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Old 19-10-2005, 17:02   #16
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What Gmac said about galvanizing.
G-30 is “proof coil” - G40 is High Test.
Most H.T. chain is un-galvanized - often, a yellow chromate finish.
My H.T. (G-40) and Transport (G70) chains actually outlasted my Galvanized chain. The first signs of (surface) rust were easily brushed off, showing no perceptible metal loss. After brushing, I washed with phosphoric acid (Ospho), and put back into clean service for a couple of years.
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Old 20-10-2005, 01:35   #17
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Re: GMac

Quote:
Rick once whispered in the wind:
So, would grade 30 HT chain be relatively "safe" to galvanize and then be a good choice over proof for durability, strength, and life? Would it be, in your opinion, a better chain to use, assuming that the cost difference is tolerable?

What do you use?
I do like that 'Once whispered in the world' bit, nicely done.

Anyway Grade 30 is not really a HT chain or is G40 if you want to get into the nitty gritty. Generally real HT chains start at the G50 mark, this is when you start getting the steel mixed with the '11 secret herbs and spices'.

There would be more G30 in use than any other grade and be perfectly fine 95% of the time on most boats. If you want an extra bit of strength go to a G40.

Basically it works like this:
'Proof Coil' which is bottom end and only been tested in the factory to 'a' load. The question is "What was that load?". Technically me and another bloke could get the end of a 25mm (1") chain and pull like lunitics. We could call this a 'proof coil' chain. The bad bit is we have only 'proof loaded' it to 200kg (feel tuff today) when in fact the proof load should be in the 13000kg area (a G30). As long as no-one asked what our proof load is we are sweet and all is good, shame about the punter thinking he had a good chain though. Saying this I do know the US company ACCO makes a 'proof coil'. ACCO is a quality manufacturer and I would be happy with thiers knowing they have good quality control and will be using real load numbers.
Grade 30 - build to a set of standards which include a minimum strength.
Grade 40 - basically the same as G30 but 25% stronger.
Grade 50 - plus another 25% in stregth and your getting into alloy steels. Not very common but around galvanised.
Grade 60 and 63 - yet more strength again and not commonly galvanised but 1 or 2 do do it.
Grade 70 - twice as strong as G30. As far as I'm aware only 2 companies make this galvanised. One does not sell to the public and the other is Maggi Group in Italy. The Maggi chain is called 'Aqua7'.
Grade 80 - way strong and not galvanised. I do know of 2 people who have tried to galvanised this and just ended up with chain as brittle as glass.
Grade 100 and more. Specialised lifting and commercial stuff. Big buck and no galvainsing.

Chain 'standards': There are a few differing sets but they all have the same loads i.e a Austrailian Grade 30 has the same loads as US, French or where ever. The main differances are in link sizing and calibration levels.

Sizing: There is 3 basic size differances around. Australia has a couple of their own, the US run their one and the rest of the world work another set. Some Aussie and the world ones are the same. The US do tend to be quite differant in most areas probably due to the imperial V's metric thing. There are small but important differances if you are putting them on a winch. All good winch makers have gypsies to suit whatever you go with.

Back to 'proof coil' again. All reputable manufacturers proof load their chains to 1/2 of their break load. This proof load is twice the WLL. PLEASE NOTE: In the US they use a lot smaller safety margins then everywhere else. Somewhere in the 2.5 or 3 to 1 area. Everyone else uses 4 to 1 i.e WLL is 1/4 of break load. Why they do this I don't know but it can't be bad seeing it is done in the 'Land of the Lawyer'. Just don't think a European G40 chain (for example) is not as strong, it's just the safety margin differance.

The big problem with 'proof coil' is that China make tonnes of the stuff and they still have quality issues.

If you have any doubt about a chain you want to buy ask for a Test Certificate. All good manufacturers will provide one if asked. This will list the material, sizing, proof and break loads, weights, standard built to and good stuff like that. Personally I would be very cautious of Chinese test certs. I seen a couple that look like my 5 year old made them.

Basically US and European made chain is good and Chinese made can't be trusted reliably as yet. Some winch makers also say using Chinese made chain voids warranties due to poor, if any, calibration.

Chain weights: Steel weighs what steel weighs. A Grade 70 chain IS NOT any lighter size for size than a Grade 30. OK, there maybe 1 or 2% at most but not the 25-50% I've seen some people say. If someone tells you their 10mm chain that is 50% lighter than than your steel chain means theres is made from alumimium and/or they are a complete idiot.

Having dealt with over a million metres of chain into marine use I can say chain failure is very very rare. It is generally a lot stronger than the cleat on the boat, the winch it is on and the holding power of the anchor, this includes the new generations one (which IMHO are far better than the old ones, but thats another story). I see people trying alsorts of tricks to increase strength and so on but usually end up with a costly un-balanced and sometimes just dangerous anchoring system. This US fascination with with tiny chains onto a huge anchor seems to me to be strange if not bloody silly.

Weight you need some. It DOES increase holding power especially in shallow waters. A 40ft boat with 10mm chain will be better anchored than the same boat on 6mm chain.

We get people all the time wanting to go up to the highest grade available but 99% of the time they 'want it' more than they actually 'need it'. If it makes them sleep better so be it but why spend the $$ when you don't need too. Real HT chains are not at the cheap end.

Unless you have:
a unusually heavy boat,
one with lots of windage,
are racing a lot,
a multihull
a serious excess weight problem (the boat I mean)
or are a very nervous type
just go with a reasonable sized grade 30 or 40 from a reputable manufacturer. Easy to do, easy to replace if it all goes horribly wrong, can be re-galvanised by most, not hard on the wallet and will work well.

What do I use? Sadly to say the question should now be "what will you use on your new 50ft Cat?", last big boat has been short term traded for a non-floating fixed living structure with the same view everyday, damn! I will be using a Grade 40 10mm EN818-3 standard chain made in Italy. The break load of 6500kg is far above the strength of the boat and anchor holding power. With a bloody good nylon snubber, of course. I will not be carrying any sentinals, rubber stretchy things, grumpy women or small children.

What a novel, I hope it helps.
Safe sailing all.
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Old 20-10-2005, 03:51   #18
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Wow, that was good reading on anchor chain..

Here in the US we also have a grade of chain called BBB.
Not sure where it falls in comparison with Proof Coil...?

I like my G40 5/16"....it has been in the water a couple of hundred times over the last 6 years...Got minimal rust on it, but then again, it always gets a freash-water shower and good drying before it goes back to bed in the chain locker.
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Old 20-10-2005, 04:27   #19
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Anchor Chain Specifications & Performance

Gmac: Thanks for the interesting & informative information on chain.

Follows a couple of my own comments:

”...Generally real HT chains start at the G50 mark, this is when you start getting the steel mixed with the '11 secret herbs and spices' ...”

~ Actually “High-Test”, chain begins with the G-40/G-43 alloys (Acco, Crosby, et al), at least in North America.

” ...Proof Coil' which is bottom end and only been tested in the factory to 'a' load. The question is "What was that load?"...”

~ The Proof Test is twice the working load limit, or ½ the ultimate limit (breaking strength).

”... Grade 40 - basically the same as G30 but 25% stronger ...”

~ G-40 H.T. has about twice (200%) the WLL of G-30 P.C.

”... Grade 70 - twice as strong as G30 ...”

~ G-70 is about 250% as strong as G-30, and more than 120% as strong as G-40.

”... In the US they use a lot smaller safety margins then everywhere else ...”

~ The International Standards Organization specifies an Ultimate:WLL ratio of 4:1 - U.S. made chains (Acco & Crosby) are rated under ISO standards.

”...Steel weighs what steel weighs. A Grade 70 chain IS NOT any lighter size for size than a Grade 30 ...”

~ "Steel" weighs about 490 Lbs per cubic foot, but each alloy has a different composition and density.
ie: G-4 High-Test chain is slightly (about 15%) heavier than G-3 Proof-Coil of the same wire size, but is considerably (about 40%) lighter per pound of WLL
G-7 Transport chain falls between G-3 & G-4 on Wt./Ft for size, and obviously much lighter on weight per Lb WLLL
(see ACCO specifications below)

"... chain failure is very very rare. It is generally a lot stronger than the cleat on the boat, the winch it is on and the holding power of the anchor, ...

~ RIGHT ON !!!

”... This US fascination with with tiny chains onto a huge anchor seems to me to be strange if not bloody silly ...”

~ I used huge anchors, with “tiny” chains, which were well-matched to each other, my boat, and the most severe conditions (I imagined likely). Higher grade alloy chains allowed me to carry (& handle) copious lengths, of incredible strengths - all on a very small (C&C29 @ 28'6"LOA, 6900# Displ) boat.
BTW: I don’t know of any cruiser that doesn’t have some sort of “weight problem”.

Further to my own previous comment on treating chain with phosphoric acid
I "Ospho'd" my newly cleaned H.T. chains before I'd learned that "pickling" heat-treated HightTest alloys was not recommended. I didn't notice any deleterious effects - but caution that you should check the specifications of any alloy, prior to 'pickling' with any acid.

Acco & Crosby (U.S.A.) Chain Specifications
Working Load Limits are based upon the 4:1 design factor (4 x Ultimate Load Limit, or Breaking Strength) required by the ISO.

Grade 30 “Proof Coil” (Low Carbon Steel, Galv.) (Proof Loaded at 2 times the Working Load Limit, but WWL still 1/4 Ultimate Limit))
1/4" = 1,300# WLL - 0.636#/Ft
5/16" = 1,900# WLL - 0.948#/Ft
3/8" = 2,650# WLL - 1.3301#/Ft

Grade 40/43 “High-Test” (Carbon Steel, Un-Galv. ~ can be H.D. Galv.)
1/4" = 2,600# WLL - 0.70489#/Ft
5/16" = 3,900# WLL - 1.098#/Ft
3/8" = 5,400# WLL - 1.495#/Ft

Grade 70 “Transport” (Carbon Steel, Dichromate Finish)
1/4" =3,150# WLL - 0.6147#/Ft
5/16" = 4,700# WLL - 0.9395#/Ft
3/8" = 6,600# WLL - 1.4562#/Ft

“Stainless Steel” Chain (ACCO Only - Brand Specific)
1/4" = 1,800# WLL - 0.7457#/Ft
5/16" = 2,400# WLL - 1.0473#/Ft
3/8" = 3,550# WLL - 1.5075#/Ft.

Grade 80 & 100 “Hoisting” Chains (Heat Treated) are usually specified according to sling composition, attachments, & geometry. About 10 -15% higher WLL than G-7.

Some General Engineering Notes on Steel:

A 10% reduction in original dimension (wire diameter), elongation (any bending or distortion), nicks or gouges, evidence of heat damage (ie: weld spatter etc) are cause for “rejection” under ASME ‘B30.26'. Any such chain must be taken out of service.

The performance, in service, of a chain or fitting requires a tensile strength that meets working load limits, ductility that allows deformation when overloaded, fatigue properties that support use time after time, and impact properties that provide toughness. All of these properties are essential if the product is to perform in adverse anchoring conditions.

Much is made (by some) of the alleged “brittleness” of High-Test & other high strength alloys; but high quality chains are heat treated* to restore the desirable qualities of the steel. The quenching process (rapid cooling in water or oil, after heating) forms a strong, but brittle structure. This is followed by a tempering process (reheating of the steel) to obtain the desired strength, while increasing the ductility and toughness.

Ductility is measured by standard engineering tests of elongation and reduction of area. It is also measured by how much deformation the fitting incurs when overloaded.
The tensile strength determines the actual working load, while ductility allows the product to deform significantly when overloaded, thus giving warning before ultimate failure.

Impact strength measures (Charpy V Notched Impact test) the ability of the steel to absorb the energy of rapid loading (“snatching”). The “tougher” the material the greater the energy required to break the piece. A brittle piece can absorb virtually no energy upon breaking.

Fatigue strength is measured by: the number of cycles at which a crack initiates, the number of cycles at which the crack starts to grow, and the number of cycles at which the fitting fails. One accepted method of fatigue rating fittings is to test them to 1½ times the working load limit for 20,000 cycles, without failure. This standard test is accepted as indicating indefinite life when used within the working load limit under normal circumstances.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,
Gord May
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Old 20-10-2005, 21:28   #20
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Wow! This is great stuff!

Thanks Gmac, Gord, and everyone! This forum gives a wonderful source for info and guidelines for making purchasing decisions and sources for items not normally in our "view".

Regards,
Rick
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Old 21-10-2005, 14:54   #21
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G'day again,

Follows a couple of my own comments:

”...Generally real HT chains start at the G50 mark, this is when you start getting the steel mixed with the '11 secret herbs and spices' ...”

~ Actually “High-Test”, chain begins with the G-40/G-43 alloys (Acco, Crosby, et al), at least in North America.


Sorry, when I was referring to ‘HT’ chains I meant High Tensile. High Test is a marketing phrase.

” ...Proof Coil' which is bottom end and only been tested in the factory to 'a' load. The question is "What was that load?"...”

~ The Proof Test is twice the working load limit, or ½ the ultimate limit (breaking strength).


Absolutely right WHEN assuming we are talking chain from a reputable manufacturer. Sadly many chains are now made in the east and the ‘Proof Coil’ tag could mean anything from them. I do realise ACCO still use it but they are a reputable manufacturer and can be relied on the test to twice WLL. As a general rule most reputable manufacturers don’t use the phrase much anymore.

”... Grade 40 - basically the same as G30 but 25% stronger ...”

~ G-40 H.T. has about twice (200%) the WLL of G-30 P.C.


You’re talking WLL’s relating to ACCO chains, I was talking break loads about chains in general.

”... Grade 70 - twice as strong as G30 ...”

~ G-70 is about 250% as strong as G-30, and more than 120% as strong as G-40.


Actually it’s 2.1 times G3 to G7. I was talking generally to round numbers working on the KISS principal.

”... In the US they use a lot smaller safety margins then everywhere else ...”

~ The International Standards Organization specifies an Ultimate:WLL ratio of 4:1 - U.S. made chains (Acco & Crosby) are rated under ISO standards.


Using the ACCO numbers below: The WLL on the G3 x 4 gives the chain a break of 340 N/mm2, which is a Grade 30. Doing the same to the G4 it has a break load of 701 N/mm2 or a Grade 70. Work the G4 at WWL x 2.5 and it has a break load of 440 N/mm2 that is a Grade 43.

Hmmm……..

”...Steel weighs what steel weighs. A Grade 70 chain IS NOT any lighter size for size than a Grade 30 ...”

~ "Steel" weighs about 490 Lbs per cubic foot, but each alloy has a different composition and density.
ie: G-4 High-Test chain is slightly (about 15%) heavier than G-3 Proof-Coil of the same wire size, but is considerably (about 40%) lighter per pound of WLL
G-7 Transport chain falls between G-3 & G-4 on Wt./Ft for size, and obviously much lighter on weight per Lb WLLL
(see ACCO specifications below)


1 metre of 10mm G3 weighs as close as the same as 1 metre of G7 assuming the same link dimensions. The same grades with different link dimensions will weigh differently obviously. Weight to WLL differences will be big.

"... chain failure is very very rare. It is generally a lot stronger than the cleat on the boat, the winch it is on and the holding power of the anchor, ...

~ RIGHT ON !!!

”... This US fascination with with tiny chains onto a huge anchor seems to me to be strange if not bloody silly ...”

~ I used huge anchors, with “tiny” chains, which were well-matched to each other, my boat, and the most severe conditions (I imagined likely). Higher grade alloy chains allowed me to carry (& handle) copious lengths, of incredible strengths - all on a very small (C&C29 @ 28'6"LOA, 6900# Displ) boat.


Using a small chain and big anchor means the anchor and chain have to work harder when the pressure comes on. On smaller boats, like a C&C29, this is not usually as big an issue due to the chain strength/weight to boat weight ratio being smaller by quite a bit. At around the 40ft mark this starts to swing quite bit the other way. Get to 60ft and it looks nasty. Hit 100ft and it ‘s scary. As a general rule a 30fter is far better anchored than a 50fter when you look at the strength/weight ratios involved.

We have just fitted out a US bound 105fter. The specs were for 2 x 400ft of 10mm G4 chain onto 2 x 200kg anchors. Everyone involved except the designer quiver with surprise/ fright when they see it. Then again the designer did say, “They will only go marina to marina so it doesn’t matter”. Just hope they don’t get stuck out one day and have to rely on the anchor system. All will be OK though, they have 8 big plasma tellies on board and can make 600 gal of water a day.

I regard, as I suspect you do, the anchoring system as a MAJOR component of my boat. Why trim things here and fill your boat with allsorts of flashing bells and whistles. These may make life a bit easier at times, look flash but suck batteries (no worries, just add more) but they do nothing to ensure you wake up in the morning on your anchor and not on rocks.

When sorting my latest craft I made sure: it would float, take a good beating if required, actually sail and to windward, carry the fuel and water I require and a very good anchoring system. With all of that sorted I know the boat will go, stop and survive all but a very major cock-up or extreme bad weather. Only then did I start thinking about what else I wanted to put in/on it.

We see a lot of boaties who get boats put on the bells and whistles and then think about the anchoring gear. It maybe coincidence but quite a few more have US accents than others. It could just be the ‘way’ we all cruise a bit differently. I do notice marinas are popular cruising spots around the US as are canals and semi-enclosed (probably not the best word) waters in Europe. This is fine as that is what is there. Down this way we have no option to stay very coastal or we have to cross 1000 miles of open ocean, with no-where to run if it goes bad, to get to the next cruising area.

BTW: I don’t know of any cruiser that doesn’t have some sort of “weight problem”.

You’re right there. I’ve got ½ a tonne to play with and desires of about 1 tonne more of goodies. Something has to go but it won’t be my anchoring system.


My previous post was a ‘general’ overview of chains, hopefully put in simple terms so it would be easily understandable to all. Obviously there is a lot more to chains but 99% of it is irrelevant to most.

15-18kts over the aft 1/4 and flat water to all.
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Old 21-10-2005, 16:26   #22
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we just go from marina to marina as well, primarily using moorings so i guess i don't need anything bigger. in fact, why bother with an anchor at all - that locker could be used for other stuff. i was on the boat today pulling a chock that has been leaking, and i looked around at all the hauled boats. almost all had anchors that were too small (and apparently left in place for the winter). the idea that you don't use it often and lighter is easier to handle seems to be a common attitude. there were several boats in the 35 - 40 ' range with 25 lb anchors. amazing. i can only assume they daysail and maybe drop the hook for a swim.

long ago, when i started this thread , i really wanted to know if dragging was my only risk. the CQR did not drag - it buried itself way down, so i was scratching around to see if a CQR was better than others at staying down when under heavy load, and if pivot failure was a possible risk due to load. yes, i'm still wining about the $ 587. As to chain, i had planned to order a package from west that would give me 250' of 5/8 three strand with 20' of 5/16 proof coil chain. trying to understand the dialogue above, seems proof coil is crap, bbb is the same rating but different link size appropriate to many windless and therefore twice the weight. why would west sell a package where the rope has a 12,200 lb breaking strength and the chain has a breaking strength of 7,600.- lb. should i upgrade chain to 5/16 high test with bs of 11,600 lb or go to 3/8 with bs of 16,200.-. am i getting close here. i do not own a smelter and i have not galvinized anything in weeks, i have a west marine catalog and a credit card.
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Old 21-10-2005, 18:02   #23
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Here's a reverse question on this topic..

Is there a way to tell what chain you DO have if you purchased a boat that is already equipped?

I have a 45lb CQR (Held in some rough conditions when the majority of other boats around me dragged) and a 35lb CQR. Attached to the 45lb anchor is 200' of "mystery chain." It's galvanized and quite solid. Is there any trick to finding out what this chain is, so I can be sure of what I have?

PS: Refering to Capt Lar's comment about the small anchors.. it's quite common for boats in New England (30-40ft) to have only the "lunch hook" out on deck, as they go from marina to mooring, etc... and don't often anchor overnight due to menacing rocky, kelp strewn bottoms. They keep a larger anchor in a locker somewhere to deploy in the event of emergency.

Thanks.
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Old 21-10-2005, 20:19   #24
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Quote:
Is there any trick to finding out what this chain is, so I can be sure of what I have?
If ya have a HT chain, it should read G4 on each linkl.

G3 is the next grade down, Proof Coil, if I digested the above stuff right.

(Jeez, thats more on chains that I ever thought I would need to know...Good stuff however, love it.)

As for yanks only having light-weight anchoring gear:

Nah, not this cowboy:

On my 33 ft CSY Cutter I have a Delta plow for primary anchor: A 55 pound mother hooked up to 215 ft of HT G4 chain, spliced to 250 ft of 3/4 inch 3 strand nylon line.
S-L 555 Sea Tiger for windlass.

Got plenty of spare anchors and chain and rodes and stern anchor systems, etc, etc. but won't clutter up these pages (again ) describing every piece of it.

To sum it up, I sleep very good at night, and have not dragged an inch once the anchor is set.

(Sometimes the Delta won't set in soft mud..Not a big deal, I pull it up and pick a different spot, then try again...If I ain't stationary with 2000 RPM in reverse I ain't staying.)

Yes, we are lucky here on the East Coast of the US as we have Bahamas next door and don't have to sail no 1000 miles like them Aussies do to find a good anchorage...

Some folks do sail the InterCoastal Waterway in their SeaRays and Wellcrafts, but most serious crusiers head offshore and take their anchor stuff seriously...(Cause we can't afford plasma TVs AND boat insurance, its got to be either/or.. )
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Old 21-10-2005, 21:32   #25
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[QUOTE]capt lar once whispered in the wind:
[B]we just go from marina to marina as well, primarily using moorings so i guess i don't need anything bigger. in fact, why bother with an anchor at all - that locker could be used for other stuff.

Mate.. I'd keep at least one good anchor set-up onboard. What happens when your motor packs up, rig falls over, too many rumbos to get back to the marina or something else. Mind you an anchor locker would hold a fair few cold stubbies....... No I'm not going there :-)

long ago, when i started this thread , i really wanted to know if dragging was my only risk. the CQR did not drag - it buried itself way down, so i was scratching around to see if a CQR was better than others at staying down when under heavy load, and if pivot failure was a possible risk due to load. yes, i'm still wining about the $ 587

I'm a fan of the newer types of anchors myself but used well a CQR is OK. I hope the $587 is not just the anchor price. I just sussed WM and now I climbed back off the floor you could be right. I personally would suggest a Manson Plow anchor instead. The only differances I can find are the price (a lot better) and they are stronger (not that you should ever have to find out). The Mansons are in the US somewhere. Suss www.mansonanchors.com

I'd sell you a Manson 25lber for US$200 odd but being a none commercial forum I'm not going to tell you where to get me :-) and I'm not in the US anyway. But worth sussing locally don't you think. I would be interested to know how much one was if you find it.

As to chain, i had planned to order a package from west that would give me 250' of 5/8 three strand with 20' of 5/16 proof coil chain. trying to understand the dialogue above, seems proof coil is crap, bbb is the same rating but different link size appropriate to many windless and therefore twice the weight. why would west sell a package where the rope has a 12,200 lb breaking strength and the chain has a breaking strength of 7,600.- lb. should i upgrade chain to 5/16 high test with bs of 11,600 lb or go to 3/8 with bs of 16,200.-. am i getting close here. i do not own a smelter and i have not galvinized anything in weeks, i have a west marine catalog and a credit card.
capt. lar


No..no..no.. Maybe I'm not explaining myself well, quite probable. All chains from good makes are 'proof tested'. Back in the day when we had 1 or 2 choices at best there was Proof Coil and 1 higher grade. These days we have a great range of options and a massive amount of stuff being made in the East. The term 'Proof Coil' is fading away and being replaced with things like DIN766/A, EN818-3, ASNZ, ASTM** and a couple of others. These are all standards for chain. The main differance being size and grades. Nothing to get stressed over.

To put the term 'Proof Coil' as used by ACCO into simple terms. ACCO made 'Proof Coil' will be good. WhoFlungDung (generic name from a country in the East) made 'Proof Coil' could be very suspect, it maybe good but as yet we have yet to find any we would trust.

To stop the punters being nervous and to differentiate their from the Eastern made most manufacturers are now calling the chains by the standard they are building it to.

Why sell a rope and chain with so differing loads - being sceptical, maybe they have too much 5/8 rope in stock. Personally we run these pairings and have found they work very well for most. Sorry about possible conversion issues, metric is what we use here.

6 and 7mm (3/16 and 1/4") chain to 12mm (1/2") rope
8mm (5/16") chain to 14mm (9/16) rope
10mm chain (3/8") to 16 (5/8") sometimes 20mm (3/4") rope.

Obviously you can tweak these ropes up a size if you like. I would not go down. These are good matching pairs with regards to strength and winch fitting.

I don't know what your boat is so it is hard to say which one to go with.

Sail safe.
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Old 21-10-2005, 21:47   #26
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Re: Here's a reverse question on this topic..

[QUOTE]ssullivan once whispered in the wind:
[B]Is there a way to tell what chain you DO have if you purchased a boat that is already equipped?

Can be tricky. Have a good close look at your chain and see if you can pick up any markings it may have. Most manufacturers stamp their chain for ID purposes eg. ACCO uses 'BBB' on their BBB grade or 'G4' on their High Test chains. These stamps can sometimes be hard to see after a while. They should be at intervals of not more than 20 links or 1 metre whichever is the shortest. Some stamp each link sometimes. If you can find a stamp it can be tracked back to a maker or at least give you a grade. If you find one let me know and I'll troll my database for you. If you do find one and can't read it that is OK. If it does have a stamp you can be 99% sure it is made by someone good and willing to put their name to it.

Sussing the weld zone is also one way to see if it's well made. On good chains the zone tends to look as if someone has cleaned up quite a good size weld. On a 3/8 sized chain the weld zone/clean up could be 1/4" across. Most dodgy chains have 'welds' that look as if the ends of the wire have just been pushed togeather and have little or no cleaning up.

PS: Refering to Capt Lar's comment about the small anchors.. it's quite common for boats in New England (30-40ft) to have only the "lunch hook" out on deck, as they go from marina to mooring, etc... and don't often anchor overnight due to menacing rocky, kelp strewn bottoms. They keep a larger anchor in a locker somewhere to deploy in the event of emergency.

Makes good sense to me.
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Old 21-10-2005, 22:08   #27
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[QUOTE]CSY Man once whispered in the wind:
[B]If ya have a HT chain, it should read G4 on each linkl.

If made by ACCO and a couple of others. Other manufacturers do mark their G4 differently.

G3 is the next grade down, Proof Coil, if I digested the above stuff right.
(Jeez, thats more on chains that I ever thought I would need to know...Good stuff however, love it.)
As for yanks only having light-weight anchoring gear:
Nah, not this cowboy:


It was a general comment. It did not mean you all :-)

On my 33 ft CSY Cutter I have a Delta plow for primary anchor: A 55 pound mother hooked up to 215 ft of HT G4 chain, spliced to 250 ft of 3/4 inch 3 strand nylon line.
S-L 555 Sea Tiger for windlass.
Got plenty of spare anchors and chain and rodes and stern anchor systems, etc, etc. but won't clutter up these pages (again ) describing every piece of it.
To sum it up, I sleep very good at night, and have not dragged an inch once the anchor is set.


You right on that account. Some serious gear.

Yes, we are lucky here on the East Coast of the US as we have Bahamas next door and don't have to sail no 1000 miles like them Aussies do to find a good anchorage...

Ahhhhhhhh............ Aussies are all criminals or decendents of, can't play rugby or netball, only passable at league, have problems keeping yachts afloat or even upright and have a 'Sydney Tower' only slightly higher than a flagpole. Mind you we could have worse neighbours. I'm 100% NZ born and breed.

Some folks do sail the InterCoastal Waterway in their SeaRays and Wellcrafts, but most serious crusiers head offshore and take their anchor stuff seriously...(Cause we can't afford plasma TVs AND boat insurance, its got to be either/or..

I'm sure most do but the tiny chain thing is usually discussed with a US accent. I'm keeping an eye on a US boat (they say they are Alaskan really. Another NZ v's Aust and US V's Canada thing, all good stuff) while they pop home to see the grandkids and it is well set-up as are most that get down this way.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS - to anchor well and safely you must regard an anchor, the chain and/or rope as one unit. One does not work without the other.

Good chatting all. I hope I have helped a bit. Keep safe and sane.
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Old 22-10-2005, 02:27   #28
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Old 22-10-2005, 09:01   #29
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hey sean - the idea of having a small anchor on deck and the big boy in a locker for "emergency" is still bad imo. "emergency" suggests urgency. finding, moving, attaching a heavy anchor when in trouble is not a good plan. i honestly doubt if any of these guys have a heavy tucked away, or even a spare.
i do it the other way around - best is ready to drop any time. lunch hook is in aft locker and can be pulled out and set at my leisure. sometimes i set it off the stern and then walk it around - but the bow has my best ready to deploy at all times with a second 200' of rope / chain if needed. i follow this method for both sail and power. unfortunatey, what came with this boat isn't good enough yet. the night we were in a howl, i worried more about the rope and scope than the cqr. i have great faith in cqr, based on nothing more than never having one let me down and knowing they will set. while i know i need a 35 lb-er, the 25 did not move. unfortunately, it is $587 light, but i will not change from cqr so i guess it will make a nice spare.

gmac - i was kidding about no anchor. to me, a dinky anchor on undersized rope is the same thing as no anchor - you have a serviceable anchor until you really need an anchor and then you are screwed. it might even be worse because of the sense of false security. if i lose power or helm in tight quarters, i want to be able to immediately drop and stop. we just had a guy go overboard and drowned here. he and his inexperienced son were doing a quick relocation of their boat and did not check gear before departing. same old story of weather change, engine trouble, batteries down, no harness, no lifejacket - no more dad. any time i leave the mooring - i assume i am headed to england.
your help was great, but the ratings you explained do not show up in the WC. we do have inferior chain imported into the states and it can be hard to know what you really get. 5/8 rope is well over my rated need and 250' will give me 7:1 ratio in 35' of water (plus chain) so that will meet my idea of a worst case scenario (although 300' is better still) i will upgrade the chain to 20' of 3/8" high test. thanks for your input. i had assumed the package from west would match chain to rope and the better pricing was, as always, tempting. as to the cqr - i know what my wife is getting for xmas.

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Old 22-10-2005, 14:56   #30
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your help was great, but the ratings you explained do not show up in the WC. we do have inferior chain imported into the states and it can be hard to know what you really get. 5/8 rope is well over my rated need and 250' will give me 7:1 ratio in 35' of water (plus chain) so that will meet my idea of a worst case scenario (although 300' is better still) i will upgrade the chain to 20' of 3/8" high test. thanks for your input. i had assumed the package from west would match chain to rope and the better pricing was, as always, tempting. as to the cqr - i know what my wife is getting for xmas.

If you're not sure what a chain is ask for a Test Certificate or just ask "where was it made?" and hope the answer is not China. Of course you do have to trust the seller a bit and hope they know what they have, sometimes they don't sadly to say. You're lucky ACCO stamp their chain well and it's good stuff.

Chain is like most stuff these days. There is the good stuff made by people who have been doing it for years and there is the "Walmart" (I think you call it) special, good for dog leads, across the gate, your dingy but not hanging the big boat off. Unfortunatly also like most things you do have to pay a bit more for the good stuff but then you will sleep better.

When we ship chain to any good sized boat and especially crusiers we include a 'info sheet', if not a Test Cert, detailing the nitty gritty of what they have for peace of mind and in case they ever have to replace it. Good for some insurance companies as well, some will knock 0.5% off due to having a good quality 'hand brake'.

All the best and I hope your wife comes through at Xmas :-)
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