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Old 04-13-2015, 03:39 PM   #1
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Chain chain chain

Okay, We just purchased a 1992 Marine Trader 34. Right now the boat is sitting 1000 miles from our house. We're leaving next week to go down to the boat and do some work and get ready to bring her north. My problem is that I want to replace the anchor rode ( witch is in poor shape ) with all chain. I can buy anchor chain for less than half of what it would cost me down south, but not sure of the size. I was told by the yard where the boat is that it's 3/8 but not sure if it's BBB or G-4 or something else. Does anyone out there have the same boat with the original windless, if so maybe you could help me out.Don't want to spend a extra 3-4 hundred dollars on chain if I don't have to. The windless is a vertical windless that was the original equipment.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:47 PM   #2
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In my opinion the best way to buy chain for a windlass is to have the chain supplier whack off a foot or so or chain that you can take to your boat and confirm that it will properly fit the wildcat. The chain supplier we use does this at no charge (in fact, they suggested it).

The second option is to remove the wildcat from the windlass and take it to the chain supplier so the chain you want to buy or that is being suggested can be physically checked against the wildcat.

Perhaps you know someone where the boat is currently located who can do one of these two things for you?
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:49 PM   #3
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Can you get someone to cut a ft of the chain off and send it to you?

Place a ruler next to it and take a few pics?

can you send them a couple if hunks of 1 foot pieces to compare the fit of the windless?
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:33 PM   #4
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Place a ruler next to it and take a few pics?
Problem with photos is they may not provide the information that's needed. A friend bought new chain for his windless. It was the size stamped on the windlass wildcat. But the chain "hopped" in the wildcat both going out and coming in. He took the wildcat off and took it to the chain supplier. Turned out there were very subtle differences between the different kinds of chain they carried in that size. When they put them side by side, they looked the same. The dimensions of the links seemed the same. But when they put them actually in the wildcat, while they all fit, only one fit properly.

Subtle differences in the diameter of the steel in each length, the width of each link, etc. had a more significant effect on the behavior of the chain in the wildcat than I or my friend would have thought.

That's why I think that if at all possible a physical fitting of the chain to the wildcat is the best way to go.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:52 PM   #5
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Go here and they will sell you a samples, then you can match it up with your windlass or you could try your local marine store.

Chain, Chain Supplies, Binder Chains, Lifting Slings and Hooks
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:14 PM   #6
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Ask the yard to remove and ship you your wild cat. Take that to your supplier.
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
In my opinion the best way to buy chain for a windlass is to have the chain supplier whack off a foot or so or chain that you can take to your boat and confirm that it will properly fit the wildcat. The chain supplier we use does this at no charge (in fact, they suggested it).

The second option is to remove the wildcat from the windlass and take it to the chain supplier so the chain you want to buy or that is being suggested can be physically checked against the wildcat.

Perhaps you know someone where the boat is currently located who can do one of these two things for you?
What he said.

Or just find some line that you can use for the trip and wait till you get home to replace the chain.
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:29 PM   #8
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Ask the yard to remove and ship you your wild cat. Take that to your supplier.
That the best advise I have heard............
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:01 PM   #9
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That the best advise I have heard............
Nuts!
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:20 PM   #10
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Greetings,
I light of the topic title I'm surprised nobody has posted this...



Holy snappin' soda crackers I remember when this was released!
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:59 PM   #11
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Many wildcats have the info stamped on them....any chance the yard can help?

Other suggestion of just having line for a Rhode might not be a bad one...what is the cruise plan till you could get to the chain? Lots of anchoring?
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:14 PM   #12
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If you tell us where the boat is, someone in the area may know of a supplier that has just as good prices as up north.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:42 PM   #13
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Many wildcats have the info stamped on them....any chance the yard can help?
However...... there is chain and there is chain.

The wildcat on our original windlass was stamped with the chain size and when we bought a new all-chain rode we made sure the new chain would fit using the chain supplier's test length to make sure.

When that windlass lunched some gears a few years later we replaced it with a new windlass, specifying the same wildcat size as the size that was stamped on the wildcat of our old windlass. Our chain rode fit the new wildcat just fine.

But when our friend replaced his chain and specified the same chain size as he'd had which was also was stamped on the wildcat of his windlass, the new chain didn't quite fit right and jumped and skipped on the wildcat. That's when he learned that within a specific chain size there can be "different" dimensions to the point where some won't fit the wildcat correctly even though it's the same size as what's stamped on the wildcat.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:00 PM   #14
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...
But when our friend replaced his chain and specified the same chain size as he'd had which was also was stamped on the wildcat of his windlass, the new chain didn't quite fit right and jumped and skipped on the wildcat. That's when he learned that within a specific chain size there can be "different" dimensions to the point where some won't fit the wildcat correctly even though it's the same size as what's stamped on the wildcat.
Thank goodness we've had no problem with chain jumping.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:07 PM   #15
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I will venture that if you buy good chain from a reputable manufacturer...it will work fine in any correct wildcat.

You can gave we quite a bit of slop in the fit and it will still work.

Often chain hopping is from mounting or depth of drop issues.

I ran 5/16 chain in my 3/8 wildcat till I found the error the PO passed along. Jumped a bit but for the most part worked OK.

Bought the proper wildcat and it jumped just the same till I fixed the mounting and drop issues.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:26 PM   #16
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Marin, I agree photos would perhaps only be able to tell 5/16 from 3/8 and even then iffy.

The key is to get a hunk of the chain that is on the boat or the gypsy then match it up.

Get good chain, not bargain basement stuff that has thin galvanizing and is made of questionable steel. IE China chain.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:47 PM   #17
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The boat is located in Punta Gorda Florida, if anyone knows of a place that has reasonable prices on anchor chain. Am more than willing to drive around the area if I can find a dealer. Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:06 PM   #18
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Parks with Hopkins Carter would have a great deal on chain. And everybody knows he's a Prince of a guy. Heck- he probably wouldn't mind running to Punta Gorda to see what you need and then returning back from Miami to install it. Just to be nice.....!!


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Old 04-14-2015, 06:06 AM   #19
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WHO made the cheap chain is far more important than price. USA or throw it away.

Will you need to rebuild much of the anchor well to have a working chain locker?.

It must be stowed in a right sized chain locker , not just dumped in a heap if it is to run out properly..
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:02 AM   #20
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WHO made the cheap chain is far more important than price. USA or throw it away.

Will you need to rebuild much of the anchor well to have a working chain locker?.

It must be stowed in a right sized chain locker , not just dumped in a heap if it is to run out properly..


Canada chain is excellent quality as well.

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