Chain of Fools

COF_1The moral of this tale is never ever assume anything. Ever. (I thought we’d already learnt this lesson, but obviously not well enough).

So Friday was a red letter day for Toucan – the West Marine van arrived with our new oven, 33kg Rocna anchor and 100 m of 3/8” high test G40 chain (the importance of the technical aspects will be revealed shortly). We’d already spent the morning cleaning out the anchor locker of all the old lengths of mouldy rope and removing the huge 50 kg ‘claw’ anchor. (We tossed up whether to keep it, but in the end decided it was way too big and unwieldy for the boat.  Besides, we know and trust the Rocna will hold in just about anything). We also checked that the anchor windlass was working. So far, so good.

Next challenge was to get the anchor and chain on the boat. There was no space to bring the boat into the dock, so the dinghy would have to do the job. But wait -let’s be smart about this and mark the chain in 10 metre lengths before we load it into the dinghy. (We use a series of different coloured cable ties to do this so we know how much chain we’re putting out). Once that was done we fed the chain into the dinghy, hoping it would stay afloat with the 500kg load of chain, anchor and Bruce! It did!! So far, so good.

Once Bruce was positioned under the bow roller, I started up the windlass and started feeding the chain into the locker. After the first 10 metres of chain, the windlass cut out.  After that it was an agonizing process of stop/start with the windlass, feeding in 2 metres at a time.  Not sure what’s causing the problem but we have to get the chain on the boat. Finally (Finally!!) we’re down to the last 5 metres and Bruce attaches the anchor and puts it in the water.  But with added load the chain won’t hold on the windlass gypsy and keeps jumping, so the anchor is getting lower rather than higher. Bruce then gives himself a hernia trying to lift the anchor back into the dinghy so he can manhandle it up onto the bow roller.  Finally after much swearing he’s successful and we now have anchor and chain on board. So far, so good (except for Bruce’s hernia).

We start to examine the problem with the windlass, both of us crouched down in the anchor locker.  It’s then that we look closely at the anchor chain links, each of which should be embossed with a tiny “G4” stamp.  There’s the stamp, but it says “G3” not “G4”. We stare at each other in disbelief. They’ve sent us the wrong grade chain. NOOOOO!! We didn’t check it on the dock, we made the fatal mistake of assuming it was the chain we ordered.  So now we have to get 100 metres of chain off the boat, back in the dinghy, unload it, re-load it with the correct chain and start the whole process again. Doh!!

Thinking that at least we might get some comfort from being able to install our new wall oven, we unpack it and then stare at it with the same puzzled expression that we stared at the chain with.  The packaging is very dodgy, there’s no instruction manuals with it and the metal trim kit is bent all along the bottom edge. Surely this can’t be right?? A few phone calls later confirms our fears – it appears our oven has literally fallen off the back of a truck. So back it goes with the chain. Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed!

2 Replies to “Chain of Fools”

  1. Guys,

    ahhhh, yacht!! Withou appearing to take pleasure from your misfortune, we are glad that other people have those types of days too!!!!!

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