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Old 11-08-2013, 22:46   #1
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600' of Chain, How Much to Keep?

Hi all,

My CSY came with 600' of 3/8 chain in my bow locker. i know this is too much, and it causes the windlass to jam due to the chain piling up below. I plan to use 300' as my primary set up attached to my new 80# Manson Supreme. Should I keep an additional 100' connected to rope for a second anchor? I really want to clear my anchor locker of unnecessary chain and weight.

THANKS, BILL
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Old 11-08-2013, 22:55   #2
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Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

Maybe 50' as spare, just my $0.02.

I've got 300' up front and then a half a shot in the stern near some spare 1/2" and 5/8" nylon that's sitting around waiting for a job. Keeping it on the back also helps for the random stern anchoring need.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:43   #3
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Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

I think it mostly depends on the size of your boat and where you sail. A 50-footer requires more chain than a 30-footer. If you tend to anchor in deeper water or places with swift current, more chain would be helpful. I am sensitive about having too much weight forward. I sail with 200 ft of chain on the primary and just 25 ft on the secondary.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:49   #4
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Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

300 ft is about right -- 600 is good iff you have the space for stowing it under midships ....

300 is as much as i have needed, and not had--i have 250 ft of 5/16.. i use 150 ft here in mexico's rocky bottoms and muckville, such as here in lagoon with iffy holding.
you may wish to split it up and keep all of it--separate into 2 ready anchor systems.....

do you plan on any deep water anchoring--if so--keep it whole....assist the windlass by hand and be careful...mine jams when chain is twisted.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:22   #5
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Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

It depends more where you going to sail.
A well equipped length of chain for a long distance cruising boat on the primary anchor is around 100m (330 feet). More is better and if you can carry more without significant trim/pounding problems it is worth doing.

For your second anchor a prefer several shortish lengths that allow for versitility. I most most commonly use my second anchor with a short amount of chain. It is a lightweight Fortress anchor so with a small amount of chain it is easy to dingy (or swim with a fender) into location. There are however times when you need much more chain.
I would probably divide it something like this (assuming its all in good condition)

1. 400 feet primary.
2. 30 feet attached to secondary anchor
3. 60 feet stored with the secondary anchor
4. 110 feet stored low down.

With some good quality C links if you loose your primary rode you can still replace it with 200 feet of chain.

I would not throw it away. Some shortish length of chain are also useful when tying the stern to shore in rocky conditions.

An alternative is just to divide it in half. The galvanising does not last long if you are anchoring a lot of the time. Store the half down low and make sure it is safely secured.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:29   #6
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Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

Cut it in half. put 300' on your primary. Put the other 300' in a plastic bin with some oil in a shed and you have a second 300' rode for when you want to replace the first one.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:54   #7
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Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisjay View Post
I think it mostly depends on the size of your boat and where you sail. A 50-footer requires more chain than a 30-footer. If you tend to anchor in deeper water or places with swift current, more chain would be helpful. I am sensitive about having too much weight forward. I sail with 200 ft of chain on the primary and just 25 ft on the secondary.
Not sure why a 50 footer needs more chain since if they are going to the same places. Chain size obviously will be different but lengths should be similar.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:25   #8
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Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

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Not sure why a 50 footer needs more chain since if they are going to the same places. Chain size obviously will be different but lengths should be similar.
Large boats do typically anchor out deeper than the smaller boats. Part of the reason is is a deeper draft, but there are a lot of factors. Larger boats roll less and have more capable tenders so anchoring further out is less of a problem.

The biggest reason is often just that they can. Chain is heavy, but the proportional weight decreases as boats go larger even after larger chain diameters are factored in. Large winches and lots of chain mean that deep water is a much more practical for large boats to anchor. Often its the best spot, but don't tell the little boats
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:40   #9
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Re: 600' of Chain, How Much to Keep?

If you have room to store it out of the way, nothing wrong with a spare, but let's face it, stored in the bilge it will likely rust... so you might just sell the extra and save maybe 50 ft to attach to a heavy nylon extra rode.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:56   #10
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pirate Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Cut it in half. put 300' on your primary. Put the other 300' in a plastic bin with some oil in a shed and you have a second 300' rode for when you want to replace the first one.
+A1...
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:00   #11
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Re: 600' of Chain, how much to keep?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Cut it in half. put 300' on your primary. Put the other 300' in a plastic bin with some oil in a shed and you have a second 300' rode for when you want to replace the first one.
Yeah if you have a shed!
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:16   #12
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Re: 600' of Chain, How Much to Keep?

The length of chain required is the max depth you will anchor plus the bow to the water, and at least a 5 times scope. Here is a good site concerning anchoring and has a excel that will calculate the anchor size, rode depending on depth, wind/current, http://alain.fraysse.free.fr/sail/rode/rode.htm and this one is for scope. Anchor Scope Illustrated Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com The anchor size is more dependant on the length weight of the boat.
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Old 14-08-2013, 18:11   #13
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Re: 600' of Chain, How Much to Keep? Update

Hi all,

So here is what I ended up doing. I laid all the chain out and had about 500' and change. So I cut my primary length at 325' and stowed the rest under the vee berth for future use. I also put on my new 80# Manson, boy is that one big anchor!

Thanks for all the input.

Cheers, Bill
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