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distantraveler 04-09-2014 05:08

Full Anchor Chain?
I am looking into going full chain anchoring. Need help figuring out what size and which windlass.

GordMay 04-09-2014 06:01

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, distantraveler.

Suijin 04-09-2014 06:09

Re: Full Anchor Chain?

Originally Posted by distantraveler (Post 1620712)
I am looking into going full chain anchoring. Need help figuring out what size and which windlass.

I'd suggest 200' of 5/16". Some will say that's not enough length or link size, but you can do the math with respect to required scope for your expected destinations and the load on the chain.

As to windlass, that's largely a function of where and how you're going to mount it and your budget.

distantraveler 04-09-2014 06:15

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
Deck mounted about 36" behind the bow plate. I was hoping that 5/16 would do it for weight reasons as the fresh water is also forward. The Hunter is 27k.

oldcal46skipper 04-09-2014 06:28

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
Welcome aboard,

I see you are in Niceville. Next time you are over Pensacola way, give me a call and come look at my tried and true anchor chain set up on my Cal 46. Since I was originally a California boater, I have 350' of 5/16" chain fore and aft, with two Ideal windlasses. You usually do not need that much chain around here, but I am not changing. So, I have two 350' chain rodes and one 100' also on the bow for bahamian moor.

When we were cruising full time, I would have the chain re-galvanized each 3 - 5 years, once in Mexico, once in Venezuela,(1993 before chavez) and once in Citronelle, AL. I replaced my foreward chain in 2010.

The Ideal brand windlasses are indeed ideal. They are driven by a Chevrolet starter motor, of which many million have been built, are readily available and inexpensive. In the 33 years I have had my Cal 46, I have replaced the clutch plate liners once. I carried spare brushes for the motors from when we left Long Beach, CA in 1988 and still have them. These Ideal windlasses were original equipment on my boat which was launched November 1967. That's correct 47 years of hard use. You get what you pay for.

Tom eight five zero 572 122five

distantraveler 04-09-2014 07:29

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
Thanks Tom, Very useful info. I am in pcola often on business and might well take you up on the offer to see your boat. Lunch will be on me so I can pick your brain. Any ideas on where to buy said chain, and do you think 1/4 inch would work for my hunter? 27000 lbs.

Stu Jackson 04-09-2014 07:39

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
dt, if you're going to buy a windlass, the gyspy on the windlass will determine the size of chain you need. Most (not all) for recreational boats are for 5/16" chain. Check them out on any online chandlery.

gjordan 04-09-2014 08:34

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
I will second the Ideal brand, but I am not sure if they are available anymore. I have seen several different models of Ideals on Ebay, so you would have to make sure you bought the correct one for the size chain you want. It might be impossible to buy a different gypsy. I think 1/4 inch is too small for a boat your size. Oldcals, 350 feet might seem like way overkill, but depending on where you plan to cruise, it might be handy. I have spent many nights in anchorages that were 50 or 60 foot deep, with no real idea if there were coral heads down there. Co-ordinate your windlass purchase and chain, or make sure you buy a windlass that has other gypsies available for purchase. If possible, try to get a windlass with a way to mechanically grind the chain in, in case of power failure. A big anchor, all chain, and an electric windlass makes cruising easier. Good Luck. ______Grant.

donradcliffe 04-09-2014 08:54

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
With your size boat, you will want 5/16" HT chain for the strength. You will also want to take a look at your boat layout and see if a horizontal or vertical windlass will work best.

Cheechako 04-09-2014 08:54

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
I would say generally 5/16 HT and about 200 ft with a spiced on additional nylon behind that. I'm sold on vertical windlasses. Had both Horiz and vert and the vert were trouble free while the horizontal often were not. In my early years I wouldn't consider a vertical... so I came 180 on that.

MarkJ 04-09-2014 10:37

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
40 foot boat? 10 mm thats 3/8ths inch chain.

I have 100 meters/ 330 feet all chain. Can't beat a bit of length :)

DoubleWhisky 04-09-2014 10:51

Re: Full Anchor Chain?

Originally Posted by gjordan (Post 1620872)
I will second the Ideal brand, but I am not sure if they are available anymore.



gjordan 04-09-2014 12:08

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
Thanks for the link. It is good to see(in the small print at bottom of page) that most of them have a mechanical way to hoist. They are certainly no longer inexpensive, but their reliability is legendary. ________Grant.

dannc 04-09-2014 14:34

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
How about using the anchor guides to tell you what size of chain you need?

Besides the size of the chain there is chain grade. The better chain grades weigh less and are stronger than less grades. So consider going to a better grade of chain balanced by cost.

The chain size will drive the gypsy size and windless.

Adding more chain is going to add more weight to the bow of the boat. Will that affect the boat's performance/handling? Going to a better grade of chain will minimize the weight impact but will cost more money.


distantraveler 05-09-2014 04:36

Re: Full Anchor Chain?
The fresh water tank is also in the bow so that is another 800 lbs or so. I think I am going to have to consider a midships stow box for the chain.

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