Scammed On Anchor Chain, What You Need To know.

Scammed On Anchor Chain, What You Need To know.

In the past four years, we’ve purchased a new anchor chain for our sailboat twice.  Not something any boat owner wants to say.

We only have a few more essential boat projects to tackle before we can splash, sail, and live on the hook once again.  And when I say essential, I mean it.  Because aside from making sure we stay afloat, the ground tackle is the most important part of living on a boat.

So, today we’re swapping out our crappy, rusty, unreliable chain for (hopefully) the last time.  We’re also sharing the cautionary tale of how we got scammed and what we’ve learned along the way.


Drones have been a big part of our storytelling kit since 2015.  The drones, our skills, and the drone laws have evolved a lot in that time frame.

It is very, very important to know the drone laws where you are flying.  They can change drastically from country to country.  (search: drone laws + country name)

Depending on where in the world you are flying, this new under 250-gram drone could be the drone for you.  Why?  Because in some countries a lot of restrictions and licensing requirements go away with this small drone.  That alone makes it a great tool to have in our kit.

The size and weight also make it easier to carry around.  The performance is surprisingly good and it’s very easy to pilot. It is being called the best drone for beginners and I couldn’t agree more.  It packs a lot of punch in a tiny (and affordable) package.

Sailing shots…will I fly this while underway?  No way!  Terra firma or anchor only.  Trying to land our Mavic Pro on the boat while moving at slow 4 knots already gives me a mild panic attack.  It’s a zippy little drone, but the higher the winds, the less stability and control it has.  If you are looking to get shots while sailing or kiteboarding, this is not the drone for you.  Go for the Mavic Pro 2.

Also since this drone is brand new there aren’t any polarizer or ND filters, which you will want to purchase.  As soon as I see filters on the market you better believe we’ll be ordering them.

Disclaimer: DJI sponsored the video (we’re very thankful for that) but we’re free to say what we want.  We talk about lots of gear, cameras included, and we’re sharing our thoughts because it could be helpful information to some of you out there.  Same reason we share everything else.  As always, we only collaborate or recommend products we have personal experience with and add value to our lives/travels.


Our first anchor chain purchase was in Panama.  We requested a very specific chain from a specific manufacturer.

Not all chains are created equal.  It must be high-quality manufacturing through every step: tensile strength matters as does proper welding, and hot-dipped galvanization.

Unfortunately, that isn’t what we were given.  Other than perhaps being a bit too shiny, it looked like a duck, quacked like a duck and cost the same as a duck.  In good faith, we assumed it was a duck.  Or, in this case, a high-quality G43 HT (stamped G4 on the chain) Galvanized steel chain.

It wasn’t until six months, 4,000+ nautical miles, and two countries later that we discovered we had been scammed.  Nothing like being in the most remote island chain in the world to discover your chain is bad.  We will remember the Tuamotus for more than just night diving with hundreds of sharks.


We’ve learned a lot and don’t plan on being fooled a second time.

We had done our homework and concluded that the G43 ACCO Marine Chain, manufactured in the USA, certified by NACM (National Association of Chain Manufacturers), and recommended by our fellow sailors was a quality chain that should last us 10 years or more.  There were other brands our fellow sailors recommended from Italy and other countries but we were in the USA, so best to shop local!

Where we failed in our purchase, was to verify that the chain we were purchasing was indeed from that exact manufacture.  Not simply another brand of “G4 HT” chain manufactured cheaply elsewhere.

Because we had sent the link to the ACCO brand we simply assumed that is what we were being sold.  Mistake.  Never assume.  Verify every detail of the purchase.  All the specs including where and who it was manufactured by.

Because clearly, we were not clear enough in our request.  Accept no substitutions.


All things considered, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing (rarely anything is).  The boat, cruising style, bottoms and locations all play into the equation.  Here is my take on anchor chain choices.

  • G3 (grade 30 proof coil) chain. The lowest grade steel for anchor chain. It’s prone to rust, incredibly heavy and not designed to work on a windlass.  In other words, not meant for our boat.
  • BBB or B3 chain. Still heavy but has small, short links that help it grip the anchor windlass. It used to be the most popular type of chain until G4 came out.  West Marine doesn’t even sell a large enough chain size for our boat.  Which tells me, it’s not a popular choice for boats our size.
  • Grade 43, G4 or HT (High Test). It’s a high-carbon steel, has twice the working load of BBB, works well with a windlass and weighs much less than BBB chain.
  • Grade 70, G7 or Transport Chain. It’s 20% stronger than G4 which makes it the strongest, weight for weight, of all anchor chains. Its exceptional hardness resists wear but it’s not compatible with many gypsies nor are there many compatible swivels and such.  Plus, there are some skeptics about the re-galvanizing process used to make this chain. I’m indifferent because I’m no expert.  On paper, it looks very promising.


  • Lofrans Tigres Windlass with Gypsy made for 3/8 HT chain
  • Mantus 65# stainless steel anchor (best upgrade ever!)
  • Mantus Swivel
  • Anchor Mate (Helps seat our anchor and keep it secure underway.)
  • Bridal and Mantus Chain Hook – Still using the factory bridal line but we upgraded the basic chain hook with the Mantus Hook.  Our old bridal hook fell off the chain 9 times out of 10, our Mantus has never fallen off (mic drop).
  • ACCO G43 Chain – 250ft
  • We also have a spare Fortress anchor with 50ft of chain and 200ft of anchor line.


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