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Old 05-26-2024, 06:52 PM   #1
secondcurve
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Default Swim Raft Chains

Hello:

I have an Otter Island swim raft that I bought 14 years ago and haven’t had problems until this weekend when it broke free. The raft sits in about 9 feet of water in a very quiet area. We discovered the problem after taking off the mooring ball hooking on the swim platform and watching it float away ��. We pulled the chains up and found they broke free at the swivel where two sections of chain join from either side of the raft. Upon closer inspection the chain was falling apart and badly rusted. Ok. So that’s the problem. How do I fix it? We had the mooring installed professionally and that has performed well so I assume that remains in tact. Do I need a diver to reset the chains or is this something that can be done with a snorkel and a new chain set. Where would I get a new chain set? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-26-2024, 07:13 PM   #2
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Default Stainless

Quote:
Originally Posted by secondcurve View Post
Hello:

I have an Otter Island swim raft that I bought 14 years ago and havenít had problems until this weekend when it broke free. The raft sits in about 9 feet of water in a very quiet area. We discovered the problem after taking off the mooring ball hooking on the swim platform and watching it float away ��. We pulled the chains up and found they broke free at the swivel where two sections of chain join from either side of the raft. Upon closer inspection the chain was falling apart and badly rusted. Ok. So thatís the problem. How do I fix it? We had the mooring installed professionally and that has performed well so I assume that remains in tact. Do I need a diver to reset the chains or is this something that can be done with a snorkel and a new chain set. Where would I get a new chain set? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
You need to replace the chain with stainless steel chain. All connections should also be stainless. Once this is done your problem will be solved.

Dan
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Old 05-26-2024, 07:18 PM   #3
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Hi Dan:

I agree. Iím more than a bit disappointed this wasnít done
originally. I never thought about the chains until now quite frankly. The immediate issue is how do I get the new stainless set up sized and installed? Would you attempt this yourself?

Thanks
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Old 05-26-2024, 07:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secondcurve View Post
Hi Dan:

I agree. Iím more than a bit disappointed this wasnít done
originally. I never thought about the chains until now quite frankly. The immediate issue is how do I get the new stainless set up sized and installed? Would you attempt this yourself?

Thanks
I had an otter island and used to do the hookup myself but that was a few years ago. Donít think I would attempt it now as I canít hold my breath that long anymore!!

If I remember correctly I used 3/8 stainless chain. But I think there was some type of shock absorbing lanyard attached to the raft that the chain attached to. I honestly donít remember exactly. Being on the West side of Welch my raft would get beat with waves so 3/8 chain wasnít overkill.

There are numerous people out there who can do this for you. Not sure where your at but any of the divers or dive shops around the area would lead you in the right directionÖ

Dan
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Old 05-26-2024, 07:42 PM   #5
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Hi Dan:

A dive shop is an excellent thought. Iím going to try the one in Wolfeboro. I appreciate your input.
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Old 05-26-2024, 08:50 PM   #6
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I did mine with a snorkel and a couple of wrenches. Mine is in 11 feet of water, the chain rusted out. I bought new shackles and about 15 feet of chain at Heath's Ace. I opted for stainless steel chain and hardware this time. It took me about 4 or 5 dives, I went about 45 seconds a dive. I probably could have gone longer, but I'm no spring chicken either. It's not hard, but doing it under water holding your breath makes it more of a challenge. I think Center Harbor dock will do it for you, or any of the other dock companies. Not sure what they would charge.
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Old 05-27-2024, 06:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishoot308 View Post
You need to replace the chain with stainless steel chain. All connections should also be stainless. Once this is done your problem will be solved.

Dan
Dan's absolutely right. We learned that stainless steel mooring hardware is the way to go when we had a 22' sailboat on a mooring in the Minge Cove area. It got hammered by waves coming from both the Wolfeboro and Diamond Island directions, as well as by boat wakes. One time after a nighttime squall we discovered the boat had moved about 30' from it's usual location. Turned out the chain had rusted out below the swivel and let go. Fortunately the swivel got lodged in some rocks as the drifting boat dragged it on the bottom, so it didn't get damaged. We were lucky!

Our mooring was in about 20' of water so it required a diver to replace the chain and swivel with stainless steel. We had Dive Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro do the job and they did it well. We never had a chain problem after that.
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Old 05-27-2024, 06:28 AM   #8
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I have had a similar need to dive in 10 feet of water to service my lake water intake. By the time I get down to where I need to be I am out of breath.

I considered buying one of these mini scuba tanks but have not done so yet. In the meantime I am not getting any younger so I know it won't get any easier!

https://www.amazon.com/CHIKADIV-S300...1zcF9hdGY&th=1
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Old 05-27-2024, 07:16 AM   #9
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Red face Stainless Best, But Expensive...

We had a wooden DIY swim raft for about ten years when it eventually rotted away. No corrosion issues, as our longest-lasting attachment was 3/4" manila rope.



The 60' hardware store chain that secured our boat didn't last as long, although parts were still as good as new and some stretches became paper thin. Much has been repurposed. Cutting is easy using a Harbor Freight hand-held grinder ($12).

Presently, there's 3/8" stainless chain that I bought from a Miami wholesaler that is securing a huge trampoline. The chain length I asked for was the last length on the wooden roll. The remaining four feet was not a practical length to sell, so I convinced the wholesaler to give me the last four feet for free...!

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Old 05-27-2024, 07:30 AM   #10
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Default Chain

We had the same problem last year.

Used Freefall Marine (Gilford). Josh Moreau. Very responsive. Replaced the chain and entire under carriage assembly.

603- 455 -0001
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Old 05-27-2024, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
I have had a similar need to dive in 10 feet of water to service my lake water intake. By the time I get down to where I need to be I am out of breath.

I considered buying one of these mini scuba tanks but have not done so yet. In the meantime I am not getting any younger so I know it won't get any easier!

https://www.amazon.com/CHIKADIV-S300...1zcF9hdGY&th=1
I wouldn't screw around with scuba tanks, or any other pressurized underwater breathing apparatus unless you are or get yourself trained. Too easy to injure your lungs. You also want to know how to react if something goes wrong and whether you are prone to panic.
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Old 05-28-2024, 02:16 PM   #12
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Dive Winnipesaukee
4 North Main Street
Wolfeboro, NH 03894

Tel: 603-569-8080
info@divewinnipesaukee.com

I've used them for dock/raft maintenance on multiple occasions.
They come out that week (their own barge) and know what they are doing; at a fair price.
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Old 05-28-2024, 02:59 PM   #13
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Tim McDonald at Marine Solutions could do it. There are quite a few divers operating commercially on the lake.

Lucky it lasted that long! At the end of the day its just like a normal boat mooring, you need to check them annually. Stainless will help prevent this in the future, but its always good to get eyes on it yearly.
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