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.

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