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Old 05-15-2022, 03:30 AM   #1
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Anchor Chain bunching up when being retrieved

Hi,

Over the last 12 months or so I have noticed that the anchor chain has started to bunch up in the gap where it leaves the gypsy and enters the guide to fall into the chain locker.
We have a horizontal Muir winch with a combined stripper and guide that came with the winch.

I must admit it hasn`t been "right" since I had a new winch installed and I played around with he location of the chain stripper PLUS the chain is getting a bit rusty and seems to cling at times to the gypsy.

So.........first things first. Is there any rule of thumb or guide which dictates where the stripper should be fore and aft relative to the gypsy axle and vertically once again close to the axle.

Any help would be appeciated
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Old 05-15-2022, 04:02 AM   #2
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George, I suspect your main issue is the rusty chain. When I bought my boat the then owner stated that due to rust the chain was not flowing freely, with knotting making it necessary for him to drop it by releasing the clutch and standing right there to 'kick any bunches apart, rather then powering it down as usual.

Fortunately the survey ended up with the insurance co requiring that the chain be replaced with new chain. That fixed the problem immediately, and I never had any such issue for the 16 years I owned her. I doubt the position of the chain stripper is the issue.
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Old 05-15-2022, 07:34 AM   #3
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Thanks Peter,

A good point. After we bought the boat I went to a larger anchor, larger dia chain and gypsy. Around the Bay we seldom deploy more than 30m. Maybe its time to end for ending the chain, or cutting off the rusted 30m
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Old 05-15-2022, 11:36 AM   #4
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Rust will cause trouble. A friend had snarling big time and the final fix was,
new chain. In his case the snarling would no longer unsnarl fully so was binding going out and back in.

It sounds like you can still end for end your chain.
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Old 05-16-2022, 12:17 AM   #5
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I just returned from the boat - I took the gypsy off - the chain has some rust but not terminal HOWEVER the gypsy is coated with crud which makes it very rough - so maybe the combination of surface rust on the chain and the fouled up gypsy could be causing a problem. I`ll clean up the "teeth" of the gypsy.

While I`m at it I`ve had to give the chain a belt just fwd of the gypsy with the control lever to get it moving when letting it out. The cones had grease on them but it felt sticky rather that encouraging movement. To grease cones or not to grease cones..that is the question (sorry Will). Any opinions?

Thanks
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:55 PM   #6
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George, a good starting point would be the Muir Manual for your windlass: https://www.muir.com.au/support-1
Muir respond to email and phone calls, the Manager in Sydney is/was very helpful.
I think you grease cones. My older previous Muir horizontal had a grease nipple(called a zerk in USA)installed to make it easy.
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Old 05-16-2022, 11:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisyboy View Post
Thanks Peter,

A good point. After we bought the boat I went to a larger anchor, larger dia chain and gypsy. Around the Bay we seldom deploy more than 30m. Maybe its time to end for ending the chain, or cutting off the rusted 30m
Yes, apart from cleaning up and greasing the Gypsy, end for ending the chain would be the way to go. I was the same, hardly ever had more than 30m out, so I did that about 5 years before we sold and had no issue and it looked much better, even though I had not at that time run into bunching issues.

It just seemed logical to display to the world the still nice new-looking chain and hide the stuff that was not so nice. Although you may well have to dispense with the first 2 odd metres of the chain where it has sat in salty water underneath it all.
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Old 05-20-2022, 03:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisyboy View Post
Thanks Peter,

A good point. After we bought the boat I went to a larger anchor, larger dia chain and gypsy. Around the Bay we seldom deploy more than 30m. Maybe its time to end for ending the chain, or cutting off the rusted 30m




Out of interest how long have you had the chain.
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Old 05-20-2022, 06:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
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[/B]

Out of interest how long have you had the chain.
The chain is 6 years old - the rust is surface rust only.

Since my original post, I have spoken to Muir in Tassie and they recommend a light grease on the inner cone only The outer (brake) cone should be dry. Similar to the owner handbook that I eventually found amongst all the boat`s manuals

That manual also gives exact details for where the chain stripper should be located SO................., before I end for end or lop off 30m of chain I am going to grease the gypsy as advised and check the location of the stripper and see how that goes.

I have 100m of chain (why I bought that much - who knows ) 70m of which has been sitting in the bottom of the locker rarely seeing the light of day but regularly flushed with salt water ( salt water deck wash) so lets hope the gal has held if I have to end for end.
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Old 05-20-2022, 07:48 PM   #10
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The chain is 6 years old - the rust is surface rust only...
I have 100m of chain (why I bought that much - who knows ) 70m of which has been sitting in the bottom of the locker rarely seeing the light of day but regularly flushed with salt water ( salt water deck wash) so lets hope the gal has held if I have to end for end.
I thing the end for end thing is still worth doing anyway, even if the winch lube/stripper repositioning works well. Because you have so much cleaner chain you've paid good money for, yet will otherwise never see the light of day. You will find you'll only have to lose about 5-10m of the inboard end where it has sat in salty water under the heap.
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Old 05-21-2022, 01:17 AM   #11
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I have just replaced our chain and the maximum we could stow into the chain locker and onto the anchor was 215 feet (65 meters). Malagari is a 36' Europa though I doubt the chain locker configuration would be much different from Sarawana(aft cabin IG 36').

Not sure what you are going to do with the extra chain. By the way did you buy 3/8" or 1/2" chain?
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Old 05-22-2022, 08:43 PM   #12
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The Maxwell 2200 windlass we have was incorrectly serviced by a previous owner, such that the chain splitter couldn't even be fitted. And be sure when ordering parts that you're getting the correct ones for the unit you have on-board. There was more than one variant of ours, apparently. But that wasn't the sole excuse for why it had been done wrong.

A full tear-down of the top end and a replacement of all wear parts solved the problem. I had the gearbox oil changed shortly after.

A windlass is often a sorely neglected piece of equipment. They require service a lot more frequently than the typical "never" interval seen on many boats.
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Old 05-22-2022, 11:04 PM   #13
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Has anyone tried smoothing out the chain with sandpaper and maybe putting a lubricant of somesort on it before putting it back in the chain locker?
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Old 05-23-2022, 05:35 AM   #14
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Chain problems

Is the chain the correct size for the gypsy head? I purchased a boat and the windlass was running roughly and vibrating. Checked the chain and it was American BB chain on a metric french windlass. Changed it and it works correctly now. On another vessel the chain lead was bad and had to flake out the unused chain in the locker to allow the used chain to cone/ pile up without falling over.
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Old 05-23-2022, 09:42 AM   #15
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We’re having the opposite problem. Chain goes in fine except must go in and pile up. Then top of pile falls over on top of new chain coming in. So when you let out chain it’s trapped under a pile and won’t go out. Boat is a new to NT 42. Anchor locker is a upside down pyramid. Fall is straight down toward boats midline and deepest part of locker.

Haven’t had this much problem with this issue with any prior boat. Thoughts? Solutions?
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Old 05-23-2022, 10:27 AM   #16
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Havenít had this much problem with this issue with any prior boat. Thoughts? Solutions?
Some have had luck using a road cone to help prevent the chain from forming castles. There are various sizes of cones, wouldn't have to be the large ones typically seen on roadsides. One tip is fill it with spray foam to prevent it from collapsing. Could a quick fix to try using a cone.
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Old 05-23-2022, 10:47 AM   #17
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Has anyone tried smoothing out the chain with sandpaper and maybe putting a lubricant of somesort on it before putting it back in the chain locker?
This might sound crazy but it works: get the chain ashore, tie it to the back of a vehicle and drag it down the road. Beats the h out if sanding.
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Old 05-23-2022, 01:10 PM   #18
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I'd first double check that the chain matches the chain wheel. You can find standard chain dimensions online, and check them against your links. And of course look for any stamping on the links.


Then check that the chain stripper is properly installed and aligned, now that you have the manual with instruction on how to do this.


And last, I'd just get new chain. It has a finite live, and deterioration will make it unworkable long before it becomes compromised in strength.
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Old 05-24-2022, 09:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Is the chain the correct size for the gypsy head? I purchased a boat and the windlass was running roughly and vibrating. Checked the chain and it was American BB chain on a metric french windlass. Changed it and it works correctly now. ...

This came to mind when I saw the OP -- "seems to cling at times to the gypsy". I'd check this very carefully as there are subtle differences that will cause problems.
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Old 05-24-2022, 10:05 AM   #20
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I anchored 2 nights ago. This was the first time in 9 months, so the chain in the locker was dry, but had been tossed about on several crossings of Georgia Strait and what had been on top was now under the weight of 30m or so of the fallen pile. The first 10m (if that much) went out as planned, then the chain would come no further. I had to stop trying to lower it and go down to the forepeak, move all of the accumulated gear out of the way, open the chain locker and start pulling the whole lot out onto the V-berth. That took 10 minutes or so, then I could lower the rest of the chain needed for a good hook. Luckily this was at a time of still water and few neighbours.
That process allowed me to inspect the chain. Mine has been in use for about 25 years, and I think it has been end for ended once. I think pulling new chain out from under the pile would have been a lot easier, so I am about ready to replace this stuff that is all a uniformly rusty colour instead of a shiny galvanized colour. In the next week or so I plan to pull it all out onto the dock and do a real inspection.
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