Our Maggi Chain

Update:   I wanted to update my original post with Maggi’s response to my public complaints about the chain we purchased from them. Shortly after the posting, we received a response from the company seeking to expedite assistance to us. It turns out that they do not produce very much Aqua7 chain in 5/16” – most of their production is in metric sizes. This accounted for the delay. Bad communication accounted for the lack of explanation to us.  As to the rusting issue, the CEO of the company tells us they do on rare occasion suffer loss of galvanizing, but no more on the Aqua7 than on Aqua4. This is hopeful as there has been some speculation that the higher strength chain does not take galvanizing as well as lower strength chains. In any event, they offered to ship to us immediately a replacement chain in Aqua4 and then when a new batch of Aqua7 is produced to ship a length of that to us as well, since the Aqua4 in 5/16” is not an appropriate strength for our boat. We have now received and installed the Aqua4 and are awaiting final production of the Aqua7 replacement. This has been a more than sufficient response for us so far, and we look forward to final receipt of the Aqua7 chain. To reiterate, we had been happy with a length of Aqua4 for 6 years (which had been on the boat for 10 years). We hope that the new chain they send us will perform as well and that the rusty batch was just an outlier.

Original Post:  Our boat had a load of Maggi Aqua4 chain (or whatever they called their G4 back then) that was original to its build in 2004. It was superior chain that we changed out in 2015. It was really only showing a bit of rust where the links connected, but I had the opportunity to replace it and wanted to lighten my ground tackle load. I purchased Maggi Aqua7 chain in a size smaller – 5/16”. It is essentially equivalent in strength to 3/8” G4 chain, and it saved me well over 100lbs on the foredeck.

However, after about a year on the boat the chain started showing alarming amounts of rust and corrosion. Now, after a year and a half, I need to replace it ASAP. This is far to soon for this chain to rust away. The galvanizing on the Aqua7 is not the smooth, hard finish I had on the Aqua4. It is lumpier and seemingly softer. In any event, it is all gone and the bare surface of the chain is rusting. I have heard other reports that Maggi Aqua7 galvanizing does not stand up, and now I have first hand experience.

The most concerning part of this whole episode has been the response of the Maggi company to our issues. The premature corrosion issue was quickly acknowledged and a new chain promised… and promised and promised. But never delivered. Despite what I deem to be the best intentions of Maggi’s US supplier, I have to conclude that I have been given the runaround, perhaps in an attempt to wear us down so we let it go and buy some competitor’s chain. If you want a sense of the degree of runaround we have been given, read the correspondence in the attached file, which begins in April 2016 and ends in December 2016 with me basically saying “Bueller, Bueller?”

This is a major chain manufacturer and supplier to the marine industry. I think the boating public needs to know about the quality of the chain they are selling and the customer service that backs it up. I warned them I would write posts such as this and take other steps. This is one way in which the individual customer has some power in this internet age. So why not exercise it? Buy Maggi chain at your risk.

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A photo taken in April 2016:

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Taking It To The Streets

We’ve seen a lot of street art in our travels over the last few years.  It has run the gamut from heavy political statements from oppressed peoples to pure whimsy.  We’ve admired and taken a number of photos of these eye catching pieces, but can’t say we always quite got it.  

We are sure they tell a story but without being clued in all we could do is admire it.  In the US, I think we viewed graffiti as vandalism and not necessarily art.  So it was a great treat to take the Alternative Art Tour while in London and learn a bit about street art from an actual street artist.  Our guide took us around the Spitalfields area of London showing us a number of different works by artists from around the world, all plastered illegally or with permission of the property owner in public spaces.  Some of them were amazingly detailed for a piece that might exist for only a matter of days before it’s removed by the authorities or painted over by another artist.

 There is quite a bit of planning that goes into a good piece, including avoiding capture by cops or the ubiquitous CCTV cameras that seem to record every aspect of outdoor life these days.  img_20160812_151553127

The artist who did this little sculpture above stuck on a post is known to wear a worker’s fluorescent vest and use a ladder in broad daylight, as impersonating a public worker may be the best way to avoid detection.  Some artists are very secretive and are not interested in personal publicity, which adds to the mystery and attraction of that artist’s work.  Hearing all this from a participant in this underground world was hugely illuminating.  We highly recommend taking this unique tour to anyone visiting London, and then perhaps you’ll see the graffiti in your hometown in a new light.

Panama Canal Transit 7/5/14

This Saturday, July 5th is our transit date for the Panama Canal.  If you’d like to see us in action, you can watch on the live web cam.
https://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html?cam=MirafloresHi

Make sure you click the tab that says “High Resolution Miraflores” (the regular camera is out of service), Then click the magnifying glass icon to enlarge.  The image refreshes every minute so you will see us stagger step through.

Schedules can change throughout the day, but we should be at Miraflores Locks (our first lock) between 9-10am (Central Time)   If possible, I will update on Facebook when we are getting close.   And of course we will wave to the camera.

You will have a second chance to see us in the Gatun Locks later in the day, maybe around 2pm (Central Time).  Again I’ll try to give updates via FB.   You can click on the “Gatun Locks” tab as well as the tab for “High Resolution Gatun” for two different angles.

And if anyone wants to grab a screen shot or two of us from the web cam, we’d love a copy and we will include it in our post about our transit.

Technical difficulties

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Our blogging has slowed down because my computer went to the big tech heap in the sky, and of course all our photos were on my computer.  Thankfully I backed up my files (yes, go and back up your computers now) and successfully transferred my photos to Peter’s computer.  Now Peter and I just have to learn to share, “gasp”, one computer.   Who says we aren’t roughing it out here on the high seas 😉

 

 

Uh oh

Montezuma’s Revenge. Yes, you know what it is and you know what the main symptom is. I can confidently let you know that it also comes with nausea, headache and overall malaise. They say its e coli. Amazing how in the US they recall tons of stuff and maybe even have deaths from it, and here they just shrug it off. Anyway, its no fun that’s for sure. No pics needed for this post.

The Countdown Begins

Wow, blogging is harder than I thought.  Not coming up with what to say, but navigating the cruel waters of formatting the damn thing and getting sucked down the wormhole of design layout and photos.   Peter has done the hard part of getting this up and running, and I am finally coming to the party.

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Happy 50th mom & dad

We are in San Diego where we’ve had Neko hauled out for bottom paint and a few other odds and ends. Like always, an estimated 5 days turned into 3 weeks of work & waiting for rudder bearings that had to be shipped from France (only the finest for us 😉 ) So we’ve enjoyed exploring San Diego and taking the time for travels, including a surprise dinner celebration for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.   We had a bittersweet trip back East to see family and friends, and take Mr Kitty to my parent’s house.  We love him and miss him dearly, but a sea sick cat is not a happy cat, so like all senior citizens he has decided to retire to the Sunshine State.     Even Lucy misses him.

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With just over a week to go before we set sail on the Baja Haha and the start of our big adventure, we are excited and somewhat in a panic that we have everything done.   But I think we could putz around forever and we just need to cast off the lines and go.   That is the main reason for joining the Haha.  For those of you who don’t know about the Haha, it is a boat rally that sails down the Baja peninsula (San Diego to Cabo)  http://www.baja-haha.com/index.html
It is the official start of the west cruising season, a way to meet other boaters, but mainly a kick in the ass to get us started on this radical sabbatical.