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Planning my escape
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Discussion Starter #1
We have an SL Horizon 1000 with a 3/8 Gypsy. Recently we replace the chain with G4 and we are having problems with the chain not fitting the gypsy properly. After every 4 or 5 links pass through, it jumps, skipping a link. The previous chain was G4 also. The manual indicates either BBB or HT (which is G4). Has anyone else had a problem with new chain not matching their gypsy? Is it a problem to have it skip? I'm afraid it's going to damage the windlass and with 250' of chain and a 46' boat I'm not keen on hauling it in by hand!
 

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The link size is different between G4 and BBB, so there seems to be a mismatch. Many windlasses can interchange the wildcat (the part that grabs the chain) for different sizes and types of chain. Perhaps the manual is suggesting you could fit either wildcat, but I don't think it's trying to say it will do either universally.

You say you previously had G4 chain as well. Did it skip then too? I've heard rumor of mislabled chain, perhaps you have a BBB wildcat. Perhaps its not for 3/8 chain at all.

Just guessing. Bottom line, you don't want it constantly jumping, as you describe.
 

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It sounds as though your previous chain was BBB. Are you absolutely positive it was G4?
The chains are very different (link length and links per foot, hence weight per foot) and the gypsy is not interchangeable. BBB is specifically manufactured as anchor chain, while G4 is not, though it is used as anchor chain by many.
 

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....... BBB is specifically manufactured as anchor chain, while G4 is not, though it is used as anchor chain by many.
That’s interesting. Can’t you explain this more thoroughly? I know G4 is heat treated, which is different, but I wasn’t aware of it’s lack of applicability. Seems odd, as windlass are designed for it,
and everyone markets it as anchor chain.
 

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Aspiring Boat Bum
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That’s interesting. Can’t you explain this more thoroughly? I know G4 is heat treated, which is different, but I wasn’t aware of it’s lack of applicability. Seems odd, as windlass are designed for it,
and everyone markets it as anchor chain.
The important difference, at least as far as a windlass gypsy is concerned, is the size of the link.

Chain has two critical dimensions, the diameter of the metal that makes the link, in this case 3/8" and more critical for fit in a gypsy, the length of the link. G4 links are longer than BBB links and will not fit in the same gypsy, at least for the same metal diameter.

I have a SL windlass and I can fit 3/8" BBB or 5/16" G4 which have almost identical link lengths. I cannot use 3/8" G4 in that gypsy.
 

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Aspiring Boat Bum
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That’s interesting. Can’t you explain this more thoroughly? I know G4 is heat treated, which is different, but I wasn’t aware of it’s lack of applicability. Seems odd, as windlass are designed for it,
and everyone markets it as anchor chain.

Oh, and regarding suitability for anchor chain, G4 is just fine. I think what Capta is referring to is BBB link dimensions and standard windlass gypsies are designed to be compatible whereas G4 will work but isn't specifically designed for fit in a standard gypsy.
 

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That is an old windlass and the gypsy is probably pretty worn, so it is possible that the new chain sits a bit higher in it than the old and is skipping on the top of the worn teeth.

The RC162 SL Horizon gypsy could use 3/8" BBB but not 3/8" HT (G4) chain. The RC172 could take either 5/16" BBB or 5/16" HT. We had both and found the RC172 could also handle 10mm BBB in a new gypsy, and the RC162 could also take 5/16" proof coil.

If you really were previously using 3/8" G4, my bet is that your gypsy is worn, or that your previous chain was 10mm and not 3/8".

Mark
 

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For those who don't have experience with Simpson-Lawrence gypsies, they have a unique design that makes them the most tolerant and broadly accepting gypsies I've come across. So it isn't unusual for them to take a wide variety of chain standards, sizes, and dimensions - where many other gypsy brands are far more restrictive and severe in requirements.

Mark
 

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Aspiring Boat Bum
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For those who don't have experience with Simpson-Lawrence gypsies, they have a unique design that makes them the most tolerant and broadly accepting gypsies I've come across. So it isn't unusual for them to take a wide variety of chain standards, sizes, and dimensions - where many other gypsy brands are far more restrictive and severe in requirements.

Mark
I have an older SL windlass and that is definitely my experience. The links per foot and link diameter between 3/8" BBB and 5/16" G4 are close but certainly not identical but both work perfectly in my gypsy.
 

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That’s interesting. Can’t you explain this more thoroughly? I know G4 is heat treated, which is different, but I wasn’t aware of it’s lack of applicability. Seems odd, as windlass are designed for it,
and everyone markets it as anchor chain.
G-4 is manufactured as a lifting chain, for cargo and heavy lifting, where weight per foot is of no consequence, but strength is. BBB anchor chain with it's shorter links and heavier weight per foot is the standard for anchor chain.
For some reason the yachting fraternity decided a stronger chain, though not actually strong enough to make any significant difference for most of our vessels should the chain come tight between the boat and anchor without a snub line, was better, though lighter per foot.
 

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Planning my escape
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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you very much for your reply. Actually My operation manual says it handles BBB and G4 (HT), as well as American Proof Coil and a few other European types, on the same wildcat. I have the RC162 wildcat.

Is there a difference between G4 and calibrated G4? Are there two such chains?
 

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Aspiring Boat Bum
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Thank you very much for your reply. Actually My operation manual says it handles BBB and G4 (HT), as well as American Proof Coil and a few other European types, on the same wildcat. I have the RC162 wildcat.

Is there a difference between G4 and calibrated G4? Are there two such chains?
I have a very similar manual with my windlass. It says it will work with about 15 different sizes and types of chain but that is complete nonsense. I even discussed it with the guy that bought out all the old SL parts and designs who was an engineer at SL and he confirmed it.

If your gypsy works with 3/8" BBB like mine it will work will 5/16" G4 HT. It will definitely not work with 3/8" G4 as the links are longer and will jump out of the pockets.
 

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Planning my escape
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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, this is great information!! I'm really thankful for your reply. We will check this out. We took the wild cat in last time but will do again and try 5/16 this time. Anyone want to buy 250' of brand new 3/8 G4 chain :)
 

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Aspiring Boat Bum
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Wow, this is great information!! I'm really thankful for your reply. We will check this out. We took the wild cat in last time but will do again and try 5/16 this time. Anyone want to buy 250' of brand new 3/8 G4 chain :)
Oh gee. Maybe you want to investigate getting a new gypsy for the windlass.
 

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Like I mentioned, check the condition of the "teeth" on the gypsy. If they are rounded down on one side, that is probably the problem. 3/8" imperial G4 chain will be sitting right on the top of the RC162 gypsy, and if the teeth are worn, it probably won't work well with that chain.

Our SL manual does not mention RC162 compatibility with 3/8" proof coil chain. Interesting that yours does. However, yours also shows compatibility with 5/16" proof coil, which our manual does not mention, but as I noted above, we discovered as true.

Mark
 

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Planning my escape
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Discussion Starter #17
For the hassle of replacement plus the $1000 for the new gypsy, it's easier to replace the chain, cut my losses and sell it on craigslist. The gypsy is in excellent condition as this boat's spent most of her life in a marina and day sailed. The old chain needed replacing because it sat in the bottom of the chain locker for 20 years and rusted to (literally) pieces! We recently did the first haul out of the boat since we bought her, and we decided to re-mark the chain and found when we pulled it out on the dock, it wasn't all connected! The links were rusted to within a hair's width. This was the chain on the very bottom of the pile. The first 100' were ok, but we would have got a hell of a fright if we needed all of it. Warning to everyone who hasn't inspected the entire length of their chain in a while, or since they bought the boat from someone else. Upon inspection, the entire chain should have been pulled out, not just visually inspected from the top of the pile. My bad. Thanks for your help!
 

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Planning my escape
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Discussion Starter #18
Yes we took the wildcat off and inspected it's teeth. I will take to our local chain supplier and have him look at it too. Maybe I don't have a dentist's eye :) and missed something important. Thanks. On Maui, services for boats are very slim and some things I'm on my own for.
 

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Planning my escape
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Discussion Starter #20
Good point. Upon closer inspection of the chain there were also links in it that connected different chain, so it's possible the original piece was BBB and then they added G4. Who knows. It's a mess. The only problem with changing to 5/16 is I'm not sure if it's strong enough fo the boat which is 21,000 lbs and a 45lb Bruce.
 
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