Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gloucester, MA
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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.