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Old 05-05-2015, 11:55   #1
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Mostly chain with a little rope...

I was explaining anchoring to someone today and used an example where I needed 110' of rode to achieve 5x, but only had 100' of chain so we let out 10' of rope as well. And it occurred to me I don't know the pro's and con's of having a short 10' length of rope rode at the end of a length of chain. Knee-jerk I would be tempted to just shorten the rode so it was all chain, but I have no actual basis for that decision. On the other hand, maybe it would be better to let out a bit more so all the chain was sitting on the bottom and we were swinging on the rope. Or maybe it doesn't matter.

Does it?
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:11   #2
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Well...... if the rope is properly sized and attached I see no problem. Done that many times... For a long term...or heavy water conditions... chafing is the issue.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:14   #3
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Dyneema or hemp? 😏🇺🇸


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Old 05-05-2015, 12:27   #4
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

I would think you actually want some rope on your chain, specifically a stretchy one like three strand nylon. Wind gusts and wave action that would jerk your chain and maybe pull your anchor, will instead just stretch your rope. Most people with windlasses will use a rope chain hook to absorb shock loads rather than rely on the catenary of the chain to do so.
On my boat, I sized my chain to the expected depths I would be in, and then put on 3 strand nylon so that I could put out my chain and then another 10-20 feet of rope without having to deal with a chain hook as the rope was already shackled.


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Old 05-05-2015, 12:31   #5
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

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Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
I would think you actually want some rope on your chain, specifically a stretchy one like three strand nylon. Wind gusts and wave action that would jerk your chain and maybe pull your anchor, will instead just stretch your rope. Most people with windlasses will use a rope chain hook to absorb shock loads rather than rely on the catenary of the chain to do so.
On my boat, I sized my chain to the expected depths I would be in, and then put on 3 strand nylon so that I could put out my chain and then another 10-20 feet of rope without having to deal with a chain hook as the rope was already shackled.
Ya, that occurred to me about 5 minutes after I posted. I guess I was just wondering if the swinging might be greater on such a short length of rope rode.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:58   #6
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Built in snubber, easy to 'cut and run' if necessary. Make it 30' of 8 plait nylon and you're good to go. IMHO of course.


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Old 05-05-2015, 14:14   #7
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

I hate rope rodes. The boat drifts at anchor in light winds. But most importantly is how do you get it up? Does your windlass go from rope to chain? If not can you pull the rope up in a 30 knot squall while dragging?

Apart from that 5 x chain is over the top unless you are in a storm. You tend to take up half the anchorage.

If you are cruising I would ditch the rope and add a C joint and whact on another 100 feet of chain. If its just a weekend boat its probably not worth the money.
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Old 05-05-2015, 14:21   #8
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Out cruising it's a rare day I use less than 5:1.
3:1 is for lunch stops.
In most places I expect everyone to have more than lunch stop rode out.


Am I out in left field here? maybe we need a poll!
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Old 05-05-2015, 14:56   #9
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Assuming there is room, I use 5:1 always, and 7:1 if expecting over 30 knots.
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Old 05-05-2015, 14:58   #10
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Out cruising it's a rare day I use less than 5:1.
3:1 is for lunch stops.
In most places I expect everyone to have more than lunch stop rode out.


Am I out in left field here? maybe we need a poll!
depends on where you are going to eat lunch doesn't it? I wouldn't lunch scope in 15' at low tide around here and head to shore for lunch. That 3:1 is going to become 1.5:1.

For me it also matters where I'm at. There are places I can sleep fine at 3:1, but others that would require a lot more.

In the end I think scope rules are like other boat things, in depends.

BTW - there should be a flag for people anchored for lunch that are going to leave later. Would sure make picking my spot easier knowing whose staying and whose leaving before dark.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:12   #11
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

As someone who has 60m of G70 8mm with a further 45m of 16m Anchorplait spliced to it I can say there is no problem with having both chain and rope in your anchor rode. Generally I hope never to have to use all that scope but it does give me the option to lay off in deeper water (at 5:1 we can securely hang on in 20m in a good blow) or in a real storm we can scope out to 10:1 in 10m of water.

With our 33kg Vulcan we can overnight in normal conditions at 3:1 but would normally set 4:1 which is kind of the standard ratio for all chain rode in average conditions. At higher ratios we should be able to ride out severe storms and even up to hurricane force conditions.

When it is just the chain out I use a length of nylon line attached to my chain with a short length of climbing rope (very stretchy and strong) as a snubber to take the loads off the windlass. I also have a "shockels" snubber for when we are anchored and expecting stronger winds as this has even more shock absorbency and would use this with the anchorplait out as well.

As for the windlass it copes perfectly well with the 8mm chain and 16mm anchorplait both up and down.

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Old 06-05-2015, 10:23   #12
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

The question is NOT rope vs. chain, but whether a short bit of rope has special issues.

  1. So long as the rope is less than the depth there is no chance of cutting on the bottom. In this case, 20 feet of rope will not touch.
  2. A short rope is like using a longish snubber. The boat will not sail around, it will just have a little better shock absorption. Bear in mind that the rope will not touch the water under load, and it will certainly not affect the way the chain drags over the mud.
My reasoning is to go for 20 feet of rope. So long as you have departed from all chain, you might as well use 20 feet and reduce the system loads. less than 5:1 is probably too little in many cases; depends on the depth, the hook, the chain, and mostly, the bottom.



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Old 06-05-2015, 10:46   #13
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Interesting and timely. I was speaking with a windlass/rode/anchor vendor. He said that in Europe a long length of chain was very common due to rocky bottoms. In the US, generally with softer bottom the chain length was MUCH less. I have two 14 kilo anchors and he said eight meters of chain was overkill the rest should be rope. Obviously size and therefore weight of chain has an impact. Is this really a rocks versus sand/mud issue?
For me the difference would be close to 100 kilos out of the bow if he is right.
Thoughts?
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:51   #14
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
The question is NOT rope vs. chain, but whether a short bit of rope has special issues.

  1. So long as the rope is less than the depth there is no chance of cutting on the bottom. In this case, 20 feet of rope will not touch.
  2. A short rope is like using a longish snubber. The boat will not sail around, it will just have a little better shock absorption. Bear in mind that the rope will not touch the water under load, and it will certainly not affect the way the chain drags over the mud.
My reasoning is to go for 20 feet of rope. So long as you have departed from all chain, you might as well use 20 feet and reduce the system loads. less than 5:1 is probably too little in many cases; depends on the depth, the hook, the chain, and mostly, the bottom.
Exactly what I was wondering. Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:49   #15
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Re: Mostly chain with a little rope...

Always spend the night on 5:1 chain with a three strand snubber. Given that from bow to water I have 5 feet so that is an automatic 25 feet for starters. If the wind is expected to rise I will get to 7:1. Also have 150 feet chain and 150 feet 12 plait. Never had to use it all, but nice to know its there. Never drug anchor. People laugh, but have windlass to bring in it and I sleep well at night. I also set anchor alarm on iPhone so that I am aware when the tide changes or the wind shifts. Having said this, watch me drag this week!


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