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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-05-2007
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Windlasses and shackles

I have a Tigres windlass with about 100' of chain and 250' of rope rode. Not had a need to use the rope as yet but noticed the other day it is shackled to the chain. I know the gypsy is sized for a specific chain size so my question is will it handle a shackle or that a potential problem?
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Old 09-05-2007
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TeShannon-

The gypsy will generally handle a rope-to-chain splice well, provided the rope is the right size for the gypsy. It will not handle a shackle, and the shackle can damage the gypsy or cause it to throw the chain. Neither is ideal. You should probably look at getting a good rope-to-chain splice done instead.

What size chain and rope are you using. The windlass I have uses 5/16" G4 chain and 5/8" rope... which seems to be pretty much the case for most chain/rope gypsies—that the rope is twice the diameter of the chain.

Also, generally, most shackles are one size larger than the chain they are used with, or they will be a weak link in the rode. For instance, if you have 5/16" chain, you would want to use a 3/8" shackle.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-05-2007 at 10:26 AM.
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Sailingdog,
It has a 3/8" chain with a 3/4" rope. The rope has an eye spice at the end that's shackled to the chain. The windlass also has a rope drum. This was the setup I inherited from the previous owner. Just does not feel right to me but this is my first windlass. I want to get it right before get in a jam, maybe literally.
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I'd check with the manufacturer about the gypsy specifications. Some gypsys are chain only, others can do chain and rope. If yours is chain only, that would explain the shackle and the rope drum. Mine has a rope drum but the gypsy handles both rope and chain and the rope is spliced directly to the chain.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 09-05-2007
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Had two rope to chain splices unravel on me while weighing anchor. The first time I lost 100 feet of 5/16" G4 with my 35# CQR to Davy Jones . . . never could find it after returning with dive gear.

The marine retailer I bought the chain from rigged the splice originally and agreed to do it again and replace the 100 ft of chain - at no cost. I had to shell out big bucks for a new anchor though.

The second time it happened, I caught the splice in time as the unraveling strands got jammed in the gypsy - before losing my ground tackle again. The new Simpson Lawrence Sprint 1500 windlass I installed is designed to take rope to chain - but for some reason the splice always jammed.

Frustrated, I replaced the 100 ft of chain with 200 feet and did a new splice myself to the 200 feet of 5/8" rope. I've yet to use more than 200 feet, and hope never to need to since we overnight in fairly shallow harbors and bays.

Anyone want to buy 100 feet of 5/16" G4 - cheap?
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TB-

I'm actually interested in the 100' of 5/16 G4.. PM me with info.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Should I leave the shackle in place and switch over to the rope drum prior to the shackle hitting the gypsy?
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I just stepped out to my Jeep and took this pic - been there for the past five weeks. Needed some fresh air from the office anyway.

It's shy of 100 feet, but less than a year old. I'll PM details.

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teshannon,
The PO of my boat did that with the old windlass - had a huge-azz shackle on the chain to rope connection which would never go through the old Maxwell windlass.

I didn't want to deal with that hassle - motor was burnt out anyway - so replaced the windlass . . . expensive and frustrating experience, but all is well now.
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TEShannon-

If the gypsy is a chain/rope gypsy, get rid of the shackle and get the line spliced directly to the chain. Then you can use the gypsy without having to intervene. You really need to find out from the manufacturer what the gypsy specifications are. BTW, one reason many people get a rope drum with a windlass that has a rope/chain gypsy is that they use the windlass for hoisting the dinghy aboard and other such things. That's the reason I got the rope drum on mine.

TB-

looks good... look forward to the PM.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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