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Old 26-04-2019, 06:28   #1
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Will chain pack in better than plaited nylon?

I have had an electric windlass installed. I wanted 200 ft. of nylon plus 50 ft. of chain. The boat yard took it upon themselves to give me only 175' of nylon. The reason quickly became obvious: there is not enough fall room. In fact, even 175' turns out to be too much, for the space allowed. I have a partition in the locker; I was trying to leave space for my secondary rode. It's looking like I may have to remove the partition, in hopes that if the pile can spread better laterally, then I will be able to get what I want in there, for my primary rode. I may have to just keep my extra rode in a rode bag on deck (ugh).

Be that all as it may, my basic question at this point IS THIS: which, after being brought in by the windlass, will fall and pack in more tightly? 5/8" plaighted line, or 5/16" chain?

I am thinking that maybe if I went to all chain, or at least a much larger chain-to-nylon ratio (say 125' of each), perhaps that would pack in better. I THINK that the chain will pack more compactly, but I don't really know.

Also, this initial test (on land) was with brand new, dry nylon. If the rope was wet (and therefore heavier), would it pack in tighter? In relationship-world conditions, obviously the rode would be wet.

In my test, almost all of the nylon went thru the windlass before jamming when the chain was a foot or two away. I went below and found that the pyramid of nylon had reached the bottom of the windlass. Before any of the 50' chain even got there!

I do think that if, say, I cut back to 150' of nylon, then the nylon pyramid would be short enough; and then, when the chain arrived it would, with its weight, pack the whole rode down better, maybe even allowing for all of the 50' to go in. ??? What say you?

Any suggestions for me, in general, regarding this dilemma?
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Old 26-04-2019, 09:05   #2
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Re: Will chain pack in better than plaited nylon?

Go with all chain. You'll be surprised how little room 200 ft of chain takes.
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Old 26-04-2019, 09:23   #3
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Re: Will chain pack in better than plaited nylon?

Chain likes a tall narrow locker and rope likes a wider locker. The problem with chain in a wide locker is that it piles up on itself and then has room for the pile to fall over. This causes it to jam next time you try to deploy it. Rope does better when it can spread out.

It sounds like youíve got a narrow locker since you have divided it. I suggest you go with more chain and less rope.
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