Anchor Chain, Windlass Upgrade and Mantus Anchor Purchase
In this post, we are going to walk through the steps of performing our anchor chain, windlass upgrade and Mantus Anchor Purchase. After we purchased Banjo, we saw that a portion of our anchor chain was rusty and needed to be replaced. We decided, if we were going to replace the existing chain, that we would go ahead and upgrade the chain size at the same time. Our previous chain consisted of 200-feet of 5/16-inch High-Test G-43. We made a call to our windlass manufacturer, Maxwell Marine, and got some help from Stuart identifying our windlass. He confirmed that our windlass, a VWC1200, is rated for 3/8″ chain and would only require an upgraded chain-wheel. Sweet! We purchased the chain-wheel, also known as a “gypsy,” for around $500 directly from Maxwell and it arrived a few days later.
We contacted Defender, with a few questions about the chain, and spoke with Patrick, who did a fantastic job answering our questions. He also gave us a military discount towards our purchase, which we really appreciated. Our plan was to upgrade to 250-feet of 3/8″ G-43 High-Test Galvanized Chain, and to add an additional 100-feet of 3/4-inch three-strand-twisted nylon to give us a total of 350-feet of rode. Grand total for the chain was approximately $1250, including shipping. With care, we hope this investment will last us for many years to come and allow us to sleep well at night. We placed the order and the chain arrived 2 days later, all 400-lbs of it
Chain Preparation for Preparation
With the help of Jesse, our Dockmaster, we placed the drum of chain near the marina office because we were expecting snow the following day. Thank you Jesse for your help! With better weather on the way the following weekend, we hoped to do the installation once the snow and ice cleared. This plan worked out perfectly. We saw 60+ degree days this past weekend, and were able to prepare our chain for installation.
I brought our drum of new chain over to our “working dock” and laid the entire length out on the grass folded into lengths of 25-feet sections. Our goal was to prepare and mark the chain using high performance paint to make it easy to see depth. The trick to anchoring is to make sure to let out enough chain/rope to weight down the anchor. The amount varies based on the depth of the water and the amount of freeboard at the bow. Freeboard is the height of the bow roller for the anchor above the water. For example, if the water is 10 feet deep and the bow is 5 feet above the water, the length of one scope is 15-feet (5 meters).
Typically, a good rule of thumb is to let out a minimum of 5:1 scope, with 7:1 being better and 10:1 in the event of rough conditions where extra holding power is required. Using our 15-foot (5 meter) example, a 5:1 scope would require 75-feet of rode, 7:1 would require 105-feet, and 10: scope would require 150-feet.
Marking the Chain
We did a little research and found a couple recommendations for marking our chain. Since we have galvanized chain, marking it with sections of paint require a few more steps. The steps we found that supposedly offer the best results are as follows:
- Apply degreaser to the chain to remove any dirt, oils, etc. Rinse clean.
- Using a medium 120-grit sandpaper, lightly sand away any areas of white rust on the chain. We did not have any white rust as our chain looked to be extremely new.
- Apply vinegar to the chain using a towel and allow to sit in order to chemically etch the zinc. Then rinse and allow to dry. We allowed ours to sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Apply a primer for metal. We used Rustoleum Primer for metal.
- Paint the chain using Rustoleum High Performance paint using 2-3 lightly applied coats.
After performing the steps, we had a nice looking chain. It remains to be seen if the paint will remain on the chain and what the timeline for longevity looks like.
Swapping Out the Gypsy
Our next step was to replace the chain-wheel on the windlass. Using a large flat-head screwdriver we opened the protective cap at the top of the windlass, and removed the retaining screw and washer. Afterwards, using a adjustable wrench handle, we applied pressure counter-clockwise to the clutch nut sitting on the capstain to loosen. The capstain looks like the tall section of a normal rope-line winch. The clutch nut was unscrewed, removed and set aside.
From here, the capstain easily lifted free. We set it aside and then removed the haus pipe cover which also held the spacer arm. Afterwards, the existing chain-wheel easily lifted free from the winch axle. We were careful to catch the slotted inserts on the windlass shaft, which matched up to slots in the chain-wheel and the capstain and set those aside.
Servicing the Windlass and Reinstall
Once disassembly was complete, I applied lithium grease to the new chain-wheel and slid it onto the windlass shaft. I was careful to ensure I lined up the slotted spacer that was inset into the shaft with the notch on the chain wheel. At first, I installed the chain-wheel upside down, but realized my mistake and flipped it right-side up. This was important because there were slots that would catch a spring-loaded latch each time the windlass completed a partial turn.
Once the windlass was properly greased, all that was required was to put everything back together. I retraced my steps backwards in order to make sure everything was back together. Finally, I replaced the top screw into the clutch-nut and re-covered the protective cap. All done. Now we just needed to hook the chain and use the windlass to pull it aboard.
New Mantus Anchor
This morning, I called Mantus Marine. We are extremely excited about our purchase of a new Mantus Anchor for Banjo. I spoke with Phillip who also extended us a military discount and we placed our order. After reviewing the recommended anchor sizing chart, we decided on an 85-lb galvanized anchor, and a medium size bride from Mantus. The bride is used to relieve strain from the windlass once the anchor has set. Banjo displaces 37,500-lbs. The 85-lb anchor should see us safely anchored even in heavy winds and sea conditions.
From our research, we found that the Mantus Anchor is one of the best, and fastest setting anchors. We can’t wait till it arrives. The cost of the anchor and bride came to right at $1100, including shipping. We feel it will be worth the investment. With a added peace of mind of knowing we have the Mantus, I believe Shannon, the dogs, and I will sleep much better. We will provide a new post once it arrives and we get it installed it to Banjo.
So far, we are really happy with the new upgraded anchor chain, windlass upgrade and Mantus Anchor Purchase. After we purchased Banjo, we saw that a portion of our anchor chain was rusty and needed to be replaced.