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Old 24-08-2012, 12:42   #1
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Anchoring in the Pacific

I'm heading to the pacific next year and am wondering how deep anchorages will be in general.

I've got 120ft of chain plus 40ft of rode - will this be enough to handle most anchorages or do I need more?

I've also got 3 anchors and am considering ditching one to save on weight and space. I've got a 25kg Manson (main anchor), 20kg fortress and 25kg Bruce-type claw. Which do you think I should sell? (my boat is a 39ft catamaran)

Thanks!
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Old 24-08-2012, 13:03   #2
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

Can you narrow it down a bit. The pacific's king of big. Up north almost everyone runs 300 feet or better
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Old 24-08-2012, 13:20   #3
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

There is a lot of information out there to read about cruising the Pacific.
I think 120ft of chain is not enough. I have 250ft. of 3/8 chain and 150ft of line.
I would not sell any anchor, keep them all.

Good luck
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Old 24-08-2012, 13:37   #4
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

So California Channel Islands are in Pacific, and not unusual to have to anchor in 100' deep water. Assuming you want better than 1.5:1 scope, would need more anchor rode there.
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Old 24-08-2012, 13:44   #5
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

Assuming weight is your big issue, chain is adequate but rope tail needs to be at triple to what you've got. In Eastern Polynesia, you will be hard pressed to find anchorages deeper than 40'. You'll be able to anchor with the chain off the bottom almost everywhere with the chain you've got. You'll want the longer rope tail for those few oddities and storm conditions. My personal preference is all chain, about 250', because of the coral but know how weight anal you multi guys are.

I'd use the Manson as my primary anchor with the Fortress as a backup. A 40# fortress must be HUGE. It wouldn't hurt to take the Bruce. Don't personally like that anchor style but you never can tell when you might come up short an anchor for whatever reason. Anchors are god awful expensive to replace in out of the way places and most of Polynesia, Melanesia, etc. are very out of the way.
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Old 24-08-2012, 14:14   #6
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

Sorry you will need more if you are going to the S. Pacific. Though many places are 10 to 15 meters deep on most islands, there are enough deep anchorages where you should have 300 feet of chain if possible. One example is Cooks Bay on Moorea, 30 meters deep(90feet). Good holding but when it blows easterly wind comes down out of the mountains in gusts of 50kts or more. 300 feet of chain only gives you 3 to 1 but most hold with that due to good mud bottom. Centerboard cruisers move deep into the bays where it is shallow and avoid the winds entirely.
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Old 24-08-2012, 15:20   #7
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Re: why 300 ft of CHAIN?

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Originally Posted by stevewrye View Post
Sorry you will need more if you are going to the S. Pacific. Though many places are 10 to 15 meters deep on most islands, there are enough deep anchorages where you should have 300 feet of chain if possible. .
Why would you possibly need 300 feet of CHAIN? Seems his 120 feet is more than adequate if he adds 200 ft of rode to it. He already has 3 big anchors. All that chain is going to make him nose heavy and sail quite poorly. He does need a second full anchor rode for the second anchor.
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Old 24-08-2012, 15:43   #8
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Re: why 300 ft of CHAIN?

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Why would you possibly need 300 feet of CHAIN? Seems his 120 feet is more than adequate if he adds 200 ft of rode to it. He already has 3 big anchors. All that chain is going to make him nose heavy and sail quite poorly. He does need a second full anchor rode for the second anchor.
In the S. Pacific all chain is best because of corral heads. Those heads will make short order of his rode. It is tough to carry 300 ft of chain on a small boat, I don't recall the size of cutlass's boat he did not say the size. But if he is 40ft or better then he can carry 300 feet on a good cruising boat. Most do when sailing in the S. Pacific. But there were many on smaller boats who did not. But if Cutlass does have a smaller boat then he should add as much chain as he can without effecting his boat. It must be no fun to be in such a beautiful place as the deep Pacific and worry about the chances of a wind shift and having rope rode drag over corral heads. Cruisers with chain/rode combos worried a lot about anchoring in corral and it is something you can't avoid.
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Old 24-08-2012, 16:13   #9
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

Keep the anchors. I understand some anchorages on the Milk Run can be pretty deep... no personal experience though.
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Old 24-08-2012, 16:22   #10
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

We had 200 ft of chain and enough nylon 3 strand line to get to the bottom anywhere we ever were at !!!700ft to be exact almost never used the line in the south pacific the 200 ft of chain kept us just fine And the best anchor we had was a danforth, most of our anchorages were less then 30 ft!! Now in the PNW ya need more line at least, as the normal anchorages are 60 ft or more, unless ya have some local knowlage!! I would add 50 more ft of chain and make up a second rode with 50 ft of chain and a bunch of line for your second anchor, toss the bruce and keep both your others but have 2 roads one for each anchor, cus theres places ya might want to bow and stern anchor !! Just my 2 cents and 20 + yrs anchoring in the Pacific
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Old 24-08-2012, 16:43   #11
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

Dont get rid of the third anchor. If you lose an anchor while cruising(which is not uncommon) you will be darn glad you have that backup. As Roverhi said, anchors are very expensive in the middle of nowhere. The 120 foot of chain is not bad for a multihull, but you need much more nylon for the deep anchoages and know how to lay it out in a blow and shorten it up if the wind goes light so that you dont get nylon around a coral head and end up with a bunch of match sticks on the beach instead of the boat you love. As I have said many times before MORE CRUISING BOATS ARE LOST TO POOR ANCHORING SKILLS THAN ARE LOST TO POOR SAILING SKILLS._____Grant.
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Old 24-08-2012, 16:48   #12
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

A good option if you can't go with 300 ft of chain is using Yale Brait 8 strand for your chain/rode combo. Has a lot of give and does not get hard like 3 strand nylon. Does take chafing better than nylon.
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Old 24-08-2012, 19:23   #13
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

A query: You (the OP) say your main anchor is a 25 kilo Manson. Manson makes all sorts of anchors, so which one is yours? If it's a Supreme or Boss you're good to go with it, but if it is a plow, I'm not so sure.

And FWIW, we carry 280 feet of 10mm chain for all our anchoring in the S. Pacific. Rarely are forced to anchor in more than 60 feet or so, but the occasional 85 footer has come out way, and we were glad to have all the chain. And add our vote to not using composite rodes in coral waters... it's just not worth the risk.

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Old 24-08-2012, 21:12   #14
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

In the South Pacific I agree...all chain...nylon rode is useless ...wrap that round a coral head and it will gone in an hour !
Keep all the anchors...you never know when you might have to leave one behind.
Carry as much anchor chain as you can...even in relatively shallow anchorages 10-15m, often the holding is not that good, so you need LOTS of chain.

We have 200ft 10mm (3/8) chain and we've never had a problem...and that's with a Manson plough as well !!
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Old 25-08-2012, 03:52   #15
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Re: Anchoring in the Pacific

So far, we have cruised San Francisco to Panama City. We anchored along the entire West coast of Mexico and the most of the Sea of Cortez. We also anchored a lot along Costa Rica and the Western Islands of Panama.

We carry 300 feet of chain on our primary and 200 feet on our secondary anchor. Both rodes have additional megabraid line making each a total of five hudred feet.

During our travels we have anchored in as little as 12 feet and as much as 120 feet.

In Panama the tidal changes are 18 feet so you tend to anchor in deeper water with a lot of chain.

As previously mentioned, coral is hell on anchor lines, but so are rocks and other debris found on the bottom. I sleep better knowing I have chain down. Also in high winds a boat tend to bounce more on a anchor line, which causing the boat to swim more (Fall off the wind) making it more uncomfortable.

Also as previously mentioned, having multiple anchors is a good thing when cruising. You will find that if you loose an anchor, trying to find a new (or used) one will be expensive and very hard to find. Not to mention if you are only carrying one, now you have to find a marina until the new anchor arrives... Which in Panama City is about $2500 per month for a 45 foot boat.
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