising, the peace of mind with all chain rode is worth thousands of dollars. Also wouldn't go with 1/4" chain. It's just not heavy enough to keep a decent catenary should the wind and seas kick up. We had 230' of 3/8" chain in our W32. We only used the whole rode once and that was just precautionary. Never needed more. There are some anchorages, but few, that require longer rode but think I'd go with a rope tail for those few times it was needed.

The weight of chain in the bow does effect the windward ability of a W32. We loaded our chain into the boat when we stepped the mast. Never had experience sailing without till we had it regalvinized. Not having that weight up front made a big difference. Instead of plowing into waves, the bow rode up and over and didn't slow the boat down like going through the wave did. Still wouldn't go with smaller chain wouldn't want to carry too much.

If you haven't anchored with chain in your boat, you will find you absolutely have to have a rope pennant on the chain. When the waves kicked up, the chain would get out of rhythm with the bow and create a horrendous experience. One short stint at anchor and we added a pennant attached to the bobstay fitting. Kept the load on the chain close to the water line and cut down on the boat sailing at anchor. We used about 30' or 5/8" three strand tied to the chain with rolling hitches. Tried a chain hook but that came undone at the most embarassing times. The rolling hitches worked perfectly in more than a year of 24/7 anchoring and the price is right.

Thanks Roverhi. Trim is a factor with any boat and as I mentioned in a previous post I have no plan to carry 300' of chain in the forward locker, boat is laid out so if I want all the chain can be pulled through a pipe in the bottom of the locker and piled low down, directly in the center of the hull under the cabin sole.

Boat has a Seatiger windlass, I will check but I think most of the wildcats are for BBB chain. If a smaller chain in high tensile could be utilized it might make sense to swap it out, good suggestion.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:22   #15
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Re: How to Buy Anchor Chain

If you anchor every day moving chain to the middle of boat will be a big pain. If the windlass drops it in the bow, leave it in the bow. Dont fool yourself into thinking that every morning you'll pull it through, not realistic. Leave it where it lays. The windlass is there to save time, not add another step to your morning coffee routine. I bought 1/2 drum 3/8" from defender (200') and wish I had 100' more. 1/4 seems far to small, maybe a half drum of 5/16" (275') would work. At the last minute I chose to go 3/8" not realizing i was going to lose 75'. At the same time I purchased a Maxwell vertical windlass for 3/8". Currently run a 55# delta, but plan on a 80# of some sort soon.
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