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Old 19-08-2017, 00:01   #1
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Question Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

I am about to buy new 10mm G40 chain for my boat, and the choice has come down to Italian-made Maggi "Aqua 4" (G40) at €10.50/meter, or Lofrans Chinese-made chain (also G40) at €6.50/meter.

Both come with a test certificate. (Given the level of investment, I would not buy anything that does not.)

Initially, I was all totally committed to the Maggi option, but it turned out to be more expensive than estimated, while the Lofrans is cheaper and easier to obtain. Given the large difference in cost, I am now questioning whether the Maggi is worth it.

Obviously, both are reputable companies and I trust the test certificates. Longevity presumably comes down to the thickness and quality of the galvanizing (?), but an extra €4/meter is a lot to pay for perception.

Does anyone have experience with both brands of chain, or can you think of a reason why one would be significantly better or worse than the other?

Thanks!
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Old 19-08-2017, 00:16   #2
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

The Italians make top quality products, the Chinese are well-known for their manufacture of inferior steel, falsifying certification and poor oversight.

It's your boat, your decision.

We purchased the more expensive European galvanized chain in the UK for our boat which is now on it's sixth season, so three years combined time submerged and no issues with rust or corrosion. My friend purchased the Chinese chain for his mooring in the USA and didn't even get one season out of it before it rusted through. Did he really save any money?

In the case of galvanized chain and anchors, I think you'll get what you pay for.
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Old 19-08-2017, 01:15   #3
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

The galvanising on my Maggi G70 did not last long, but this seems a common problem with the G70. User reports suggest the Maggi G40 will be much better.

As a generalisation, galvanising on Chinese made anchors seems to be better than anchors made in "first world" countries. My theory is that third world countries have few health, safety and emission limitations, placing less restriction on the galvanising process. I suspect this also applies to chain, but cruisers often do not know the origin, or brand of their chain so there are not many reliable user reports.

I would buy the Lofrans chain.

Be careful when buying metric 10mm chain. There are two sizes that are about equally popular. These are often called ISO and DIN. Some gypsies will accept both, but most need the right size.

The is a great website in the link below that has a practical test that can be done to roughly assess the quality of the galvanising:

https://coxengineering.sharepoint.co...finitions.aspx
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Old 19-08-2017, 01:17   #4
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

If you really want to see if there is a difference, buy a meter of each, take them to a local test facility and have them tested. See if they meet the provided specs. Then by the best one... IMO.
Here in Auckland NZ, Chains ropes and anchors will test any chain or line, and give accurate specs. Not sure who you would have locally, but there will be someone.
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Old 19-08-2017, 08:49   #5
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

A couple of interesting articles re Chinese Chain from Practical Sailor:

1)Part of the reasoning behind our recommendation of G30 chain over similarly-sized G43 was the idea that G30 chain is trouble-free; examples of failure are notable by their absence. However, we did find generic Chinese G30 chain to show an increased corrosion rate over American chain. Now, as in the past, our preference is for brand-name chain made in the U.S., which tends to have more stringent quality control than imported steel products. These days, however, it is getting harder and harder to distinguish between the two, since questionable raw materials often come from abroad, even for those chains fabricated in the U.S.


2)Maggi is a family-run Italian manufacturer of marine anchor chains. Along with Peerless, it is the only regular manufacturer of galvanized G70 chain. While many European companies have turned to importing chain from China, Maggi continues to produce its own galvanized G40 and G70 (marketed as Aqua 4 and 7).

3)Maggi uses a proprietary galvanizing process—the company did not share details with Practical Sailor—and sells in Europe, the Pacific Rim, and Asia.

4)Maggi offers chain from 8 millimeters (about 5/16-inch) to 16 millimeters (about 5/8-inch) in both DIN and ISO link dimensions, which are identical except for the 10-millimeter size. Although some 8-millimeter metric chain will fit 5/16-inch U.S. standard gypsies without modification, you can’t assume that this is always the case.
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Old 19-08-2017, 09:00   #6
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

Here at our boat club on the Hudson River in NY, we have approximately 90 exposed moorings. We lost 6 boats in superstorm Sandy, while at many mooring fields and marinas, almost all the boats were lost. Afterward, we anylized our mooring requirements Vs. boat length and weight (stronger and heavier gear) but in all cases it MUST be American or European made. We don't permit any other chain or anchors. We have seen some pretty terrible flaws in cheap Chinese made stuff, so we've banned it. Since then, our only failures have been due to worn pendants and the like. No chain or hardware failures.
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Old 19-08-2017, 09:30   #7
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

Hi everyone this is my first post on cruisers forum,
we have 100 metres of Maggi 12mm G40 chain.
At two years old it started rusting it is now 3 years and completely rusty we have end for ended it too,
one note we do anchor nearly every day of the year, I have seen two other friends Maggi chains that went rusty within a year, one has been replaced and was purchased from pavlo brothers on Poros Spiros gave great service and got the chain replaced very promptly,
the other case should be replaced soon,
I let my chain go to long and should have chased Maggi sooner, I hope they have improved their galvanising now. I would be interested to hear if anyone has used the chinnese chain.
I have added a picture of our 3 year old Maggi chain
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Old 19-08-2017, 10:45   #8
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebsail View Post
We don't permit any other chain or anchors. We have seen some pretty terrible flaws in cheap Chinese made stuff, so we've banned it. .
Doesn't actually matter much where cheap stuff is made, cheap rubbish is cheap rubbish from anywhere - higher end Chinese has a good reputation commercially, see the previous link..

https://coxengineering.sharepoint.co...finitions.aspx


-
A total of 13 chain samples was tested destructively using a 50 ton Denison tensile tester. The samples included several made in Europe but the majority were from Chinese factories. Four were Grade 40, nine were Grade 30. Every sample achieved the required strength for its grade but it was noticeable that every Chinese Grade 30 chain, with one exception, delivered the strength of a Grade 40.
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Old 19-08-2017, 10:47   #9
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

Last winter I found myself in a similar position to the OP. Antigua Slipway offered Chinese chain for considerably less than the Maggi at Budget Marine. It came down to the manager of the yard at the Slipway suggesting that I buy the chain at Budget as he's had problems with the fit/specs/sizing of the Chinese chain on many gypsy's and had numerous customer complaints. If he was willing to steer me to a competitor, there was probably something to it. I cannot speak to longevity as we are less than a year on it so far.
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Old 19-08-2017, 11:44   #10
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

Nor personal knowledge regarding this specific issue, but a general observation and specific anecdoe follow: remember when anything made in Japan was considered "cheap junk", greatly inferior to anything made in The US or Europe? Wasn't true then and certainly is not now. In 1986 I went to Taiwan to take care of some special issues with a Hylas being built just outside Kaoshung (sp?). I was expecting something akin to the black pit of Calcutta, with dozens of Chineese coolies in conical hats carrying rolls of mat/roving dripping resin to be laid up in various molds. Surprise, surprise, the yard was more modern and high tech than any that I'd seen stateside.
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Old 19-08-2017, 12:40   #11
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

I cannot comment on the quality of the steel, but as far as the galvanizing process is concerned there is little that can be done to makes any significant difference in the thickness of the coating when it is hot dipped. When clean and fluxed steel enters the bath of molten liquid zinc it has to remain in the bath until the steel temp equalizes with the zinc bath temp. other wise would come out just a big "frozen" blob of zinc encased steel. When it comes out the excess zinc drains off just like an icecream dipped in molten chockolate would do.

There are only two possibly three considerations that would make a difference in the longevity. Longevity is mostly a function of zinc thickness. Thickness is extended by steel that is sandblasted or roughened in some way, hence gritblasted material has a thicker coating due to adherence qualities of rougher steel having a greater surface area to cover.

The second consideration that may have an effect is the amount of aluminium added to the zinc bath. Higher concentrations may or may not effect the sacrificial qualities of the coating. Aluminium is added in small quantities to improve the cosmetic appearance of the coating, it's shinier and the zinc stays brighter for longer. I don't know its effect on coating life but it could be detrimental.

Thirdly the only way I know of to get a thinner than normal coat (apart from zinc electroplating which is a different process altogether) is if the object, (in this case the chain) is blasted with superheated steam on exit from the zinc bath which eliminates dags (sharp drips) and solidified runs on the chain and ensures the chain links run freely rather than freezing them together. While it has those benefits it also potentially removes the thicker natural coating from the metal.

If you are regalvanizing chain, ask the company to sandblast it after the old zinc is removed in the acid bath cleaning process. This also ensures there are no areas missed by poorly cleaned surface contamination as well as providing a thicker coating of zinc.
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Old 19-08-2017, 12:42   #12
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Doesn't actually matter much where cheap stuff is made, cheap rubbish is cheap rubbish from anywhere - higher end Chinese has a good reputation commercially, see the previous link..

https://coxengineering.sharepoint.co...finitions.aspx


-
A total of 13 chain samples was tested destructively using a 50 ton Denison tensile tester. The samples included several made in Europe but the majority were from Chinese factories. Four were Grade 40, nine were Grade 30. Every sample achieved the required strength for its grade but it was noticeable that every Chinese Grade 30 chain, with one exception, delivered the strength of a Grade 40.


They also had these comments without saying what chain it was
Quote:
. Defective weld on the only chain to fail tensile testing. All welds on this sample were noticeably short, indicating incomplete welding. Poorly adhered galvanising.On many samples the galvanising remained fully intact after the same treatment.
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Old 19-08-2017, 13:22   #13
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

If you anchor enough, buy the better chain. I think Maggi sounds to offer better hope of better quality. I heard ACCO is capable too.

We have some quality Chinese chain now. It is crap after just one season in the Caribbean.

We also have some 30 years old Swedish chain that has seen a rtw and has not a single rust spot on it.

My vote for buying best quality one can get, if you use it often enough.

Cheers,
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Old 19-08-2017, 13:22   #14
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

From limited observation, the higher strength the chain, the faster it rusts. High strength alloys like G40 and G70 especially seem to be more prone to rusting than good old BBB or G30.

A three year old chain used DAILY corroding would seem to be pretty good longevity out of the chain.
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Old 19-08-2017, 13:50   #15
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Re: Italian Maggi vs Chinese-made Lofrans chain

Chinese products don't belong in the cruisers world
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