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Old 25-01-2015, 15:12   #31
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Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
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Re: All chain, or not?

A friend wrote this about thsi recurring topic:

The Rocna. All 20kg of it with 100ft of chain. The rest of the world can debate all they like. When I pull into a place like Bodega Bay at midnight and the fog is so thick I can't see the jetty 50 feet away to make an entrance, I drop my hook in the rolling ocean swells with the surf crashing (Foster says it's like staying in a cheap Best Western beside the highway), and I sleep. And in the morning I have a windlass to pull the beast up and I wouldn't trade it for anything. (I also wouldn't add more chain - this works perfectly in 25 to 30 feet of water - you let all the chain out and you tie off nylon at the preferred scope and don't bother with snubbers and chain hooks and all that stuff...)

This was our best upgrade.


You should also size your ANCHORING SYSTEM and not just do it with bits & pieces:

Anchor System Sizing Tables (Reply #6) & Swivels Ground Tackle & Anchor System Sizing TABLES & Swivels

Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:24   #32
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Originally Posted by CHAZ
Agreed, if one used all chain, one should take the precautions of managing the stress loads.

Not all snubbers are the same; research and empirical experience are best practices to follow.

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Old 25-01-2015, 18:04   #33
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Re: All chain, or not?

We use all chain, though in the part of the world where we now cruise, British Columbia, a combination of chain and nylon rode is fine.

When in the tropics, we learned from some badly chewed up rodes that it is fine to use nylon line, but to never deploy enough so it can touch bottom.
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Old 25-01-2015, 19:34   #34
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Re: All chain, or not?

Go all chain, or at least about 100-150 foot (35-50m), that will give you the ability to anchor in most places with all chain (with a rope snubber). Any deeper and you can use extra rope, but this should be rare. It's a real worry just using rope all the time, it can wrap around rudders, and lies close to the surface so it's vulnerable to being cut by other boats propellers, and the extra swinging room makes it hard to squeeze into tighter anchorages. I lived and cruised for five years on my 26 foot folkboat type, with only rope and a short length of chain. I used to use multiple anchors when leaving the boat, but was much happier when I got the next boat with an all chain rode.

If you fit a chain pawl to the bow roller it's very easy and safe to lift by hand on a small boat. Having the option of using 1/4 inch HT chain makes it perfect for small boats.
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Old 25-01-2015, 19:35   #35
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Posts: 149
Re: All chain, or not?

All chain is really nice, but it is a luxury, not a necessity. The weight of 300'+ all chain all put in the bow of a boat, the capacity of the windlass necessary to lift it and a comparable anchor, the battery bank necessary to provide the energy for that task, make that impractical for the vast majority of boats. I am on about my 13th boat now, and the first eleven had rope and chain. I switched to all chain on my 12th boat, a 55' sportfisher, and that extra weight noticeably affected handling, especially in following seas.

Part of the balancing decision requires and understanding of the boat's mission. Because the need to securely anchor in remote locations persuaded me to go all chain. My current boat doesn't give up much to go all chain, but I would not consider it for my prior boats under 50 feet, and I can see now that it was a mistake on my 55.
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Old 26-01-2015, 06:43   #36
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Location: North Charleston, SC
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Re: All chain, or not?

I'll start by saying that my boat is a trawler and that I cruise the AICW, Chesapeake Bay and Florida's St. Johns River so what works for me may not work well for someone else.

My boat has a 33 lb claw anchor and 30' of 5/16" chain with 150' of 5/8" line and this worked for the previous owners (who cruised the entire US east coast and the Bahamas) and has worked well for me. I suspect 180' of chain would really affect the balance of the boat.

If you're thinking of all chain, I suggest looking up the weight of the chain and then using bags of sand placed at the bow to simulate that weight. See how it looks and behaves.

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