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Old 09-18-2014, 02:39 PM   #1
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Adding Anchor Chain

Hi All,
I have come into possession of 75' of 3/8" BBB anchor chain that I would like to couple to my existing chain of the same caliber. What do you all suggest to use for the coupling that will run through the windlass gypsy? Thanks, Howard
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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My opinion is that if you are using your anchor for overnights in places where strong winds happen even occasionally, it is unwise to add chain. The links that are sold at marine stores are far from reliable. Cutting a link, opening it and adding the chain before rewelding the link is probably the best of the available choices. Faced with the same issue I chose to keep my slightly under length chain. I sleep quite well in windy anchorages. Just my thoughts.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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As mentioned, cutting, opening a link, adding chain, and welding the link is the way to go. I had two 200' rodes with some bad spots and all needed to be regalvized. Ended up cutting out 50' of bad spots, had a professional welder cut a link open, join the 2 rodes and TIG weld it closed. The welding is critical and this isn't a job for an amateur with a stick welder. The 350' of chain and my original 66 lbs. anchor are off being regalvanized. Welding chain without regalvanizing is pointless unless you only boat in fresh water. As to how strong the weld is, I think it might be the weakest link in the chain. The chain has a working load limit of 5, 400 lbs with a 4 to 1 safety factor. I think it's more likely I will either rip the 2 cleats out on my chain snubber lines or those lines will part, than that link giving way.

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Old 09-18-2014, 07:15 PM   #4
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I concur! Cut and Weld.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:05 PM   #5
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Thanks to all. I will pitch the extra chain since now I won't sleep well.

Howard
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:49 PM   #6
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Here's a seemingly well researched article that comes to a different conclusion. High quality c-links were tested, showing no significant weaknesses.

Crappy c-links, on the other hand...

C-links
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:29 AM   #7
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A properly installed forged C link should hold to the tensile strength of BBB chain.
It would be a weak point in a stronger chain like G4.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:57 AM   #8
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Hopcar,

I sent you a PM.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:30 PM   #9
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There's more discussion on this issue on this thread.

It's been 3 1/2 years since I added my Crosby Missing Link to extend my chain 90 ft. It still looks great and has given me no problems in the windlass. I still have a spare link in my parts bin just in case the link starts to show signs of wear or corrosion.

If I remember next time I'm on the boat, I'll take a picture of it and post it to show what it looks like after 3 1/2 years of service with frequent anchoring year-round.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:12 PM   #10
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Heck...based on many anchor tests...weakening your chain isn't a big deal depending on what type of anchor you have incorrectly chosen.

I'm with the just keep it simple add a link group as I hope to never test my anchor chain to it's full breaking strength anyhow.

Sure I'll by the biggest, baddest anchor so I don't drag in the 20-30 Knots winds I might anchor in...but if I ever decide to head for the 4 corners of the planet....I'll make dang sure I have the newest anchor chain I can when I leave and probably a replacement one protected somewhere below. And if a storm blows up...I just might shackle the new one in parallel with the old one for security.

At some point the whole discussion on anchoring tackle seems to become one of ONLY worst case scenarios...instead of what one usually experiences.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:42 PM   #11
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With all due respect to the other posters, the point where you could have problems with a weak link will not be in a 20-30 kt blow in the early afternoon. It will happen when an unexpected 50-60 kt blow hits you in an anchorage that has only moderate holding capabilities. It might be that your anchor comes loose and you speed across the anchorage only to suddenly reset. Your bow pulpit cracks from the slack chain tightening quickly. It is pitch black outside and the wind is driving the rain sideways. That is when you do not want to be thinking about whether or not it was smart to but in a weak link.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:19 PM   #12
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Just how "weak" is the weak link in reality?....
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:32 PM   #13
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Every link is different as the symmetry of uniform chain is disrupted by the new link you can only guess at the differential. A few years ago I wanted to add chain and asked a very reputable marine repair facility to do the work of cutting and rewelding the link. They declined as they had an incident where one they did years previous had failed leading to a large insurance claim. That was good enough for me.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:42 PM   #14
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and yet add-a-links are used successfully all the time...sure with some failures but testing and the fact they are still produced says something about them.

buying a whole new anchor chain every time one link is bad seems to me a waste of good money...but then again I have spent a lifetime of anchoring in reasonable conditions...preferring to avoid big blows....except for the occasional gust from thunderstorms which never seem to have the same effect as longer duration wind and wave.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:50 PM   #15
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Consider this, it's failure is a series of worse case scenarios all occuring at the same time. In most cases (mine anyway), I'm adding chain to an already satisfactory length that is sufficient maybe 99% of the time. So it would be an extremely rare occurrence that the link would see use. If I end for end the chain, I'm still not likely to use the link 98% of the time. Now on that extremely rare occurrence, what are the odds it's going to blow 50?

For the OP, adding 75' of chain might mean you aren't going to end for end the chain without moving the 75' to the other end. But in normal use, how often would that last 75' come into play?

Finally, this is my backup rode. Getting 400' of new chain for my primary.

Ted
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:25 AM   #16
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Here are some pics from today. No signs of wear or corrosion after 3 1/2 years.





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Old 09-22-2014, 07:23 AM   #17
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>Now on that extremely rare occurrence, what are the odds it's going to blow 50?<

Florida is a high Thunderstorm area , 50K is normal for a while in many T storms..
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