I just went through this decision making process after arriving in the Carib. In my trip from Australia
, across the Indian Ocean
, around Africa
and across the South Atlantic to Brazil
and on to the Caribean, I had 100 meters of cheap
chinese 3/8 chain as my main bit of gear
with a muir horizontal windlass
. All went well until the chain started skipping here in the Carib. The problem was general wear and tear of the chain, which may also have become a bit elongated as well, and a chainwheel that was also feeling its age of 15 years of heavy use as I was on the hook almost exclusively for the past five years.
I am getting a new chain wheel
, and I decided to go with two sets of 200 feet of 3/8 HT chaiin with a 150 foot 9/16 rode spliced to the chain as replacement for the 100 meters. This will be a new arrangement for me, and there is the possibility that the rode will not be grabbed from the chain wheel
very well, but after talking to the muir folks, I think I will be ok as there will always be the weight of the chain providing tension on the rode when the I am retrieving the anchor .
My thinking was that the two or three times there was no choice but to to anchor in water deeper than 60 feet or so, I would have been better off having chain and rope
than all chain. I prefer to anchor betweeen 20- 30 feet most of the time, so normally I will be riding to all chain. (I also use a longer snubber than most folks, about 40 feet of three strand nylon). By having two full sets of gear
, if one should decide to take a permanent leave of abscence, I will still have a a proper replacement!
If the chain starts wearing, I will cut off the splice and end for end the chain and the roode and resplice. The weight will be about the same as I used to carry 30 meters of chain in the locker as a spare, and the bulk should be about the same as well. I am also installing a chain stopper to keep surge loading off the windlass
when retrieving the chain. When I have the funds, I will probably replace my aging clone 20 K CQR
with a Ranchor 20 K.
Juno is a monhull, a Radford 40, steel hull
and aluminum deck
, and I am guessing she weighs 16 tons with normal provisioning
. Maybe this haul out
I will be on a lift
that has a weighing device that actually works!
Most cruisers in the 36- 45 foot range that I met had 100 meters as their primary rode, except for the small boats less than 35 feet They all said they just did not want to be hassled with handling nylon rode, and they felt the extra weight on the bottom was a plus. But as W. Van Dorn discusses in excruciating techniacal detail in the book Oceanography and Seamanship, this is not such a great idea since chain does not not stretch and the weight really does not serve to add significantly to holding power in most situations.
Hope this helps!