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Old 28-06-2012, 22:51   #1
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Desolation Sound - How much Chain / Rode do I need?

I'm heading to Desolation Sound, possibly further North, this Summer. My 62ft Motor yacht, 55 tons, low windage, is currently equipped with windlass and 150ft of 1/2 inch chain, attached to a large Navy anchor. I know this is inadequate, but that's how it was when I bought the boat last year. I am told by Western Marine in Vancouver that I can't just 'add more chain' to my existing rig - I need to replace it with new, so it is all in one length.

1. How much chain do I need to carry, to feel secure in this area?

2. Is it true that I can not / should not consider extending my current chain?

Thanks ,

Eamonn.
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Old 29-06-2012, 06:12   #2
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Re: Desolation Sound - How much Chain / Rode do I need?

The issue is one of SCOPE more than the area that you are cruising. Scope is the ratio of length of chain deployed to water depth. You may want to have a scope of 3 for normal conditions, and 5 for windy conditions. That means you should anchor in water that is not more than 30 feet deep in windy conditions, nor more than 50 feet deep in calm conditions. Also, you need to consider the scope based on the high tide for the period to be anchored.

There are places in Desolation Sound where such depths are available, but if you are there during the busy time you will find that lots of smaller boats are seeking such locations. You just have fewer options open. I carry 300 feet of chain, and seldom use all of it, but find that 150 t0 200 feet is frequently needed.
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Old 29-06-2012, 07:27   #3
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Re: Desolation Sound - How much Chain / Rode do I need?

Many thanks, St Elsewhere.....
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Old 29-06-2012, 07:40   #4
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Re: Desolation Sound - How much Chain / Rode do I need?

A bigger issue for Desolation is a stern line. You will need at least 200 feet, more is better. A stern-tie is essential because of the crowded conditions and the steep shelving of some anchorages.
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Old 29-06-2012, 08:32   #5
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Re: Desolation Sound - How much Chain / Rode do I need?

I have cruised Desolation many times with 75' chain + 100' line with no problem on a 28 foot sailboat. Protected anchorages there have lots of space and are fairly shallow, so a lot of scope is not really needed.

Its a different story if you are not visiting the "traditional" anchorages, then things can get very deep.

Yes, you WILL want a stern line. Especially for your length of boat. Not absolutely needed in many spots, but your life will be MUCH easier if the anchorages are crowded.
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Old 29-06-2012, 08:51   #6
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There are places up there where you will be anchoring in 40 feet or more. Adjust your scope accordingly. At least buy some nylon to tack onto the end if you need it. You will need 200' of cheap floating line for a stern tie.
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Old 29-06-2012, 22:55   #7
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Re: Desolation Sound - How much Chain / Rode do I need?

I believe it would be prudent to carry 300'+ of rode, whether mixed or chain minimum. and definitely sternline. I usually carry two 300' spools and have used them seperately in little hidy holes ( such as last summer in 35kts in Toba Inlet) or tied together to loop to shore if needed. That way you can usually retrieve the line without a shore call. 3/8" -1/2" floating line (polypropoline or?) should be sufficient for your ship. As for anchor/rodes, I carry a 66lb Bruce knockoff with 340" chain primary and a 45# cqr with 50' chain and 300' rode for a backup (just in case I loose my primary on Desolation bound excursions, plus an extra 300' by 3/4" line just because. Fyi, if you don't want to anchor there are a few marinas up there. My favorites Melanie Cove and Von Donup Inlet in Desolation, unfortunately they are both marinaless.
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