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Old 26-07-2013, 15:48   #16
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

We have 100' of Acco 5/16" BBB on the main anchor and 50' of CM 5/16" BBB on the secondary. We anchor on the primary maybe 175 days per year in the SE US and the Bahamas. The 100' chain needs regalvanizing every third year. We reverse the chain every year or so. The rust starts in the middle of the chain, and we regalvanize when it starts to stain the deck. Others let theirs go all brown. Our looks much better. AZZ Bristol Galvanizing charged us $105 for 246 lb last year (Nov 2012), but with the 100' chain, some shorter chains, and two anchors we did not quite get to their minimum wieght. It was the second time they have regalvanized the 100' chain.

I wonder how the galvanic corrosion gremlins know to attack the inch thick zinc anodes on my boat rather than the mil thick galvanizing on my chain. I sometimes think they get confused.


Irish Eyes to the Bahamas
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Old 26-07-2013, 16:55   #17
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
We have 100' of Acco 5/16" BBB on the main anchor and 50' of CM 5/16" BBB on the secondary. We anchor on the primary maybe 175 days per year in the SE US and the Bahamas. The 100' chain needs regalvanizing every third year. We reverse the chain every year or so. The rust starts in the middle of the chain, and we regalvanize when it starts to stain the deck. Others let theirs go all brown. Our looks much better. AZZ Bristol Galvanizing charged us $105 for 246 lb last year (Nov 2012), but with the 100' chain, some shorter chains, and two anchors we did not quite get to their minimum wieght. It was the second time they have regalvanized the 100' chain.

I wonder how the galvanic corrosion gremlins know to attack the inch thick zinc anodes on my boat rather than the mil thick galvanizing on my chain. I sometimes think they get confused.


Irish Eyes to the Bahamas
Maybe pop a zinc on the chain? Probably a terrible idea, I'll let someone else try it first.
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Old 26-07-2013, 16:56   #18
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Plus one on my surprise with acco. G4. I have a few links mid chain that look like crap. 2 year old chain. Mostly used on the chesapeake with a summer up north. Boat is moored but used a lot. Still never seen chain look that bad that fast. I'm a little pissed at acco.
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Old 26-07-2013, 18:35   #19
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

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Maybe pop a zinc on the chain? Probably a terrible idea, I'll let someone else try it first.
Perhaps made of aluminum to protect the zinc that is protecting the iron???

(Just kidding.)
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Old 26-07-2013, 20:10   #20
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

The local workboat place sells Acco and I've bought a bunch of 5/16 G4 for anchors and 3/8 and 3/4 for my mooring. I have to replace the first five feet every 3 years on the mooring but the rest is in the mud and looks brand new... You could probably rinse the Crosby shackles and put them back on the shelf and sell them.

I'm eager to give the campbell chain a shot, just need to find it in a convenient location to go pick it up.

wsmurdoch, is that galvanizing outfit in Bristol?
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Old 26-07-2013, 20:30   #21
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

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wsmurdoch, is that galvanizing outfit in Bristol?
It is in Bristol, VA in the industrial park just off I-81 near Bristol Steel. I assume the other AZZ locations would be the same.

www.azz.com

South Atlantic Galvanizing is another firm, but I have no experience with them. I have their business card on the boat.

The American Galvanizers Association has a web site with a location button.

AGA | Hot-Dip Galvanizing Association for Galvanized Steel | American Galvanizers Association
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Old 31-07-2013, 21:06   #22
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

Absolutly the same experience with Acco chain!
Its very lousy quality! first they agreed to solve my problem , asking for pictures and details, than I never heard anything from them. Also not from my chandler Marine warehouse!

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Like Steve mentions, our Acco G4 chain sourced through Defender Industries (I mention them only to illustrate that the source was not a fly-by-night) rusted completely within 6 months and was unusable within a year - jumping the gypsy and casting sheet rust over the deck.

While in Grenada, I ran into 14 cruising boats with Acco G4 chain that was completely unusable within periods ranging from 4 months to 18 months.

In all cases, the chain was well beyond having the capacity for regalvanizing. Sheet rust the size of chain links were coming off.

I don't consider replacing chain every 6-12 months a normal cost of cruising, and know that Acco has a problem with their chain.

Our Maggi G4 chain looks almost new after 3 years of continuous anchoring. The only signs of use are small rust spots where the links connect to, and rub on each other. The rest of the link galvanizing is fine.

In Grenada, I also ran into a few boats with Acco chain that was several years old with no problems. From the data, I was able to form the hypothesis that Acco G3 chain does not have much issues and Acco G4 chain purchased before the Peerless acquisition and moving of the manufacturing plant also seems good.

It is the Acco G4 chain purchased after they were bought by Peerless and moved the manufacturing plant that has the problems.

Acco/Peerless confirmed to me that they changed their galvanizing procedures and methods when they moved their manufacturing facilities after the acquisition.

To give Defender credit, they worked with me and Acco to get the chain replaced. Originally, Acco said I abused the chain, then said it was normal wear, then said it wasn't their chain. Defender stepped in and called BS - showing them their purchase from Acco and my purchase from them. Acco then agreed to replace the chain and said that my experience was the only one they have ever heard of. Soon after, 14 other people complained to Acco about the same experience, and Acco crawled back under their rock and refused to communicate with anyone anymore.

Needless to say, we never received our replacement chain from Acco and went with Maggi instead. One of the best boating decisions I have made.

Defender was good through all of this but could do no more, I guess.

Mark
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Old 31-07-2013, 21:34   #23
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+1 on the Maggi chain. Ours is still going strong after 9 years and one end-for-end (more to give the dry links a chance to play than anything else).
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Old 31-07-2013, 22:35   #24
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
G40 high tensile steel is more prone to rust than good old BBB. The stronger the alloy, the faster they seem to rust. Still, would expect to get way more than 1-2 years of service out of galvanized chain in 24/7 service.
Predictions? I just replaced 14-year old BBB with high test. Assuming the same amount of anchoring activity, how long should I expect the G4 to last?
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:43   #25
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Predictions? I just replaced 14-year old BBB with high test. Assuming the same amount of anchoring activity, how long should I expect the G4 to last?
Did you buy Acco G4? I'm waiting for a quote from Maggi.
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:42   #26
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

Can I resurrect this thread for updates on subsequent experiences?

skipmac have you found Maggi chain in the USA and been happy with it or
what did you end up doing?

rebel heart how has your chain held up?

Anybody else have any epiphanies about the best source of chain for a 40' catamaran with a lot of windage that is concerned about weight but anchors all the time and cruises many places where the ability to anchor in deep water is necessary?

I left Washington State with 325' 5/16' HT grade 43 (martyr grade 43 ISO high-test windlass chain) 5/16" and "upgraded" my windlass to a Lighthouse 1501 with gypsies for 5/16" Acco G4 HT chain not realizing there would be a substantial problem with the chain skipping (especially since the chain never had a problem in the old undersized Maxwel gypsie which was sized for Acco G4 HT). The gypsies were so far off from fitting the G43 ISO short link chain I had that is skipped horrendously. Lighthouse Windlass blamed the chain but there was literally no domestic chain manufacturers that were still making the "5/16 Acco G4" chain exactly the same as Lighthouse Windlass gypsies were sized for (EVEN ACCO! pretty much only difference being the wire diameter being slightly smaller so weighs 1.07 lbs per ft instead of 1.10 lbs per foot which subsequently makes each subsequent link not line up right and the inevitable skipping problem that results).

Lighthouse refuses to make a gypsie that fits the new Acco chain but swapped my gypsies out for two 5/16" BBB gypsies which do not skip as badly but still skip for more than reasonable (I even sent them a sample of chain and instead of agreeing to match the new standard they simply sent back the off the shelf gypsy that matched the "new" G40/G43 ISO short link chain I sent them.

Two years later I am still dealing with a gypsy that does not match my chain but had to cut away ~100' of chain due to wear and pitting so now that I am down to about 200' I am looking to get new chain and am back in the same mess of windlass company telling me to get (nonexistent) chain to fit their gypsies and the chain companies telling me to get a gypsy to match their chain...

After dealing with this for years the only options I am aware of are:
1) Find a machine shop to modify my current gypsies to actually fit G40/G43 ISO short link chain for $x?
2) Switching over to 3/8" BBB chain and getting appropriate gypsies from Lighthouse since they do make 3/8" BBB gypsies that presumable actually fit currently manufactured chain (but at a substantial weight penalty for more expensive chain that has a slightly lower breaking load which given my desire to have 350'+ of chain either seriously compromises the locations I can safely anchor if I reduce the length of chain I carry which in and of itself is a safely consideration in places like Alaska or have to carry excessive weight on a weight sensitive catamaran simply to have chain that matches a gypsy since Lighthouse refuses to make 5/16" HT gypsies to match chain I can get?
3) Make due until I sail to somewhere in the pacific I can buy a comparable HT metric option like Maggie assuming I am 100% sure Lighthouse makes a gypsy to match? (side note: I'm currently in Hawai'i)
4) Sell the Lighthouse 1501 out of sheer frustration over the last two years of ownership and it skipping every time I pull anchor even though it is otherwise a relatively decent windlass and then buy a new windlass?
5) maybe regalvanizing chain to make up for the wire diameter difference so it would fit in the gypsies Lighthouse is willing to provide (an idea I got from another cruisers forum member but not sure how well it would work and a greatly preferred option is simply having an off the shelf chain option that actually fits the gypsies perfectly...)

I posted a thread recently which covers some of this issue but in doing further research this thread seemed like it might shed some light on the problems...

Thanks a million,
David
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:08   #27
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

David, I recently replaced the gypsy on my Lofrans Tigres horizontal windlass to fit my new Acco 3/8 G40 chain. The new gypsy fits the chain perfectly. It cost around $400 USD if I recall correctly. Maybe a gypsy from Lofrans (Imtra) could be made to fit your windlass.


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Old 05-11-2015, 08:14   #28
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

I also have Acco 5/16" HT chain, but with a Lewmar V series windlass.

It has never skipped or slipped. I would expect better from Lighthouse. Maybe look at Lofrans, Lewmar, Maxwell, etc.?

Are you certain that the actual wire size has indeed changed with Acco chain? When did this occur?

Just checked a couple web sites for chain dimensions. The inner lengths of the link (critical dimension?) were consistently listed as 1.03", while there was some variation in the other measurements This was for "Imperial" chain. The ISO measures differently????
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:53   #29
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

I just bought some 5/16 Maggi chain and they assured me it was the same size as ACCO 5/16. I sure hope it's the same size as the old ACCO 5/16 G4 purchased in 2008 because it's been shipped.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:55   #30
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Re: Acco chain, are other cruisers experiencing problems

This summer I purchased > 250ft of 3/8" G40 Maggi chain from the new Florida dealer:

Maggi Chain USA
Preston Thomas
954-529-9067

It fits my windlass gypsy just fine (previously Acco G40 3/8") and I'm very happy with it.

Here it is piled up in my forepeak.

Click image for larger version

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