Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-06-2011, 18:59   #1
Registered User
 
JonathanSail's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Boat: Pearson, 28-1
Posts: 153
Getting Chain into the Bilge

Howdy Cruisers,

I've got a few questions on storing anchor chain on my boat. I've read many, and maybe most, of the older discussions on this topic but point me to ones that seem relevant if you know of them.

I've just picked up 360' of 1/4" G43 windlass chain for my Pearson 28-1. It's more chain that I will probably ever need at one time, but it was a good deal for new chain and a piece of gear that I'm happy to have plenty of. Now that I've got this mass of chain on the boat I've got to come up with a good plan for using and storing it. A few good options may be:
  1. cut the chain into lengths that can be connected as needed and store one of these in the forepeak with the unused lengths staying in the bilge above the keel. I'm leaning towards 3 segments of 100' and one of 60' that I can mix and match, and rotate (to spread wear/increase life). This also may come in handy in the unlikely event that I had to cut and run and then couldn't recover the anchor/chain.
  2. install a pipe system that is closer to mid-ships which I can use to drop the chain into the bilge from the deck thus keeping the chain out of the forepeak and keeping it all in the bilge and in one piece. I'm not sure if this type of setup will work well on this small of a boat with it's shallow bilge etc. but would love to see setups and hear of experiences with systems that drop chain towards the lower middle of the boat from deck.
I don't plan to install a windlass unless, after pulling this ground tackle up with my back and the sheet/halyard winches, it turns out to be necessary. Although I'm o.k. with having extra chain on the boat I am trying to minimize how much weight I add to the boat, especially forward, which is why I'm holding off on a windlass. The Pearson 28-1 has a relatively narrow entry so storing all of the chain in the forepeak is probably not a viable option.

Do any of you have suggestions from your experiences, or of setups that you think might work well for this boat and this chain? In the foreseeable future I hope to cruise the east coast and Bahamas and since this boat has 4'6" draft I don't expect to put out more than 100' of chain very often while sailing these areas.

Also, I've seen 5/16ths Columbus Mckinnon shackles that are rated at 1 ton and that should fit into the chain links, though I haven't tested this and they may need a big of coaxing. This is close enough to the 2600 lb working load limit of the chain in my opinion and what I plan to use to connect the chain to the anchor, and to connect lengths of chain if I decide to cut the chain. Other suggestions on this topic are also welcome.

Thanks for any suggestions,

Jonathan
JonathanSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2011, 19:17   #2
Registered User
 
osirissail's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Getting chain into the bilge

The main thing you need to consider is how to keep the stored chain in the bilge away from any water or moisture. Typically folks use empty plastic kitty litter pails or any sealed container that will fit in your bilge or other storage locations.
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-06-2011, 23:09   #3
Registered User
 
stillbuilding's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Boat: Custom Freya 20m
Posts: 1,020
Re: Getting chain into the bilge

Try to keep the chain in one piece cos then you can end for end it as the years start to show. Get your chainpipe as far back as possible. Sometimes can use an angled pipe to drop the chain even further back (depends on layout of course).
stillbuilding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2011, 10:10   #4
Registered User
 
RainDog's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Pensacola, FL
Posts: 1,265
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

I am going for your first option. In my case 150' on the bow and 150' in the bilge. In the (I am assuming rare) cases I actually need more than 150' of chain, I will shackle them together. Most of the time I will just have the 150' on the bow. Advantages of this:

- Less weight on the bow (especially important for small boats like ours)
- If for some reason you lose your rode, you have a spare ready to go
- Easy to add more chain if cruising somewhere with deep anchorages
RainDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2011, 10:22   #5
Registered User
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 23,801
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

Put 150 ft min. in the bow. Keep the rest in one piece in the bilge or sell it and buy a windlass.!
Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2011, 10:49   #6
Registered User
 
JonathanSail's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Boat: Pearson, 28-1
Posts: 153
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

Thanks for the responses. I think that with my boat it is going to be best to segment the chain. 150' in the bow and then a 150' and 65' length in the bilge may be the way that I go. I'll still be able to flip the chain end to end and will have the full spare and a short length for dual anchor to swivel to single chain to bow setups as well.

As much as I'd like to pipe one length of chain to the bilge there just doesn't seem to be enough of a drop at the end of the likely pipe runs. With some fairly large interior modifications I could construct a setup that would work but the human-spaces in my boat take up too much room presently. I think I'll cut the chain and skip more interior and fiberglass work for now.

For storage of the extra chain, I'm still working out the best way to secure and also protect the chain from moisture. I wonder if stowing the extra chain in a synthetic fiber bag that is breathable and that is lightly sprayed with wd40 from time to time is a good idea. I would then secure the bag/chain in the bilge in a place that won't pick up water in normal situations. It seems like chain in a plastic container wouldn't work unless the chain went in totally dry, and no water ever got in. Any good storage options that I'm missing here?

Thanks again,

Jonathan
JonathanSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2011, 10:55   #7
Registered User
 
JonathanSail's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Boat: Pearson, 28-1
Posts: 153
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

That's not a bad suggestion Cheechacko but since I haven't had to pull all of this up yet I prefer to not have a windlass at this point. If I get one I'll keep the chain and buy a windlass. I'm not likely to find the deal that I got on this chain again any time soon.

There isn't too much fore deck space as it is and the windlass would need to be pretty far forward. I'm still in my mid 30's so hopefully it won't be a problem. I can also use a sheet or halyard winch, and the motion of the boat but I may be headed to the nearest chandlery for a windlass after the first time I pull up my chain and anchor.

Jonathan
JonathanSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 19:29   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,659
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

Why carry 3 long lengths? That seems just weird and I'd be surprised if you'll ever need them. I'd put the effort into making a 150-200 foot length easy to use, put another say 60ft length away as part of your secondary gear and the left over 100 in the shed at home.

We see a lot of people with the same idea as you about the mixing and matching as required but 99% of those end up not doing it, generally as they never need to.

Put say 200ft on your primary and if you need longer a length of rope is cheaper, easier to store, easier to use and less weight to hump around in your boat.

200ft of chain alone gives you 150ft of water on a nice day for a lunch or fish stop, 70-80ft of water depth to anchor in during OK weather over night and 40-50ft if it turns yucky. Ponder how much water depth do you expect to anchor in and work back from that is usually the best option. Of course that does depend a little on what anchor you use, some do like short scopes more than others.

Storage wise just make sure the chain can breath. We are seeing a lot of chain being buggered by sitting in hot saltwater sweaty lockers or bins, often with 1/2 - 1" of water in the bottom. Let the locker/bin breath and dry out and the chain will love you for that. I'd also be careful with the WD40 idea. That stuff stinks when you are trying to get to sleep and smells like that are magnificent for making people feel crook when at sea.

And as a FYI, if you leave 100ft of that chain at home and then fit a, say Maxwell RC6 anchor winch, your boat will be travelling 50-55lb lighter than it would be with the 100ft of chain and no winch. Ask your back about that, I think it may like that idea especially if you have deployed a lot of your chain. It maybe small but get enuff out and a winch will start to look pretty damn good

And another thing some could think about is retrieval speed. A bit of Devils Advocate/ Murphys Law here. All good not having a winch but the suggested sheet winches and halyards isn't quick. Do you have a plan in case you run into a situation where you have only 2 mins to leave? Sure it's not common but it does happen. I've had it twice, once in the Cook Islands when a ship arrived at 3am and lost the plot, I had 3-4 mins to get our boat out of the way or get rolled. The second was when a large power fizz nasty dragged in a busy bay and collect 3 others on the way. The whole lot was coming at us fast and again we have only a couple of minutes to get out of the way or join the shambles. Not saying something like this will happen more than if it did how do you plan to get the hell out of there fast?

A Maxwell RC6 for example, would get 180ft of that chain back aboard in less than 3 minutes.

As a FYI, one of my yachts is 31ft and around 7000lbs loaded when not racing. It has 45ft of 1/4" chain to 220 odd of 12mm warp. Found nothing yet that it hasn't coped with and that includes a few nights with winds nudging 50kts. That boat doesn't have a anchor winch but often does use a anchor wench, which does handle it with ease. Maybe that gym membership was a better Xmas pressie than I thought at the time
GMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2011, 09:40   #9
Registered User
 
JonathanSail's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Boat: Pearson, 28-1
Posts: 153
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

Thanks for your reasonable and helpful response Gmac.

The maxwell looks like a nice windlass and would fit on the small foredeck of my boat much better than the horizontal manuals that I've looked at. The main drawback for an electric like that is the long wire runs and associated installation hassles vs. bolting on a manual but the small size and light weight is very appealing. I'll also be single-handing most of the time and having a switch for the windlass in the cockpit is really appealing. With my tackle I can still pull up by hand if power fails or the windlass isn't working too.

It's a hard decision to make with the boat on the hard and ground tackle that I've not used yet and the fact that I've not sailed this boat before is a big part of my preference to go without a windlass at this point. It seems like an easy item to install in the water too and I'm trying to focus on getting there vs. working on this boat forever. ha ha.. In the past pulling up ground tackle without a windlass has never been a problem but there was less anchor, chain and boat involved.

The other suggestions are good too and will definitely be factored in as I work out my ground tackle setup.

Jonathan
JonathanSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2011, 10:02   #10
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 18,899
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

if you have a total of 200 ft of chain, keep some good rope rode in the bilge and is all good. remember shackles dont go thru chain gypsies well.
__________________
life is an adventure meant to be LIVED!!!!
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...oul+mates.html


https://sksolitarybird.org/
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2011, 18:22   #11
Registered User
 
osirissail's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

1/4" chain should not be a problem retrieving by hand. So long as you are young at heart and muscle. A windlass other than a small manual one is probably a lot of overkill, not to mention extra weight on the bow of a 28 footer.
- - But I would recommend storing the extra chain on board your boat - if - you plan on doing long distance/time cruising. Also a spare anchor or two.
- - It is quite common especially in the Virgin Islands and some other islands to snag your anchor on debris or coral or whatever on the bottom. Unless you dive to free the anchor, trying to haul it up by hand is not possible. Even with a windlass you might end up snapping the chain or breaking the anchor. So having the spare chain and a some spare anchors on board can "save the day" and your wallet what with the costs down in the islands.
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 08:11   #12
Registered User
 
JonathanSail's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Boat: Pearson, 28-1
Posts: 153
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

Thanks for the feedback Osirisail,

A few folks that I've talked to say that I'll have no problem pulling this gear up, and with your input that option seems at least a possibility. I'm still fairly strong and young enough to want to pull up the anchor by hand if possible. I know that things can get ugly and dangerous but with my past boats I was always able to manage with care and thought, though the gear was mostly nylon rode and lighter. I also agree on keeping the extra chain around. I don't really expect to ever shackle it together, but it would be nice to have the option. Weight low and center is also not that big of a deal in my opinion though weight in the ends is a big deal. In my opinion the anchoring gear is one of the most important systems on the boat, since I plan to anchor out with this boat a lot, so redundancy does make sense for those unpredictable situations.

Conversely I love the idea of an electric windlass on the foredeck,, what luxury.. I think I'm going to stick with my plan to launch without a windlass and then add one if needed. I'm also thinking that cutting the chain into 150', 150' and 65' will be my approach. I do wish there was an easy way to drop it all to a spot near the keel but I haven't been able to figure one out.

Thanks again,

Jonathan
JonathanSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 08:53   #13
Registered User
 
osirissail's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

For long term cruising, it is very important to have a spare amount of chain on board. I recently in St Thomas helped a solo sailor on a 28 footer who had snagged an abandoned mooring chain. He had been wondering why he has such great holding on his first attempt to anchor.
- - Anyway, I noticed that his 1/4" galvanized chain anchor rode was thoroughly rusted and the areas in each chain link where the next link looped through were severely worn and rusted so that - in essence - he was using 1/8" chain.
- - The retrieval was exciting to watch as he tried to motor forward to free the anchor but it was not successful. The bow of the little boat was dipping right to the water surface as the anchor stopped his motion. He managed to snap the anchor chock right off the boat. And finally, he had to dive the anchor to remove it from underneath the "dead" mooring chain while I tended the helm for him.
- - Without somebody to help you in that type of circumstance your only option is to cut the anchor and chain loose from the boat and abandon it. So having spare chain and anchors can keep the experience from being a killer to your wallet/budget.
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 09:13   #14
Registered User
 
vet222's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
Boat: Crowther, Windspeed, 33'
Posts: 20
Without a windlass and where one has to move in 2-3 minutes, one could more rapidly pull all chain out, attach a fender to the bitter end then retrieve at a more convenient time after urgency has passed.... And still have the spare chain and anchor from the bilge to anchor up elsewhere in the mean time.
vet222 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 09:14   #15
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 31,070
Re: Getting Chain into the Bilge

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMac View Post
Why carry 3 long lengths? That seems just weird and I'd be surprised if you'll ever need them. I'd put the effort into making a 150-200 foot length easy to use, put another say 60ft length away as part of your secondary gear and the left over 100 in the shed at home.

We see a lot of people with the same idea as you about the mixing and matching as required but 99% of those end up not doing it, generally as they never need to.

Put say 200ft on your primary and if you need longer a length of rope is cheaper, easier to store, easier to use and less weight to hump around in your boat.
+1!

Forget about the bilge. Cut off a length of chain as long as what you consider acceptable to keep in the forepeak, and sell the rest, or keep in your garden shed for when you need a replacement.

Then add rope to make up the difference to the rode length you really want. Without a windlass, the rope will be much easier to deal with and won't weigh down your bow. On boat that size with a fine entry, you really don't want to overload the bow. You might really consider reducing the chain altogether to 30 feet or so and doing the rest in rope.

I spent a decade anchoring out on a 36 foot boat with 100 feet of chain and was perfectly happy.

I now have a boat with nearly 8' draft and anchor in waters with up to 50' range of tide, so my needs have changed. Even so, 100 meters (330 feet) has proven to be more than enough for all situations. I can't imagine how you could ever want anything like 360' of chain on a boat like yours.
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bilge

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bilge Pump and Check Valves Janae Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 20 06-12-2012 13:49
Volume of Chain (Storage Area) Triton318 Anchoring & Mooring 8 29-06-2011 18:51
Manual Bilge Pump Strainer waterbound Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 3 25-06-2011 14:45
For Sale: 35# CQR Anchor with 20' 3/8" Chain frjeff Classifieds Archive 4 25-06-2011 08:16
Bilge pump battery bcguy Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 3 24-06-2011 20:30

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.