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Old 01-02-2016, 14:30   #1
R_C
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Saving my new chain

I just switched to all chain rode (5/16" Acco G4) and when weighing anchor after the first two nights out I noticed browning on about 18" of chain at the water line. I immediately recalled the same happening about ten years ago when I dropped our anchor in the water to refinish the bowsprit while at a dock. At that time, I attributed the problem to shore power. But that's not the case.

I investigated and found that whoever installed the windlass, wired ground through the solenoid and hot to the motor! So the capstan is always hot as is the chain when its wrapped around the capstan and there's a path to ground through the water to the hull zincs. Not good.

I'll rewire the windlass with hot through the solenoid. But how can I save my chain? Is there a good way to halt the rust and re-coat the dozen or so affected links?
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Old 02-02-2016, 20:32   #2
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Re: Saving my new chain

Why not just cut off the first two feet?
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Old 02-02-2016, 20:52   #3
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Re: Saving my new chain

Paint it.
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Old 02-02-2016, 21:01   #4
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Re: Saving my new chain

Used this on my galv. anchor & many other places. Works OK. Recoat every so often.
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Old 02-02-2016, 21:02   #5
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Re: Saving my new chain

Would not be practical to regalvanize 2' of chain so painting it is the only option if you don't want to cut it off. You can buy zinc spray paint but you will have to redo it fairly often.
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Old 02-02-2016, 21:26   #6
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Re: Saving my new chain

There are a couple of DIY options here Defender.com Search Results: zinc paint
And obviously, being rather OCD when it comes to prep., before applying any coatings to the chain would be key.
That, & were it me, I'd look into "baking" any coated sections, after applying them. But only after applying several light layers to things, so that there aren't any "holes" in the recoating agent. As might happen if you were to only apply one layer.
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Old 02-02-2016, 21:32   #7
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Re: Saving my new chain

I'm about to install my new windlass & bow thruster using one dedicated 24V battery bank.

Got a steel hull, planning on using 2-pin 350 amp Anderson connectors (they're polarised) to isolate the battery bank completely except when docking, anchoring, charging.

The chain that came with the boat has some localised patches of rust and didn't have an electric windlass or do much anchoring.
I've always just assumed it's inevitable that chain will rust around the waterline - is that not the case?
Something about oxygenation at the waterline IIRC?
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Old 02-02-2016, 23:51   #8
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Re: Saving my new chain

If its only a few links you can buy galvinizing rods which can be used to apply galvinizing with a flame torch. I have a couple lying about my boat somewhere but I have never tried using them so cannot assist with an applicable method.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:34   #9
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Re: Saving my new chain

Thanks everyone. The affected links are right in the middle of the chain so I don't want to cut them out. I wasn't aware of the cold galvanizing paints. I'm picking up a can of CRC Zinc-It tomorrow. I'll clean up the affected links with a rust converter and give it a try.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:52   #10
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Re: Saving my new chain

1. The galvanizing on adjacent links will provide some degree of protection.
2. If you put paint on the chain, you will have to remove it completely prior to regalvanizing. The plants won't accept chain with any paint at all.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:40   #11
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Re: Saving my new chain

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Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
If you put paint on the chain, you will have to remove it completely prior to regalvanizing. The plants won't accept chain with any paint at all.
Even if it's 93% zinc paint?
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:53   #12
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Re: Saving my new chain

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Originally Posted by R_C View Post
Even if it's 93% zinc paint?
It might help to phone the galvanizing yard (or a couple of them) and explain the situation and ask if using the galvanize paint would be a "paint" problem in their processing. You might also consider re-galvanizing the whole lot, because the cold galvo paint really does not last very well at all. Each time you anchor the sand and what not on the bottom scrapes it off.

Generally speaking, new chain galvanize is much thinner than re-galv. So, your new chain didn't have a whole lot of protection on it. Frustrating as h---, isn't it?

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Old 03-02-2016, 13:04   #13
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Re: Saving my new chain

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Generally speaking, new chain galvanize is much thinner than re-galv. So, your new chain didn't have a whole lot of protection on it. Frustrating as h---, isn't it?

ann
Yes it is. While searching for a solution before I started this thread I learned many were frustrated at how quickly their new Acco chain rusted. When I bought my chain I was unaware I may have to re-galvanize at all let alone so soon. There is some consolation in learning the re-galvanize may last longer than the original.
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Old 03-02-2016, 13:08   #14
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Re: Saving my new chain

A question that may sound silly, but re you sure that the "browning" really means that the zinc is gone from those links? We've had the galvo stained and discolored many times without loss of protection. On the other hand, we've had the zinc completely stripped when lying on th bottom just off the Suva yacht club... twice (stupid me!).

At any rate, if the zinc is truly gone, and it were my chain, I'd hack out the affected links and rejoin with a quality chain joiner, as we have done several times. No doubt this comment will bring on the usual storm of over-zealous protests re weak links, etc, but it is a viable and reasonable practice. There have been lengthy discussions of chain joiners here on CF that you might enjoy reading.

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Old 03-02-2016, 13:12   #15
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Re: Saving my new chain

I think you can try to put some of that rust stop on it and see what happens, usually that stuff is Osphosphoric acid I believe and what it does is chemically change Iron Oxide into Iron Phosphate or something, meaning it wont turn black if there is no rust.
My experience with cold galvanizing paint is that its pretty much just paint.
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