Maintenance

Chain Gang

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Mark Gagyi of Vermilion, Ohio, asks:

"Last year I converted from a manual to an electric windlass and replaced the rode. Now I wish I had more chain. Is it is safe to weld some more chain on to what I now have?"

Don Casey replies:

The answer is no and the reason is that the welds in every link of an anchor chain must be stronger than the rod used to make the link—something that takes specialized equipment. I know of just one chain manufacturer—and they are in Holland—that can do manual link welding that’s able to satisfy Lloyds.

Although this is not well known, when you order chain from a chain manufacturer, most of them will, on request, add oversized links to one or both ends of the chain. This will allow you to use larger shackles and avoid what would otherwise be the weak point in the anchor rode. Unfortunately, if you want to be absolutely confident in your new ground tackle I recommend that you buy new chain in the size and length you want. Then advertise your old length of chain on a marina or yacht club bulletin board. With luck you will find a buyer for it.

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