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Old 13-03-2007, 19:22   #1
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How Much Rode?

I’ve been reading every thread I could find on chain and rope rode and have a question that I could not find an answer for. How much rode should one carry for an extended cruise – Down the West Coast of US, Mexico, Central America, thru the Canal and then on to the Med in a Sceptre 41 (~27k Disp loaded) I’ve already decided to carry 300’ of 3/8 chain and am trying to decide how much nylon road to purchase. My thought is another 300’ of ½” and an additional 300’ of 5/8” line. I am undecided on whether to go with 8 strand or three strand but how much line I need may make that decision for me b/c of the difference in cost. Any comments would be appreciated, I have my armor on, but please provide logic/reasoning.
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Old 13-03-2007, 19:40   #2
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I would think 300' of chain would be plenty. You don't really want to anchor in more then 100' anyway unless you plan on doing some wreck dives.

It's good to carry an extra anchor and a rode for a spare or double anchoring.

I wouldn't attach the rode to the end of a 300' chain. If it were hanging straight down it would be too much weight for a 5/8" rode.

If your carring a sea anchor you'll need extra line for that too. The more line the better, I say.

Personally, I like the multi strand rodes. They don't un-twist like the 3 strand.

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Old 13-03-2007, 19:57   #3
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The default answer is "300' all chain with as big an anchor as you can carry." I'm sure you've seen the 5/1 scope thing so I'll bypass that part.

That 600' of chain is pretty damn heavy. Are you planning on using the second (and heavier 1/2") as a backup? Also, make sure your windlass can handle both of those (two different wildcats?). Hauling 300' of chain and a 40-60lb anchor hand over hand is going to be rough. There are some great guides for "anchor weight by type and chain size / size & weight of boat", so I wont get into it. Most cruising books have this chart.

300' of chain is awesome because the chain is heavy enough as it is that you could (although please don't try this) take the anchor off and just throw the chain in the water and you'd stay put fairly well in calm conditions and shallow water. There was a guy who tried something like that with 1000' of chain. I forget the details, but he ended up not being able to get the chain back out (silt bottom), and he was anchored fast for months.

Anyway...

Balancing money and reality, I'd go with:

Primary:
300' chain & 20' nylon snubber.

Backup / Second anchor rig:
50' chain & 300' nylon.

That way you really have two anchor rodes, and your second anchor rode can function as your primary without too much loss in functionality.

You really can do the nylon & chain thing as your primary, it's just a little sketchy to rely on it for everything, hence the "300' of all chain" philosophy. But don't think that 50' of chain and a solid nylon line is a slouch. Properly rigged, it will hold quite nicely.
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Old 13-03-2007, 20:03   #4
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One more thing I wanted to add...

Here in San Diego, I kept being dumb and using my primary anchor (and chain) when I would anchor in the habor near Glorietta. Less than a 1/4kt current, variable wind, etc.

If you're stopping to have a sandwich in glass water, use a light anchor with nylon. If you drift, correct the problem. But honestly you don't need the same ground tackle for glass water as you do for a monster blow. Don't be negligent and expect a crummy Danforth and a kite string to hold you for anything more than what you would expect it to, but if there's not much moving the boat, and you're just dropping the sails to soak up some rays for an hour, save yourself the hassle of dropping 100 pounds of steel from your bow.
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Old 13-03-2007, 20:04   #5
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Just to Clairify

I'm sorry I meant 300' of chain. 300' of 1/2" line and 300' of 5/8" line. I don't thin my boat could handle 600' of chain if I wanted to keep the rudder in the water. LOL
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Old 13-03-2007, 20:47   #6
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On our circumnavigation we carried 400 feet of 3/8 inch high test chain. We split it into two sections each being 200 feet long. For eleven years we used the same 200 feet of chain, and the second two hundred feet has remained unused in reserve in a dry section of the bilge. In most anchorages, even if you have more than 200 feet of chain, you can't put it out because you will hit the other yachts when the boat swings. If we ever got into a severe storm, then the other chain would be put into use. We never needed it.

We regalvanized the chain twice in twelve years.

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Old 13-03-2007, 22:24   #7
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overkill

Charlie,
I was fascinated to read the comments of “Maxingout” with their 400 feet of chain on board and actually using only 200 feet. We began our circumnavigation with our primary rode of 200 feet of 3/8 “ chain (plus a 66 pound S.P.A.D.E. anchor) and have crossed the Pacific and Indian Oceans with it. I would have liked to have had 300 feet of chain (just because) but the boat was originally equipped with 200 feet and I was further concerned about the additional weight at the bow. Our secondary rode is mixed, with 150 feet of ¾” nylon with 40 feet of chain plus an Aluminum Fortress FX55. We have used this rode / anchor combo a couple of times as a second anchor in poor holding and a couple of times as a stern anchor. What I like about the Fortress is that I can deploy and retrieve it from my dinghy. It does need a tripping line to break it out though and I have the scarred gel-coat from the stern to remind me about the one time I attempted to “drive over it” to break it free. We carry five anchors aboard with five mixed rodes, plus the 200 feet of chain on the primary BUT in four years we have only used the two anchors I mentioned.
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Old 14-03-2007, 08:36   #8
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I think your primary sounds great. I wpuld consider a short length of chain for the secondary rode. Consider the idea that you might lose the whole primary rode through some odd set of circumstances. It's nice if the secondary could actually function alone if need be.

I like a small fortress and short line (100ft) attached on the stern rail for a lunch hook but also just in case you need to stop the boat quick. It's pretty easy to quickly toss a fortress over the side for an emergency tie up or a snack stop.

I would use 8 strand if I were buying a new secondary rode. It handles and stores easier.
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Old 14-03-2007, 09:47   #9
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Paul, Ed, Dave and RH,

Thanks for your comments. I recently bought the boat and don't have a proper inventory of everything on the boat. I know that there is not enough rode and the anchor that is there is rusted so I'm trying to decide what I need to buy. Your comments are very welcome especially since they are in agreement with what I was leaning toward. The boat has a 45# CQR which I will keep as a secondary anchor. A fortress which I will keep as a stern anchor and I'm considering buying either a Spade or a Delta. As far as the original question of rode I am pretty sure that I am going to buy a 600' spool of 3/4" 8 strand and use 300' for a rode along with some length of chain and use the other 300' for a series drogue. If I end up buying a drum of chain I'll get 400' so I'll probably keep 300' as a primary 75' as a secondary and then the 25' for the stern anchor. I'm not sure what I'll put on the stern anchor for rope rode but 8 strand sounds the best since there is not that much room in the stern lazeret.

Thanks for the comments.
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Fair Winds,

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Old 14-03-2007, 10:34   #10
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While we're on the topic

While we're on the topic, and I have the other CQR galvanizing question going... can anyone pitch in an answer or two regarding rode here?

The setup:

*45lb CQR, slightly rusted on flukes and in spots that ground on rock last summer.

*200' 3/8" galvanized chain, also slightly rusted with little rust spots everywhere, totaling maybe 10% of chain surface area

The stage:

Will be anchoring in an area with a lot of gravel, 40ft deep, for most of the next 6 months. This is continuously... not going out for the weekend. Every day, 24/7, the anchor is down, except when sailing.

The Options (of course maybe missing some):

1. Get 300' of new chain and re-zinc the CQR
2. Get 100' of new chain and re-zinc the CQR & old chain
3. Keep current setup, which is spliced to another 200' of 5/8" 3 strand nylon rode, deploying the 200' of chain, then some portion of the nylon rode to cover my desired 8:1 or 9:1 scope. Re-zincing the CQR AND chain.

**NOTE: The anchor is set up a little differently on this boat. We have two hawsepipes, two bow rollers, two anchors, and a divided anchor locker. The anchor locker is divided, but inside the anchor locker, the 200' of nylon rode is spliced to the 200' of chain. Nothing is attached to the boat itself. The rodes for the two anchors are attached to each other, which prevents one from paying out all the rode.


Main Question: Is it possible or advisable to drop a 45lb CQR attached to 200' of 5/8" chain, then pay out another 100' of 5/8" nylon rode spliced to that 200' of 5/8" all chain rode?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 14-03-2007, 10:46   #11
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Interesting Discussion.

We also carried a Fortress FX-37 anchor to use as a stern anchor to keep the boat from swinging in tight anchorages. We only used it three times - once in Egypt to keep us off a dock, once in the Marquesas in Ua Pou to again keep us off a dock, and once behind Fraser Island in Australia to cope with the boat swinging in tight quarters when the tide shifted. We used 15 feet of 3/8 inch chain on the FX-37 and that was attached to 180 feet of 3 strand nylon.

For the first half of our circumnavigation we used a 45lb and a 60lb CQR, but we finally gave up on the CQR because it was to hard to set in challenging bottoms, and we couldn't trust it when we were asleep or were away from the boat because it might not reset properly with a wind shift or tide shift.
We finally got a 70 lb Beugel Anchor in Australia, and from that point on, our life improved. The only times we couldn't get a good set was in a rocky harbor in the Canary Islands, and on a sloping bottom in the Red Sea. A friend of mine sailed from Alabama to New Zealand using a 100lb Beugel anchor, and he said he only had a dragged anchor one time in a very deep anchorage.

The Beugel anchor made a radical difference in my cruising life. I no longer worried about the boat when I went for a hike or took a side trip. I knew that it would be there where I left it, even if there was a wind shift or change in tide. I never had that confidence with my CQRs. But that's only my experience and reflects where I was cruising and anchoring.

If I do another circumnavigation, I will regalvanize my 200 feet of 3/8 inch chain and use my 70lb Beugel sleep tight all night anchor with no worries.

I also carried an FX 110 anchor that was to be my ultimate storm anchor, but I never had to use it. I assembled it one time in Fiji when a cyclone was threatening, be we never put it in the water because the cyclone went another direction. If it had headed our way, you can bet we would have taken the chain out of our bilge and put it on the FX 110 to get us through the ordeal.

A well-designed anchor with plenty of chain make a tremendous difference in how much you enjoy cruising. If you don't trust your anchor, you will get ulcers and miss out on many cruising destinations because you can't trust your anchor in those marginal areas.

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Old 14-03-2007, 11:38   #12
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good suggestions on rode. if you will be in the eastern or western caribbean during hurricane season, you will also need lots of good line to tie to the mangroves in the event of a hurricane. there's very few hurricane holes with alot of swinging room, so anchoring and then fastening to the mangroves is the only solution. you will back right in or alongside so precut/prewhipped ends are best in 75-125 foot lengths with chafe gear for cleats/rollers as well as for wrapping around mangrove roots.
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Old 18-03-2007, 03:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
While we're on the topic, and I have the other CQR galvanizing question going... can anyone pitch in an answer or two regarding rode here?

The setup:

*45lb CQR, slightly rusted on flukes and in spots that ground on rock last summer.

*200' 3/8" galvanized chain, also slightly rusted with little rust spots everywhere, totaling maybe 10% of chain surface area

The stage:

Will be anchoring in an area with a lot of gravel, 40ft deep, for most of the next 6 months. This is continuously... not going out for the weekend. Every day, 24/7, the anchor is down, except when sailing.

The Options (of course maybe missing some):

1. Get 300' of new chain and re-zinc the CQR
2. Get 100' of new chain and re-zinc the CQR & old chain
3. Keep current setup, which is spliced to another 200' of 5/8" 3 strand nylon rode, deploying the 200' of chain, then some portion of the nylon rode to cover my desired 8:1 or 9:1 scope. Re-zincing the CQR AND chain.

**NOTE: The anchor is set up a little differently on this boat. We have two hawsepipes, two bow rollers, two anchors, and a divided anchor locker. The anchor locker is divided, but inside the anchor locker, the 200' of nylon rode is spliced to the 200' of chain. Nothing is attached to the boat itself. The rodes for the two anchors are attached to each other, which prevents one from paying out all the rode.


Main Question: Is it possible or advisable to drop a 45lb CQR attached to 200' of 5/8" chain, then pay out another 100' of 5/8" nylon rode spliced to that 200' of 5/8" all chain rode?

Thanks for any input.
You could lay out 20 miles if you liked. The question is more 'how much is enough?'. What's the weather going to be like?

As I read it, you want to anchor up for 6 months with the odd short/day sail in there as well. Pesonally I'd lay the anchor (if you are happy with it), all the chain and 40ft of rope or just enough the rope/chain connection is off the seabed. That's 6:1 and being mostly chain a pretty good.

If the boat is able to do 360 degree turns on the rode I'd also put a black swivel inbetween the rope and chain, also keep this off the seabed at least 1/2 the day. A black swivel being made of steel not galvanised about 1' in size. It will be a bit annoying when you go sailing but you'll be at anchor most of the time as I read it.

Find a commercial fishing supplier, actually find them anyway, usually high quality gear and at same or less than the chandleries. You don't see them shopping at chandlries and fishing boats use lots of rope and chain now you think about it

I wouldn't worry about regalvanising the gear. At 40ft there is less oxygen so less, can be a lot, rust. The chain will be in the deeper water and/or being pulled around the seabed so will be kept clean anyway. When you pull it up in 6 months regalv then.
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Old 18-03-2007, 07:37   #14
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Thank you, Gmac. Your idea about using a commercial fishing supplier is great! I hadn't thought about that. Also, good idea about keeping the line/rope off the seabed and using the anchor and chain setup to deal with the seabed's course nature.

We are back in the chartering game this summer, so your reading is correct. We will live at anchor and pull it up for times when charter guests will be sailing. This doesn't mean we'll always be in the same spot, but does mean the anchor is down nearly 24/7, but at a min 10/7.

My main concern was with the suitability of the rode/chain splice. After doing a lot more reading, it does indeed look like it is not a weak point. Someone did a test at New England Ropes with rode/chain splices and often the shackles broke before the splice did. I figure so long as I pull it up once in a while to inspect, it will be ok.

Thank you for the input and the great tip on looking at commercial fishing suppliers.
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Old 19-03-2007, 01:32   #15
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Quote:
My main concern was with the suitability of the rode/chain splice. After doing a lot more reading, it does indeed look like it is not a weak point. Someone did a test at New England Ropes with rode/chain splices and often the shackles broke before the splice did. I figure so long as I pull it up once in a while to inspect, it will be ok.
Spliced 1000's, busted 100's and still not concerned with the rope chain interface (our poncey name for splices this month ). You'll lose about 15% of rope strength which is standard for any good splice.

Maybe down size the swivel (if you will be doing 360's) if more a 10/7 than 24. You'll get to see it often and any wear will be easy to spot.

The fishing supply guys might not have a mass of knowledge when talking recreational boats so be carefull they don't push you up into real big gear. You probably won't get all the real fancy yachting ropes ie. spectras and the like but should do well with the more basic types. Watch for buying quantities as well. Some sell by the coil only but many will have bits or cut for you. Ask to have a suss of any wierd stuff tucked away in back corners. Sometime they are a treasure trove and they'll often do deals to get rid of any old or over ordered stock. Happy shopping
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