Chain and netting

A little help from the old salts please?

So I’m anchored out for one of my firstovernights. Next morning I use my manuel ABI windlass, I get to the chain,and holey BCC the chain slips- it is to big for the gypsy- How do I size thechain and what kind should I buy?? I was shocked the wrong size chain wasused.

Second question, How would I learn how to make netting for my bowsprit- or find one already made (even better).

Thanks for all your help–
Pat on Satori


I don’t have the ABI windlass, I use a Muir electric, but you first want to check to see that you actually have a rope/chain gypsy (the gear wheel) then check with ABI for the correct size chain. If it is a stock, Sam Morse boat with the windlass they install, Sumio could tell you. I believe that HT grade chain gives you the most bang for the buck. I use ACCO 5-16" HT on my boat.

Regards sprit netting, Roger gave me a drawing of the netting plan he used on his boat. I will attempt to reduce it to a .gif file and send it on if you wish.

Best regards…Tom

Tom Harrer
S/V Whitewings III

Hi Pat,

First, the only certain way to match the chain to the gypsy is to take it
with you to the chandlery to find the proper chain. The other is to take a
small bit of chain with you to the boat. Most ABI gypsy’s are for BBB chain
or short link. If the ABI was installed by the SLM Co. it would be for
5/16" BBB. By your definition of the problem, I suspect you have 3/8" or
larger chain for the 5/16" gypsy or the chain is Proof coil (longer link)
instead of BBB (short link). Before you do anything check to see if the
problem is the link is too long or too big. If it is just too long then you
know it is proof coil and a shorter link chain will work. If the link is
just too big for the gypsy then smaller chain is needed.

As for the netting. Sumio at Sam L. Morse Co. has a detailed drawing of the
bowsprit netting if you want to make your own. I made the drawing myself
and is what I used on my first BCC. It is made from 1/4" three strand nylon
rope and it takes a lot of time. It comes with directions. The easier way
to go is to buy netting already made. Again, Sumio should be able to help
you with a source. If not you can find it on the internet. The trick is to
have the squares small enough so there is no possibility for your foot to
pass through the holes and not so close together to restrict or hold water
if the bowsprit is dipped or a wave goes over it. I like 2-inch squares.
One last important detail is that you only have a small hole for the anchor
chain to pass through. The anchor will remain under the netting. Too many
people make the mistake of making a huge hole for the anchor to pass through
and this is where you step in the night.

If you want more details, feel free to email me direct at roger.olson@a… I have lots of free time and doubt the group would be interested in the details.


The chain gypsy on your windlass should be marked, typically inside, with what kind of chain it takes. Mine accepted 5/16 PC or BBB and I had to take a grinder to it to get 5/16 HT to fit.