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Old 30-09-2014, 16:36   #1
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First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Hello Cruisers, from Australia,

Minor intro: Old School Monohull Owner, since the 80's, I am now on the Helia 44, a Demonstrator first in Australia, a 2013.. FP's latest and the biggest Cat with reasonable performance that I have seen.. (Barring Catana), as I am too old to battle outboard helms and boards..

My question comes from inexperience in whole gale anchorage with the windage of Cats. I mean I have owned large monohulls, like Downeast 45 years ago, Lloyds of London 51 BOC Challenger "Nightwind", and more than a few other major yachts.. My problem relates to the windage of this big Helia 44. I am still a monohull person for vast ocean passages, but the shallow waters of the Great Barrier Reef and all of Queensland for that matter, won me over to this Cat.

Now, I have a more than adequate hook I have just added, Rocna 33 kg with 30 M of 10mm chain, second hook (I did) is a Kobra2, and it has 100 M of 18mm nylon and boat length of 12mm chain. I have sat on the Kobra2 in 25-30 kts just fine, but wonder about the 45-50 kts so added the Rocna 73 lb. You Cat Owners, please offer your opinion on whether I should update my Lofrans gypsy to 12mm chain and go say 40 M of 12mm (1/2") or just go about 60 M of the existing gypsy 10mm on my primary hook.

It is not strength of the chain, but weight in a gale, in that if you lift the chain to the hook, the anchor could re-set.

****************************************

Also: Any Helia Owners? I would be happy to field any questions. I did a lot of research before stumbling on this one a Boat Show and it is the most radically well equipped vessel I have seen as a Show Boat.. Maestro version, 44' Owners Cabin and two Queen Staterooms to Port. In my 60's, I wanted the radical end of gear, but did not want to fix anymore boats up, been there and done that.

Helia 44 "Avalon" Named after Avalon on Catalina Island, one of my favorite places in my youthful Cruising Ground off California... Resort thing...
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Old 30-09-2014, 17:09   #2
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Just some random thoughts.

Adding more chain and a heavier anchor definitely means it will take higher wind and waves for the boat to drag. But you seem to already know this. The question for me is how to do a cost/benefit analysis to select ground tackle.

I would go with the longer smaller chain in part because I would be able to cut off more small sections of it close to the anchor as it started to rust out and also have the advantage of turning the chain around half way through its expected life.

One of the biggest differences I have seen between monohulls and multihulls is how important it is to get the right bridle set up. A good one makes a big difference in how much the boat sails at anchor which puts more of the boats windage in the teeth of the wind. Also think two snubbers are a good idea on a bridle.

Bottom line for me is that if you choose a good anchor, a good spot to anchor, use good anchoring technique, and set a good anchor alarm you will be in better shape than if you have more chain of bigger size but ignore one of the first items I listed.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:18   #3
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Welcome Helia 44! I can't comment yet on a suggestion for chain size/length, but I will say I'm surprised to hear you say your boat has 10mm chain onboard. The specs I've gotten from FP for our Helia that will be coming out of the factory in two weeks says that it comes with 12mm chain. Perhaps they have now sized up the chain from the first models produced?

There are a few active Helia owners over on the Fountaine Pajot sub-forum. We're always looking for more owners to join in and share their knowledge, so be sure to check it out!

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Old 01-10-2014, 15:26   #4
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First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Helia 44

Short answer to your post yes at least far as the length of chain. Don't know about the weight but most cats of that class are usually fitted with 13mm.

We have a Lagoon 420 (in Australia) a heavier cat than the Helia and I'd say with more windage. We have 100m of 13mm chain and a 60lb Manson Supreme.

Your anchor is a good size but it's the chain that makes the difference. If it really blows you anchor will be good but without plenty of chain it may not be enough. If you have to anchor in anything over a few meters I think you are going to find your current setup will not give you confidence.

The production boats tend to be supplied with minimal ground tackle. You really need to upgrade if you are going to cruise.






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Old 01-10-2014, 16:39   #5
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Good choic with the catamaran.

You definitely need all chain in coral area.

Search some of the anchor threads for plenty of discussion.

Personally I would be looking at 10mm chain (at least 80meters) and more weight in the anchor. In some areas of Pacific you may need to anchor in deeper water.

You could likely easily offload at 33kg Rocna. Whilst 33kg would be within guidelines of the anchor manufacturer extra weight in the anchor seems to be best practice amongst cruisers.

Consider a SARCA Excel. Give them a ring and talk to the owner.

SARCA in Action - anchorright.com.au

Good sailing.
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Old 01-10-2014, 21:22   #6
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Thank you all for your thoughts....

I sent an email to the Lofrans windlass Distributor, and the "Cayman" 1350 lb pull does not have a 12mm chain gypsy, only the 10mm...

As to the comment on getting a larger hook? The 73 lb Rocna is HUGE.. I mean I have been cruising with a 44 lb Kobra2. This 73 lb Rocna is 33 kg, a 65' cat GIZMO came in and they only run a 40 kg Rocna! If you look at the 33, it is staggering just how big it is..

Changing over the whole windlass is getting a bit rough.. I may just get more chain. I still have a Kobra2 plough as a second hook, and 100 meter of 18mm nylon. In a pinch I can motor forward and drop the other hook. I might look for a larger windlass and go over to the 12mm chain, just wonder if that is overkill.. I may just look at running the 30 m of chain on the Kobra2, and getting more chain for the Rocna.. Still undecided.
I would have changed gypsys, but a whole new winch on a maybe situation will take some thinking...

I agree with the 12mm, hmmmmm... I will mull it over a while, maybe look at bigger windlasses...

Kind regards from Australia
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Old 01-10-2014, 23:32   #7
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Stick with 10mm and get more chain.980 -100 Meters)
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:51   #8
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Helia 44.
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Old 02-10-2014, 16:42   #9
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

GordMay,
Thank you, kind regards, Helia 44

Downunder.... I take your comments seriously, and aboard, and to get more chain would be an easy choice... However, to qualify your thoughts on this as you are an overnight sail from me in the Sunshine Coast I have these questions:

Please qualify your experience.. And your opinion is definitely valid if I was cruising the world in general But: My Cruising ground will be primarily Gold Coast to the Whitsunday Islands and offshore reefs and islands in the Great Barrier Reef. I have yet to ever anchor my cat in over about 10 metres of water.

For deep water, it would be sand/gravel not coral, and I have the Kobra2 set up with swivel, large shackles, a boat length of chain and 100 M of 18mm nylon. On my main hook I only have 30 M of 10 mm short link chain, and that is not inspiring much confidence, OK.. But I was thinking like 50-60 Metres of 10mm or 12mm for the weight of the 12mm sticking to the bottom better...

I have just contacted a Supplier of windlasses for what he would recommend to haul 12mm chain, but again was only thinking 50-60 Metres. I was also thinking I would split the 100 Metres of 18mm nylon in case of needed to anchor deeper, with 50 M on each rode...

Now no offense, I am taking you seriously, as you are in my area, but on what grounds is your advice on 100M of chain? Maybe longer range travel abroad? (not me) Do you change your advice considering I am mostly staying in the shallow waters of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, maybe as far south as Sydney, maybe to Noumea in the North?

Thank you for your input... Helia
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:52   #10
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

My background is mainly diving the whole of the GBR and Coral sea working on motor charter vessels both monohulls and cats whilst researching purchase of a around 45ft cat myself.

On GBR you could certainly get away with less than 100m but I would only ever consider all chain in the Whitsundays/GBR areas where there is always coral around the sand. I don't want to be dealing with chain and rode. You will never see commercial vessels in GBR waters using anything other than chain.

I just think I would want to cover my anchoring in all situations with all chain. I do not want to be having to use rope to get enough scope. Your backup or secondary could well have a fair bit of rode.

Having read enough threads/blogs best practise for long term live aboard cruisers and expert cruisers is all chain and oversize anchor. It is considered that an extra 10 or 20 kilos on the anchor rather than chain is the best place for the weight providing the rating of the chain is adequate. You are rarely lifting the weight of the anchor and all of the chain when recovering an anchor.

With all chain you will always find good anchorages amongst the reefs generally in less than 10-15 meters of water in all weather bar cyclone. Do not discount the Capricorn/Bunker group of reefs/islands on your way north and weave you way slowly amongst them and spend at least a week if not more.

The suggestion of 80 -100m comes from reading blogs and comments on line from cruisers who have cruised extensively furthur out in the Pacific where at time that extra chain is often needed to anchor in deeper water. You should consider perhaps 80 rather than 100m. Check what lenghts drums of chain come in.

My opinon for what it is worth.

Cheers

Anchors - Bigger is Better ?
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Old 03-10-2014, 15:22   #11
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

We carry 60 m of 10mm chain. Much lighter boat though. On the Qld coast we haven't had to use all 60m yet, and the chain is getting due for replacement. When I replace it I'll replace it with 50m.
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Old 03-10-2014, 16:23   #12
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Steve

My advice is to buy 10ml high tensile chain. The 12ml is a royal pain as it bunches up in the locker and Lisa has a difficult time as she has to continually move it as it rolls in. If it did not cost so much as I have to re-equip the winch and buy the high tensile I would go back to 10ml. May even do so before we go to the Pacific.

60m of 10ml high tensile chain with the rocna will be fine.

Chris
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Old 04-10-2014, 00:52   #13
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Wow, imagine that Chris....

I was only 100 M from you, until I moved down the fairway to my new dock halfway to Lauries Marina... And I get such an important comment on the 12mm chain, on an International Cruisers Forum... Ha Ha..

10 mm is my old standard 3/8" on all my larger yachts. You threw me the curve ball in the first place that started this all off, when you said you were 12 mm, and further which I verified, for some reason all the later F.P.s were coming out with 12 mm..

That got me thinking there was some reason for it and so I looked into it. Struth, the later models come in 12mm, but why? The Lofrans "Cayman" does not come with a 12 mm gypsy you can buy, so I thought maybe I would upgrade to the Lofrans "Tigress" with a 12mm...

So why would F.P. go up to the 12mm? I was thinking weight to lift before pulling straight on the anchor.. Now you have 12mm and you say it does not stack well in the anchor locker. Maybe you can get a 10mm gypsy.. But that leads me back to the item of interest Chris.. WHY did F.P. equip later new ones with the 12mm

Interesting your advice is 10mm now, you have me reconsidering.

Also Thank you CruisingCat and Downunder for your comments.. If I can figure out why F.P. went to 12mm if it was not necessary, then I will see what drums sizes of chain come in for that 10mm. I will cut a sample, and High Tensile is a GREAT idea as well. It really though, is not about strength as much as weight...

Kind regards, on the Helia 44..



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Old 04-10-2014, 02:02   #14
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

Any idea what the boat weighs? I'd probably stick with the 12 mm, since you have the gypsy for it, but for QLD 50-60metres should be enough.

Edit: just re-read the OP, and saw that you have 10mm chain/gypsy currently. In that case yeah, 60 m is probably about what you need.

Don't worry about drum sizes, if you go to trawler supplies on the Gold coast they can sell you whatever length you want. They also have a product called Armagal or similar, a much harder type of galvanizing, which is claimed to last much longer.
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Old 08-10-2014, 20:28   #15
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Re: First time Poster, Monohull convert, first question:

My Thanks to Cwjohm, who lists his boat as an FP Orana, but is actually the only other Helia 44 in Australia to my knowledge, I have made a decision. With the bad report on stacking of the 12mm: Rather than changing windlass and chain, I am going to stick with the 10mm chain.

What I have decided to try is I will put on 60 M of the 10mm chain with the 73 lb Rocna, and cut my 100 M of 18mm nylon in half. At the end of the 60 Metres, if I need more scope say in 30-40 Metres of water, I will keep 10 Metres of chain suspended and extend the scope out with the nylon if not in coral and rock... Probably 95% of my anchoring will be in 10 Metres of water or less in the GBR.. I will use the existing 30M of chain on the Kobra2 plow, and the remaining 50 Metres of nylon for a second "Hurricane" hook. If I have do not have any bad nights in whole gales with this set up, then it is here for good. My range is only coastal from Sydney north through the Whitsunday Islands and the GBR.. I may extend that in coming years to New Zealand or Noumea to the north... I am not likely to need more than that IMO...

Kind regards to all that offered the help. Helia 44
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