BIG QUES­TION

Yachting Monthly - - CONTENTS -

How can I join two pieces of an­chor chain?

QWe have an Ar­cona 400 which we keep at Ply­mouth yacht haven. We bought her be­cause she is well built, a de­light to sail, is rea­son­ably quick and can ac­com­mo­date our daugh­ters and their young fam­i­lies. We mainly cruise lo­cally with the oc­ca­sional rac­ing event for char­ity. We plan a cruise to south Brit­tany this sum­mer. I have 45m of 8mm an­chor chain, hardly suf­fi­cient for an­chor­ing my boat in a range of wind and tide con­di­tions. I have a fur­ther 30m of 8mm chain sit­ting in my garage, but is there any safe way of join­ing the two to­gether? Will this joint pass through the an­chor winch? Alas­tair Paramore

AVyv Cox, a char­tered en­gi­neer spe­cial­is­ing in met­al­lurgy, replies: The only fas­tener that will join two lengths of chain and sub­se­quently pass through a wind­lass is a C-link. Two C-shaped half links are riv­eted to­gether to form a sin­gle link that can be stronger than the chain, but not in all cases. Sold in many chan­d­leries, the C-links are ei­ther cheaply made from mild steel or some­what more ex­pen­sively from stain­less steel. Nei­ther of th­ese is likely to be as strong as Grade 30 chain but in most cases will be ad­e­quate for oc­ca­sional an­chor­ing. In­dus­trial links sold for use in lift­ing and hoist­ing are made from heat-treated al­loy steel that when made up, is at least as strong as Grade 40 chain. The most widely avail­able in the UK are those made by Crosby, mar­keted as the Miss­ing Link. Al­loy steel C-links re­quire heavy ham­mer­ing to make up the riv­ets, un­like the other types that are rel­a­tively soft and there­fore easy. In ser­vice, both steel types will cor­rode faster than the chain to which they’re con­nected. Paint­ing and reg­u­lar in­spec­tion are rec­om­mended to ex­tend their life. Stain­less-steel types are far less prone to cor­ro­sion and this prop­erty may be con­sid­ered more im­por­tant than their lower ul­ti­mate strength. In­dus­trial sup­pli­ers will not nor­mally sup­ply C-links in small num­bers. One good source of sin­gle items by mail order is Tecni-lift (www.tecni-lift.co.uk).

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