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Old 21-03-2013, 15:52   #1
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Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

Towards the end of this year I hope to take my Flicka from Florida to the Bahamas. I need to get an all chain rode but want to get the shortest length that will do the job. 100 ft. of 1/4" grade 40 weighs 75 lbs and my anchor is another 25 lbs. so I'd like to keep it under 150 ft. if that's good enough. I'll get whatever is necessary to be safe but I don't know what anchoring conditions will be like so could use some advice. Thanks.
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Old 21-03-2013, 16:21   #2
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

We went through Bimini, the Berry's, and the Exumas with 100' all chain with no issues. The deepest we anchored was in Nassau harbor at around 20', but most places were around 10-15'.
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Old 21-03-2013, 16:26   #3
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

The Bahamas are shallow and you will never anchor in more than 15 feet, and usually less than 10. 15' plus 5' for the bow roller above the water gives 20' total which will give 5:1 which is ok in most conditions. Increase your rode to 150' and you will be good for anything at 7.5:1 in 15' of water.

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Old 21-03-2013, 16:55   #4
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

The challenge with 1/4" is finding a shackle that is anywhere near the WLL of the chain. If you have an oversized link welded on either end it gets easier.

My Ariel got by just fine with 60' of 5/16" ht. I never did drag, even in a hurricane... But I had a 25# Manson Supreme.

A friend carried 80' of 5/16" on his Flicka, (fairwinds).... So I suppose you can.

Great boat, I wish you well on your journey!
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Old 21-03-2013, 17:02   #5
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

The other thing is that the water is crystal clear, so any old coral or whatever on the bottom is perfectly obvious. Mostly sand on the bottom. You really don't have a problem with only 50 feet of chain, in my experience there. 100 feet would be plenty for all chain virtually everywhere I have anchored in the Bahamas.
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Old 21-03-2013, 17:24   #6
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

100 ft should be plenty in most places. You could end up in a crowded anchorage and have to anchor in maybe 25 ft of water, but more like 13 ft usually. I would go with 100 ft and splice an additional nylon rode on behind that.
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Old 21-03-2013, 17:38   #7
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

I've been to the Bahamas a number of times, first on a 35' full keel yawl (50' of 3/8 chain), then on a 45' catamaran (50' of 3/8 chain). I am currently on a 40' trimaran using 90' of 5/16 chain, primarily because I wanted that length to work with my bridle in varying situations.

If I were on your Flicka I would use 40-50' of 5/16 chain plus rope. You won't need more than that in the Bahamas imo. That's a great boat by the way. Back when I worked in the canvas business for a while I helped put a dodger complete with frame on Sabrina, Bruce Bingham and Katie Burke's boat.

Enjoy the Bahamas.
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Old 22-03-2013, 14:16   #8
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

If you do not want the weight/cost of extra chain, why not simply carry another 100ft of comparable nylon line with a thimble and shackle to attach to the end of your chain for those nasty blows that happen even in the Bahamas.
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Old 22-03-2013, 14:34   #9
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

I didn't mean to imply that all you needed was 50 feet of chain--I meant 50 feet backed up by at least 200 feet of nylon, just in case you have to anchor someplace deep. In his boat with shallow draft he'll usually be able to tuck in some cozy little spot to ride out any northers.
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Old 22-03-2013, 16:53   #10
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

Thanks for all the kind replies. The reason for my uncertainty is that I've been some places in the Caribbean where your anchor could be 20 feet down but with surrounding coral heads only 10 feet below the surface. Easy to imagine that if you were using 50 feet of chain backed by nylon you could have your nylon rubbing against coral. So I'm guessing from the answers that the Bahamas aren't like that?
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Old 22-03-2013, 16:56   #11
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

Very rare to have to anchor amongst coral heads in the Bahamas--usually pure sand, with some small chunks of old coral in some anchorages. Also, 20 feet is a rare depth, in my experience. More likely 10 feet or less. Crystal clear water too, so you can see everything that is going on down there.
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Old 22-03-2013, 19:14   #12
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re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

nial -

Only place I anchored in the Bahamas where I wanted more chain was Great Inagua. We just added the chain from our other anchor for a total of 100'. Can't remember the depth but it was deeper than normal with coral heads on the bottom. Probably could have gotten by with just 50' of chain but better safe than sorry.
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Old 25-03-2013, 08:49   #13
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Re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

For my recent two winters sailing in the Bahamas I went with 100 feet of chain with another 50 feet of rope rode added to that. It think went beyond the chain and into the rope once.
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Old 25-03-2013, 09:38   #14
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Re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas



In the Bahamas you can actually see the anchor, chain and each link. It's a bit weird at first.

But remember because its so shallow if you get some wind driven chop you will be bouncing up and down a lot, so more scope than normal may help.
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Old 25-03-2013, 10:13   #15
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Re: Anchor Chain Length for Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by nial View Post
Thanks for all the kind replies. The reason for my uncertainty is that I've been some places in the Caribbean where your anchor could be 20 feet down but with surrounding coral heads only 10 feet below the surface. Easy to imagine that if you were using 50 feet of chain backed by nylon you could have your nylon rubbing against coral. So I'm guessing from the answers that the Bahamas aren't like that?
Most places you can see whats around you. There are coral heads in the Bahamas , but in nearly all cases you shouldnt be anchoring overnight right where they are anyway.
Rethinking, 100 feet of chain is a back breaker hauling in.... for just the bahamas maybe 50 ft backed up by nylon.
OTOH 1/4" chain isnt as heavy as I'm thinking... Seems like I had about 75-80 ft out a lot in the Bahamas, which was about 5:1 scope or so.
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