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Old 27-08-2013, 11:06   #1
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Chain a Big Ball in Locker

My wife and I went to get the chain and rode out of the boat for our refit. We found that the last 30 feet or so before the line was a big twisted ball of chain. In an emergency we would not have been able to let it out - any ideas on how we can prevent or mitigate this from happening in the future?

Also, in our boat the end of the line was simply tied to a piece of wood and left free hanging in the locker. Is this a usual configuration?

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Old 27-08-2013, 11:37   #2
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Re: Chain a big ball in locker

The bitter end should be attached to a heavy padeye in the chain locker. If you have an all chain rode, then it is helpful to have the last few feet nylon in case you have to slip your anchor in an emergency. To keep the chain from balling up a traffic cone in the locker works well to spread the chain out.
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Old 27-08-2013, 11:41   #3
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Re: Chain a big ball in locker

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The bitter end should be attached to a heavy padeye in the chain locker. If you have an all chain rode, then it is helpful to have the last few feet nylon in case you have to slip your anchor in an emergency. To keep the chain from balling up a traffic cone in the locker works well to spread the chain out.
Cool thanks. We have 125 feet of chain and 200 feet of rope.

The problem was the chain was rotated around itself, like the boat went around and around in circles while at anchor... but I don't see how that could make it past the windlass because the implication of that theory is that ball of chain would be on the part in the water, not the part in the chain locker.

How often does everyone take the rode out of their boat and lay it out?
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Old 27-08-2013, 12:14   #4
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Re: Chain a big ball in locker

I have a similar setup. 100' chain with 250' nylon. We pull up 50' of chain and then lay it out on top of the nylon coil. We then let the remaining 50' of chain fall naturally under the windlass. No knots so far. Bitter end is attached to a large divider in the locker.
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Old 27-08-2013, 12:21   #5
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Re: Chain a big ball in locker

If you use your anchor frequently you will not have this problem. Seeing you're on the hard, flake it all out on the ground and check the chain out. By the sounds of it your chain was just chucked in there and not used. Don't know the configuration of your anchor locker but if you flake the line in the bottom, 125 feet of chain will sit nicely on it. It's amazing how little room 125 feet of chain takes.
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Old 27-08-2013, 12:27   #6
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Re: Chain a big ball in locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Cool thanks. We have 125 feet of chain and 200 feet of rope.

The problem was the chain was rotated around itself, like the boat went around and around in circles while at anchor... but I don't see how that could make it past the windlass because the implication of that theory is that ball of chain would be on the part in the water, not the part in the chain locker.

How often does everyone take the rode out of their boat and lay it out?
We had all chain aboard, about 300 feet, and used to lay it out on the dock every 2 years to take out any kinks and check over the links one by one. We didn't want to run in to problems trying to anchor in bad weather and the 10 meter tabs we put on would wear a bit so we would usually replace those that needed replacing.
To get rid of that ball of chain, as Astrid said, decouple at the bitter end reverse the twist and re-attach. Phil
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Old 27-08-2013, 12:30   #7
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I am not sure how it is possible the chain in the locker would be affected by the swing at anchor.

I can see how possibly as you pul the chain up after a long stay at a place where the wind and tide made you rotate through the same direction over and over that this would, after you hauled up the chain - induce a twisted pile in the locker, but it is not possible to transmit chain twist past the windlass.

It is more likely that you hauled up your anchor after a stay in a deep anchorage? And possibly you hauled a long set of chain up without looking? This can happen and the pile tips over, more chain piles on, pile tips over, more chain piles on - and now you have a mess than wont release easily for the next anchoring.

Usually anchoring issues are related to the previous anchoring experience.
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