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Old 06-14-2016, 06:36 PM   #1
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Speaking of chainlockers, chain piling.

From time to time I have a problem of the chain pile falling over and tangling the chain, I only realize it when the chain jams when being let out on anchoring, followed by a mad dash down there to untangle the mess before the boat drifts too far.
I remember reading from time to time about putting a "traffic cone"
down there, point up, to keep the chain from piling high. Has anyone here done this or know of it being done, did it work? Any other suggestions?
I do have a diverter pipe to guide the chain to the center of the locke,r the problem worsens without it.
Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:00 PM   #2
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How much chain do you have and how much are you using? My rodes 350 and 400' but rarely use 100'. To keep the piles from falling over, I guide the first 300' with a gloved hand. This makes for a nice level base. The rest doesn't seem to have a problem. If you try this make sure to use work gloves while feeding the chain. My winch has a remote which allows me to run the winch while pushing the chain into the corners.

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Old 06-14-2016, 10:24 PM   #3
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OC Diver That is a good point, I have about 200' of chain, and usually anchor in 10-15' of water. I have never spread out or levelled off the base of chain. I'll do that, I think it will help.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:49 PM   #4
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I have developed a "guidance system" to prevent the cone building up.

I have 210' of chain, followed by 200' of 5/8 double braid nylon. As the line goes in first, the chain piles on top of it, and would quickly rise to the bottom of the pipe, blocking access of much of the chain and ensuring a top heavy pile that will fall over the first time a Sea Ray goes by.

My chain locker has a bronze deck pipe opening, I have no idea why, but it does provide me with access. My windlass has a pipe, the hollow end goes on the brake, and inserts into the hand crank collar, should the electric motor fail. I grab that pipe, stick my arm down through the deck pipe and as the chain comes in, guide it to the corners or wherever it isn't going on its own. As long as I don't let more than 50' pile at a time, I can simply knock the little piles over. The foot switches are within reach of my other hand while one is down in the chain locker, keeping this a one person job.

If I went with all chain, I likely wouldn't need to worry about it piling up, as the lower part of the chain locker is an inverted pyramid, so naturally organizes whatever is laying there.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:19 PM   #5
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I too had the same problem Steve, my gal chain would not flake nicely into the chain locker and so built a cone which then collapsed on itself and jammed the chain. The problem arises because after a while the gal chain becomes a bit 'sticky', hence it forms a cone. I have a slightly different suggestion to put into the mix - it works very well, but it is not cheap and may be somewhat controversial. I replaced my 70 metres of gal chain with 100 meters of stainelss chain, which flakes very nicely every time (because it is smooth) and I have never had the problem again since changing the chain. However it is expensive, and unless you buy good quality stainless chain there may be instances apparently where one or more links can separate (which is the controversial bit, as you can imagine!). Anyway, I just offer that suggestion as something I have done which has worked extremely well so far for me. H.
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:52 AM   #6
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If all you need is a chain locker that functions , the dimensions are given in Skeens.

Build a proper chain locker in where the chain is now just dumped .
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:32 AM   #7
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I thought of SS, it is expensive but, worse, I received lots of warnings of problems of chain weakness and breaking.
The cone ideais interesting, modern ones are of soft plastic not to damage cars I guess. Maybe make up a wood pyramid might be easy and worth a try.
BrisHamish what did you make your failed cone of? I need to check the door opening to my locker, it may be too narrow to get a cone in there anyway.
Post #2 option is easiest I'll try that first
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:49 PM   #8
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Try pouring expanding foam into a traffic cone to stiffen it.

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Old 06-15-2016, 04:26 PM   #9
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The geometry of my boat's chain locker is such that I haven't had, and don't expect to have, any problem, despite having 440' of chain. On my last boat, it would occassionally get stuck but only once was it more than a small annoyance -- 5-10 minutes of work and the problem was solved. One time, however, I thought I might have to cut the chain to pieces -- not easily accomplished with that hard to access chain locker. Instead, about 10 hours of work spread over several days did the trick.

It was only then that I realized the cause -- excessive pitching in heavy seas would lift the ball of chain then drop it. The solution was to put a few small bumpers in as the chain was flaked. No problem since.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:34 PM   #10
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this is a condition that I have heard of but not experienced. In our trawler a the locker is divided in two and the chain drops right next to the divider. I guess this might make the pile less stable and keeps the chain from piling up?
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