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Old 24-01-2015, 15:33   #1
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All chain, or not?

Hello,

I have a dilemma... My boat is a 26 footer. The chain locker is rather small. I wonder about all the weight of 300ft of chain, even 1/4HT in the bow. Is chain a "must-have" to be all right with the broader kind of bottoms out there for long term cruising? Or can I get away with nylon and a chain leader (how long)? There is of course the price of chain, being twice that of nylon. Also pulling in 300ft of chain by hand might be rather hard, if not impossible if too deep (35lbs anchor).

Suggestions would be appreciated, thanks!

Gil.
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Old 24-01-2015, 15:43   #2
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Re: All chain, or not?

Hi Gil - first, where will you be cruising?

How much does your boat weigh?

I doubt you need 300 feet unless you plan to cross the Pacific. My boat is almost as wide as yours is long and I carry 200 feet of chain for use in the Bahamas and E Carib. I rarely put out more than 100 feet of it, and that's usually overkill. I suspect you'd be better off with a ~20 ft. length of chain on your anchor, then nylon.

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Old 24-01-2015, 15:53   #3
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Re: All chain, or not?

Hello Dave,

Thanks. Displacement is 6800lbs. I will start with the Bahamas, but no idea how far I'll get.. Pacific? Who knows... I don't have the experience now but I'd like to be prepared...
Maybe 300ft of nylon with a chain leader, but how long of a leader?
Thing is, losing a $375 anchor is not something I'd like, nor have the rode cut by coral while I sleep. But maybe I worry too much about that...?
I had all chain on my previous boat but it was a 32ft steel ketch and the weight of that chain didn't matter much. I never anchored in deep water either here in Florida.

Gil.
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:06   #4
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Re: All chain, or not?

I would go some chain and then nylon rode. You are hauling by hand? nylon is easier by hand anyway. Maybe 25 ft chain then nylon. At least 1/2 nylon as it's easier on the hands. 5/8 better but overkill.
I seldom used over 150 ft in the eastern Caribe.... and with a small craft you can tuck in closer than I could.
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:06   #5
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Re: All chain, or not?

Hi Gil,

I'd go with 150' of 1/4" HT. I have 200' of chain and rarely use more than 100'. That's Cruising CA to New England and the Canadian Maritimes, so all sorts of bottoms. Have another 150' of line spliced to the chain in case you do put it all out. If you do go Pacific someday, the nylon will be above the level of the coral heads if you ever have to anchor that deep. In the rare event you have to anchor with more than 300' of rode out, tie another line on. But I rarely put out more than 100', even anchoring in six fathoms.
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:07   #6
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Re: All chain, or not?

I suggest about 30' of chain and then 8 ply braid. Make sure you use good hardware.


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Old 24-01-2015, 16:12   #7
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Re: All chain, or not?

Hi again, Gil - I encourage you to more heavily consider the views of others because our vessels are so different.

I suspect your anchor is bigger than you need, but since you have it, keep it and rest assured it's an ample size for most anything you'll encounter for where you're going, assuming you get out of Dodge during storm season. For comparison, I use a 66# Bruce and it always has worked for us (except that one time...) and my boat is ~25,000+ with cruise load.

For the most part in the Bahamas, you'll be anchoring in < 20 feet, and as lower than that as you're comfortable. We look for 15' or less and at least 6' MLW. I don't like to hit my head on the bottom when diving in. It's rare you can't find clear sand, so this is the best holding you can get.

Figuring a 5:1 scope for rode, that's 100 ft for 20 feet of depth, neglecting your bow height.

I personally don't see the need to plan for deeper water until you know you'll be going there.

I use all chain, so I recommend you hear from others regarding how much chain you need on your anchor before the rode transition. Usually in the Bahamas you have the luxury of seeing any coral and dropping your anchor to avoid it. Sand, sand, sand. I would expect 20-30 feet of chain ought to be plenty, but I defer to others.

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Old 24-01-2015, 16:23   #8
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Re: All chain, or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilgsn View Post
Hello Dave,

Thanks. Displacement is 6800lbs. I will start with the Bahamas, but no idea how far I'll get.. Pacific? Who knows... I don't have the experience now but I'd like to be prepared...
Maybe 300ft of nylon with a chain leader, but how long of a leader?
Thing is, losing a $375 anchor is not something I'd like, nor have the rode cut by coral while I sleep. But maybe I worry too much about that...?
I had all chain on my previous boat but it was a 32ft steel ketch and the weight of that chain didn't matter much. I never anchored in deep water either here in Florida.

Gil.
This was my choice for my 10,000 lb boat,with 20ft 5/16 galv. chain @ anchor.Cut 300 ft off the 600ft (100fa.) reel & store the leftover aboard.

Rope Nylon 3-Str 3/4X600 3/4 X 600'

From same place,pick up 3-4 small 4" net/rope floats & rig one 3ft on rope side of rope-chain splice. That will float nylon off bottom.Tie on more floats,going toward boat,as depth & bottom requires.Just avoid floating rope very far off bottom,as you,or a passing boat,will foul it.
Several hundred lbs of chain in bow of 26ft boat-possibly dangerous,as it will make boat bow heavy.Slso,make sure you have 1/2" drain holes in anchor locker,plumbed,preferably ,overboard(use thru hulls),or into bilge.There is a recent thread from a guy headed down ICW recently,taking on water from anchor locker hatch? Ducking head now!! Cheers/Len
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:35   #9
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Re: All chain, or not?

All chain on a 26 foot boat is just too much weight in your bow. I think I would go with between 50-100 feet then a rope to chain splice to 1/2" nylon rode with 300 feet in total. With a 100 feet of chain, my personal preference, that would look after 90% of the anchorages. If you go with 50' then have some way to float your nylon rode if you are in coral.
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:41   #10
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Re: All chain, or not?

Thanks guys!

I've found a barrel of 1/4HT chain (400ft) for a bit over $600. I have not seen shorter lengths for sale anywhere.. 5/8 nylon overkill?

Gil.
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Old 24-01-2015, 16:47   #11
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Re: All chain, or not?

Yes 5/8" nylon is overkill (IMO) for your weight (of boat and of chain).
You want to maintain some elasticity in your nylon rode and 5/8" won't give you much.
However you want at least 1/2" otherwise it is too hard on your hands.
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Old 24-01-2015, 17:12   #12
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Re: All chain, or not?

If your back can handle it, I cruised a lot of the E Caribe with 150 ft chain and nylon backup on bigger craft. 200 ft is best, but that's with a windlass.
What are you using now?
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Old 24-01-2015, 17:16   #13
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Re: All chain, or not?

A good "universal" anchor rode is 120-Ft of 5/16" chain spliced onto a 200-ft 1/2" multi-plait rode.

Put out 110-ft of chain and attach a "anchor chain snubber". That way you will always have 100-ft of chain in the water and the snubber will take any shock loads.

We always put that much chain out whether we are in 10-ft or 50-ft of water.

Use a pair of leather palmed gloves to protect your hands while pulling int the chain.
------------------------------------------------------

If you want 1/4" chain, I'd go with 150-ft and then 200-ft of 3/8" multi plait rode. Stores easy, light weight, easy to get back onboard.

------------------------------------------------------------

Multi-plait line, especially the 8-strand type, is very easy to attach to your chain. A chain/line splice like this will normally fit down just about any anchor chain hawse pipe.

If you use stainless steel chain, the line/chain splice will last forever. With a galvanized chain/line splice the chain will serious rust after about a year - and you should then cut this section off and re-splice the chain/line.

Have a great trip!
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Old 24-01-2015, 18:26   #14
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Re: All chain, or not?

Excellent, thanks again everyone!

I am leaning towards 250' of 1/2" double-braid nylon and 75' of 1/4HT chain. This way I can always have all the chain out and a bit of nylon for shock absorbtion. I will also look into a float to keep the nylon off the bottom, as Deblen suggested.

BTW I have a 25lbs CQR and will buy a 35lbs Mantus. The boat came with no anchor rode at all, just the CQR. I'll set up both anchors the same way. I could always put the two 250' lines together if needed, but I boubt that would ever happen...

Gil.
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Old 24-01-2015, 18:34   #15
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Re: All chain, or not?

Florida/Bahamas, as well as much of the East Coast/Gulf Coast USA, is generally shallow water anchoring - 15 feet or less. I believe in all chain, at least for the primary anchor. I have 140' of all chain and have yet to put out even 100' - and i'm one of those 'lots of scope' kind of guys.
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