Anchor Chain Anyone?

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Since we first set foot on the boat, we have been unloading massive amounts of weight.  The first day we pumped hundreds of gallons of water out of the bilge, the next week we emptied both water tanks and took one completely out, and we’ve taken almost everything off the boat.

Today I decided to survey the anchor chain and get the 44lb (20Kg) Bruce off the bow roller where is has been sitting for 10 years.  I pulled the 3/16 G4 chain off the wildcat of our old bronze windlass and manually dropped the anchor to the ground with relative ease.  About 100 ft (30 meters) of chain was let out and I started to feel the rest snag in the locker so I hopped down through the hatch and found that the rest of the chain was molded into some sort of solid chain-mountain.  No really, it was solid as a rock!  I had to use a hammer and all my strength to break it up enough just to haul it out into the v-berth.  I used an angle grinder to cut through a link so that the inboard mound could be separated from the chain already on the ground.  There was no way this stuff was going through the deck!

Left behind was about 30 or 40 pounds (13 to 18 KG) of rust.  I’ve never seen anything like it. Yes, I cleaned it out of the bilge and yes, it took me about an hour to do so!  I did so very carefully with our indispensable shop vac, a cup for scooping, and many trips to empty the heavy rust out.

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