Updated: Mar 25
Although we have a permit with the City of Dunedin to utilize the day docks for charters, the marina does not have a permanent slip large enough to fit Kuma Too with a 25-foot beam. Kuma Too stays on anchor just outside the marina, and we rent a small slip for our dinghy to shuttle back and forth. Because Kuma Too stays on anchor, the anchor chain is always in salt water, so after 2 years the chain-links began to show wear.
Kuma has 200-feet of anchor chain of which 100-feet of that is in constant use. When we noticed some of links weakening, we flipped the chain so the 100-feet of good chain was in use. It was at the start of hurricane season, and if a hurricane passed through, like Irma the previous year, we would need all 200-feet of chain. We used the same process to flip the chain, as we do for the new chain that is described below.
Flipping the chain bought us a few weeks to shop around without concern. We ended up purchasing 200-feet of 3/8th grade 43 galvanized high-test chain from West Marine because they price matched a lower cost competitor making the total bill $939.46 – a reasonable price for peace of mind and safety while on anchor. Getting the chain from West Marine to Kuma Too was not so simple.
The phone call from the West Marine representative said, “it took half the store to unload it, but your chain is here. I hope you have a big truck and strong friends.” Surprisingly, 200-feet of chain comes in a relatively small barrel, but it’s deceiving because it weighs 300-pounds. Turns out that 300-pounds in a cylinder slightly larger than a tall kitchen garbage can is not easy to manage because the weight shifts with every movement.
Thank you to our friend, Jon, who helped us transport the barrel in his SUV. Between Joe, Jon, and an employee with a forklift, the barrel was loaded into the SUV. On arrival at the marina, it took Joe, Jon, the dock master, and myself with a dolly to unload the barrel. We had pulled Kuma Too into the day dock for the task at hand.
Once the barrel was securely on the floating dock, it was left to Joe and I to figure out the rest. After lining the dinghy with a large tarp, Joe maneuvered it under Kuma’s bow directly below our 88-pound Rocna anchor. We lowered the anchor and 200-feet of old chain into the dinghy. Shout out to our 13-foot aluminum hull AB Rib for taking all that weight like a champ. It’s nice to have a big dink!
The dinghy was repositioned to the floating dock to unload the old chain by hand. As we unloaded the new chain from the barrel, it was marked with colored links every 15-feet then loaded into the dinghy. Again, we went under the bow directly beneath the anchor locker. Before feeding the new chain into the locker, the locker got a thorough cleaning and additional ½” line was secured to the bulkhead. The original chain did not have enough line to run freely through the windless, so we added 25-feet of line in the event of an emergency that we would have to cut free of our anchor.
At 3pm, we were on the final step of putting in our new anchor chain, or so we thought! Taking in the chain was as easy as pushing a button on the windless remote, and at the end, Joe reconnected the 88-pound Rocna. The dinghy was rinsed off and loaded back on the dinghy davits.
We then had 200-feet of old rusted chain sitting on a floating dock that needed our attention. The old chain was fed back into the barrel, but because it was so late in the day there was nowhere for us to take the chain. The next day, we had to borrow Jon’s truck again to dispose of the old chain. Lucky for us there is a salvage yard in the area that gave us $100, since 100-feet was still in decent condition, in comparison to the $19 offered by the scrap yard.
The new chain gets rinsed now every time the anchor is lifted to prolong its life, and we again have peace of mind while Kuma sits on anchor. To learn about charters on board Kuma Too, visit www.SailingKumaToo.com
Until next week, Happy Sailing!
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