SAIL

Love Your Ground Tackle

Your ground tackle is like a relationship—the more you care for it, the longer it will last. So, how do you enhance the relationship? First up, think of the accommodations—a damp, salt-rich, often warm environment, just the kind of thing to encourage corrosion. What can be done?

Looking at chain lockers, I marvel at how inappropriate some are. I’ve seen lockers on yachts with drain holes so high it’s inevitable the “bottom” of the locker and its contents—the expensive chain—will constantly be underwater. If you never deploy all your chain you would simply not know that you have the perfect location to ensure its life is minimized. Devoid of attention, the chain at the bottom of such lockers will quickly corrode into one rusty lump. And it’s not only the submerged chain that will corrode. Seawater will also wick up through the links and any heat will cause evaporation, creating vapor that will condense to provide fresh electrolyte allowing your entire chain to quietly rust.

So, what’s a sailor to do? There are a number of options. The obvious one is to install new drain holes at the bottom of the locker, unless it is below, or very close to the waterline.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Sail

Sail5 min read
Anchoring
In almost 40 years of cruising my wife, Terrie, and I have almost never set a tripping line on the anchor. We lost one anchor while riding out a gale in a tight anchorage in Belize lying to two anchors in 60ft of water. Toward the end of the gale the
Sail3 min read
10 Movies for Perfect Group Bonding Before a Charter
The fall boat shows have come and gone, winter is settling in, and sailing may seem like a distant dream as you hold your breath until your warm-weather Christmas charter. All is not lost, though, as this is also a great time to both distract yoursel
Sail5 min read
Installing an Electric Furler
So, what exactly is involved in installing an electric furling gear? If you’ve ever installed an electric windlass, part of the process will be familiar to you—you’ll be hooking up an electric motor to switches and a control box, running cables the l