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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-07-2006
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Matching chain to gypsy

First time poster/user. I have a 2001 Beneteau 361, previous owner purchased anchor with 20' BBB 5/16 chain and 150' 5/8 3 strand line. I'm now looking for a windlass. Appears the Maxwell freedom 800 and the Lewmar V2 or Concept 1 are good choices, but manufacturers sites say 5/16 chain must be HT (G4?) not BBB. (One suggested "sending" him the chain and he'd test, which sounds a bit much). Can I try the setup I have for a season and see how I do (light cruising, for now). Does BBB really "not work" or is it just "not ideal?" Thanks. Glad I found this site.
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Old 11-07-2006
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Windlass

I installed a Maxwell VW800 this summer and it works good with 5/16 BBB.
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Old 11-07-2006
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The BBB won't work...spring for 20' of the HT.
May I also comment that an "enclosed" windlass like the freedom or v2 would not be my choice as they will be difficult to free up when they jam...and they will jam. The Concept 1 appears undersized for your boat.
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Old 11-07-2006
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Bjkrad,

You know, that probably is not that bad. I think you are one step over the minimum reccs for a boat of your size. Funny, I thought BBB worked for most of the windlass, but HT is better. As far as your question, it is just not ideal, of course it will "work". You will probably be fine for a lunch hook, etc. Yes, you could try it for the season and see how you like it. Now, with that said, let me also throw in my opinion:

I think ALL sailboats come with inadequate ground tackle. The stuff that Catalina sends me sits nicely at the bottom of my locker and I use it for nothing more than a lunch hook. You mentioned just light cruising, but unless you are planning on never leaving your boat and never anchoring out at night... sooner or later you will wish you had something heavier.

I personally like the HT, and went all chain with the Grade 70 Hot Dip Galvanized HT Chain (as I recall), with a secondary 5/16 with rode for lunch... and I personally overrate well beyond mfg suggestions by two sizes. I usually use this as my main hook. Of course, I have a windless to get that bad boy up with too. I will occasionally throw out my lunch hook for short stays becuase it is easier to set and retrieve, but I never get too far from the boat either.

You ground tackle is THE most important piece of equipment on your boat, behind your safety gear... and it could be considered a piece of your safety gear. The cost is high, but how much is a good nights sleep worth? Or a piece of mind?

To answer your question again, you should be fine in most conditions. My opinion is that more boats drag because of insufficient scope more than insufficient anchor and rode... but I have no hard data to back this up - just late night screams across the anchorage.

- CD

PS Once you put in your windlass, you will love it and laugh at the days you did not have it. Just watch those fingers!
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Old 11-07-2006
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If you have a chain-spliced to rope rode, jamming may become more of an issue. Making sure the splice is done correctly and that the windlass gypsy takes both chain & rope - will minimize instances of this inevitability. We lost 150 feet of 5/16" G4 and our 35# CQR last year, due to an inferior splice my supplier/rigger made, that jammed in the gypsy. With all chain and a new CQR now, we've not had any jamming.
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Old 11-07-2006
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By the way, I am not commenting on what chain does or does not work for the Max... that is a mfg question. Still with a open drum, I am not sure how (with pressure on the back side) ANY chain would not work... but I match mine with mfg reccs as far as typs (not size).
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Old 11-07-2006
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It really depends. Many of the windlasses are available with several different gypsies, and depending on which one is fitted, different chain will be necessary. The real problem with using BBB instead of G4 is the length of the links. YMMV.

I'd also have to agree with Cruisingdad. Most people undersize their ground tackle. This strikes me as extremely short-sighted. The ground tackle system is often the only thing keeping your boat, yourselves, and all of your possessions from breaking away and breaking up in a storm. Why would you want to skimp on this most important set of equipment.

If you are out long-term cruising, the amount of time you spend anchored/docked/moored is significantly more than you spend under sail...and unless you have an unlimited budget, you'll be anchoring out most of that time, rather than docked or moored. Getting the proper ground tackle and getting all the pieces that are properly designed to work with each other is the only rational thing to do.
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I am puzzled about why people think that HT chain is superior. Part of the reason for going to an all chain rode is the weight of the chain giving a better angle of pull on the anchor. HT chain of the same strength is lighter and thus inferior. The advantage of BBB is that the smaller links give more links in contact with the gypsy and so a more secure pull. Also the BBB is more "flexible" and gets hung up less often. My philosophy is to go with the BBB in a larger size if you really need the added strength.
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Old 11-07-2006
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In the 20 foot length noted above there is a difference of 4 lbs...not significant.
20lbs/ hundred feet difference...about 12% lighter...or you could let out another 2 feet of HT.
BTW... I have BBB but ascribe no special properties to any particular chain....just carry plenty and use more than you need!

Last edited by camaraderie; 11-07-2006 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 11-08-2006
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"just carry plenty and use more than you need!"

No, carry the right size and juste enough to avoid chaffing on the sea bottom, and then ROPE..

See the excellent Alain Fraysse's web page explaining why on:
http://alain.fraysse.free.fr/sail/rode/rode_b.htm

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