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Old 03-02-2015, 15:09   #1
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Anchor chain too rusty?

So we're about to set off on a cruise of the Med, then transatlantic. And our anchor chain, all 70 meters of it, looks like this. Too rusty? Need to regalvanize - or just plain throw it out and buy new? Any opinions appreciated!
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Old 03-02-2015, 15:34   #2
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

Geez that looks like it's in very good shape to me. I wouldn't bother regalvanizing until it gets really rusty.
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Old 03-02-2015, 16:17   #3
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

I worked as a Tech Writer for ESCO Corporation where I wrote Work Instructions for Chain Inspections, and also other safety and mechanical maintenance material. ESCO used chains for everything, including moving huge ladles (6+ feet high/acrosss) full of molten metal with overhead cranes that rode on crane ways. In other words, chain failure = death.

That being said, each chain had to be inspected for wear where it rides on the adjoining links. If there was 10% wear from original specs, the chain was taken out of service and melted.

The chain on our 1988 Norseman 400, (displacement 19,000 empty) was 300' of 5/16" G4 ACCO chain. It looked in about the same condition as your chain, but we thought better safe than sorry. After all, this is the braking system for our boat, and I wouldn't drive a car without brakes.

I had the chain inspected. It passed, meaning there wasn't more than 10% wear on any link. Yes, EACH link gets inspected (or is supposed to).
Then I had a 3' section of chain cut off from the anchor end and had it pull tested at a local chain company.

Our chain's working load limit is 3,900 pounds. It finally broke the shackle it was attached to at more than 10,000 pounds of pulling pressure. So the chain didn't break, the shackle failed. MORE IMPORTANTLY, the each link in the section of chain that was tested had what is called "even stretch". Each link was stretched the same amount.

Then, I had the chain hot dipped re-galvanized. Total cost, less than $400 for everything. It was significantly less expensive than replacing the whole chain. And knowing that the brakes are good on my boat helps us sleep better at anchor.

We also use an appropriate weight-rated-sized shackle from chain to the 60-pound QCR anchor, have the chain secured to the boat's chain locker with a cut-a-way strap, and use a bridle anchor to take the force off the windlass.
Best of luck.
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Old 03-02-2015, 16:23   #4
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

Doesn't look bad to me. If you need to replace it get it done somewhere in the Med. You can find good quality chain for much less than America not withstanding the fact that your currency is very strong right now.
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Old 03-02-2015, 16:40   #5
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

There is another thread concurrent with this on galvanizing. Two if us have re-coated with Armor Galvanize. A powder metallurgy process that is less dirty, toxic & leaves an anti-corrosive hard coat.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...in-136333.html

This process is generally a bit more industrial but was not expensive. It was invented by Israelis and is used to preserve military and agricultural equipment as well as general marine. You might find it in the Med.
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Old 03-02-2015, 19:21   #6
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

Regarding the post I wrote earlier, the "shackle that broke during pull testing" was the shackle that was part of the pull testing machine equipment - not the shackle we use to connect our chain and anchor.

The pull-test operator/mechanic selected a shackle that met the chains size and limits, but since the chain exceeded it, it didn't hold.
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:56   #7
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

Many thanks for the feedback, all - much appreciated!
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Old 04-02-2015, 00:04   #8
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

To me, the picture looks like staining on the surface of the galvanizing rather than rusty steel.
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Old 04-02-2015, 00:58   #9
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

So far I have always gotten my chain for free from people who throw it away, then I use it until the metal is about half as thick as before (2-3 years) then throw it and get more free chain. Now I have half inch chain so it should last at least 4 years.

Would be great to re-galvanize, but the price is too much compared to free chain. Downside is it's so rusty my hands get soiled every time I pull anchor, but can easily wash them.
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Old 04-02-2015, 01:20   #10
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

you did not say where you are in the med. we are in tunisia with a similar issue. they only have cold galvanizing here so we will wait until we get to turkey and try and have it done there.

in the meantime we carry 2 anchor chain rodes so we switched rodes and have the same amount of chain 50m but a bit less rode behind it.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:16   #11
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

Patrick, the chain looks pretty good to me as well.

If the other end of the chain shows less rust stains you might consider turning it around for even wear.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:58   #12
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickG View Post
So we're about to set off on a cruise of the Med, then transatlantic. And our anchor chain, all 70 meters of it, looks like this. Too rusty? Need to regalvanize - or just plain throw it out and buy new? Any opinions appreciated!
I'm with Chuck. The chain looks fine.
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:48   #13
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Re: Anchor chain too rusty?

I wished my chain looked this good. Do a physical examination of the links for damage and if it looks good leave as it is or opt for regalv. Beware of new chain that it must come from a reputable source and is assured to be what it claims.
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