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Old 19-03-2020, 02:25   #1
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Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Hi guys,
I have a problem with the behavior of my anchor chain on the windlass: when winching the anchor up the chain tends to 'stick' onto the winch instead of dropping into the chain locker. There appears to be a mismatch. My theory is that the chain shackles may be a bit too long, causing only the first shackle too pull and the rest of the chain on the windlass too just follow...Just a lightweight theory not based on any science. This is a restored 1907 yacht and I cannot replace this chain wheel (sorry for my incomplete English!). It was suggested to me that my chain might be a non-calibrated chain. In metric dimensions: we measure exactly 86 shackles for 200 cm of chain.
Does anyone have experience with this behavior?
Thanks a lot,
Bart
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Old 19-03-2020, 02:54   #2
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

It is either:
1. ) Wrong chain for chain wheel
2.) Worn chain wheel

You will need to find the matching setup....
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Old 19-03-2020, 03:47   #3
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Thanks! The chain at first sight seems to lie neatly in the groove, but you must be right, because it sometimes skids a link or two over the wheel...
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Old 19-03-2020, 04:28   #4
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Or tired chain stripper, the fork forcing the chain out of the gypsy.
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Old 19-03-2020, 04:49   #5
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Actually, the winch has no chain stripper. It is a very basic classic device.
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Old 19-03-2020, 04:58   #6
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

A few years ago I renewed our anchor rodes with new, to our specification, chain. It came from a different manufacturer than the previous rode. It missed fitting the windlass by a skip every turn or so. One answer is that some chain distributors will sell you a foot or of chain for $10, so you can detefmine that you have an exact fit.
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Old 19-03-2020, 09:47   #7
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Years ago we solved the same problem by installing a chain stripper. We used a sharpened piece of Stainless steel rod for the purpose, which is held in place by a robust bracket.
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Old 19-03-2020, 10:37   #8
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Carpentier View Post
Hi guys,
I have a problem with the behavior of my anchor chain on the windlass: when winching the anchor up the chain tends to 'stick' onto the winch instead of dropping into the chain locker. There appears to be a mismatch. My theory is that the chain shackles may be a bit too long, causing only the first shackle too pull and the rest of the chain on the windlass too just follow...Just a lightweight theory not based on any science. This is a restored 1907 yacht and I cannot replace this chain wheel (sorry for my incomplete English!). It was suggested to me that my chain might be a non-calibrated chain. In metric dimensions: we measure exactly 86 shackles for 200 cm of chain.
Does anyone have experience with this behavior?
Thanks a lot,
Bart
You don't say if this is a new problem or how long you have owned the boat. I had similar problems on my new-to-me boat. The stripper broke, which I replaced, then determined there was a mismatch of chain and gypsy, replacing the chain. Then, eventually, replacing the windlass with a new electric.

That said, you do need a chain stripper. Go to a machine shop and have one made if you can't make it yourself and mount it. With an ancient windlass this may be a challenge.

It is possible you have a mismatch of chain and gypsy as I did. The only sure way of determining that is to remove the gypsy and take it to a chain dealer for a correct matchup. Cut off one foot of your old chain and compare it to whatever chain fits best at the dealer.

An alternative is just to skip all of the above shenanigans and buy a new electric windlass and chain like I eventually did...and I'm glad I did.

Good Luck.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 19-03-2020, 11:46   #9
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Same comment about this being a new or old problem. When we bought our boat, the PO had chain aboard he swore he’d never had a problem using with the existing gypsy. I suspect he probably did but was too old to notice, and just “powered through” raising it. I noticed the problem quickly, and discovered it was a mismatch.

Pride goeth before the fall, however...

After complimenting myself mightily for “properly” sizing the right chain using a sample about a foot long, I purchased a couple hundred feet, marked it every 25’ using spray paint in the parking lot, and fed it onto the windlass only to find it DIDN'T fit! I learned that day not to use a sample of chain only a dozen links long, but one that follows the gypsy all the way from the “wet” end to the deck opening. Once I remeasured using a sample about two feet long, I saw the error of my way. Couple hundred feet of nice new spray painted chain went to off consignment. Worse yet, I was unable to adequately BS my wife into believing it was someone else’s fault! (Lol!)

It was not one of my finer moments, but live and learn...
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Old 19-03-2020, 21:14   #10
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Carpentier View Post
Hi guys,
I have a problem with the behavior of my anchor chain on the windlass: when winching the anchor up the chain tends to 'stick' onto the winch instead of dropping into the chain locker. There appears to be a mismatch. My theory is that the chain shackles may be a bit too long, causing only the first shackle too pull and the rest of the chain on the windlass too just follow...Just a lightweight theory not based on any science. This is a restored 1907 yacht and I cannot replace this chain wheel (sorry for my incomplete English!). It was suggested to me that my chain might be a non-calibrated chain. In metric dimensions: we measure exactly 86 shackles for 200 cm of chain.
Does anyone have experience with this behavior?
Thanks a lot,
Bart
Your "lightweight theory" may well be correct. Over time chain will lengthen slightly more due to internal chaffing than actual stretching. Given the age of your current system you may find yourself starting from scratch here as you may not find any current chain to fit your old system.

Ps. Your English is much better than my Flemish or Wallonian (whichever the case may be)
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Old 20-03-2020, 16:11   #11
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

The method I use is go forward slowly, bend your ass over, and take up the chain as you go.
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Old 22-03-2020, 03:16   #12
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Thanks all, for your insights!
The problem did not appeare immediately after my re-launching of Lona and our first sails (probably because I did not anchor the first two years :-) but it must have been there...
I will start by comparing the exact length my (old) chain with a new and calibrated one. If I find a slight difference, this may confirm this theory of mine.
And let me find out if I can add a stripper to this vintage wich without ruining it. I cannot visit the boat now - as the borders are closed here, and it is in Holland while I live in Belgium.
One extra thing: this galvanized chain has gotten a quite rough surface which may also add to this sticking behavior. I prefer not to go this way, but an RVS chain might be a lot smoother..?
Serious thanks again!
Bart
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Old 16-04-2020, 20:48   #13
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

Well, you know the issue by now. The chain doesn't fit the gypsy. One or the other haas to be replaced.
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Old 16-04-2020, 21:19   #14
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

I watched a brand new Hylas being commissioned across from where we were docked. The techs doing the work loaded the chain on using the windlass, and it skipped about every turn. The chain and windlass were NOT matched. Either these guys were clueless, or just didn't care. For his million dollars the new owner got a lot of anchoring headaches.

Do not assume that it was EVER right even when the boat was new.
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Old 16-04-2020, 21:53   #15
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Re: Anchor chain sticking into windlass chain wheel

If it was working fine before and it has slowly stopped working properly now it could be the chain has rusted sufficiently so it slips in the gypsy. We had this issue on our Lagoon, the chain worked fine for 5 years and then started more rapid rusting and then slipping and twisting in the gypsy and on into the chain locker. Bought a new chain as spec'd by windlass manufacturer and no more problems. Your chain might have some symbols on the links that may help identify it.
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