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  #1  
Old 04-19-2014
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Anchor chain rusting

I have a couple of questions all centered around my anchor chain (5/16 G4). We have 170' of chain plus 100' or so of rope for our rode. We typically only use about 70' of chain as we are not anchoring in too deep waters in the Chesapeake. This 70' has rusted, hopefully not to the point where the links are structurally unsound. We have the rode off the boat and hit the rusted up area with a power washer to flake off the loose stuff. When it is dry, I plan to evaluate the links to see what has flaked off, if anything.

So I am pondering my options.

I could replace the entire chain rode at $500+ which is not really in the boat budget.

My good friend suggested that we get the loose rust off and then coat the chain with epoxy which would seal it and hopefully give us another 4 - 5 years. I would then turn it around so that the expoxied chain is at the other end.

I could cut the bad chain off and replace it with new chain but how would I connect the 2 lengths of chain so it would work with my Maxwell vertical windlass?

I could eliminate the bad section of chain altogether as I have plenty of rode left but when we leave the Chesapeake for more offshore cruising we may need more chain and we are back to dilemma of how to connect 2 chain rodes.

What do you think would be best? Any other options I haven't thought of?

Tod
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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

Other than replacing the chain entirely, hot dip galvanizing is your only option. Nothing else I have ever heard of will adhere to chain for any length of time, witnessed by your galvanizing coming off. Until recently, chain would last upwards of 5 years of hard use, but that doesn't seem to be the case any more. I purchased US manufactured hot dipped galvanized chain in November and the galvanizing is already coming off in many spots. I would have been better served buying cheaper Chinese chain for all the good it did buying US "quality" chain (us$6+ a foot). I wouldn't try to connect two lengths of chain, but see postings by MaineSail on that one.
I guess my recommendation would be to get the cheapest chain you can these days, because if you use it at all, it will have to be replaced sooner rather than later.
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Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

Try Old-School:
In the first "Mariner's Catalog" Pete Culler wrote an article titled "Old Ways Work". His formula for what he called Deck Oil, for both metal and wood, is amazing. 8 parts boiled linseed oil, one part turpentine and one part pine tar. Get the really loose stuff off, but don't go to bare metal,- this stuff likes a little rust to grab to hold it in place. Rinse the chain well with fresh water, let it dry thoroughly. Paint or dunk your chain in the Deck Oil, then set it up *outside*, *loosely* covered, to dry. The more air flow and the drier the air the sooner it dries, but it could take a week or two -- depends on the environment.

When I put in a cast iron pitcher pump for my friends' horse pasture, I coated the bolts & hardware with Deck Oil. After four years of South Florida heat, humidity, thunderstorms and a couple of hurricanes, the hardware came right apart when they moved. Not a speck of corrosion.

It can't hurt to try. Run a sample test: one piece of naked chain/scrap, one similar piece of chain/scrap with Deck Oil.
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Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

have you swapped it end for end yet?? do that first.
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Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

My biggest concern is the structural safety of the chain. There are a few links that look like the rust is a little bit beyond surface rust. We are considering cutting the bad part off and splicing on new chain. I looked at some testing of C-links that show that they are reliable and almost as strong as the chain itself. We would turn the chain around so the link would mostly be above the chain stopper. We would be cutting about 70' off, leaving 80' of original chain.

Tod
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Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

When I had a problem with rusty chain, I tried to remedy it myself by soaking in muritic acid and then using a spray can trying to regalvanize it. The chain looked like new after the acid bath however rust would reform before I could spray it. Never did work out and while I did not think the structual strength had be impaired, the mess on deck from surface rust coming off the chain was not worth fooling with. I ended up buying new from Beacon there in Annapolis. Their prices were much better than elsewhere for the Acco chain. The only other solution was to take the old chain to have it hot dipped galvanized at a commercial facility which did not prove practical.
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Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

my vote is.
determine is you're comfortable with the level of corrosion first.
then, either get it hot dipped /galvanized, or just paint it with rustoleum rusty metal primer or their cold galvanized paint. you can get it at most hardware stores for about $10 a quart.
I've used it for years to extend the life of stuff.
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Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladrags1 View Post
My biggest concern is the structural safety of the chain. There are a few links that look like the rust is a little bit beyond surface rust. We are considering cutting the bad part off and splicing on new chain. I looked at some testing of C-links that show that they are reliable and almost as strong as the chain itself. We would turn the chain around so the link would mostly be above the chain stopper. We would be cutting about 70' off, leaving 80' of original chain.

Tod
Once again check MaineSail's posts re c-links; you might rethink them, as I did. You should consider whether sleeping, confident that your ground tackle is going to be up to it's job, no matter the conditions, is worth the price of new chain. See my signature if you have any questions.
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Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

i am cruising a 28000 pd displacement cruising ketch with 250 ft of rusted chain as secondary to 194 ft of rusted newer chain on primary, galvo on which was less than 6 months old was lost in the la cruz de huanacaxtle anchorage's rocky bottom 2012
yes i sleep at night.
no i am not worried
yes i check it every 3-6 months as i am still immobile, and i anchored out in lagoon for a few months...
no it is not significantly more rusted.
i also trade end for end regularly as that helps prolong the life of my investment.
yes chain is one of those..lol
and i buy barrel ends when seeking 200 ft or less.
cheaper. .
i figger i have total of more than 5 seasons left on each chain. no problem.


always rinse off the chain after each use fresh or salt. then let it dry before placing into its home.
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Last edited by zeehag; 04-21-2014 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Anchor chain rusting

Zee: where do you find barrel ends of chain? Local marinas? Sounds like a good idea.


Mandolin, Bayfield 36 out of Rock Creek, Chesapeake Bay.

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