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Old 13-02-2018, 08:00   #1
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windlass chain and rope ?

Hello

Just ordered new windlass and now I have to try to figure out a good chain and rope

I have a 33' Hunter with a Lewmar V2/3 windlass 003 gypsy and a rocna 20 44lb anchor
It calls for 3/8 chain and 5/8 rope

Im in SW Florida probably dont plan on anchoring in too deep of water
Can anyone recommend a good choice and length ? where to buy ?

Thank You
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Old 15-02-2018, 19:05   #2
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

A good rule of thumb is buy the same length chain as the LOD of your boat. Scope should be at least 5 to 1 ratio. 5’ rode for each foot of depth. Plus some for storm surge. So maybe 45’ chain, and 300’ of line. The Rocna is a great anchor. You won’t be disappointed by how it grabs the bottom and holds you there.
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Old 16-02-2018, 05:03   #3
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

1st Chain SupplyChain, Chain Supplies, Binder Chains, Lifting Slings and Hooks
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Old 16-02-2018, 08:07   #4
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

I would think 3/8" chain is larger than you need for a 33' boat. I use 3/8" on my 42' Pearson and that is pretty standard with other owners of the same boat.

The other issue to consider, do you want chain and rope or all chain? All chain is easier to handle since it sits in the gypsy and requires no further handling to haul it in. Rope you have to shift from gypsy to drum unless you have one of the combo gypsies that takes both but I think you would still have to tail the rope section.

Downside, chain is heavier and isn't cheap. I would consider going with 5/16 chain. Can you swap your gypsy for a smaller one?

How long? FL and Bahamas 99% of the time you will be anchoring in fairly shallow water, usually less than 10-12'. Add a few feet for distance water to deck will be maybe 17-18' max. At 7 to 1 figure total rode length around 140'. I like to be prepared in case I anchor in a deeper spot. For me that was usually when I was diving a wreck or anchoring on the ocean side of a reef so usually short term so maybe 200' max.
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Old 16-02-2018, 08:18   #5
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

3/8” chain is massive overkill on your boat.

We have a 32’ 15000# when empty and dry, ketch rigged windage device and have 5/16” g4 chain.

You need to define your cruising area to determine how much chain you really need. If you’re strictly Florida/Bahamas, you won’t need much. Maybe 100-150’ max. Deeper water means more.
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:00   #6
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
3/8” chain is massive overkill on your boat.

We have a 32’ 15000# when empty and dry, ketch rigged windage device and have 5/16” g4 chain.
I think even 5/16 BBB would be adequate but of course in anchoring too much is better than not enough, at least up to a point.

OP does need to make sure he/she has the right gypsy. 5/16 G4 takes a different gypsy that 5/16 BBB.
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:20   #7
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

Your gypsy will determine your chain size, unless you're willing to spend $ to change it. A replacement gypsy is in the hundred$ so you decide.

As for chain length, whoever came up with that "rule of thumb" about boat length should equal chain length was just winging it and it makes no sense at all, if you think about it. The primary role of chain is:
1) abrasion and cut resistance -- you don't want rock/coral or passing boat props to wear/cut your rode.
2) catenary -- to keep your chain on the bottom when winds are moderate or light (if it's a full gale you won't have any chain on the bottom, so catenary is no longer a factor). You also need catenary to keep your boat from meandering around drifting at random when the wind dies and all the other boats around you want to do the same.

Here's what should dictate chain length:
1) Bottom depth where you anticipate anchoring
2) Bottom type (rocky/coral need more cut protection)
3) If you're a light displacement racer or your boat has a fine entry it becomes more important to minimize weight in the bow.
4) Whether you have a windlass (you do, but small boats often don't)

With all the above considered, I think the best choice for a "compromise" is to have enough chain to allow you to keep rope off the bottom at 7:1 scope in the depths you prefer to anchor.

So for example: If your bow is 3' above water, and you prefer to anchor in 17' depth (high tide), for 7:1 scope you would deploy 120' of rope/chain. The vertical distance from bow to bottom is 20', so you would use 100' of chain and if the wind dies completely, your chain would all lay on the bottom and deployed rope segment would be near vertical.

This is all academic, of course and in real world dynamics you don't choose your exact depth to anchor all the time. (It becomes a preferred range.) If you want to reduce weight you would use a shorter chain, whereas someone on a heavy displacement cruiser might prefer all chain. I prefer to anchor in more shallow areas and minimize chain to about 50'.

In the end, think about it and choose your compromises. There's no right or wrong (unless things fail).
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:33   #8
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

You dont need 3/8 chain on a 33 ft boat. If you can change your order I would. In FL, I would probably go with 125-150 ft of chain, with 1/2" backup rope, maybe 5/8 if you have room... just for ease on the hands.
If you need to minimize chain due to room or weight or cost, for Florida go with maybe 5:1 rode in 15 ft of water = 75 ft. That way 90% of the time you can just windlass in the chain easy.
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:44   #9
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

I'm not sure, I think 3/8 chain weight is 1 1/2 lb per ft. So 100 ft might be 150 lbs plus 44 lbs of anchor plus the weight of the 5/8 line. All up front ? Also it is possible your windlass, wiring, or batteries might just take a break at the most inopportune time.
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Old 17-02-2018, 06:30   #10
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Re: windlass chain and rope ?

I already have the unit with a 003 gypsy so Im stuck with 3/8" unless I buy another gypsy.

So Im just trying to figure out lengths and a good brand

The boat had 200' of rope and about 40' of chain so I was thinking of going with the same
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