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Old 08-07-2018, 09:08 AM   #1
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Stainless steel ground tackle?

My new (to me) Her Shine (Jefferson) 50 is equipped with 60 lb Stainless steel CQR anchor and S/S 3/8Ē (10mm) chain. I have persuaded myself that it would be good to change the CQR to a rated Super High Holding Power anchor; probably, a Rocna 40 (83 lb). My problem is, should I stick with stainless gear? Over the years, I have heard a few anecdotal stories about S/S providing inferior ground gear. Iíve heard about work-hardening, microscopic fatigue cracks etc but I have never encountered a first hand experience or verifiable instance of S/S failure....either personally or even in print. My boat has only recorded 1200 hours in 12 years: so, I guess most of its life has been spent tied to a dock, rather than at anchor. It would be straight-forward (though with difficult logistics) to switch to galvanised anchor and chain. However, the S/S CQR and chain does shed our local black, sticky mud very well (my wife loves that); the chain does settle well in the locker and does not grow and distribute any rust residue.Also, it does look quite pretty!!! (PS Iím not going to think about the respective costs!) Is there any relevant personal experience amongst the Accumulated Wisdom, here? Thanks, in advance, for any thoughts.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:31 AM   #2
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I don't think you will find any significant difference in the anchor's structural ability between steel and stainless steel. SS usually has a bit lower tensile strength than standard carbon steel but not enough to be significant. So if you like the shininess and the ability to shed mud, then a SS Rocna would work well.

But chain is a different story. SS chain is probably made of 304 or 316 SS and has a much lower tensile strength than Grade G4 carbon steel chain, maybe half.

For your boat, I would pick 3/8" G4 chain. It has probably twice the ultimate breaking strength of 3/8" stainless chain. You could probably get nearly the same breaking strength if you went with 1/2" SS but I don't know if that is even available. You would also have to change your windlass, something you probably would have to do if you switch to 3/8" G4 chain.

Also you are upgrading your anchor for either setting ability or ultimate holding power or both and if so I would want similar capability in my chain, thus 3/8" G4.

Of course you need to look at the whole package, shackles, snubber size and attachment and cleat/samson post capability.

David
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:53 AM   #3
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Sarca Excel Stainless steel anchor.

I donít know enough to comment on Davidís observation about the strength of the SS chain. It sounds like it should be something to consider however.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:16 AM   #4
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I used stainless chain with a galvanized anchor for many years. I would have bought a stainless anchor except for the expense. I loved the fact that the stainless chain came up clean every time.

I agree with your idea to replace the CQR with a newer design. Will the roll bar on the Rocna interfere with the way the anchor hangs on the bow? I ran into that problem several times when I was selling Rocna. Their Vulcan usually worked to solve the problem.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:06 PM   #5
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I've used stainless chain (40') on my charter boat for 15 years. Have anchored over 1,000 times with extreme short scope (1.25 : 1) using a grapnel. Tons of shock loading and never a problem.

If I were outfitting a passage maker I would probably pick galvanized (partly for cost). If you use reasonable scope and a snubber, I wouldn't have any concerns about using stainless.

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Old 08-07-2018, 12:38 PM   #6
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Moved from "Welcome Mat" to "Anchors and Anchoring".
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:13 PM   #7
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I've been contemplating just this question for our build. Two questions; anchor and chain.


For the anchor, I can't see much value in stainless other than looking pretty, but that won't last long if you are using the anchor. So I wouldn't spend any extra on it.


For chain, I find SS very appealing, save for the cost. If you get the right grade (grade 70 or 80, I think) it has the same working load limit as G4. There also is a little know trick in the industry where steel chain is rated with a WLL of 1/3 the breaking strength, but SS is rated with a WLL of 1/4 the breaking strength. So for an apples to apples comparison, you need to look carefully at the specs and do a little math. But if you don't pick carefully, I think djmarchand is right about lower strength.


To me, the appeal of SS is not the looks. After all, it will either be in the chain locker or underwater. But I am very attracted to how easily it cleans off on retrieval, how much better it flakes and piles in the chain locker, and how it doesn't rust and scuz up the chain locker. Those might be worth the heart-stopping price.


But even at the higher cost, in the long run it may still work out better. I was involved in a recent discussion about how often people need to re-galvanize their chains, how well that works, and whether in retrospect they would have just bought new galvanized chain. All the people who had re-galvanized wished they had just bought new. The re-galvanized chain tends to bind in the chain wheel, and flakes off galvanizing as it wears in. Both proved very frustrating.


I'd suggest checking to see what grade stamping is on your SS chain, and if it's a good grade, keep it.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:11 PM   #8
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:01 PM   #9
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But even at the higher cost, in the long run it may still work out better. I was involved in a recent discussion about how often people need to re-galvanize their chains, how well that works, and whether in retrospect they would have just bought new galvanized chain. All the people who had re-galvanized wished they had just bought new. The re-galvanized chain tends to bind in the chain wheel, and flakes off galvanizing as it wears in. Both proved very frustrating.


I'd suggest checking to see what grade stamping is on your SS chain, and if it's a good grade, keep it.
Add me to the list of " Have regalvanized and will never do it again". For most of the reasons you mentioned plus very few places do it well and the savings just didn't justify the time and aggravation.

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Old 08-07-2018, 06:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I've been contemplating just this question for our build. Two questions; anchor and chain.


For the anchor, I can't see much value in stainless other than looking pretty, but that won't last long if you are using the anchor. So I wouldn't spend any extra on it.


For chain, I find SS very appealing, save for the cost. If you get the right grade (grade 70 or 80, I think) it has the same working load limit as G4. There also is a little know trick in the industry where steel chain is rated with a WLL of 1/3 the breaking strength, but SS is rated with a WLL of 1/4 the breaking strength. So for an apples to apples comparison, you need to look carefully at the specs and do a little math. But if you don't pick carefully, I think djmarchand is right about lower strength.


To me, the appeal of SS is not the looks. After all, it will either be in the chain locker or underwater. But I am very attracted to how easily it cleans off on retrieval, how much better it flakes and piles in the chain locker, and how it doesn't rust and scuz up the chain locker. Those might be worth the heart-stopping price.


But even at the higher cost, in the long run it may still work out better. I was involved in a recent discussion about how often people need to re-galvanize their chains, how well that works, and whether in retrospect they would have just bought new galvanized chain. All the people who had re-galvanized wished they had just bought new. The re-galvanized chain tends to bind in the chain wheel, and flakes off galvanizing as it wears in. Both proved very frustrating.


I'd suggest checking to see what grade stamping is on your SS chain, and if it's a good grade, keep it.
Iíve never seen stainless chain come in different grades. Type 316 chain falls between G3 proof coil and G4 strength wise. https://www.suncorstainless.com/nacm-chain

Has anyone here ever broken an anchor chain? Iíve seen mooring chains break but they were old and worn.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:30 PM   #11
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It looks like the WLL of 316 stainless chain is about 65% that of G4 chain in 3/8
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:42 PM   #12
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It looks like the WLL of 316 stainless chain is about 65% that of G4 chain in 3/8
Sounds about right.
3/8 G3 / BBB. WWL 2650 pounds
3/8 316 SS. WWL 3550 (same size as G4) breaking strength 14,200 pounds
3/8 G4. WWL 5400 pounds
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:28 AM   #13
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Thanks to all respondents for your useful and informative inputs. Thoughts that remain with me include: no first hand experience of chain failure, either S/S or galvanised, has yet emerged; how many vessels in the general boating community have G4 chain, anyhow; I am, essentially, a fair-weather weekend boatie, operating within sheltered anchorages; the self-cleaning aspects of stainless chain are very valuable (though do not, of course, outweigh the safety considerations.); I could end-for-end my existing chain (if I decide that way) and that may ameliorate any progression of work-hardening in the first 30-40 metres. Thanks, everyone.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:14 AM   #14
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If you are going cruising , I would switch to galvanized everything and put the SS in a locker for when the boat gets sold.

The reason is sometimes the anchoring gear is lost.

Stuck under something or cut loose to avoid a hassle.

Really depends if you stick inshore or head out for Central America or an isolated area.

We usually carry 3 sets of ground tackle , never total;y lost an anchor set, but did have to buoy and cast off , with a later return to recover the gear.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:33 AM   #15
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Talking

In the States, a SS anchor is polished, waxed and made to look pretty!!!!!

Never used to actually anchor the boat to the sea bottom....
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:46 AM   #16
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In the States, a SS anchor is polished, waxed and made to look pretty!!!!!

Never used to actually anchor the boat to the sea bottom....
That is my thought too. While hard to tell in an anchorage, I mostly see SS anchor gear in transient (resort) marina's where they are tied to the dock.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:20 PM   #17
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Personally, based on my own experience, today I wouldn't spend the money changing anything unless it was broken. Use the boat for awhile then decide. Especially given the description of where you anchor.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:36 PM   #18
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Personally, based on my own experience, today I wouldn't spend the money changing anything unless it was broken. Use the boat for awhile then decide. Especially given the description of where you anchor.

Excellent advice.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:01 PM   #19
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If you really want to change, then think about your budget. You can sell that SS anchor and chain for good money (give it a good polish and wax before taking photos). The new galvanized anchor can be powder coated which will help mud to slide off. I spray painted my anchor before, and it did seem to help a bit with mud sliding off. That was not epoxy paint though, so I don't recommend normal spray enamel.
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