sv Elysium

Cruising thrugh Life


Anchors and Anchoring What you don't know can hurt you.


The main and most common by far 3/8" with a Pitch (inside length of a link basically) of 1.22" can be swapped for 11mm DIN 766/A (the '/A' is important) on most gypsies we have found. The 11mm is approx 33# heavier for 100ft (I think - swapping mts/kg to ft/lbs hurts my head ). The G4 has a WLL 1900lbs higher BUT the US does use A LOT SMALLER safety margins than everywhere else hence the lot higher WLL. The 11mm DIN has a break of 6500kg where a 3/8" Grade 43 is 7000kg. Basically no real differance in real life use.

The other 3/8" Acco is what they call a ISO. ISO is an organisation which administers specifications but is not a specification itself (well until now anyway ) so things get a tad weird here. It does not match up with anything really. The pitch measurement (1.33") is pushing more towards a Regular/Midlink type chain than a short link. Luckily this chain we don't see much of as any replacement would have to come from the US and cost 2 -3 moonbeams. Personally I'd keep clear of this one if your thinking world cruising.

Acco also does 2 G3 3/8" chains. The same rules apply to this as the G40.

And not forgetting the BBB 3/8". This has the same loads and weights as the G3 3/8" and can be swapped out for a 10mm DIN766/A due to it being the shortest of Accos short links.

Not getting too much yet I hope, nearly there.

Acco also have another 3/8" but we have recently found out it is more a 'special' and not commonly available, which is good as it was another weird sized one.


3/8" G4 HT and G3 can be swapped for 11mm DIN766/A. The biggest differance being the 11mm is a smidgen heavier.
3/8" G4 ISO and the G3 ISO are weird sized and a local US thing only.
3/8" BBB can be swapped out for 10mm DIN766/A. No major differance.
The DIN standard chains are Grade 30's.

All of this brings me to one quick comment. Why do US cruisers insist on going G4 all the time? 90% of cruisers from everywhere else run DIN type loads i.e Grade 30's. Obviously you can run whatever you like but as good as US manufactures (damn good) are, they are far from the buget end of the market, very far. What you pay per foot is what we pay per metre (3.3 times more), which does cause a few "You're joking is it made of paper" type comments when US cruisers change chains here .

If the majority of cruisers get around the world more than happily on a G30 why spend the extra bucks to get a G40 chain. We have wondered at length about this and asked many. It seems to be a "he's got it so I thought I should as well" sort of thing. A 10mm or 3/8" G30 chain breaks at 5000kg (over 11,000lb) min. Can the rest of your anchoring system handle that load, probably not.
1, The US runs it's own sizing as does Australia. The rest of the world uses pretty much the same, either DIN766/A and EN818-3 usually but there is a couple more but not commonly found.

2, Asian made 'DIN766' or whatever is usually 'close' but anyone who knows chains will not use it, mostly poor load related. Most winch manufacturers do not like Asian made due to poor calibration, if any. Some winch guys actually say using Asian made will void warrenties.

3, Weissenfels is a quality manufacture based mostly in Italy.

4, G4, G40, G43, Acco 'HT' are all the same grade and will break at the same time BUT the trick bit is the US uses a lot lower Safety Margin than everyone else. This only means Acco chain 'appears' stronger due to a higher Working Load Limit (WLL or SWL). The world standard is 4 to1 where Acco uses more a 2.5 to 1.

5, By world standards the US made chain is up there, quality wise, with the best, no question about that but it is bloody expensive.


US sizing is imperial and everyone else is metric so there is some differances WHICH WILL MAKE A DIFFERANCE ON A ANCHOR WINCH. Generally 'close enuff is not good enuff' when talking anchor winches. 'Close as' will usually lead to jambing, skipping, faster gypsie wear and chain wear.

Generally most, but not all, US chains can be replaced by metric as long as you know which one. A Acco 5/16" G4 can be replaced with a 9mm DIN766/A (the '/A' bit is important). Loads and weight are very similar once you work the numbers. Actually the DIN has a lot higher calibration than any US chains, most chains really - this is only a good thing.

We often swap out 5/16" for 9mm without any problems. So as long as your mate is getting a Weissenfels made 9mm DIN766/A Short link chain and putting it on a gypsie designed for Acco 5/16" HT he should have no problem or loss of performance.

Lower grades at least tell you something is going wrong and will take a time frame to finally break. A G3 or G4 chain will nearly double in length before it finally breaks. It will also do it in a way that you would have to be completely blind not to see it, deaf not to hear it and that's even after the winch spits the dummy.

Acco have 2 main G4 3/8" chains. One is their main seller which is the 'default' US size and the other they call a 'ISO'.

So if you are in the US and planning on staying close go with the Acco/pearson G40. REMEMBER

Chain Splice
by Evan Starzinger

I use 1/4" spectra single braid line (100% spectra fibers/no dacron cover), with a breaking strength aorund 9000lbs.

I make the lashing of three loops of the line, so 6 load carrying strands, so a breaking strength of about 50,000lbs.

Splices are the prefered way of joining spectra line because it keeps about 90% of the line strength while a know will reduce it by 50% or more. In this case though, there is so much excess strength in the lashing that the knot strength reduction is not really important.

If I am making this lashing as a back up to the connectng link I can make it 12" long (for a link 6" up one chain to a link 6" up the other chain, with the coinnecting link holding the ends together in the middle) which is enough room to make a decent end to end splice (easy to make in single braid).

But if you were to do away with the connecting link, you would want to lash the very end links together in a lashing only one chain link long. There are two satisfactory ways to do this. (a) simply use either a fisherman's knot or a water knot. You need to sew thru the knots and thru the tails of the lashing as the spectalf is very slippery and the knots might slip otherwise. (b) take the ends of the lashing and half hitch them many times around the lashing. This accomplishes two things - it protects the load carrying strands from chafe as the half hitches act as a cover and it does not weaken th eline as much as the knots. You again need to sew thru the half hitches

Galvanizing Metal Coating:

I haven't read all the replies so may be repeating but for my money the best option for any anchor is sand blast and zinc arc spray. It is far more durable than galvanising and precludes the need to melt all the lead out and then refill. Just had my 35lb CQR done for NZ$80. This process is no good for chain though.



Fortress FX 55$519.00 @

...but I do happen to have an old Pekny brochure still laying around...

His recommendations were based purely on boat size:

  • 42-54' - 50 lbs.
  • 50-65' - 65 lbs.

Those suggestions are for working anchors in "normal" conditions - for storm anchors he recommends going one size larger...

Catostrophic Loss of Yacht with Spade anchor. Lessons to be learned (Nylon nuts use once only and Good to have a safety wire on Nut)

  1. A spade anchor failed catastrophically, directly causing the loss of my yacht Deep Blue (MSA report 03 1027).
  2. Spade Anchor NZ conducted their own investigation and found no evidence to counter the MSA findings.
  3. The loss has devastated my family and left us with nothing.
  4. Spade Anchor company have not stood by their product, my claim remains outstanding, with not even a replacement anchor supplied.
  5. Spade Anchor have neglected to advise other owners of unsafe Spade Anchors of the simple modifications required to make the anchor safe.
All images and content copyright of David A. Kall