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Old 05-12-2016, 10:18 AM   #1
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Anchor Chain "Flap" Question

See photos below.

We have this flap sitting on top of both of our chain set-ups on the bow side of the windlass. We set it open as in the first photo before lowering, but when the chain starts rolling the flap bounces off the chain and closes jamming the chain - second photo.

It could be it is there to stop the chain from running out too fast - but even slowing it down it still bounces and shuts off the chain.

So we have to use the windlass clutch handle to hold it open, which is a PITA. I am thinking of removing them altogether, but before I do that I would like to understand their reason for being there in the first place and whether we are doing something wrong?
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:33 AM   #2
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They are chain stoppers to take the load off the windlass and secure the anchor when under way. Have to see it in person or a good video to understand why yours a flipping as described.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:38 AM   #3
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That's a proper chain stopper. Great piece of kit when hauling all chain rode in 8 footers.


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Old 05-12-2016, 10:41 AM   #4
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Both windlasses also have Paws which can take the strain at anchor along with the bridle.

If you look at the second photo you can see the chain marks on the back of the stopper. When the chain is paid out the stopper bounces off the links and shuts itself.

Should these be removed and stored until required during chain retrieval only?
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:42 AM   #5
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Maybe it is too loose on its bolt, so the chain stopper easily flips back.
Could you increase the friction on its hinge point?
How are you stopping the anchor chain?
Oh, you have chain paws, well these troublesome chain stoppers are not needed then.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:49 AM   #6
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See that little hole on the starboard corner the one with the line going to the split ring? Remove it and replace it with one long enough to drape over your lower bow lifeline when you are deploying the rode. For retrieval clip it back on the split ring.


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Old 05-12-2016, 11:03 AM   #7
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I was wondering why they had that string on the split ring, since they should never have to remove that pivot pin.

But I now wonder if they pop off the stopper when deploying and then back on when retrieving and didn't want to lose the split ring.

Too much of a hassle for us if that is the case.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:11 AM   #8
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It's not a hassle at all and can be done in 2 Seconds with one hand on a plunging bow unlike most methods.


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Old 05-12-2016, 11:17 AM   #9
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It's not a hassle at all and can be done in 2 Seconds with one hand on a plunging bow unlike most methods.


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Old 05-12-2016, 11:37 AM   #10
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Interesting that something would have been designed/installed where you would have to do that every time you used the equipment.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:53 AM   #11
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Interesting that something would have been designed/installed where you would have to do that every time you used the equipment.
You should always have to disengage some sort of anchor stopper or lock before deploying the anchor, used to keep the anchor snug and secured when under way without the windlass being involved, not to mention preventing accidental deployment if someone hits the "down" switch inadvertently (seen it happen )

I would like to see what those "paws" on the windlass look like... your picture shows pawls.. so two sets on each?
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:01 PM   #12
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What brand is that Menzies? I have been looking for a simple chain stopper for some time and if the right dimensions that may be close to the mark for me. Is it spring loaded so when retrieving it could snap back if the chain lets go (rides up) from the windlass, as has happened with my Maxwell?
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:04 PM   #13
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The chain brake is to take the load off the windlass so the windlass doesn't get damaged or worse. I'm guessing you just lower the anchor from the ph and then back down a bit to set the hook. You should set the chain brake before you do this. In addition I would suggest rigging some type of preventer to secure your anchor in place without relying on the chain brake else green water may have her way with her.


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Old 05-12-2016, 12:40 PM   #14
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Maybe it is too loose on its bolt, so the chain stopper easily flips back.
Could you increase the friction on its hinge point?
That would be my solution. Put a few thin delrin washers (Mcmaster) in there so it takes some slight effort to engage or disengage..
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Old 05-12-2016, 02:34 PM   #15
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What brand is that Menzies? I have been looking for a simple chain stopper for some time and if the right dimensions that may be close to the mark for me. Is it spring loaded so when retrieving it could snap back if the chain lets go (rides up) from the windlass, as has happened with my Maxwell?
I have the Maxwell 3500 horizontal set up with two chain and rope. See below.

Also see photo of one of the Pawls which we engage at anchor along with the bridle.

So now we have a bridle, a chain stopper and the Pawl. Whew!

The little ropes were added by the PO, through a chain link and around the windlass. I have no idea as to the value given how small they are, so after a while will probably remove them.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:18 PM   #16
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That pawl is for manual retrieval mode. You have a great setup there, now open the manual and learn how to maintain and use the bloody thing.


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Old 05-12-2016, 03:22 PM   #17
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That would be my solution. Put a few thin delrin washers (Mcmaster) in there so it takes some slight effort to engage or disengage..
I would not do that. Why?

Because as the chain is coming up, you want those chain locks to be bouncing up and down over EACH CHAIN LINK. that way, it the anchor get stuck and you stop the windlass the tension is taken up immediate by your chain stopper.

It's how I retrieve my anchor all the time. if the anchor shows any resistance, I stop the windlass, and use the boat power to break the anchor free, then start pulling it in again.

Lastly, as Cafesport pointed out so well, I too have a little line, mine is a thin bungee cord that I put over the lock as the chain is going out. Otherwise, yes, the lock will do what it's supposed to and engage. then once I have all the chain I want out. I put my snubber on and reengage chain lock.

This also means in case I must leave ASAP, I can all alone in the pilot house by retrieving the chain as I move the boat., but if the anchor snags, the chain lock prevents damage to the windlass.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:25 PM   #18
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That pawl is for manual retrieval mode. You have a great setup there, now open the manual and learn how to maintain and use the bloody thing.


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Hah! Manual read months ago when she was on the hard.

But the chain stopper is not part of the windlass or manual - separate install.

And the cone brake handle is missing. They replaced with a flat metal bar, which does not have the Maxwell ratchet piece for manual recovery. Best price I have found so far is ~$240 - for a friggin' flat piece of metal. Guess I will have to bite the bullet on that - just in case.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:11 AM   #19
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I would like to understand their reason for being there in the first place and whether we are doing something wrong?

It holds the chain to remove the load from the windlass which only can take anchor retrival loads , not anchored loads.

Toss a wet rag on the pawl if its motion bothers you while setting the anchor.
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:46 AM   #20
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Maybe you should ask the PO, I would think he would have a system to keep the flap from engaging when releasing chain.

It could be he used that short string going from the round cotter pin to the flap. Maybe the PO twisted the cotter pin and the string kept the flap up. Or maybe he took a bight of the string across and under the end of the pin on the other side to keep the flap out of the way. I don't see any other apparent use for string ...

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