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Old 18-04-2012, 05:35   #241
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

Boats with all rope rode do drag much more often, as Nick said, but it's very common for these boats to have smaller anchors. The usual motivation for a partial rope rode is weight saving. Most of the boats with a partial rope rode have no electric windlass, or are racing boats, in both cases there is a strong motivation to save weight and use a smaller anchor as well.
All things being equal I suspect there is only a small improvement in holding adding an all chain rode. Adding the weight of the chain to the anchor and keeping the total ground tackle weight the same will result in much better holding.

However if anchoring overnight I feel an all chain rode is the only safe option. Rope chafes through very easily and this is most likely to happen in strong winds. Even apparently uniform mud bottoms can have debris that will quickly saw through a rope rode. If the rope is cut, with no chain or anchor the dragging speed is very high and in many anchorages even an alert crew will be too late to prevent major damage.

The other problem with a rope rode is swinging differently to other boats with a wind or tide shift. Anchor in crowded places and minor collisions will happen frequently.
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Old 18-04-2012, 06:06   #242
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

The reason chain is better is easy, you never touch it at all. Hit buttom from helm down, sleep, coffee, hit button at helm up, go forward secure. Continue fun. Maybe us fancy winch guys like it for this reason alone. and maybe the chafe issue too. I've heard rope roder's say can't go bigger with my anchor because hauing it would be imposible, I never intend to pick my anchor up, and its weight has no bearing on me being able to move it. For 17 page now it just keeps going round and round. It does appear though that the ropers are trying to convience the chain gang their wrong. And the chain gang could care less. Peter Smith is a salesman and he may be right, but is also biased. Throwing his name around is cheesey.
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Old 18-04-2012, 06:32   #243
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

If you were going to encounter 60+ knots of wind at anchor on a routine basis I can see the advantage of a chain/nylon combination to reduce the load on your deck hardware. However--

1. If your boat can handle the weight, you can always use a heavier anchor even if you are using all chain.

2. If you use a combination you have to worry about the integrity of the splice in addition to chafing risk.

3. If you use all chain (as I prefer), I wonder what the value would be of a second snubber (or a longer snubber) if high winds are expected.
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Old 18-04-2012, 06:53   #244
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

Interesting discussion, but as always on a forum type situation, there is a preponderance of classroom or theoretical evidence and ideas. Then the actual users chime in with "real life." And you end up with a theory versus reality/practicality deadlock.

In real life cruising most things and boat systems evolve primarily towards practicality rather than the theoretical optimum. Taking some of the points in the last few pages . . .

All chain rode on a one anchor boat is most practical primarily for wear, abuse and fouling (where long-term anchoring is involved). The bottom of a lot of harbors and bays/coves is littered with all manner of debris ranging from sunken boats, to construction debris (cement blocks, metal beams, and other sharp edged stuff). Add in nature's coral heads and small reefs and you can see that hardened steel survives better than nylon.

In some harbors, pollution is rampant enough to foster massive sealife fouling of anchor rodes and cleaning it off nylon rope rapidly shortens the usable life of the rode.

For boats with dual anchors rigged on the bow then one of each works very well. All chain on your heavy primary anchor and then rope with a 30ft to 50ft chain leader on the other anchor. Usually one anchor is chosen for weight like the classic CQR or Bruce and the "other" anchor for soft sand/mud capability (historically a blade anchor such as Danforth/Fortress).

Again for practicality, in short duration anchoring where you are moving from one place to another daily or every few days - and - the sea bottom is sand/grass/mud, the blade type on rope rode makes life simpler both on windlass wear and if necessary, hand hauling of the anchor & rode.

But for long term (weeks or more) anchoring the all chain rode is more practical for the reasons already mentioned.

As to using "heavier than theoretically needed" chain again it is partly a practical decision. Steel chains lose their galvanized coating quite quickly in today's "acid" oceans/rivers/bays. Then the chain starts to rust and getting progressively smaller - especially where the links are rubbing against each other. The heavier the chain, the longer life you get.

As to large ships using heavy chain and rather less effective anchors, there is a historical reason that you would only know if you were involved in the industry. Typically large heavy ships deployed quite a length of chain upon entering a harbor and "dragged" it all the way in until they were docked. The dragging anchor/chain was their speed brake and aid in turning their vessel to align with the docks. Also it was later used to kedge the ship's bow off the docks when it was time to leave. Having an effective anchor on the end would have prevented such a use.
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Old 18-04-2012, 08:18   #245
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabray View Post
Why use 3 strand? Octoplait or similar are so much better, they store better have good anchor rhode stats. I still have some 3 strand as secondary because it's money but no reason to buy 3 strand new. For anchor rhode buy some plaited line.

three strand verses plait, plaited line is fine for a small boat (pontoon perhaps in a small lake).the strength is in the outer woven sleave, when this begins to break down the inner core does very little to strenghen the line. the outer sleeve is like those chinese finger lock things we played with as kids. they stretch out and grab the inner core. when they wear, there goes the breaking point. three strand can take a lot of wear before the breaking point is reached. US Navy boatswain mate here
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Old 18-04-2012, 09:31   #246
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

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Originally Posted by sailr69 View Post
three strand verses plait, plaited line is fine for a small boat (pontoon perhaps in a small lake).the strength is in the outer woven sleave, when this begins to break down the inner core does very little to strenghen the line. the outer sleeve is like those chinese finger lock things we played with as kids. they stretch out and grab the inner core. when they wear, there goes the breaking point. three strand can take a lot of wear before the breaking point is reached. US Navy boatswain mate here
Double braided construction is not the same as 8 strand plait. Plait does not have a core. And not that it's relevant for anchoring purposes but many cored lines today use an outer polyester braid for UV and chafe protection and a hi tech core that provides most of the strength.


JOhn
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Old 18-04-2012, 09:31   #247
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

I don't believe octoplait has an outer sleeve. Isn't it just eight strands of nylon instead of three? The advantage of the 8-plait is that it is much more limp and doesn't get fouled in the hawse pipe or create a bird's nest in the chain locker.
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Old 18-04-2012, 10:04   #248
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

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Originally Posted by JoeFish View Post
Did you read the article? If not, I'll paraphrase the author (designer of the Rocna anchor):
Give us a break! When Peter Smith wrote that, he had a great deal to profit from cruisers believing they should invest more in their anchor and less in chain. HE SOLD ANCHORS! The more you believe that your money should be invested in an oversize anchor than in chain, the more money Peter Smith stands to make.

If we were to believe what Peter claims about the uselessness of chain, why is my chain so muddy every time I bring it up?

(Hint: consider the fact that the chain is actually in contact with the bottom.)
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Old 18-04-2012, 10:44   #249
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

Reading this my head spins.

I use a CQR. I use chain and rope. I can rarely get anything like 7-1. 4-1 is difficult. My cruising grounds are the BC coast. we have windy night days weeks. Often deep water and small no swing places to stay in. I may have dragged but have stopped before hitting anything else.

Was looking at Rocna and Manson but both seem to have major production flaws. Fortress come out very strongly? But the is a light anchor.

I am heading to the South Pacific in a year so I need to get this right guys.

I intend to sail a long way and on my 35fter weight makes a difference up front. So come on you experts I need someone to make a good call here:-)
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Old 18-04-2012, 11:06   #250
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

@Northpacific -Not sure what your sayin, For one there is no answer, except scope is everything. Chain or rope. So if you can't /don't do 7:1 well thats wrong. And start doing more. Other than that it's all choice and there's no chance in hell that you'll find any one right answer. Suprized that isn't clear after reading all 17 pages. Danforths are great, but not where tide changes direction (almost everywhere). Instead of getting an aluminum anchor, get a good power winch. Try to have 3 good anchors, a 66 lb. bruce would make you a nice primary all purpose anchor. You'll get 40 more different opinions I bet.
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Old 18-04-2012, 11:14   #251
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

We anchored 24/7 for a couple of years with a 45# CQR and 3/8" high tensile chain on our 20,000 plus displacement boat. Never drug the anchor that I could measure. Take that back, did drag our Danforth but that was on a rope rode on a hard bottoim at a short term stop. If you are running at least a 35# CQR and 250' 5/16" chain on your ligher boat, you should be happy cruising. If you've got the money and the inclination, a new pattern 45# anchor with the chain rode should be fine. I went with a 35# Manson which I feel is more than adequate though haven't been tested by higher than 30mph winds. Only deployed the full 230' of chain once and never had any indication that the catenary of the chain was ever fully pulled off the bottom.

As far as weight in the bow, yes it does make a difference but really only going to weather. Something that a good cruiser avoids like the plague.

Anchoring among cruisers, you are not going to be popular swinging on 7-1 scope with rope rode when everyone around you is anchored on 4-1 chain.
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Old 18-04-2012, 11:21   #252
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

For crusing the south pacific I would definatly go with all chain rode. There are some deep anchorages so Unfortunatly you need a lot of it. I would aim for 75m
Going to high tensile G7 chain you can drop the size by 1 step and still have the same strength. You could consider storing half, or maybe 25m, of this in the bilge, but you need to be able to transfer this to bow in conditions when it's so windy that you cannot stand.

Weight in the bow will effect the sailing performance of some boats, but dragging in strong wind is no fun, and is dangerous. It is one of the most common causes of severe damage or loss of the boat so you need some compromise. For long passages it's feasible to transfer all the ground tackle weight and store it down below, but it will need to be secured well and will be salty and dirty.
I think both the Rocna MS and spade are the best anchors. You are very unlikely to see any structural issues with these anchors. If you are worried go oversize which is a good idea anyway. Get a Fortress as kedge.
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Old 18-04-2012, 12:02   #253
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

I think people vastly under estimate how little wind and current it takes to pull 250 feet of chain almost straight. Not that I'm doubting the quality of all chain rode, because its the way to go. But I think chain straightens out pretty easy in 30kt winds, it might not be bar tight but it's in a straight line and mostly off the bottom.
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Old 18-04-2012, 12:15   #254
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

Have not read all posts and dunno if this has been said before. So how about anchoring from the stern.. no problem having all chain rode and less swing. IME
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Old 18-04-2012, 12:16   #255
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Re: Chain Versus Rope Scope ?

I did mention that I have a small 35ft boat. My comments are from someone who believed his Danforth was the best until he bought his next boat with a cqr.

I have managed to anchor safely for many years, but have always tended to bail when our regular summer storms develop. I never sleep when the wind is up anyway. When it gets real bad, I use the engine to take the strain.

Since anchoring is going to be the way of life I do see the need to up grade. Having said that their are the practicalities of living on a small boat in the SP. So it would be nice if manson did not have the weld construction; that Rocna had not used sub standard steel from China and that you guys can all agree about chain or rope or both :-).

Guess this is what is appealing about cruising. In so very few instances in life do we have so much control over our environment and how we keep safe. I have a new LEwmar windless that takes BBB chain. My three strand is in good shape, chain is new. How much of a good idea is it to use the c-links to connect more chain to the existing?

Spade has been mention before on various threads? Lots to consider.

Cheers
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