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Old 02-01-2016, 14:59   #1
R_C
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Considering switch to all chain rode

For ten seasons, we've been anchoring our 38' trawler using a 65 lb. claw anchor with 25' of 3/8" chain and 200' of 5/8" 3-strand nylon. After setting the anchor I drop a kellet to just below the water line to lower the angle of pull then attach a sacrificial chafing line with a rolling hitch to the nylon rode. We have an Ideal windlass with only a capston (no chain gypsy and can't be retrofitted). Both the nylon rode and chafing line run over the bow roller then are wrapped a few turns around the captson and cleated to opposite bow cleats.

To weigh anchor, I pull in the nylon rode by hand as my wife eases the boat forward. Once I reach the chain I put a wrap and a half around the capston and with a little pulling on the chain the windlass' brings the anchor on board. Once under way we manually feed the nylon and chain through a deck pipe into the chain locker.

We normally use a 7:1 scope and we seem to swing much farther than most boats in an anchorage, which is the main reason we are considering switching to all chain so we can reduce the normal scope to 5:1 and fit better in tighter anchorages. We rarely anchor in more than 15' feet of water and it's five feet to the bow roller.

I'm considering 125' of 5/16 G4 chain but after reading all afternoon here about gypsies, chain breaks, bridles, snubbers, chain hooks, soft shackles, etc. I'm wondering if this is a worthy improvement. Any thoughts? Without adding a new windlass with a chain gypsy I envision dumping all the chain onto a pad on deck then washing and manually storing it when under way. There is something reassuring with having the boat connected to the anchor with only chain but is a 5:1 scope normal with all chain? Would 3/8" chain be better here? Anyone see any other problems with my plan?
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Old 02-01-2016, 16:00   #2
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

Depending on where you cruise you might consider a modern anchor as a means to reduce scope. In a serious blow it doesn't much matter if you have chain or rope the rode will be straight. When the wind is up the anchor and the sea bed determine how much scope you need not so much the type of rode.

I recommend you read this thread: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post1539507

P.S. You are in for an interesting thread.
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Old 02-01-2016, 16:04   #3
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Considering switch to all chain rode

I used to do similar to what you do as I had no windlass, and there were times in high wind etc., that it pretty much whipped my butt, I would haul awhile, rest awhile, repeat.
I installed a VWC 1500 windlass and now weighing anchor amounts to walking to the bow with a boat hook and holding the remote button down until just before the anchor is stowed, sometimes I need the boat hook to align it correctly.
I will soon install a wash down but haven't yet.
Let me tell you, the difference between hauling on that line and stacking it all on deck and then feeding it down a hawse pipe, to standing there with a cup of coffee in one hand and the remote in the other is just amazing. The only other device that has reduced workload on my boat more than the VWC windlass is the autopilot.
I would wait if I had to and install a windlass that will handle and stow an all chain rode.


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Old 02-01-2016, 16:10   #4
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_C View Post
For ten seasons, we've been anchoring our 38' trawler using a 65 lb. claw anchor with 25' of 3/8" chain and 200' of 5/8" 3-strand nylon. After setting the anchor I drop a kellet to just below the water line to lower the angle of pull then attach a sacrificial chafing line with a rolling hitch to the nylon rode. We have an Ideal windlass with only a capston (no chain gypsy and can't be retrofitted). Both the nylon rode and chafing line run over the bow roller then are wrapped a few turns around the captson and cleated to opposite bow cleats.

To weigh anchor, I pull in the nylon rode by hand as my wife eases the boat forward. Once I reach the chain I put a wrap and a half around the capston and with a little pulling on the chain the windlass' brings the anchor on board. Once under way we manually feed the nylon and chain through a deck pipe into the chain locker.

We normally use a 7:1 scope and we seem to swing much farther than most boats in an anchorage, which is the main reason we are considering switching to all chain so we can reduce the normal scope to 5:1 and fit better in tighter anchorages. We rarely anchor in more than 15' feet of water and it's five feet to the bow roller.

I'm considering 125' of 5/16 G4 chain but after reading all afternoon here about gypsies, chain breaks, bridles, snubbers, chain hooks, soft shackles, etc. I'm wondering if this is a worthy improvement. Any thoughts? Without adding a new windlass with a chain gypsy I envision dumping all the chain onto a pad on deck then washing and manually storing it when under way. There is something reassuring with having the boat connected to the anchor with only chain but is a 5:1 scope normal with all chain? Would 3/8" chain be better here? Anyone see any other problems with my plan?
That's a heap of work and cost son.If you use all chaingn be sure to always snub it with a long snubber. I suggest adding 10 more ft of 5/16. Plus forget the kellet and all that stuff
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Old 02-01-2016, 16:15   #5
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

*No windlass, no chain. Just stay with rope.

*Get enough chain so that you can anchor 95% of the time at 7:1 scope without the chain/rope splice feeding through the windlass; the transition is a frequent sorce of jamming and annoyance. For me that works out to 100 feet, but I very seldom anchor in over 10 feet, not even every year.

---

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Old 02-01-2016, 16:18   #6
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

All chain is hard to haul up by hand but is standard kit in coral littered anchorages. If you install a windlass, chain is a breeze and you no longer need to sweat about chafing. In regard to snubbers, you'll find that the chain catenary will stop shock loadings in most regular situations. I've used all chain for years and only throw on the nylon snubber when conditions are, or are likely to be, snarly. Of course the caveat is that without a snubber, once that chain goes taught it'll tend to break the anchor out real quick.

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Old 02-01-2016, 16:26   #7
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

Sailed for years with 50 feet of chain and the rest nylon. Now on all chain 3/8 and a windlass. Night and day. Very few cruisers without all chain nowadays. You can get a windlass for the price of the chain. Lewmar makes some for under $1000 that work surprisingly well. 200 ft of chain's going to cost $1000.
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Old 02-01-2016, 16:42   #8
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

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Originally Posted by geoleo View Post
That's a heap of work and cost son.If you use all chaingn be sure to always snub it with a long snubber. I suggest adding 10 more ft of 5/16. Plus forget the kellet and all that stuff
I have to agree. Without a windlass I'm looking at the cost of 125 feet of 5/16" or 3/8" chain and a lot of manual labor to get it back aboard just to go from 7:1 to 5:1 scope. Are you suggesting I just go with 35' of chain plus the nylon so the added chain eliminates the need for the kellet?
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Old 02-01-2016, 17:05   #9
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Sailed for years with 50 feet of chain and the rest nylon. Now on all chain 3/8 and a windlass. Night and day. Very few cruisers without all chain nowadays. You can get a windlass for the price of the chain. Lewmar makes some for under $1000 that work surprisingly well. 200 ft of chain's going to cost $1000.
The cost of the windlass and the cost of the chain are one factor. The required deck work is another. The existing hawse hole is not located where it could be used for the typical horizontal axis windlass. And it's in non-skid decking so I'd probably have to leave it and add a new hawse hole. We don't anchor in choral so the only benefit I see to all chain is the shorter scope.
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Old 02-01-2016, 17:15   #10
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

in many locales anchoring with mixed rode causes loss of boat., to me it seems that the price of all chain and a windlass is a lot less than replacing a boat.
but then i dislike the idea of finding my home on the rocks.
my bruce has , as primary anchor, 196 ft 5/16 chin, my secondary, 45 pound cqr, has 250 ft 5/16.

although i have 2 windlasses on my bows, i generally pick my anchor and rode off bottom by hand. i am an old woman, and i have never heard such whining from men who "cannot" lift anchors and chains off bottom of seafloor. and yes i pick up 150 ft asthat is what i use, even in 10 ft depth. wind happens.
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Old 02-01-2016, 17:30   #11
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
*No windlass, no chain. Just stay with rope.

*Get enough chain so that you can anchor 95% of the time at 7:1 scope without the chain/rope splice feeding through the windlass; the transition is a frequent sorce of jamming and annoyance. For me that works out to 100 feet, but I very seldom anchor in over 10 feet, not even every year.

---

Also, please complete your profile. You will get better answers if people know more (in this case, where you are).
you missed the fact that his windlass is rope only and he does not want to buy a new windlass that can handle chain or rope chain
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Old 02-01-2016, 17:42   #12
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
..................I've used all chain for years and only throw on the nylon snubber when conditions are, or are likely to be, snarly. Of course the caveat is that without a snubber, once that chain goes taught it'll tend to break the anchor out real quick.

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Here's another way to deal with the snubber:

The rest of the world can debate all they like. When I pull into a place like Bodega Bay at midnight and the fog is so thick I can't see the jetty 50 feet away to make an entrance, I drop my hook in the rolling ocean swells with the surf crashing (Foster says it's like staying in a cheap Best Western beside the highway), and I sleep. And in the morning I have a windlass to pull the beast up and I wouldn't trade it for anything. (I also wouldn't add more chain - this works perfectly in 25 to 30 feet of water - you let all the chain out and you tie off nylon at the preferred scope and don't bother with snubbers and chain hooks and all that stuff...)
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Old 02-01-2016, 17:55   #13
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

I really appreciate all the posts. I don't have a real problem with bringing the chain aboard manually. And as I've said I currently use the windlass' with capstan to bring the 65 lb. anchor up.

I'm leaning towards 5/16" chain since all the specs I've seen list that for a heavy boat in the 36' to 40' range. Although I haven't tested, I'm wondering if the 5/16" will allow me an extra turn around the capstan without binding which would make it even easier.

When anchoring with this setup I'll need to secure the rode maybe with a carabiner on a cleated line while setting the anchor. Once set, a rolling hitch on a single snubber seems simple since I'm already doing that with my sacrificial chafing line. Finally, without a gypsy or chain break, I could use the same carabiner or a stronger shackle on a line to secure the chain should the snubber fail.
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Old 02-01-2016, 17:59   #14
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_C View Post

I'm leaning towards 5/16" chain since all the specs I've seen list that for a heavy boat in the 36' to 40' range. Although I haven't tested, I'm wondering if the 5/16" will allow me an extra turn around the capstan without binding which would make it even easier.
You're getting close. You need to size your anchoring SYSTEM. Like this:

Anchor System Sizing Tables (Reply #6) & Why Swivels are a bad idea Ground Tackle & Anchor System Sizing TABLES & Swivels


Good luck.
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Old 02-01-2016, 18:12   #15
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Re: Considering switch to all chain rode

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Originally Posted by R_C View Post
We normally use a 7:1 scope and we seem to swing much farther than most boats in an anchorage, which is the main reason we are considering switching to all chain so we can reduce the normal scope to 5:1 and fit better in tighter anchorages. We rarely anchor in more than 15' feet of water and it's five feet to the bow roller.
So it sounds like the only problem with your current setup is you want to use less scope?

Ideally we need some more information to answer your question. You say you rarely anchor in more than 15', what is the minimum you normally anchor in? Where and in what kind of conditions are you anchoring in? Sand only? Rock? Fair weather only?

I think the cheapest way to solve the scope problem would be to switch to a 45 lb next gen anchor and 75' of G4 chain. The new anchors (Manson Supreme, Mantus, etc.) seem to work better with less scope. You also may be able to go down a size and get the same holding power. This will make retrieval much easier. 75' of G4 will still be reasonable to pull up by hand but will give you all chain at 5-1 in 15' (plus 25' of nylon that will be backed up by a snubber. IMHO, this is the minimum amount of money that solves you stated problem without creating a new problem.

If you are anchoring in hurricanes or rock bottoms, maybe you should stick with a heavier anchor
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