Monday, March 9, 2015

The Weakest Link?
By Michael

New meets old.
Getting ready to (partly) cross an ocean is occasion to look at everything a bit more closely. I'm looking now at the chain joining link I installed only a few months ago.

The first 150 feet of our 3/8-inch anchor chain was a rusted mess--to the extent that in the past couple years our foredeck and starboard gutter came to look like we'd painted them orange. For months I began preparing for the re-galvanizing job I knew was in our future. Then one day, in response to increasing skipping of that chain on our gypsy, I compared a link at the 100-foot mark with a link at the 200-foot mark. I wish now I'd taken a picture of what I saw. It was difficult to believe the links were ever the same size.

So galvanizing was out. We bit the bullet and bought 150 feet of new Acco chain to mate to our good 150 feet. Enter the chain joining link.

I bought four of them, two different brands, a pair from West Marine, another pair from Defender. Installed properly (you've got to flatten the heads of the connecting pins with a ball peen hammer) they're supposed to be stronger than any single link of the same size.

This is the picture of the first one I've installed. It doesn't look like they did a great job with corrosion protection. Where else did they cut corners? Does anyone have experience with these galvanized joining links? Are we on the road to losing our rode?



  1. We use a similar connector on our chain. It's been in place since 2003 and (judging by your photograph only) appears to be in better shape than yours after only a few months of use (we're at anchor for about six months of the year). My husband was very specific about what we could and couldn't use to link our chain -- no Chinese products! Apart from the regular reasons (poor quality control being number one), it had to do with the density of steel the Chinese use(d). I can't tell by the picture where yours was manufactured but, if it's China, that could be your problem.

  2. We used one for four years and you couldn't tell it apart from the rest of the chain. I'd get rid of that one just for the peace of mind.

    1. Thank you both, echoes what emailers said too. I think both brands are labeled CHINA. Fortunately I have four of them, and maybe the other brand is better. The odd thing is that to put these things together, you really have to pound on them, which isn't good for any galvanized coating.


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