We have been moving from time to time from our anchorage to add water to our tanks, empty our holding tanks, and to go out sailing and visiting other places. The last few times we did this, we noticed our anchor chain was popping out of the windlass gypsy (the gadget that grabs the links of the chain on the windlass to pull the chain up). This has been consistently happening around 25 feet from the end – which is when we are trying to lift the anchor off the floor from the ground in this bay after it has planted itself there. The noise when this happens is ugly sounding, and disturbing. (NOTE: this photo is from when the boat was newer and before we replaced the rope and chain with an all chain rode.)
I knew when this happened, what we were dealing with. Other boaters we know have run into it. It means our anchor rode (chain) has actually stretched at that section. The links are no longer the same size, and thus don’t fit properly in the gypsy. After 2.5 years of most often using the final 30 feet, it finally has stretched the chain links. The short-term solution to this is to shift our rode end-for-end to the other side (which hasn’t been used much) and use the other end for now. We also have to remember NOT to use the last 25 feet or so of the rode (which we haven’t ever done actually since we have 400 feet of rode). After hopefully another 2.5 years, we’ll have to change the anchor chain.
Another job for the always changing list of boat issues which always exists no matter how hard you try work it off. If we’re lucky, we might be able to wait until we take the entire rode off when we get up to Bundaberg. We had already planned to take it off so we can send it to be re-galvanized. This protects the chain from rusting.