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ANCHOR CHAIN LOCKER VOLUME CALCULATION:The formula you are referring to is;V = 0.

(where * means multiply & D^2 means D*D)V = volume in cubic feet

of the stowed cable

L = chain cable length in fathoms and

D = chain cable dia in inchesor V = 0.1417*L*D^2using L in feet.

If you prefer metric useV = L*D^2/49000

V = volume in cubic metres

L = length in metres

D = dia in millimetres.

But be careful of the basic shape etc. of the chain locker.

If possible it should be circular in plan view. If it must be rectangular make it assquare as possible. If it is
rectangular with more than 1.5 to 1 proportion of long toshort sides the cable may not lie properly.

There must be no side stiffeners or obstructions to the cable. If this is not possiblethen angle bar
stiffeners should be welded mouth-on i.e. to form a V shape on thebulkhead or use half-round bars. If
possible fill up the mouth-on angles with woodand plenty pitch. The same with a pipe-pipe but
preferably use a solid half-round.

If the chain locker is high do not fit a ladder, cut semi-circular holes in the lockerbulkhead to form hand
and foot holes. Pitch them about about a foot aparthorizontally and about 9 or 10 inches max vertically.
Remember you'll be very closeto the bulkhead and you won't be able to see too well. Grind the edges
smooth toprevent injury to your hands.

The height of the stowed cable (assumed stowing flat or horizontal) should be atleast 3 times the
diameter of the locker with an allowance of half the diameter to thelip of the chain pipe. If not circular
use the diagonal instead of the diameter.

The chain pipe should be vertical and situated at the middle i.e. at the centre of thecircle or at the
intesection of the diagonals if not circular. The lower edge of the pipe,the lip, should be flared and very
strong and it should be on level with or just belowany beams or longitudinals under the deck that is the
crown of the chain locker.

Remember that the cable is only the length stowed in the locker, theoretically youcan reduce the actual
length by the distance from the anchor shackle to the lip of of the chain pipe. If there are two anchors
you'll only stow half the cable. It is obviousbut you would not believe how many people have used the
entire length on two forone locker.

You should arrange a drainage space at the base of the locker to allow water to runoff.

Arrange the bitter end to have the attachment outside of the chain locker. If youhave to release the cable
while at sea you don't want to be inside the locker whenthe cale flies and takes you with it.

Chain Terminology

NOTE - the following is written in a non-technical manner to make is easier to understand by all. There is
more to some parts of it and there are varying Regulations and Specification depending on just where in
the world you are. The below is written genericly and is not to be used randomly without checking local
Laws, Regulations or Specification requirements. You may just end up getting yourself in the pooh or
hurt. Also some of the terms are 'as used in the industry' as opposed to the strict technical meaning of
There are some regional variations on both the terms and what they apply too but the below are
generally the most commonly found world wide.

WARNING - The numbers used in our website relate to the chains we have. It is not a good idea to use
our numbers when looking at other manufacturers chains, especially with some products made in
Eastern countries. In many cases they will be the same but in some cases they will not be. It is very
important from a safety aspect to ensure you get the numbers from the manufacturer that made the
chain. Using any number in a generic fashion may unintentionally leave you in a very dangerous place.

Chain Terminology

Wire Size

The size of the wire used to create a link. This is the size the chain is called so if you measure the wire
size at 8mm, for example, that means the chain you have will be called a 8mm.


This is the measurement of a link length measured internally. While that isn't the strict definition of the
term the measurement is effectively the same. Often you will see something like 'P=30' in some chain
talk. That is a shortcut way of saying the Pitch is 30mm.


This is the width of a link and is measured externally. Be aware that how a link width measuremnt is
reported does vary a fair bit world wide. It is often see as the internal measurement. We always use the
external one though as it is a bit more common.
Chain measurements


This is the Standard the chain must be built to meet or exceed to be called and comply with any specific
Standard. These Standards are administered by the International Standards Organisation (ISO). Note:
Most countries comply fully with these Standards but some just use the name even if their product
doesn't meet specification.


This is the Grade the chain meets, which relates to the raw metal quality, strength and finishing
processes. The Grade denotes the strength rather than any physical measurements of a link. Most
reputable manufacturers build to a Grade L (30) or in some cases Grade M (40) and in the very odd case
higher. Many of the chains coming out of the East are only Grade 20 or in other words only the
strength of a Grade M (40). Until the relitively recent arrival of these very low grade eastern made chains
the norm was Grade L (30). When looking at anchor chains a low grade is 20 (generally most of those all
come from the Eastern countries), the most common and has been for a long while is 30, becoming quite
common is 40, hard to get but there is some 50 and the strongest available that is galvanised is a Grade
70. The letter you may see being used is the new way of denoting a Grade but as it is not in universal
worldwide use as yet you'll often see things like L (30), Grade L being the new designation for a Grade 30.
As a rough ball park number you can work on a 25% increase in strength for every increase of 10 to the
Grade number. So a Grade 40 is roughly 25% stronger than a Grade 30.

Working Load (WLL)

This is the load that the manufacturer recommends you never exceeed. This is to allow for wear and tear
over the years you'll be using it. WLL is usually 25% of the chains Break Load, but there are 1 or 2 chains
that use diffeent margins, the US G40HT being the main one. Exceeding WLL can be dangerous. WLL is
usually referred to in Kilos (or maybe pounds for those using the old school measurement system). Read
this description togeather with 'Design margin', below, for a better understanding of it all.

Proof Force
This is also called Proof Load. This is the load the chain was loaded to in the factory during the testing
procedure. Proof Load is normally 50% of the chains Break Load and is usually referred to in

Break Force

This is the load at which the chain will fail. It is found from representive testing. It is quite possible the
chain will exceed that number but by how much no one knows so don't try to find out, that would be
dangerous and stupid. This load is usually referred to in KiloNewtons.

Design Margin

This is a sort of 'Safety factor' that is built in to the load numbers to allow for wear and tear over the
years a chain is in use.The industry standard Design Margin is usually 4:1, meaning the break load of a
chain is 4 times it's Working Load Limit. But there are a few, a small few, that have other Design Margins.
In our website all Design Margins on chains are 4:1 unless stated otherwise.


What the protection layer/s are usually called i.e Hot Dip Galvanised, Zinc plated, Nickle plated and there
are many more.


This is a more technical explaination of just what the Finish is.

The degree of calibration. Less tolerance means a higher level of calibration.


This basically means has the chain been 'stress releived' to take out the stress and strains created during
the manufacture and welding processes. Chains that haven't been Normalised tend to behave badly
after a while, especially under good loads. As Normalising is energy hungrey is it often a process left out
by manufacfurers of cheap chains in order to save cost.


MarkingsWhat stamps, if any, are on the chain. The requirements for this vary depending on the
Standard and local requirements. Often chains under 8mm don't have them. Some manufacturers use
the standard 1 stamp per meter or 22 links, whichever is the shortest distance but some stamp every
link. NOTE: Having a stamp is NO assurance the chain is good or even what the stamp says it is. Give us 3
months and we could have chain with your name stamped on each link, it will come from an eastern
country as reputable manufacturers will not do that.

Maximum Length

This is the longest length of this sized chain we tend to carry as a stock item. We can join lengths and/or
can get far far longer lengths in one piece if you require it.

Measuring Chain, How to

Measuring chain and how to do it correctly

Often we get calls asking for a certain sized chain then when we ask what the applications is we find the
required chain is being called the wrong size due to the way an existing it has been measured, hence why
we always ask what are you using it for, it's a good double check.
Generally getting down to parts of a millimetre or 10th of an inch isn't required but in the odd area it is.
Generally when we need very accurate measurements it is due to matching to a specific machine or in
most cases to a anchor winches gypsy. The 'gypsy' being the sprocket that grabs the chain links. Like
most sprockets they are made to accept one or a small range of chains within specific measurement
requirements. Use chains outside the size range and it general leads to tears and a decreased bank
account, but it can also lead to things exploding and potentially bodily harm, sure that would be unusual
but it is a possibility and it has happened.

If I don't need to be too specific what should I measure?

If you are saying hanging a Love Swing (yes many do), Chandelier or want some for across a gate, then all
you really need to know if the wire size. From that we can often offer a range around that size to get the
best size, strength, value or combination of for your requirements.

So if I do need to get very specific what is the best way to measure chain?

One is to use calliper or verniers, they are far more accurate then eyeballs, even very good eyeballs.

In case of regional terminology differences I mean these things.

Now what measurements are we looking for?

We are looking for the 'wire size', the P or pitch as some call it (a little incorrectly but that happens) and
while there we'll also grab a width. Often the width isn't that important but sometimes it can be so go
for all 3 and you are prepared just in case.

The Wire size - measuring chain 1

With your verniers first measure the 'wire size', that is the size of the wire that was bent to make into the
links. It is best to measure a few links just in case you grab a bum one, unlikely but possible. Select a few
at random and not next to each other. Measure away from the weld, the weld zone can be both bigger
and smaller than the wire size depending on exactly what machinery it was made on. This is what you
want to measure -

The P or Pitch -measuring chain 2

This, like the wire size, is an important one when talking matching gypsies, sprockets and things like that.
There are some chains that vary 0.3mm per link and that can be the difference between working well
and working but doing damage leading to short term life spans for the chain and the gear it;s on. So the
better you get this the better you'll be longer term.

We want the internal length of each link. Again measure a few randomly selected links to make sure you
don't grab a random rouge one.

The 'pitch' is technically a measurement between multiple links but you can measure as described and
you'll get the same number.

The Width -measuring chain 3

Usually not important but while your there grab it just in case. Note do not measure the weld zone, it
will lead to quirky numbers that no one wants or needs.

Things to note -

Watch for links with obvious wear, they will give you rouge measurements. If you have wear measure a
few and tell us what you get, we'll them take an educated guess.

Watch for crusts (build ups of salt and other assorted crap) Scrap it off and measure the steel under it.

Stretch, treat that like wear.

Coatings, some can be thick or have a area of build up. Treat that like crusts or hunt for a spot where the
coatings are thinnest.

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