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Re-Galvanizing ground tackle in Australia

By Sue Richards last modified May 05, 2011 06:24 PM

Published: 2011-05-05 18:24:49
Topics: Cruising Information
Countries: Australia

Ahoy Yawl !

I've just learned a new trick and thought I'd share it with you... my fellow sailors.

Our ground tackle has been in hard use across the Caribbean & Pacific. The chain is seven years old and has lost much of it's galvanized coating. It's begun staining our deck with surface rust lately - so I've been searching for the most cost-effective way to re-galvanize our anchor, chain & shackles.

I've found three places to get the job done on the east coast of Australia and the best deal in Bundaberg.

Our anchor rode is made-up of a 66 lb Bruce anchor and 200 ft of rope with 200 ft of high quality, American-made BBB chain connected between the two.

The folks at Kenco Galvanizing do lots of chain and quoted a price of $1.20 AUD per kilo to clean, acid wash and hot-dip galvanizie our parts using a special vibrating basket which will shake, rattle & roll the chain throughout the process... which they assure me will completely re-coat each link and prevent the links from bonding.

However - they said I'd have to remove all paint markings and loose rust before they'd accept it and suggested I have it sand blasted prior to delivery.

Turns out the labour cost of getting the chain sand-blasted here was going to bring the cost of the job up to about the same as purchasing NEW chain... which would be about the same as a month's pay... assuming I even had a job... which I don't.

It seems BBB chain isn't even made in this hemisphere and I'd certainly never find 200 ft of good chain in a dumpster... nor find a new gipsy to fit our windlass needed to handle a new type of chain. The strong Ozzy Dollar and shipping cost would also add expense to any tack I took, too. Galvanizing is affordable in the Land of Oz... but having someone sand blast each link isn't.

There goes a few month's supply of our cruising kitty.

But my friend - Sam - just came-up with a brilliant plan!

So - yesterday, we dis-connected and removed the anchor and off loaded the chain into two milk crates on the dock and hauled it up the ramp (at high tide) with two hand trucks and loaded nearly 400 lbs of rusty steel into the back of our pickup truck and steered for Bundaberg - 200 miles south of Rockhampton.

We turned off the highway toward the old coastal road and drove until the pavement ended, where we got out and unloaded the two crates of chain from the back of the truck. I tied a short piece of tuna cord to the last link of the chain, looped the string over our bumper hitch, locked the hubs and we took-off on a ten km jaunt along a hard-packed beach! We dragged the chain for about a half hour at speeds reaching 60 km/h while swerving and doing figure eights - reversed the chain and drove some more and by the time we were done all traces of paint & rust were gone and the entire length of chain was shinny metal when we arrived at the galvanizing plant! A poor man's sand blaster but VERY effective! The fellow on the fork lift got a big laugh when we told him what we'd done and said he'll call us in a few days to come pick it up!

Those of you heading this way may want to note you can get hot dip galvanizing done in Brisbane, Bundaberg & Townsville... all three are official ports of entry into and out of Australia... but Bundy is the best deal, in my opinion.

Too easy. And lots of fun at the beach!

To Life!

Kirk
s/v Gallivanter

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