Friday, March 13, 2009

windlass part deux?

Our new chain arrived yesterday, YEE HAW! We took Enee to Spice Island Marine (where I almost worked) and tied up beside their haul out pit. I had arranged for the new chain to be delivered there. Now we just had to pull up all the old chain and put it on a tarp on deck. Spice Island didn't want it so. . . just wait.

At the bitter end of the chain there is about 6 feet of 3/4" three strand line spliced on that goes through a hole in a 2x4. I guess if for some reason chain just started paying out that 2x4 would get stuck against the underside of the deck and the 3 strand would give you some elasticity. Boooooiiiiinnnnnggggg!

While waiting for the chain to arrive Kerry and I laid out a ten meter length on the pier so we could mark the chain before feeding it below. The chain arrived and me, Kerry and Randy (from s/v High States) who had joined us laid it back and forth in our 10 meter marks and tied colored wire ties every 10 meters. Why meters? All the charts are in meters and so is my depth sounder and, hey, I'm a physicist and I LOVE meters! They're bigger than feet too so there!

That's Kerry showing you his good side

Kerry fed me the end of the chain and I spliced the rope to it. I'm not great at this but I think I did all right. As we started feeding the chain aboard we realized that we had marked it backwards or, if you prefer, handed me the wrong end to start with! No matter we just erased our crib sheet and changed the numbers.

We were moored right next to the travel lift which is very loud. Mismo did NOT approve!

Now we have 200 feet of old nasty rusted chain (this stuff was 5/16 as it turns out) on deck. So we motored out of the bay a quarter mile or so and I let it go off the other bow roller and gave it to the fishes.

Back into Prickly Bay. Boy do I love the new windlass for paying out chain. With an electric windlass you have one choice of speed and in laying chain you want to imagine that you are in fact 'laying' it out as the boat backs down wind. You don't need the electric force for this you can use, yes. . . .GRAVITY! The windlass has a cone type clutch and with just gentle movements of the lever I can control the speed at which chain lays out. Nice.

My new chain is nice and shiny and barnacles beware! I'll be brushing this $1000 piece of chain every freaking day! Now that all the nasty work is done I can finish the paint job too.

We do still have the problem of chain castling up and jamming requiring us to run down and 'knock down the pile' when raising anchor. I plan to cut a large hole in the bottom of the anchor locker so that I can reach in with a boat hook if necessary and pull the pile aft.


brian said...

How much does the chain weigh? How does it affect sailing?

Scott said...

3/8" BBB high test chain weighs about 1.5 pounds per foot so that's 300 pounds in the bow. But when we are underway I have at least that much hanging on the stern with dinghy and motor.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't count the weight of friends leaning overboard chumming the water from the breakfast buffet.

Chairman Meow