Adding chain

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Jim Spence

Senior Member
Oct 6, 2007
Vessel Name
Sea Eagle
Vessel Make
Californian 50' Cockpit M/V
I decided that I want to add more chain to my chain and rope anchor rode. I am using 3/8 G4 high test. What is the best method for adding another length of chain. Thanks!
Jim, you could use a "connecting link" as shown. I have never been confident about using these but know others who do. Depending on the age of your existing chain you might want to renew the whole lot but that would depend on your boat budget. I always prefer to use all chain rode but again it depends on the weight of your vessel and how much chain you want to put up f'd. If you do add the new chain be sure to end for end the existing chain before resplicing onto the rope. You should also attach the bitter end of the chain to your boat*by rope so that if you do get caught up somewhere*you can cast the whole lot off. You will of course remember to attach a float to it so you can recover it later!.

(Fisheries Supplies etc have these in stock)

-- Edited by Charles07 at 18:28, 2008-02-24


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I have not done it, but I think I would trust a "Double Clevis" more. You would have to test to see how it would go through the windlass. Under no load other than the chain it should just ride over the wildcat. I would not pull hard as it passes.

Picture attached...

-- Edited by Gene at 23:53, 2008-02-24


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I was googling to see what else was out there... I found the "Hammer Lock" clevis.* Looks strong, but I wonder how secure the pin is (does it stay in place). Again there is still a concern about how it passes through the windlass.


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The hammer lock is a fantastic joiner( we use them for joining mooring chaines on ships and floating oil storage FSO vessels) but as stated` you will have trouble with it on the windlass gypsy.
Best bet is sell the old chain on e-bay and purchase a new length of the required chain.

I am in the process od changing from 3/8" to 1/2 " chain and had no trouble getting a few dollars for my old 70 mts of 3/8.

Gene Where did you find the Jaw and Jaw in your first post?
Benn, I'm not familiar with the hammer lock Where are you finding them?

Thanks guys
The first is called a "Double Clevis" if you google it will come up. I have never had a problem finding it at hardware stores. I use it for my tractor links.

Might take some looking to find a good quality one, most are stamped "China" and don't look very nice.
The Hammer Locks are usually available from any rigging supplier.
As I'm in Aus most likely my local suppliers are of no use to you.

Some of the goodies suggested may not pass thru your chain stopper , and certainly will not run in the windlas.

I agree , buy a bigger piece of chain , use the old stuff on a lesser anchor.

Whatever you do, let us know what you did and how it worked out.
I am leaning towards either the double clevis. I found one rated at 6600lbs. Or I'll buy the length of chain I want and have it spliced into the rode like the current one is. As FF pointed out, anthing I join the chain with will not go through the chain gypsy. The double clevis that is rated at 6600 lbs is not cheap either. I was trying to get out of having the rode back spliced again. Thanks for all the help. When I get it done I will report back!

On another related subject is anyone using an anchor weight? I recently read an article about them and several people were really high on them. Any sources and experience would be of interest. thanks again!

Charles07 suggested the "connecting link" earlier in this thread. I have used these for years to remedy chain problems (eg) removing rusty sections, adding more length, etc. They are very easy to use, come in all the chain sizes and are sold at West Marine. They work in my chain stopper and windlass with absolutely no problems.


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A weight on a rode works fine bit is better for the nylon folks than the chain gang.

What smooths chain out the best is a LIGHT line and chain claw.

Start with 3/8 line 30 ft of nylon and only work up to 1/2 if it snubs hard.

With 30 ft of nylon I would ease close to 40 ft of chain (15ft nylon 20 ft chain) .

Sea Horse, I hesitate to use a connecting link because I haven't found any that have the working load of my existing chain. My 3/8 G4 chain is rated at a WL of 5400lbs. The 3/8 connecting link at WM doesn't give a rating but says it is equivalent of proof coil chain. Proof coil (G3 Chain) is rated at a Working load of 2650 lbs. This rode is for my main anchor, it is also my storm anchor. I have tried very hard to not put anything in it to compromise it.

I need to put chain on my back up anchor, I am thinking I will take the chain off of one rode and put it on the other. Then put the length of chain I want on my main anchor rode.
I don't use an anchor weight but have cruising friends who swear by them.
If I am setting up for a strong blow (and I have some warning) I will usually run my spare plough anchor on 10 mts of chain of the front of my standard plough. It works the same as a weight but actually a lot more effective with a lot more holding power.
I am not a great beliver in rope rode as I have seen it wear and chafe during protracted strong blows and when one is anchored up inside a coral reef that's the last thing you need.
Good morning Capt. Jim
Jim forget all that anchoring just tiy up at a marina over here on the ICW
just get out of the river, its all most free. Bythe way fuel is almost free as
will. Starr Fish said tell your lovely wife she miss those beally roubs.
CAPTAIN C and crew aboard the
I Got my new chain yesterday, 3/8 G4, and had it spliced to the anchor rode. Then had the old chain spliced to the rode on the spare anchor. This eliminated problems getting the rode through the chain gypsy and issues related to overall strength of the anchor system. Thanks for all the input!!
Sometimes you can go up one size, but about the only way to be sure is to just try it out.
I also need to add chain, can't find a 3/8 BBB connector, and am wondering if anyone has had any success with splitting then rewelding a link.
Are all blacksmith gone from your corner of the woods?
I was looking for something more specific as to rod*, if any post tempering treatment was requd., and how effective spray can galvanising paint would be.
Well...when I was 16 I did an apprenticeship in blacksmithing yet that was ...hum...40 years ago.
In the US you have one of the strongest blacksmith groups in the world, have look at this link:
I wish we had anything close to that here in Australia.

A couple of email to the "guru" will set you on the right path to a knowledgeable blacksmith in your region, versed in the art of forging and welding a simple chain link with the appropriate steel.
"Hot dip" galvanizing is a very simple process yet not very healthy to do without proper ventilation. Many blacksmith have died from inhalation of zinc vapors by putting galvanized water pipes on the forge. Ask the blacksmith about it or take your chain to a galvanoplasty workshop. I must qualify what I am saying since I have no idea of the economics of this proposed solution. It is perhaps much more practical to just buy a longer chain, I don't know. However to link a chain is a job done in first year apprenticeship.
Spray paint galvo will rub off with use for sure. You can have the link forged in stainless steel 316, after all the amount of material needed is insignificant.

-- Edited by Marc1 at 03:28, 2008-03-23
Jon wrote:

I also need to add chain, can't find a 3/8 BBB connector, and am wondering if anyone has had any success with splitting then rewelding a link.

Are you worried about the connecting link not working in your windlass? For a few bucks, I'd just buy a regular 3/8 connecting link and try it out. I doubt that one link would jam up the works. You've got everything to gain and only $10 to lose!
I think he's concerned that the connecting link would lower the overall strength of the chain, i.e., it's only as strong as its weakest link.
I thought I'd replied but it must be in etherland.
It's the coupling link dimension that's the biggest concern. On a previous boat, manual windlass, I used a non-standard length link and had lots of jamming and wear on the gypsy.Don't want to risk it with the power windlass, as I've just had the centre of it's gypsy rebuilt due to wear by , probably free wheeling with too short a key.
Mark's idea of the stainless link sounds interesting as I have some 316 rod somewhere.
The best idea is probably FF's to buy* 200 ft of new and use the old for tails.
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