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Old 10-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #1
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Anchor chain pyramiding and jamming

Once in a while the anchor chain pile in the locker will fall over, tangling and jamming the chain so it won't pay out. Then at the worst time (in a crowded anchorage) I have to go below to untangle it. Over the years I have read several times about using a traffic cone on the floor of the chainlocker or making something similar out of wood to keep it from doing so. I have seen lots of posts mentioning a cone but no first hand accounts of how it worked out for them. Anyone here tried it? if so, please, with what results.
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:55 PM   #2
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Wouldn't the cone just move the jam point?

You probably do not have BBB chain that is designed to prevent that
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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Wouldn't just putting the cone in the middle of the chain locker be enough.

As the chain comes in it will go on various sides of the cone and even if it falls over to one side, it's just one side and not over all.

I like it. good idea.
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:50 PM   #4
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Wouldn't the cone just move the jam point?

You probably do not have BBB chain that is designed to prevent that
There are only two types of chain that will work in a windlass. HT and BBB.

All other chains have link sizes that are not compatible with the gypsy on a windlass.
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Old 10-18-2014, 04:05 PM   #5
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I agree that the traffic cone has been used successfully by many...a better solution would be a non-rotting similar object that was stronger and didn't have a hole in the top...but the mechanics would be the same....I don't think it just moves the jamb point as it is now similar to faking a line versus tossing it into a heap.
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:20 PM   #6
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The cone idea can work well, but your boat needs a fairly good-size anchor locker to benefit from it, and the chain needs to be fed into the locker centered over the cone. Some lockers, like ours, have the chain fed in closer to the aft bulkhead, and our locker itself, while very deep, does not have a very large floor footprint. So the cone idea would not work, in our case.

What I did do was attach vertical sides to the port and starboard edges of the triangular locker floor to contain the rode and keep it from slumping over very far sideways. This seems to have eliminated problems of the chain jamming on itself during anchor deployment.
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:33 PM   #7
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We have the same problem sometimes, this thread got me snooping on the internet. Low and behold look what a British outfit is selling, unfortunately the pricing is a killer.....
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:37 PM   #8
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Looks like something you could make out of PVC...a cap, a flange, some pipe and a couple adapters...

Just might add it to my project list.
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:26 AM   #9
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Skenes elements of yacht design (about 75 + years old) has the dimensions for chain boxes for different chain sizes , usually tall and skinny , that work.

Chain is heavy , secure the chain box well.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:56 AM   #10
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Funny story...had the same problem aboard a 78' charter ketch the wife and I crewed aboard some years ago in the British Virgin Islands. The boat was fitted with 55-fathoms of 1/2" BBB. First time I opened the chain locker to deal with the tangle I noticed what looked like the lower end of a hockey stick inside the locker. That stick was the previous crew's method of dealing with the mess. Wish I'd heard about the cone solution. Bet it would've worked much better than the hockey stick! Good luck.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:48 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. CK. Hockey stick eh? Was the owner a Canadian by any chance?
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:05 PM   #12
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Ha! Good one! As to the previous crew, captain was a South African, chef was British. I assume, like this Southern boy, neither knows diddley about hockey. And the boat's owner was a wealthy Texan, so I doubt the stick was his. The conundrum remains.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:54 PM   #13
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The cones I see in stores are made of a soft plastic which I have read is deformed by the weight of the chain even when foam filled. I believe the oldfashined ones were of a hard material. I'll be looking around to see what else might work. Maybe something mushroom shaped out of PVC per Rochepoint and Psneeld posts. When I do I'll post some pics
Thanks all!
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:17 PM   #14
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Wouldn't one want the chain to going into an inverted cone shaped area?
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:19 PM   #15
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The cones I see in stores are made of a soft plastic which I have read is deformed by the weight of the chain even when foam filled.

Duct tape the base of the cone closed. Put the cone in the empty locker and pack it full with 1/2" nylon rope to keep it from deforming. Duct tape the top hole closed. Add chain.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:45 PM   #16
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We have the same problem sometimes, this thread got me snooping on the internet. Low and behold look what a British outfit is selling, unfortunately the pricing is a killer.....
Do you have a link to their site you could post please?
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:28 AM   #17
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Do you have a link to their site you could post please?
Here you go!

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Old 10-20-2014, 07:27 AM   #18
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Thanks
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:52 AM   #19
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The 1986 Monk36 we previously used 5/16" HT chain and I just made it a routine to rearrange the chain after anchoring. The pyramiding did not happen every time but we did have occasional jamming and I know how frustrating it is when it happens. I thought that the shape of the chain locker had a lot to do with the problem. The Manatee we own now has two separate chain lockers that are very deep and I have not had any problems with jamming so far. I would try the rearranging method before adding a cone, etc.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:03 AM   #20
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CPseudonym,
That's a genius solution! I love it. Howard
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