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Old 10-06-2021, 15:11   #16
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

If I am imagining your anchor locker access correctly, you may have to resort to one of those long iron bars used in construction for destruction. The proper name escapes me. Do you have room to put some wood in there to protect the hull?
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:12   #17
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

Try to get some board behind the chain lump to spread the blows to the hull. Anyway, with a hammer drill you are beating on a very small & specific area of the chain lump at any one time & no doubt the chain lump itself will diffuse the blows by the time they transfer to the hull.

Using acid inside a grp hull sounds like a very last resort to me. If you do that, make sure you flush through with an alkali solution afterwards & hope you get everything. Maybe talk to a chemist??
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:19   #18
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I have around 325' of anchor chain, but normally use somewhere between 75-150'. The chain is around 9 years old and 2.5 years ago I flipped it end over end as the chain that normally was in the water was getting kind of rusty, but the rest had only been in the water a few times.

.
End for ending chain is a mistake imho.
Did it once, never again.
Ended up with rusty chain on deck and a rusted lump in locker, flakey crap everywhere.

Now, we have rusty chain but when used and run through sand comes up shiney going on two years now - chain dia still in spec.
Balance of chain in locker is still galvanised and perfectly fine.
In a few days I will chop half or 130ft out and start afresh with the remainder.
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:27   #19
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

I'd go with acid.....

But vegetable oil? Seriously? Doesn't that make the foredeck a dirty oil hell when handling ground tackle, and then stay there for you to slip and fall, and get on the furler lines, and the sheets.....mmmmm.
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:37   #20
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

If it's that tight in there, and you have access to an air compressor, a palm nailer will work. As the name implies, it fits in your palm and has a small piston to drive individual nails.
They are pretty cheap, 30-50 bucks. Push it onto the chain ball and it will beat it enough to shake free. You may have to work it a few inches at a time, but it's the most precise tool for tight spots.
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:44   #21
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

Do you have enough space, and can you move the ball at all? If so slip a plastic mixing bowl underneath it and pour in White vinegar and let it sit for a few days. Empty it out, rinse and repeat. It may remove enough so you can slowly disassemble it.


You want as much submerged as possible. Maybe a large heavy duty plastic bag?



I think the vinegar is mild enough that it wont damage anything but your boat will smell like a dill pickle.


I would try to find out what stronger chemicals wont trash your gel/fiber as well as your drainage system, before being any harsher.
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Old 10-06-2021, 16:09   #22
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

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can not hit the ball, by time I get my head and arm in the locker there is no way to swing anything

plus pounding on the "ball" is basically pounding on the inside of the hull

I am going to use an acid method I feel
I think I'd try an O-O (long chisel used for boring holes). I think this is what Don Cl was referring to, you can get them at Home Despot in the gardening section (they also work well on would be pirates) In the future, I'd use a fresh water wash on any chain coming back onto the boat. This should make an interesting addition to your monthly cruising costs
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Old 10-06-2021, 16:11   #23
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

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if anyone has been through this before I would be interested in knowing what they used to get the rusted ball of chain to release from the anchor locker so it can be removed

I have poured acid over it, but it runs out the drain so I may need to plug that up.

I don't care about breaking the chain ball up, just getting it out
I would get some timber and make up an A frame above the anchor locker. Perhaps just use a saw horse if there is room. Then you can use a block and tackle to lift the chain ball out. Should be a lot more effective and safe than the spinnaker halyard.
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Old 10-06-2021, 16:39   #24
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

If you can get to it, an air chisel will make fairly quick work of it - just make sure to wear hearing and eye protection!
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Old 10-06-2021, 16:56   #25
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

In the past, we have dragged rusty anchor chain behind car and on dirt road to clean rust off chain. But if rust is too heavy that chain gets binned..
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Old 10-06-2021, 17:04   #26
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

I might try saturating it with PB Blaster overnight before going to acid.

Re: rust preventative. Some rust-preventative products come through my lab for ecotoxicity testing. A couple of them used to spray down cargo holds are (IIRC) micronized mineral oil suspensions. Others are more of a wax (e.g. Boeshield, CRC, & the like.)

I suspect that vegetable oil might have residual organic acids that could be a tad corrosive, unless it were highly refined.

I've only got 150 feet of chain, so most of it gets exercised relatively often. Might be a thing to hose it down with fresh water if it's going to sit for a while tho...
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Old 10-06-2021, 17:06   #27
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

if I could get wood etc around the pile of chain I could lift it out of the locker.

It is stuck somehow to the bottom of the locker.
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Old 10-06-2021, 17:07   #28
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

Rust is roughly about 10 times thicker than the actual metal depletion. That means if you have 2mm of rust on your chain, you've only lost about 0.2mm of actual chain. So, until rust gets really bad, it doesn't do much to diminish the strength of the chain. Knocking it off by dragging it through sand, behind a car, etc. will get rid of the rust but unless you do something to prevent future rust it will just continue. That means you need to coat the chain with something to prevent it from rusting again. Zinc is the most common solution because it makes a fairly thick coating and since it's a metal it takes a lot to wear it off. Paint also works but dragging the painted chain across the bottom tends to wear the paint off fairly quickly. We use 50' of 1/2" chain followed by 200' of s.s. aircraft cable on a horizontal drum windlass. Have over 20 years of use with minimal wastage of the chain. Won't work with a vertical windlass and chain locker.
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Old 10-06-2021, 17:14   #29
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

Can you locate the end where you cut off the good chain? If so, tie a rope to the chain end and try sliding down a steel pipe over that feeder rope from the deck. Then, if possible, pump the steel pipe up and down onto the rusted mass , and/or keep jerking up the attached rope. As each link is released, you pull it up the pipe, using the rope. It may be slow but it just might work. You may need to remove the chain hawser fitting or even the winch to allow vertical movement of the pipe at the deck level.

Trying to loosen a mass of rusted chain would be hard enough even if it was sitting on the ground. You would need to shatter the entire mass with one blow. Not likely. The suggested approach or some variant means you are only doing it bit by bit BUT ONLY WHERE THE CHAIN ENTERS THE MASS.

When the chain last went into the locker, it would have deposited in horizontal layers (approximately) so it should then peel off the surface of the rusted mass relatively easily - i.e. the rusted mass would not need to roll over.
The pipe should preferably have sufficient internal diameter to accommodate a twisted link, but given sufficient "action" you may get away with a smaller diameter pipe. Have someone at the locker level to see that only flexible sections enter the pipe. Chain jammed in the pipe is the last thing you would want.

My spouse suggested you just drown it with paint and leave it there. . . .. She is Welsh.

Best of luck.
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Old 10-06-2021, 17:40   #30
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Re: The Rusted Anchor Chain

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Originally Posted by billgewater View Post
C
My spouse suggested you just drown it with paint and leave it there. . . .. She is Welsh.

Best of luck.
the thought of this or similar has crossed my mind.
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