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Old 12-24-2014, 09:45 PM   #1
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How Do You Get Rust Off Anchor Chain?

I have about 200' of chain for my Tigress Windlass. Today I noticed a rust stain running down the hull at the chain locker drain. Upon further investigation I found a wad of rusty chain lying over the drain hole. I dug it out, broke the wad up, and now am wondering what to do about it.

How should I go about of getting the rust off a 2' length of chain which is right in the middle of the 200'?
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:56 PM   #2
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Perhaps navel jelly. I've never used it but recall reading this.
Then spray the daylights out of it with the best cold spray galvanize you can find.
It's either that or cut the PC out and rejoin the chain. There's lots of opinions on that if you search.

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Old 12-24-2014, 11:09 PM   #3
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Depending on the condition of the rest of your chain, you might want to think about having it all hot dip galvanized. It's a lot less expensive than one might think and way cheaper than a new chain.

Also you need to build a platform for the bottom of your chain locker, so the chain doesn't sit in any residual water in the bottom of the locker. It can be as simple as a teak board cut to size and drilled full of drain holes or something more elaborate.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:25 PM   #4
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drag it behind a four wheel drive on the beach will clean all the rust off
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashley View Post
drag it behind a four wheel drive on the beach will clean all the rust off
Ok all kidding aside growing up on the water we would drag chains along the sand bar with our small fishing boat and we did for our neigbors also
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:34 AM   #6
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The all-chain rode that came with our boat was pretty rusty. After talking to a few of the local chain companies as well as galvanizing/plating companies, all of whom told us that cleaning and re-galvanizing chain is an iffy process at best, we tossed the rusty chain in the dumpster and replaced it with brand new chain. It's not that expensive in the overall scheme of things and we feel more confident at anchor knowing our chain is of high integrity. This was over 16 years ago and our rode has yet to develop any rust.

When we bought our boat the floor of the anchor locker was a warped, collapsing triangle of 1/2" plywood. I made a new floor of 1" plywood reinforced with a pair of ribs glued and screwed to the underside and two vertical sides to help prevent the pyramid of chain from slumping over. The floor has drain holes so the chain stays dry.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:41 AM   #7
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First of all you get an old toothbrush. Your wife's will do. Then you buy a large bottle of gin, or similar. You lay the chain out on the deck and then you drink the gin. I can't remember what the toothbrush is for.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:45 AM   #8
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drag it behind a four wheel drive on the beach will clean all the rust off

That just sounds like fun. It's been several years since my last trip to the sand dunes at Pismo Beach.
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:18 AM   #9
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Where should I buy the new chain? How much is a couple of hundred feet for a Lofrans Tigress?
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:35 AM   #10
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rusty chain

Drag it thru the sand, it works and it's fun as well.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:05 AM   #11
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Just use an aerosol can w cold galvanizing spray. Just like painting w Rustoleum. Did this anchor w it and anchored a dozen (at least) times w it and there's been no sign of rust.

That's not long term but touch up is very easy.

I used a grinder on a Claw and sprayed the cold galvanize on the exposed steel. Haven't used that one yet though.

The tip of the XYZ anchor shown I made out of mild steel. I washed it w acetone just prior to the coating w galvanize spray. This was before it was used but it looks the same now.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:30 AM   #12
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soak that section in a bucket of dilute muriatic acid, flush well then dip in baking soda in water to neutralize acid. The chain will be bright and clean but require quick drying and galvanizing to stop rusting. I don't know how well those sprays work but I would try that.


Wear eye protection and rubber gloves. Acid can cause severe burns. Add acid to water not the other way round. Muriatic is sold as pool acid.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:14 PM   #13
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Where should I buy the new chain? How much is a couple of hundred feet for a Lofrans Tigress?
We bought our chain from a local commercial marine/fishing supplier who sells chain.

The chain does not care what kind of windless it's on as long as it fits. As there can be slight variations in the actual size of chain even though it is made to a certain size it's a good idea to fit the chain to the windlass wildcat.

The store we use whacks off a foot of the chain one wants to buy so it can be taken to the boat and put on the wildcat to make sure the fit is correct. Some people take the wildcat off their windlass and take it to the store to check the fit of the chain before buying it.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:29 PM   #14
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Ospho.com

It will take care is rust issues.


I have NOT had good luck with cold galvanizing paint spray.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:47 PM   #15
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We've used ospho on various things to stop rusting and in our experience it's never been very effective. Within a year the rusting was active again. And these were all situations that had nothing to do with boats. In a salt marine environment I wouldn't bother with it. I am very unimpressed with the product.

Friends used it on a surplus LCM they were using in their barge service in the San Juan Islands with similar disappointing results.

I view all the "treatments" for rusting surfaces as temporary stopgaps at best. Ospho, cold galvanizing sprays and brush ons-- they might make it look nice but when the object starts being used again, like chan, an anchor, etc. the quick fix will come off or fail and the rusting will start again.

With a critical component like anchor chain, once rusting sets in it's time for new chain in my view. Compared to the overall cost of owning and operating a boat, replacing rusty anchor chain is an inexpensive investment in safety.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:01 PM   #16
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Well guys if I get tired of touching it up every 6 mos to a year I'll take the pice to the galvanizers and get it hot dipped. Got that option now that I live in civilization .... sometimes not so civilized. But I was amazed how well it lasted on the anchor.
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Old 12-25-2014, 07:23 PM   #17
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I priced new 5/16" ht chain and was whelmed.
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Old 12-25-2014, 07:31 PM   #18
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I know what you mean, a boat dollar for something you throw overboard...
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Old 12-25-2014, 09:31 PM   #19
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Using Osphocote

Layout the chain and brush on osphocote over the rusted areas. Let it dry. Then spray with cold galvanizing spray. You can find it in marine store as Zinc Coat Spray for $19.00 a can or at a hardware store as cold galvanize spray by rustoleum or others for about $7.00 a can.

Either one does the same thing.

Its not a permanent solution but much cheaper than new chain. If the chain has big flakes of rust falling off, replace it.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:18 AM   #20
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The picture shows the condition of our chain (ACCO 3/8" G4) after 3.5 years, with lots of anchoring, swapping ends every 6 months and anchoring in mostly sand/mud.

We've had other chain re-galvanized twice. It didn't last as long as new (quality) chain but at 20-25% of the cost of new it was worth it.

Live with it, replace or re-galvanize IMHO.

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