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Old 08-26-2008
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anchor chain difference

I have been told there is a difference between the home depot galvanized chain and the ones from the boating stores, but nobody that says that can tell me what the real difference is. If someone had proof or real knowledge of what the difference is please let me know.
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A different application than anchoring, but Practical Sailor (Volume 33 Number 7 July 2007) did a mooring chain test, and Chinese proof coil chain after 12 months in mud and water reported more loss to rust than the ACCO chain for example. Last time I looked the Home Depot chain was made in China.
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IIRC, the major difference was in the type of galvanization done to the chain and the thickness and quality of the zinc layer on the chain. Regular "home depot" chain isn't designed to be immersed in salt water and used in a salt water environment for extended periods of time and the galvanization is generally lighter and less durable than that of "marine" chain.

Also, in some cases, the link size is different... so what you get at the building supply store may not fit the windlass gypsy, which can be very dangerous if it is a close fit, but not perfect, since it may come off the windlass gypsy when it is heavily loaded.
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Old 08-28-2008
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You get what you pay for. In the US, anything other than ACCO is likely to be suspect. If it doesn't come with certificates of origin and these can't be supplied on request, run a mile. Avoid any chain made in China. It is likely to be poorly constructed, poorly graded, and poorly galvanized.

Nb. this does not mean that marine stores are necessarily any better. There are those which only stock cheap junk.
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thanks for the advice
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West Marine seems to have gotten a bunch of Acco chain recently that slipped through quality assurance when it should not have. The galvanization was inconsistent. We went through drum after drum to find the same conditions (the store ended up sending it back to the WM warehouse to return to Acco). The regional warehouse also checked their in-stock drums and found the same poor galvanizing.

It never would have occurred to me to check chain before. Now I won't leave the store, or take delivery if shipped, without running the entire length of chain.
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take a look at the difference between 5/16 hi-test vs 5/16 bbb. 3900 lbs hi-test vs 1900 lbs bbb WLL. that's a big difference. I doubt the home depot chain will be half that strong...
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can the same be said for stainless steel chain? I know its not practical for larger vessels, but would it be a good investment in a smaller one?
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Stanless steel chain is a VERY bad idea due to CREVICE corrosion. Galvanized is MUCH better.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
take a look at the difference between 5/16 hi-test vs 5/16 bbb. 3900 lbs hi-test vs 1900 lbs bbb WLL. that's a big difference. I doubt the home depot chain will be half that strong...
Most cruising boats that use all-chain rodes are not concerned with weight. For them the weight of the chain adds to the effectiveness by improving the catenary. We simply get a large enough chain to supply the strength we need.
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