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Old 10-03-2011, 02:44   #1
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Ground Tackle Inventory

We are a 54' cruising boat based on the South Coast of English, cruising the English Channel on both sides, with a more ambitious trip planned across the Bay of Biscay this summer to Coruna, Spain, and then up Brittany and Normandy.

We like to be at anchor whenever possible, and where we sail, there are ginormous tides -- up to 50 feet on the French side of the Channel.

Our main bower anchor is an oversized Rocna 55 kg (121 pounds) on 100 meters (330 feet) of high test 12mm chain. This is big enough that I don't feel the need for anything like a "storm anchor" -- this is main bower and storm anchor in one (which I think is the right approach).

The kedge is a Fortress FX-35 -- a lovely piece of kit -- on 10 meters of 8mm chain. It came with the boat. There is no dedicated rode -- the last time we used the Fortress, we used a long dock line (100 feet * 7/8" nylon 3-strand) awkwardly shackled to the end of the chain.

The spare bower is the previous main bower anchor -- a 25kg Delta. Not good for much compared to the Rocna, but we might as well have some kind of spare anchor, I guess. It has 40 meters (about 130 feet) of 12mm chain.

I am trying to optimize all this gear. What I'm thinking about is this:

1. Cut off 30 meters of the chain on the old bower anchor and sell it or give it away. I don't need the weight of it on board on top of 330 feet of 12mm chain.

2. Buy one good rope rode for both kedge and spare bower. I'm thinking of a 90 meter length of 16mm nylon double braid. I would prefer polyester, but this rode will be used rarely and the nylon double braid is strong (6,000 kg or six long tons breaking strength) and cheap (about $200 for 90 meters).

3. The kedge lives with its chain in the lazarette. The one good rope rode would live in the anchor locker on a hanger. The spare bower would live under the saloon sole for better weight distribution.


Any comments on this strategy? Any reason why one rode for both kedge and spare bower is a bad idea? Any other ideas?
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:51   #2
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Re: ground tackle inventory

P.S. I have two long, strong dock lines -- 7/8" * 100 feet each. These are used for mooring against quay walls where there are big tides. They can also be used for anchoring in a pinch. That's one more reason why I thought I don't need to have two different rodes for kedge and for the spare bower which will likely never be used for anything.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:27   #3
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pirate Re: ground tackle inventory

Dockhead you'll be fine... the anchorages you'll be using are mainly fine, well sheltered and safe...
unless you plan being there in the winter as well when 10m swell + waves can make it a tad lumpy in some ria's...
SE corner of the Bay is mainly marinas and few refuge's but for the rest.... yer good to go
As for the 'Bower'... the long docklines linked will do...
Enjoy the voyage.. should be great fun..
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:09   #4
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Re: ground tackle inventory

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
...As for the 'Bower'... the long docklines linked will do...
Since the bower is the main anchor, I wouldn't expect to use it with anything but a dedicated anchor rode - certainly not a dockline.
Personally, I'd attach a permanent rode to every anchor aboard.
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Old 10-03-2011, 15:37   #5
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Re: Ground Tackle Inventory

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The spare bower is the previous main bower anchor -- a 25kg Delta.

2. Buy one good rope rode for both kedge and spare bower. I'm thinking of a 90 meter length of 16mm nylon double braid. I would prefer polyester, but this rode will be used rarely and the nylon double braid is strong (6,000 kg or six long tons breaking strength) and cheap (about $200 for 90 meters).

Any comments on this strategy? Any reason why one rode for both kedge and spare bower is a bad idea? Any other ideas?
1. I had a similar anchor set-up - a 55kg main bow anchor, a 25kg delta 'spare main' plus fortress and steel danforth. My main anchor was broken (by a regalvanizer) and I pulled out the 'back-up' delta but then immediately concluded it was too small for me to sleep well. I ordered both a replacement main anchor and a new 55kg (Manson Ray) 'back-up'. For me carry the small delta around was a total waste because when I went to use it I did not feel comfortable with it. My recommendation is if you are going to go to the effort to carry a 'spare' make it closer in size to your main anchor than that, so that you will be able to trust it when it becomes necessary. If you don't want to carry that sort size spare then I would just dump the delta and if you somehow lose the main plan on using the fortress until you can get a new main.

2. I think you should have spare rodes available for all your spare anchors. In a 'hurricane' (severe storm) you will kick yourself if you have an anchor on board and no rode for it.

3. Personally I think 16mm is a bit small for a rode for you. I would have thought 20mm . . . but for a kedge rode I could perhaps see using 18mm.

4. Gleistein Ropes has a very nice polyester brait available in Europe = GeoSquare Polyester, that you might want to consider. Another rode option is to get a floating rope that you could also use for shore ties and Med mooring.
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Old 10-03-2011, 16:59   #6
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Re: Ground Tackle Inventory

I personally like to have a light kedge anchor with just a short length (6 feet or so) of chain and a long nylon line so that I can take it out easily in the dinghy, or even snorkel it out if I want to. I don't find a kedge useful if I need to struggle with a long length of chain. You should definitely have a dedicated rode aboard for each anchor, along with spares in case one should get cut or you need a really long rode for something. Occasionally I have had to kedge a long way due to engine or other problems and it was advantageous to string together a really long line. The spares are also useful for things like sea anchors.
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Old 10-03-2011, 17:42   #7
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Re: Ground Tackle Inventory

16 mm is what I use in a 26'er and I think it is bare minimum if the rope is to be ever man handled. 18 mm both stronger and easier on the hands.

The point is, I think, most owners try out in the shop or on the deck, while it is a different story when the line is wet.

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Old 11-03-2011, 03:52   #8
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Re: Ground Tackle Inventory

30m of 12mm chain weighs more than I do, so I can see why you want to get rid of that weight. Like the idea of keeping the 25kg Delta on board though. The sizing chart suggests its the right size and lets be honest, the only time it's going to be used is if the Rocna became trapped underwater and lost. The Delta would fill a gap for a week whilst you found another large anchor or recovered the Rocna. During that time you are not going to be anchoring in a storm, so in fair conditions it should cope admirably.

Shame the 12mm chain is to big for us but it was hard enough lifting 30m x 8mm of new chain on board and the weight is even more critical on 31 feet.

Just a thought about warps. The greater the diameter the greater the effect of tide on it. We have seen channel tides take a 25kg bouy down because the water pressure on the 3/4" warp. Indeed we lost 3 before we learnt the lesson and ran out of things to chuck overboard to mark the wreck site. All 3 popped up again when the tide went slack. Whether this would have a measurable effect on a yacht at anchor in a tide is debatable.

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:04   #9
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Re: Ground Tackle Inventory

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
1. I had a similar anchor set-up - a 55kg main bow anchor, a 25kg delta 'spare main' plus fortress and steel danforth. My main anchor was broken (by a regalvanizer) and I pulled out the 'back-up' delta but then immediately concluded it was too small for me to sleep well. I ordered both a replacement main anchor and a new 55kg (Manson Ray) 'back-up'. For me carry the small delta around was a total waste because when I went to use it I did not feel comfortable with it. My recommendation is if you are going to go to the effort to carry a 'spare' make it closer in size to your main anchor than that, so that you will be able to trust it when it becomes necessary. If you don't want to carry that sort size spare then I would just dump the delta and if you somehow lose the main plan on using the fortress until you can get a new main.

2. I think you should have spare rodes available for all your spare anchors. In a 'hurricane' (severe storm) you will kick yourself if you have an anchor on board and no rode for it.

3. Personally I think 16mm is a bit small for a rode for you. I would have thought 20mm . . . but for a kedge rode I could perhaps see using 18mm.

4. Gleistein Ropes has a very nice polyester brait available in Europe = GeoSquare Polyester, that you might want to consider. Another rode option is to get a floating rope that you could also use for shore ties and Med mooring.
Thanks; I'll follow through with all of those interesting thoughts.

I see your point about the spare main bower. I guess I'll put on my list to someday acquire a 40 to 50 kg Spade for this purpose -- they can be broken down so that they can be stored in the bilge. It's a good idea. Just $$$. Meanwhile, the boat lived happily for ten years with the 25kg Delta and so as Pete suggested, I think it would do in a pinch, as in, if God forbid I lose the Rocna somehow. Not for a hurricane of course. On the other hand, you might be right in that the Fortress would work in that role, too, and probably better than the Delta. Hmm.

The 16mm double braid rode has 6,600 kg breaking force, as much as an 18mm octoplait, so I think it is well matched to either the FX-37 kedge or the Delta. Of course I wouldn't use it for the Rocna. I like the idea of a lighter and very long rope for the kedge so that I can easily row it far out in the dink. On the other hand, an 18mm or 20mm rope strong enough to handle the Rocna would be a fully valid spare anchor rode, which is also not a bad thing to have on board - hmm.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:06   #10
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Re: Ground Tackle Inventory

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
16 mm is what I use in a 26'er and I think it is bare minimum if the rope is to be ever man handled. 18 mm both stronger and easier on the hands.

The point is, I think, most owners try out in the shop or on the deck, while it is a different story when the line is wet.

b.
A good point; thanks!

For comfort of handling, of course, you can't beat octoplait.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:15   #11
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Re: Ground Tackle Inventory

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. . . . I like the idea of a lighter and very long rope for the kedge so that I can easily row it far out in the dink.
If you plan to be taking it in and out in the dink, then I would suggest a floating line - much much easier to handle in that way - does not get heavier when wet, does not catch on rocks and stuff on the bottom, does not bring up tons of weed, and does not naturally want to wrap around your prop

The floating lines have stretch characteristics more like polyester than nylon - good for chafe resistance but less good for shock absorbtion. These lines are used heavily by the trawling guys and pretty much all the marine line suppliers have a good choice in their product line. . . such as:

Samson-The Strongest Name in Rope, ULTRA BLUE-8

Hy-Dee Brait - Brait (Plaited) - Industrial Rope | Yale Cordage
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:17   #12
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Just my 2 pence worth, no floating anchor ropes please!

Think of others, passing boats will hardly see it. How far will it go just under the surface?

Its perfect for tangling props, not safe for them or you when they cut it accidentally or not!

If you are going to lay a kedge, load the chain and rope into the dinghy and row it out from the dinghy.

Even on my little 24 footer I have a 100m standby rope for difficult berths or the kedge anchor.

Last time I used it I needed every meter to pull an unlucky dinghy out of the putty. Multi purpose is good you never know what you will need.

GS
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