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Old 04-05-2010
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Joining lengths of chain

Hi

I have a 100 foot length of galvanized anchor chain that i want to join to another 200 foot length as I am going to an all chain rode. Is it acceptable to join two lengths with a quick link and if so will they generally run through the windlass fine? I don't want to buy more chain than necessary but want to be safe. The quick links seem a bit weaker than the chain links themselves but I don't plan on over stressing them.

Jarod
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Old 04-05-2010
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No, the quick link is a bad idea. Not only is it much weaker than the chain and a point of failure; it will almost certainly cause issues with the windlass and may damage the gypsy.

Why are you going to an all-chain rode? What boat do you have? where will you be sailing???
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Old 04-05-2010
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Google Image Result for http://www.mailspeedmarine.com/photo/10527993/24e80dd97464fbaa7b1c49ddd55c8448/10527993_2.jpg

Not sure if this is quite as robust as a welded link, but I don't imagine it would interfere with your windlass much.
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Old 04-05-2010
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A buddy used a link to do the same thing on his 04 boat. By a stroke of luck he just found one of the pins that lock the link together had detoriated. His boat is on the hard at the moment so no immediate risk. In addition to having to check it on a regular basis keep in mind most have a very low break point and are therefore a weak point even when new.
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While those may successfully pass through a windlass gypsy, they're even weaker than the other type of quick links, and really dangerous in an anchor rode. Only an idiot would trust their boat to a chain with one of those links in it.
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Old 04-05-2010
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The type of link that Tager posted is actually used quite often on larger commercial vessels but the chain size is significantly larger as well. I have also heard them referred to as "hammer links". They are not as strong as the chain and should be avoided on smaller vessels which tend to carry lightweight chain. They are used commonly on larger vessels due to the difficulties of moving chain in long sections. I have used them extensively on windlass drums with whelps and they work quite well there but this is on much heavier chain (3/4"+).

Part of the question is what grade chain are you starting with? If it is G3, then the connection you make doesn't need to be as strong as if it was G4 or higher grade.

There are several ways to do this but they won't work with your windlass gypsy. How deep of water do you normally anchor in? If you only expect to put out more than 200' once or twice over the chain's life, you could put the 200' section on the working end and manually move the connection past the windlass if you ever need more than 200'. Not ideal again but it might work.
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