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Old 10-10-2014, 17:23   #1
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Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

Have a 44' Nauticat Motorsailor with a 88 lbs Delta Anchor. To travel to many different destinations around the entire world, what would be a safe margin of length chain and/or line to carry aboard to safely anchor in almost any weather condition including very high winds. I presently have 83' of chain and 250' of line. If I use the 83' of chain already on board, how much line should I carry. 300/400/500/600 feet ? I see that some anchorages around the world are 50 to 70 feet deep. When I go to sleep at night, I want to rest easy.


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Old 10-10-2014, 17:33   #2
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

Put what you have on a spare anchor. I would get no less than a half barrel of 3/8 chain and even more would be better.
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Old 10-10-2014, 18:07   #3
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

Get rid of the rope and go all chain.

I have 330 feet all chain.

We had a wind forcest of 50 knots this upcoming monday. Do you really think 44 foot heavy motor sailor would handle that with 80 feet of chain? Of course not. And rope wont help.

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Old 10-10-2014, 18:16   #4
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

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Get rid of the rope and go all chain.

I have 330 feet all chain.

We had a wind forcest of 50 knots this upcoming monday. Do you really think 44 foot heavy motor sailor would handle that with 80 feet of chain? Of course not. And rope wont help.

This post answers your question. Adequate all chain - end of story.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:47   #5
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

I could be all wet? I can't see chain for more than what's needed for reducing scope. Having it hanging down is no more than weight and a hauling burden and weight onboard probably stowed where you least want it.

I can hear the argument now, in a wind it will lighten the load on the anchor. Not more than the portion on the bottom for scope.

Line isn't hemp anymore, the elasticity of todays lines sure helps not being jerked around when on the hook.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:22   #6
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

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I could be all wet? I can't see chain for more than what's needed for reducing scope. Having it hanging down is no more than weight and a hauling burden and weight onboard probably stowed where you least want it.

I can hear the argument now, in a wind it will lighten the load on the anchor. Not more than the portion on the bottom for scope.

Line isn't hemp anymore, the elasticity of todays lines sure helps not being jerked around when on the hook.
Cantenary is about the silliest reason to use all chain. Test after test has shown that carrying weight in the anchor as opposed to the chain is a much more efficient way to add maximum holding power. So if this was the only reason to use chain you would be correct, and everyone should be using a massive anchor and dyneema anchor line.

But the major reason to use chain is that nothing protects against chaff like chain does. No matter how strong the anchor line is as soon as it touches rocks under load you just lost your anchor.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:24   #7
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

Fatty Goodlander wrote a great article on setting 3 storm anchors in the Pacific and when the storm rolled in all three rodes we cut through by coral. He now has all chain.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:33   #8
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

Cadence, while some of the modern ropes have better qualities than say 3-strand, they still have their failings, especially when compared to chain. Such as say abrasion & cut resistance. Also, if you do a bit of searching online, you can find chain (G43 hot dipped galvanized type) for within a few cents per foot of what some of these plaited lines cost. And on a vessel that size, realistically, you're going to be picking up the anchor with a powered windlass. So unless she's SUPER weight sensitive, where's the perk in using line for your primary rode?
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:42   #9
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

Think of at least one anchor that holds better in soft oozy mud.

We are in a 26' boat where I hoist the anchor by hand. We have 100' chain now which I think is adequate only in a small boat like ours.

In a heavy 44' like yours I would go for at least 300' of chain.

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Old 11-10-2014, 11:43   #10
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

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Fatty Goodlander wrote a great article on setting 3 storm anchors in the Pacific and when the storm rolled in all three rodes we cut through by coral. He now has all chain.
I'll buy that argument in that part of the world. In my little corner of the world, I think you get a fine if sinking your boat on a coral reef much less dragging chain on it.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:02   #11
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

all chain means you get to keep your boat. rope chafes. isnt just coral that chafes rope rode.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:07   #12
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

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Cadence, while some of the modern ropes have better qualities than say 3-strand, they still have their failings, especially when compared to chain. Such as say abrasion & cut resistance. Also, if you do a bit of searching online, you can find chain (G43 hot dipped galvanized type) for within a few cents per foot of what some of these plaited lines cost. And on a vessel that size, realistically, you're going to be picking up the anchor with a powered windlass. So unless she's SUPER weight sensitive, where's the perk in using line for your primary rode?
I said I knew I'd open a bucket of ****. I'll buy your argument also, Isn't that what this is about? Next time I go to the south Pacific I will give it serious consideration.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:50   #13
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

Depends on where you are going. I normally go 200 ft chain with at least 150 nylon backup. IF you plan to go to deep anchorages like the west coast of SA or something then get enough total for 10:1 scope.
As mentioned all chain is very nice, but one has to be practical too. 200 ft at 10:1 only works for maybe 20 ft depth. 300 ft of chain would be nice if you can carry the weight
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Old 11-10-2014, 15:24   #14
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

Any chain beyond 20:1 is of little value for cruisers. I prefer to carry chain at 10:1 then nylon for another 10:1. I like that I have the option to cut the nylon in an emergency. I rarely put two hooks down, less to tangle. I rarely anchor more than 7:1. I don't like to swing very far or to have neighbors who have to calculate my swing room.

I try to put down no more than I can tug off the bottom manually even though I do have an electric windlass.
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Old 11-10-2014, 15:32   #15
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re: Extended Cruising Anchor Line Length Suggestions

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I said I knew I'd open a bucket of ****. I'll buy your argument also, Isn't that what this is about? Next time I go to the south Pacific I will give it serious consideration.
What did you expect on an achoring related subject? Most effective way to start a fight on CF.

I might as well throw some diesel on the poo pile you created. ;-)

A lot depends on your boat and how/where you plan to use it. Similar to Cheechako, I usually run about 200' of chain backed up by about 150' of nylon 3-strand. Always a bit oversized for both the chain and rope. Keeps some weight out of the bow and has served me well for many years/miles in many different venues.

Whether you go all chain or combination be sure to inspect at least every season. I usually end-for-end both chain and rope sections and lop off the worn/corroded bits (normally on the ends) each season. I've seen some really ugly piles of rusted chain down deep in anchor lockers...having another 100' of chain in poor condition does you no good.


....wait for it...someome will post soon telling me how I'm doing it all wrong! ;-)
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