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Old 10-09-2020, 11:35   #1
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3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

Greeting ye denizens Of the Oracle of empirical knowledge.

Time to replace our anchor rode. We currently have 350 ft of 3/8 BBB chain on a Maxwell 2200 HWC. Most of the old chain is unusable due to the fact that the PO had propylene line weaved into the links to mark the chain, unfortunately it rusted badly so we have about 5 links every 25 ft rusted badly except for the first 120’ boo. Trying to decide on the chain replacement and am having a hard time deciding between the BBB or G4. Does the weight of the BBB make it a better choice for the catenary aspect or is a lighter stronger chain more preferable. Our chain locker is quite large and fits the 350’ of BBB fine however with all that chain the boat does ride a bit down at the head. Oh and as far as anchors we have a 80lb Manson supreme as our primary, cqr as a backup and a big fortress stored in the fore peak for emergencies. Anyway thoughts one way or the other would be appreciated. One other thing currently we cruise West coast of Fl and the Bahamas (shallow) but may move the boat to California next spring if that makes any difference (lighter weight rode and more of it say 400’ for deeper water)

Anyways thanks in advance
Will
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Old 10-09-2020, 12:34   #2
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

G4 is lighter and stronger, I upgraded mine to g4 on purchase of the boat.
BUT... you can only do this if your gypsy will accommodate it. We were replacing the windlass as well, so it made sense for us.
Your gypsy will dictate what chain you can use. It should be stamped on it somewhere, or bring it into your supply store and drape some chain over. Its pretty obvious what fits and what doesnt
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Old 10-09-2020, 14:16   #3
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

Is 3/8 BBB really heavier than 3/8 G40? I don't have the data handy, but being that they have t he same wire cross section and are both carbon steel, I doubt if there is a significant difference.

And FWIW, 3/8 BBB is plenty strong enough for your boat. Chain breakage is a really unlikely issue in reality unless allowed to deteriorate horribly. All my opinion, of course...

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Old 10-09-2020, 17:26   #4
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Is 3/8 BBB really heavier than 3/8 G40? I don't have the data handy, but being that they have t he same wire cross section and are both carbon steel, I doubt if there is a significant difference.

And FWIW, 3/8 BBB is plenty strong enough for your boat. Chain breakage is a really unlikely issue in reality unless allowed to deteriorate horribly. All my opinion, of course...

Jim
Jim, you got me questioning my memory.
I looked it up and 200 feet only has about 40 lbs difference.(297 lbs g40 and 335 lbs for bbb)
But the wll goes from 2650 lbs(bbb) to 5400 lbs(g40). So double the working load for slightly less weight.
It all stemmed from my memory of buying a barrel of chain last summer. I was amazed that 5/16 g40 was 300 lbs for 280 feet! It baffles me that its stronger
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Old 10-09-2020, 17:58   #5
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

I believe the usual argument is 3/8” BBB or 5/16” G40.
The idea of greater weight of chain being beneficial has sort of gone by the wayside, now you usually hear that your better off putting the weight into the anchor and not the rode.

https://www.1st-chainsupply.com/WLLchart.htm

I would go with 5/16 G43, especially as she rides bow down now.
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Old 10-09-2020, 18:36   #6
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

I recommend you check if 5/16” G4 will do the job. If so, take 400’ of that, plus new windlass gypsy, plus get rid of the CQR to save extra weight. The CQR will only get you in trouble and you have a Fortress for backup.
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Old 10-09-2020, 18:40   #7
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

A pound of anchor is *way* more efficient than a pound of chain. Catenary from the chain weight doesn't really provide any benefit once the forces are large enough to lift the chain off the seabed. The modern way (based on engineering theory and backed up by empirical evidence) is, for a fixed upper bound on the ground tackle weight budget, to go with the heaviest anchor and the lightest high-strength chain that realistically match up.


With an 80 lb anchor and 350 ft = 510 lb of 3/8" BBB, your starting point is quite imbalanced in favour of chain weight.


If you want to keep 350 ft of chain, then 5/16" G43 / G4 / G40 would be about 350 lb. That'll do wonders for trim & performance, while giving you a 47% strength increase... not that an 80lb anchor of any type would be likely to hold well enough, or a 50' boat to pull hard enough, to break a chain whose specs are typically on the order of 3900 lb WLL and 11,700 lb yield.


If you never use the full length, I'd be tempted to get a shorter length of G43 and just enjoy the sailing performance improvement from having less weight up there.
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Old 10-09-2020, 19:06   #8
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

I do not believe there is any reason to use BBB chain in this day and age.


3/8" BBB chain WLL 2640 lbs $6.79/ft

5/16" G43 chain WLL 3900 lbs $5.59/ft

1/4" G70 chain WLL 2835 lbs $5.39/ft



I will not claim to be an anchoring expert but based on my limited experience I am a fan of part-chain rodes. For the anchor you have I would suggest 150' of 5/16" G70 chain spliced to whatever size of 8 plait nylon your gypsy will support. This will be stronger, lighter, and cheaper than what you have now.
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Old 10-09-2020, 19:50   #9
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

Although the Maxwell docs say it works I don't think they make a gypsy for the 2200 that will work with G4 chain. Been working on boat with a 2200 that has 3/8 G3 chain. G3 link dimensions are almost identical to 3/8 G4 and it jumps badly in the gypsy.

Just ordered a 2' piece of 3/8 G4 to test on the off chance that the old chain is stretched out enough to make a difference but I'm not optimistic.
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Old 10-09-2020, 19:51   #10
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I recommend you check if 5/16” G4 will do the job. If so, take 400’ of that, plus new windlass gypsy, plus get rid of the CQR to save extra weight. The CQR will only get you in trouble and you have a Fortress for backup.
I can use 5/16 G4 and 3/8 BBB interchangeably on my old Simpson Lawrence so this should work.
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Old 10-09-2020, 20:28   #11
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

I have a Ideal windlass. The wildcat is sized for 3/8" BBB. 5/16" G40 would not feed through it but 5/16" G70 (acco) feeds quite nicely.

Turns out that the chain pitch (between 3/8" BBB and 5/16" G70) is within 3% or so. Plus it is tougher and stronger.

I'm using the 5/16" G70 but do not have enough time in salt water to say how the galvanizing will wear.
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Old 10-09-2020, 20:57   #12
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

we recently changed fm 10mm standard L grade G30 to 8mm G40.

the standard 10mm weighs abt 2.33kg/m for swl of 1000kg. the 8mm G40 weighs 1.42 kg/m and has swl of 1075kg. saved 68kg which significant for a cat

of course had to change the gypsy on the lewmar windlass...no big deal

cheers,
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Old 11-09-2020, 02:10   #13
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

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... I'm using the 5/16" G70 but do not have enough time in salt water to say how the galvanizing will wear.
“G70" Transport Chain is usually finished in Yellow Zinc Chromate, What brand is your galvanized G70?
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Old 11-09-2020, 05:30   #14
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

Good point on G70. G70 links are generally longer. I know for my Maxwell windlass, one gypsy takes 5/16 BBB and G43, but 5/16 G70 goes on the 3/8 BBB / G43 gypsy.
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Old 11-09-2020, 05:32   #15
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Re: 3/8 BBB or 3/8 G4 HT dilemma

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“G70" Transport Chain is usually finished in Yellow Zinc Chromate, What brand is your galvanized G70?

West Marine, among other sources, sells galvanized G70 anchor chain with the ISO link sizes for windlass use.
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