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Old 06-12-2010, 22:18   #1
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Adding Chain Questions

Boat is a 1980 us 30. 30 ft fiberglass racer/cruiser fin keel and about 7500lbs loaded. Boat is sailled in s florida and the keys.
My current anchor is a manson 25 with 10 feet of 3/8 and 150 feet of 1/2 3 strand. My secondary anchor is a fortress fx 16 with 10 feet of 5/16 and 100 feet of 1/2 3 strand. Ive never had oppertunity to use the fortress.
I would like to start traveling further from home and have resonable confidence in my ground tackle. I do not have a windlass and I do not have a roller. So Im thinking of adding a bow roller, and getting at least 50 feet of 5/16 chain for the manson. I have never been on a boat with more then 5-10 feet of chain on the anchor. I understand that one would secure it with a chain hook and a section of rode tied to a bow cleat. But do you also need a chain stopper in case the snubber breaks? How do you break the anchor free once you have motored up to it? Any other advice?
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Old 06-12-2010, 22:43   #2
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5/16 chain is about 1.1 pound per foot. So you're adding 50 pounds to a 25 pound anchor, and even allowing for the density of water -- unless you are a very strong and tough guy (with tough hands) you're going to appreciate a windlass to pull against wind and haul it up. Break out can be done with the anchor up-short and using the snubber.

If you're not ready to install a windlass, perhaps you would be better off investing in the Manson 35 instead of the 25. The extra 10 pounds will increase holding more if added in the anchor than in your chain. Others will disagree, but it can be proven scientifically that (except in very deep anchorages) the only advantage to chain is chafe protection against rock, coral or debris.
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Old 06-12-2010, 23:59   #3
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With 50' of chain, you're really going to appreciate that roller.

You don't need a chain stopper if you only have 50' of chain. You'll always have all the chain out when you anchor, right? Chain stoppers and snubbers are for people with all-chain rodes.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:20   #4
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I'd go with 1/4" G4 chain and at least a 100'. That will allow you to anchor with an all chain rode in most anchorages, will be a lot easier on your back to lift the chain on board in a deep anchorage and proably have less weight in the bow with longer chain. You might want to have a total rode length of at least 250' for those deep anchorages or times when you need it.

We used a rolling hitch on our chain snubber. Worked fine 24/7 anchored out for more than a year including a tropical depression.

An electric windlass is a neat thing to have but you can probably get buy without while you are still young. Your anchors sound more than adequate for your boat.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:53   #5
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Im not so worried about the weight for anchoring purposes im more worried about the rode chaffing though as there is alot of coral in the keys. Most anchorages here are less then 15 feet and I barely have time off to make it to them. If I thought I could get away with less chain I would but I think 50 feet may be the right amount for me. As for a windlass its deffinatly not in the budget and Im still young and dumb enough to haul the anchor by hand, if solcom could do it a 55................
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:17   #6
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I'm based on Miami, she's a Cal29 with 40 ft of chain and 120 ft 3 std on a fortress anchor, no windlass. Sometimes I have to wrap a towel around the pulpit, hold the chain and use the rocking to clear the anchor from muddy bottom, one link at a time (I'd love to have a windlass then)
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:36   #7
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If you are not going to use a windlass nor a bow roller, then I suggest you put a trip line with a float on your anchor. This will make it a lot easier to break it from the bottom, but then you still have to bring it in without damaging yourself or your boat.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:51   #8
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You shouldn't use a windlass to break out the anchor, anyway. Let your boat do that for you.

As long as you're hoisting your anchor & rode by hand, you could go with 1/4" G4 chain - plenty strong for your 7500 lb boat.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:09   #9
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b-rad, Good that you are making a change since 5-10 feet of chain is woefully too little. Fortunately you have probably not been in a situation where the extra chain was really needed. I cruised for a couple of seasons with 50 feet of 5/16th on my rode and no windlass. With 50 feet you will deploy all of that in almost every anchorage so a chain hook will probably not be an issue. I typically would let out the scope until I had about 6 to 10 feet of line in shallow anchorages and cleat it off. At 5 to 1, your minimum, and factoring from the top of your bow, you will indeed need the entire 50 feet. This would put you in an overage of 6 to 7 feet of water, most of the time deeper. You don't say if you will be single handing or have crew. Having crew makes retrieving the anchor and rode much easier without a windlass. Chuck
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