Trouble with Anchors

Deciding on an anchor to tie your boat to can be a great alternative to private mooring. The chains used in these set-ups are galvanized chains that don’t work well in a marine environment is because the galvanized metal wears down under use, and exposes bare metal within a short period of time. Wave action alone moves the chain, constantly works away at the galvanized finish before it exposes the cheap metal underneath. A solution to this is using a different kind of chain that is ‘quenched and tempered.’ A favorite brand name is System 7, a virtually uncoated but through and through high tensile, very tough steel. It keeps its load rating and wears very slowly.

It’s important to look through all your options before deciding on tossing a buoy out front – there are ups and downs to any private mooring choice.

A worn-down galvanized buoy chain found during a dive.

Typically, galvanizing gives materials a protective finish regardless of quality. Galvanizing can be found in tin roofing, siding, eavestrough spouts, exhaust systems, and more. The photo above shows the protective finish has done its job where the work load was not required. Where the worn part of the chain is shown, poor quality material is exposed shortly after the installation of the chain.

Bottom line, if you’re using galvanized chain to anchor a boat and marker buoy, be sure to inspect it far earlier than you would with another chain. The galvanization wears off all too soon and can cause the chain to wear out quite quickly.System 4 / System 7 chain is anywhere from 7 to 10 dollars a foot and is a smart alternative. Galvanized chain is relatively inexpensive per foot.

Have your local dive shop inspect your anchor chain.

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