My old anchor chain was showing signs of wear (mostly in the first 10m which gets the most use), so I decided to replace it. This sounds simple, but really isn’t :).
I wanted to keep most of the old chain as a spare chain, so I built a new chain locker in the bilge to hold it (can’t just put the old chain in the bilge–if the boat ever rolled over, it could come out, so it needs to be held in place securely).
The old anchor chain is 12mm, which I could not find in the USA. So I went with 7/16″ chain, which is almost the same size. That meant that the 7/16″ chain wouldn’t fit the 12mm chain wheel. So I bought both a new chain wheel and a barrel (300’/90m) of 7/16″ chain (Grade 43, which means the steel is better quality than “proof coil”).
The new chain wheel, shown in the picture, was a different diameter than the old one, so the old chain stripper did not fit. The chain stripper is necessary to strip the chain off the chain wheel, so that it will fall down the hawsepipe. The old chain stripper was cut off the deck (it had been welded in place), and a new one made that would bolt on.
It took a few tries of cutting, then welding back up the chain stripper to get it functioning correctly (the part that strips the chain off the wheel is inside the chain wheel, so not visible in the picture), but it is now working.