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Old 03-07-2022, 15:19   #1
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3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

So as some of you have probably already read, I am the new owner of a Morgan Out Island 416.

The previous owners had 25’ Of 3/8 chain and 150 foot of half-inch rode (rope). I am far from an expert on this but I perceive that that combination is anemic. Maybe I’m wrong but…..

My questions are these:
Is 3/8 inch sufficient for my 27,000ld (in reality 29,000lb.) Morgan out Island or should I change to 1/2inch?

Secondly, I’m of the opinion that at a minimum the chain should’ve been 50 feet and then twice the amount of rode/ line and at least a minimum of 300 feet of rope/line. Am I off-base with that?

Third, I understand that this is probably controversial topic and will generate Opposing opinions about all chain, versus chain and rope. Should I go all chain? I’m not bashful about carrying all chain but I am wondering about the weight of chain especially if I’m carrying several hundred feet of it. Is this a concern considering the boat I am talking about?

For those of you that will suggest the chain/ line option over chain; what diameter should I be considering

lastly I do not have an opinion one way or the other, all rope versus all chain and having done searches on this forum and a couple of others it seems that this is literally nothing more than a personal preference thing. Can someone point me to a definitive conversation to help me decide as to one versus the other? Or feel free to provide me with a convincing argument.

Again, I have searched but I’m not finding any conversations that are convincing. I’m finding lots of conversations that are opinions.

My Cruising grounds for this year is Maine to Key West. Given that cruising region, and my boat and the fact that I will avoid going south during the hurricane season, can anyone provide me with some clarity/ real reasoning for one over the other, so that I don’t “F” this up in my first season.

Please note I Am using a Mantus M1 65 pound anchor

And yes, I understand that chain is definitive, but is it a convincing enough argument relative to my need versus the weight trade off? Is the weight factor even a conversation Considering my boat?
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Old 03-07-2022, 15:33   #2
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

3/8 chain is plenty. If using a higher grade like G43, 5/16" would even be enough. Personally I'm using 5/16" G43 on my 38 foot, 27k lb powerboat.

For line, I'd want 5/8 or 3/4.

As far as quantity, carry as much chain as you can either handle the weight of or as much as your cruising grounds require to avoid bottom chafe. Then add rope if desired for more length when bottom chafe isn't an issue. When cruising in areas with deep anchorages, there's no such thing as a rode too long as it means you can basically anchor anywhere.
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Old 03-07-2022, 15:46   #3
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

👍 I’m not sure weight is actually an issue. But I just don’t really know.
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Old 03-07-2022, 18:02   #4
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

The answer is, It Depends.

How do you use your boat? Coastal sailing? weekend cruising? or long term out-on-your-own away from help kind of stuff?

Worrying about weight in a Morgan OutIsland is a bit silly. Just get over it. But to answer your original question as posed, 1/2" is total over kill for a 42 foot boat. My boat has made TWO circumnavigations and held through at least one hurricane with 3/8" g4 and it is 52 feet and 38,000 lbs.

As others have suggested, 3/8" BBB or 5/16" G4 will serve you well. If you have an existing gypsy, you can probably just match that.

For routine anchoring in most of the world, 300 feet (100 meters) of chain is the go-to solution. That will hold you well in 60 feet of water. This is the standard solution because it WORKS. There are people who argue that they have a better idea, but they aren't really anchoring safer, just cheaper.

If you are a weekend cruiser who stays close to home, it matters little. You already have a good anchor.
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Old 03-07-2022, 19:20   #5
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

If you're cruising Maine to Florida all your anchorages are going to be shallow, very rarely over 30', if that. South of Maine, they're all sand or mud bottom. My opinion is 150' of 5/16" G4 chain with 150' of 5/8" line is ideal. Even your boat will feel 300' of chain in the bow.
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Old 03-07-2022, 22:15   #6
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

Itdepends! I have two hundred and fifty feet of 3/8 th chain in the anchor locker. But I do anchor in 60 plus feet of water. I’ve had to anchor in 160 feet of water. Glad I had the 250 foot of chain and anther 100 foot of rode.

It really depends where your at to simply say. Go experiment and let us know what works best for you and your conditions.

I did just that and found 250 feet of 3/8th chain (100 foot of 5/8th rode) and a Vulcan anchor was what I prefer.

There is a person on YouTube that does anchor testing Penope? I can’t remember, maybe someone can help me with his name. I would watch hours of his videos and make a choice.
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Old 04-07-2022, 04:39   #7
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItDepends View Post
The answer is, It Depends.

How do you use your boat? Coastal sailing? weekend cruising? or long term out-on-your-own away from help kind of stuff?

Worrying about weight in a Morgan OutIsland is a bit silly. Just get over it. But to answer your original question as posed, 1/2" is total over kill for a 42 foot boat. My boat has made TWO circumnavigations and held through at least one hurricane with 3/8" g4 and it is 52 feet and 38,000 lbs.

As others have suggested, 3/8" BBB or 5/16" G4 will serve you well. If you have an existing gypsy, you can probably just match that.

For routine anchoring in most of the world, 300 feet (100 meters) of chain is the go-to solution. That will hold you well in 60 feet of water. This is the standard solution because it WORKS. There are people who argue that they have a better idea, but they aren't really anchoring safer, just cheaper.

If you are a weekend cruiser who stays close to home, it matters little. You already have a good anchor.

This was a solid reply. Thank you.


For this season, yes coastal cruising on the east coast will be the extent. week long cruises initially. The plan being that next season (potentially) those cruises will extend to longer distances and times aboard. The Mrs is in process of retiring and we will be selling house etc and eventually move aboard.
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Old 04-07-2022, 05:23   #8
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

Long and not a recommendation but my experience to take from it what you find helpful.

My Beneteau 423 came used to me with 30' of BBB and 150' of rope rode. It had been cruised in New England waters and we used it like that for a couple of years in New England as well.

Preparing for a trip to the Bahamas, and possibly beyond, I changed to 250' of G4 5/16 with another 100' of rope rode. I wanted to be primarily all chain without the weight of 3/8", except I was willing to compromise for extreme depths should we encounter them. I had to change to a different gypsy to accommodate the different chain size. Also the rope rode had to match as well. The downside was that I overlooked was that the reduced size of rope rode was small enough that it made me a little anxious to depend on it should it come to that. Obviously not where one wants to be.

We did our first trip to the Bahamas with that combination. In all of our anchoring between New England and the Bahamas in the last 10 years I think we have gotten to 180' of chain maybe three times. On the other hand, we are almost always at least at 90' with the exception being when we are in the more shallow waters of the Bahamas (6-7') we are at 60-75'. With all chain we now deploy a snubber.

At this point half the chain has lost its galvanizing and the resulting rust is staining our boat. Given the cost of re-galvanizing I may just replace the chain. If I do, I may go back to the larger gypsy using 90' of 3/8" BBB and 200' of 3-strand rope rode that matches the gypsy. Then in 95% of our anchoring situations where we have 90'+ we will just use the rope rode as the snubber. At least one issue with this arrangement is that the twisting of the rope rode will likely mean that often the anchor will come up out of alignment, which on our anchor roller, requires us to spin the anchor around with a boat hook. This spinning could be made simpler with a swivel but swivels are a bit controversial.

The biggest improvement in our ground tackle was going from the stock CQR to a "modern" anchor. We went with a Spade 120 and love it.

Good luck,
Harry
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Old 04-07-2022, 05:34   #9
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

Quote:
Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post
Long and not a recommendation but my experience to take from it what you find helpful.

My Beneteau 423 came used to me with 30' of BBB and 150' of rope rode. It had been cruised in New England waters and we used it like that for a couple of years in New England as well.

Preparing for a trip to the Bahamas, and possibly beyond, I changed to 250' of G4 5/16 with another 100' of rope rode. I wanted to be primarily all chain without the weight of 3/8", except I was willing to compromise for extreme depths should we encounter them. I had to change to a different gypsy to accommodate the different chain size. Also the rope rode had to match as well. The downside was that I overlooked was that the reduced size of rope rode was small enough that it made me a little anxious to depend on it should it come to that. Obviously not where one wants to be.

We did our first trip to the Bahamas with that combination. In all of our anchoring between New England and the Bahamas in the last 10 years I think we have gotten to 180' of chain maybe three times. On the other hand, we are almost always at least at 90' with the exception being when we are in the more shallow waters of the Bahamas (6-7') we are at 60-75'. With all chain we now deploy a snubber.

At this point half the chain has lost its galvanizing and the resulting rust is staining our boat. Given the cost of re-galvanizing I may just replace the chain. If I do, I may go back to the larger gypsy using 90' of 3/8" BBB and 200' of 3-strand rope rode that matches the gypsy. Then in 95% of our anchoring situations where we have 90'+ we will just use the rope rode as the snubber. At least one issue with this arrangement is that the twisting of the rope rode will likely mean that often the anchor will come up out of alignment, which on our anchor roller, requires us to spin the anchor around with a boat hook. This spinning could be made simpler with a swivel but swivels are a bit controversial.

The biggest improvement in our ground tackle was going from the stock CQR to a "modern" anchor. We went with a Spade 120 and love it.

Good luck,
Harry
A bit off topic, but may I ask what brand of chain was your 250' of 5/16 and how long before it started showing signs of rust?
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Old 04-07-2022, 09:48   #10
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
A bit off topic, but may I ask what brand of chain was your 250' of 5/16 and how long before it started showing signs of rust?
ACCO purchased 2016. I noticed the first signs of in rust in the Spring 2021 and I should have at least reversed it then. It really started staining the decks over the last four months of our cruise to the Bahamas and back to New England. I have tried to keep up with cleaning the decks and getting was on them but it has been hard while underway all the time.

I met someone recently that recommended Maggi (which is now made by another company) but it did not get very good reviews in Practical Sailor. Lost of galvanizing but it didn't stick. I spoke to the distributor and he acknowledge some issue with the G70 but claimed no issues with G43, both of which PS was not impressed with.


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Old 04-07-2022, 15:06   #11
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

Guys, for some reason unknown to me, the galvanize on new chain is ALWAYS thin and goes away fast. The galvanize you get when you re-galvanize the chain is ALWAYS thicker. Always being a relative term, but we've been doing this for 36 yrs. Do not allow your chain to start wasting from the rust. It weakens it considerably.

Yes, 3/8" chain will be adequate. If you are going to anchor in coral-infested waters, your 150 ft. will still do you most places. If you're going somewhere you have to anchor in 65-85 ft. (like some places in the Society Is.), you'll want all chain. We have seen boats on the beach not only from the rode chafing on coral, but in places with wind against the tide, and rivers, by chafing through on the keel. The weight of the chain keeps it off the keel.

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Old 04-07-2022, 15:24   #12
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

So I’ve decided to go with 150’ of 3/8 G4 chain and 200’ of 7/16th, 3 strand line. 200’ was chosen because that was a prefabricated thing at Defender which I drive pay to get to my boat so I save over $100 in S&H .

Does this sound like a reasonable approach for my boat and cruising grounds?
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Old 04-07-2022, 18:21   #13
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

Correction… not 7/16…. I’m considering the 1/2 inch but no purchase made yet
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Old 04-07-2022, 19:23   #14
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

Quote:
Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post
ACCO purchased 2016. I noticed the first signs of in rust in the Spring 2021 and I should have at least reversed it then. It really started staining the decks over the last four months of our cruise to the Bahamas and back to New England. I have tried to keep up with cleaning the decks and getting was on them but it has been hard while underway all the time.

I met someone recently that recommended Maggi (which is now made by another company) but it did not get very good reviews in Practical Sailor. Lost of galvanizing but it didn't stick. I spoke to the distributor and he acknowledge some issue with the G70 but claimed no issues with G43, both of which PS was not impressed with.


Harry
Thanks. Yes, I saw the article on PS, I understand the G70 has issues, but on the G43 it was inconclusive and confusing. Acco and Maggi are supposed to be tops, but I am going with Titan which was mentioned in the article and is avaliable to me at a much lower cost than the other 2. Ann is right, new chain has thinner coatings, as such this is a shot in the dark, regardless of brand.
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Old 05-07-2022, 06:00   #15
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Re: 3/8ths vs 1/2” and…..

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Guys, for some reason unknown to me, the galvanize on new chain is ALWAYS thin and goes away fast. The galvanize you get when you re-galvanize the chain is ALWAYS thicker. Always being a relative term
...

Ann
(sorry to continue the thread drift)

I am looking for a shop that will handle re-galvanizing my chain. The warning I have received is that while the coating will be thicker this is usually due to the lack of spinning or shaking to remove excessive amount of coating, especially where links join each other. This, I am told, can result in a big mass of chain with lumps that have to be broken apart, often resulting in holidays (aka voids) where the process of breaking apart the clumps pulls the coating off the chain.

Ann (or others), I am curious of your experience with this sort of problem.
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