Don't use the down the chain splice, it's called by winchmakers the 'Winch Killer' splice and for very good reason. You can actually see the start of the winch
killer bits in FASTCATs picture above, the chain links turning sideways. One of those links sideways hitting your winch
can get very very expensive.
That splice is also more prone to damage the rope then the New England
(amongst others) 'backsplice' style.
We do an average 15 odd rope to chain splices a day and have done for nearly 10 years. We send them all over the world for 1 or 2 winchmakers and do a lot of test work/rodes for one big name.
Over that time we have chopped many open and obviously had a look at 100's that have been used for various lengths of time.
I can say with confidence -
The join if spliced well is no weaker than splicing a thimble in.
well in R2C (rope to chain) gypsies.
just as well not in a gypsy
Rope damage is not a concern of ours anymore and we have never seen anything large to be worried about.
We would recommend re splicing every 3 years max (average use) just to check the chain link underneath. We have seen these used on commercial
boats (up/down 3-4 times a day) for 6-7 years without any drama though. But then using anchoring system gear
a lot usually means it will last longer than those that are used once a month or less.
The winches don't damage the rope itself really. The thing to watch on the spile is the winch pulling the odd strand out of the splice, if not fixed it will eventually 'un-splice' the rope. Don't panic it takes many ups and downs for this to happen, it doesn't do it fast. Anyway as well all know sound seamanship says you do give your rode the Mk1 Eyeball over now and again so you should pick any drama up well before it becomes a safety
Using 8 Braid (octiplait, Brait and whatever you call it locally) is no worries just as 3 strands aren't either.
In the US I'd try to get New England
or Yale 8 Brait. We've used both and apart from the bullpooh price
they are nice ropes. We have a Japanese crowd make all of ours.
If you are planning on using it in a Auto R2C winch don't buy 'the cheap
stuff', it's false economy and will give you grief sooner rather than later. Actually that applies to most ropes.
Match the rope size to the chain size especially if using on a Auto R2C winch.
Rock on and have fun.
PS. I've sat through 45-50 with gusts on top with my rope, spliced direct to the chain) with no worries and my gear
is smaller than most recommend.
PPS. FASTCAT's using a double braid I see. Unusual and fine as long as you don't anchor by sharp things. Chop the cover and 1/2 the strength instantly goes away never to come back. Stainless chain = sexy beast