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Old 07-04-2011, 07:45   #1
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Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

When I'm bringing up my anchor with the windlass, my chain tends to pile up in the locker below where it falls from the pipe. It's 3/8" galvanized BB. This usually falls in the category of minor irritation but can rapidly morph into big PITA when I'm single-handing and trying to leave an anchorage when it's rough. It necessitates going below to the forepeak locker and giving the chain pile-up a shove, & sometimes several round-trips are needed.

Thus far, the only remedy I've heard is to use SS chain, but this is obviously $$$. Would a different type of galvanized chain help? Any other ideas?

Thank you.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:52   #2
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

I have the exact same problem which is caused by where the hawse/chain pipe is positioned as it feeds chain into the locker.
- - Single-handing, I solved the problem by leaving the chain stretched out of deck between a mid-ship cleat and the bow cleat. That also makes anchoring quite easy as the chain is ready to be deployed instantly. I just have to unhook the chain from around the cleats and push the anchor off the bow.
- - I tried attaching a short piece of large vinyl hose to the underside of the hawse/chain pipe to redirect the chain to the deepest part of the chain locker. That worked for awhile then the hose fell off and I was back to square one.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:54   #3
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

I have the same problem. The locker floor is sloped and the chain should slide down but it does pile up. I have put a thin nylon sheet in the bottom to increase the slipping action. This has had some success, but I still get an occasional hang up.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:08   #4
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

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Originally Posted by Lancerbye View Post
I have the same problem. The locker floor is sloped and the chain should slide down but it does pile up. I have put a thin nylon sheet in the bottom to increase the slipping action. This has had some success, but I still get an occasional hang up.
My pipe actually does direct the chain to the deepest part of the sloped locker. I think my problem has more to do with the locker itself being on the small side. I only have 75' of chain & 125' of rope rode, but it still piles up on itself after about 40-50' have been taken in. That's why I was thinking it might have more to do with the type of chain.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:07   #5
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

New chain "castles" less than old chain, due to the roughness caused by the inevitable corrosion of the older chain. I've heard of people lubricating the chain (as it comes in) with soap, but I haven't tried this, and don't intend to.

A friend keeps a length of batten up on the foredeck, which he pokes through the chainpipe (whatever it's called) to knock down the castles when they block the chain fall. This works fairly well.

I've had decent luck with going below and shoving the on-board chain out of the way as best I can, before I bring in the anchor. Your chain locker dimensions are no doubt different than mine, but if I try to bring in 200 ft of chain in one go, it's going to jam. If I arrange the first 100 ft properly, the second 100 ft comes in fine.

As my chain gets older, this is more critical. Perhaps if I actually anchored more, the corrosion would be scrubbed off by the seabed? I seldom anchor.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:33   #6
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

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New chain "castles" less than old chain, due to the roughness caused by the inevitable corrosion of the older chain. I've heard of people lubricating the chain (as it comes in) with soap, but I haven't tried this, and don't intend to.

A friend keeps a length of batten up on the foredeck, which he pokes through the chainpipe (whatever it's called) to knock down the castles when they block the chain fall. This works fairly well.

I've had decent luck with going below and shoving the on-board chain out of the way as best I can, before I bring in the anchor. Your chain locker dimensions are no doubt different than mine, but if I try to bring in 200 ft of chain in one go, it's going to jam. If I arrange the first 100 ft properly, the second 100 ft comes in fine.

As my chain gets older, this is more critical. Perhaps if I actually anchored more, the corrosion would be scrubbed off by the seabed? I seldom anchor.
I like the idea of poking something through the hause pipe to knock the castles down. My chain doesn't show much evidence of corrosion -- yet.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:49   #7
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

I have the same problem (to an extent). I think the best solution (on my boat, anyway) would be a rode-flaker. That is to say a fitted and angled piece of 3/4" plywood that the chain "slides" off of as it comes in through the hawse pipe and into the deepest part of my chain locker. I understand that the original poster already has the chain falling into the deepest part of his locker, so this may not be a solution to him, but it could help others. When I am single-handing, I will begin hauling in chain with the windlass, being careful to not break the anchor free. Once I get my scope down to 3:1 or so, I will go below and rake the "castles" down into the deepest portion of the chain locker. Then I go back to the windlass and finish bringing up the anchor. It has worked well for me so far, but I do plan on fabricating and installing a rode-flaker before I cruise again.
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Old 07-04-2011, 13:15   #8
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
I've had decent luck with going below and shoving the on-board chain out of the way as best I can, before I bring in the anchor. Your chain locker dimensions are no doubt different than mine, but if I try to bring in 200 ft of chain in one go, it's going to jam. If I arrange the first 100 ft properly, the second 100 ft comes in fine.
This is what I do and then I don't have a problem. My locker is big enough that I don't have the problem as long as I start without a pile.
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Old 07-04-2011, 13:39   #9
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

Guess misery loves company!

I read someplace that SS chain does not have this problem. Does anyone know if this is true?
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Old 07-04-2011, 13:47   #10
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
A friend keeps a length of batten up on the foredeck, which he pokes through the chainpipe (whatever it's called) to knock down the castles when they block the chain fall. This works fairly well.
I have a piece of 1"x2", maybe 16" long of hardwood that I use for the same purpose. Doubles as my prop cleaner, or anytime underwater I need to scrape something off the prop/hull.

You can lay out a lot of the chain you'll need on deck as well. If you're in 20' of water you can get 50' of chain on the deck to at least get the anchor down in the sand as you clear out the jams.
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Old 07-04-2011, 13:56   #11
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

I've been told that installing a cone shaped object directly under where the chain falls will fix the problem. I haven't tried it yet so I can't say if it works or not, but it makes sense that it would work.
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Old 07-04-2011, 14:02   #12
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

Deeper chain locker?

I have also seen a cone shaped locker bottom and it seemed to help all right.

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Old 07-04-2011, 14:07   #13
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

It's universal problem. Like death and taxes. It doesn't bother me. I just stand in the chain locker on the divider which separates the two halves and kick over the piles as they form. No big deal.
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Old 07-04-2011, 14:35   #14
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post

A friend keeps a length of batten up on the foredeck, which he pokes through the chainpipe (whatever it's called) to knock down the castles when they block the chain fall. This works fairly well.
This is what I do, but with an old broom handle. My chain locker has three compartments with the windlass above the center (deepest) compartment. The chainpipes for the port and starboard compartments give me good access for poking both sides of the pile. Minor PITA but not a big deal.
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Old 07-04-2011, 15:34   #15
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Re: Remedy For Chain Pile-Up In Locker?

Exile, Had your problem for 17 years. Poked it with a stick every so often while bringing it up. Don't wait until you are at the end. Don't use a piece of wood, you will eventually break it off in the hole. We used a short broom handle that was solid plastic. It lasted for about ten years until I dropped it overboard. Chuck
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