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Old 04-07-2014, 07:04   #1
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How much chain

My anchor rode only has about 5 feet of chain on the end. I sail a 32 foot Bayfield. SHould I have more and how much is recommended?
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:11   #2
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Re: How much chain

I suppose to some extent it depends on what kind of bottom your trying to anchor on. My usual anchorage is composed of either mud or sand and I use 1.5 times times my boat length or around 50 -60 ft for my 38 ft boat. I believe that's a recommendation I've seen written.

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Old 04-07-2014, 07:18   #3
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Re: How much chain

Having been caught out in some very heavy winds I am a big fan of more than less and use an all chain rode (100 mt). In my opinion (for what its worth it also depends on the area you cruise or intend to cruise in. We are sailing around an area with a lot of coral bommies and I would not personally use anything but all chain as coral can and has cut rope anchor lines. If Lake sailing or predominantly an area where you have little of nothing to foul an anchor line I have often seen people anchor very successfully with 40 metres of chain and the rest rope. I guess its a bit like the anchor debate, which one is the best and what should I use. In short use the one that you will feel comfortable when its blowing 40 knots.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:58   #4
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Re: How much chain

I have 30' boat and went with 90' of 5/16 attached to a 15kg Rocna. This gives me 5:1-6:1 of all chain in most of the anchorages I stay in.

I am a weekend warrior. If I was full time and in areas with coral I would probably be all chain.
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Old 04-07-2014, 15:01   #5
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Re: How much chain

Well, truth to tell, my primary rode is all chain. What I described is my secondary rode. For coastal cruising in SW FL the secondary rode would probably work just fine as a primary. All chain rode is expensive and they are difficult to get re-galvanized in my area due to environmental restrictions. Additionally, all chain rode may be a bit heavy for some boats.

I think all here would agree that 5 ft of chain is better suited to a jon boat.

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Old 04-07-2014, 15:35   #6
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Re: How much chain

if not using all chain rode I usually go with about 20 ft. Much more and hand hauling gets pretty heavy! Having observed anchors on the bottom a lot in various winds, 20 ft should get rid of most chafing problems from small bottom stuff (rocks, coral clumps, debris etc), and help to aid the anchor in digging in.
Of course there's always the chance of chafing on large things, large coral heads etc. But that wasn't your question.
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Old 04-07-2014, 15:49   #7
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Re: How much chain

So far I'm sailing the Great Lakes. I think I'll get 30 feet of chain hooked up. Thanks
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Old 04-07-2014, 20:16   #8
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Re: How much chain

10 times the depth you're anchoring in.

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Old 04-07-2014, 22:01   #9
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Re: How much chain

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Originally Posted by Saa Bear View Post
So far I'm sailing the Great Lakes. I think I'll get 30 feet of chain hooked up. Thanks
If you are hand hauling I would reconsider the 30 feet.

Cheechako has it right.

We all get stuck in our paradigms. That's why anchor threads are so contentious. For the weekender, hand hauler, smaller boat all chain is dumb.

If you want to survive a hurricane carry a dock and piling system with you....

Every anchoring situation can demand a different solution. If one hooks out for lunch on the weekends in a 32 foot boat one can certainly carry 300 feet of chain and an 80 pound anchor and be prepared for the hurricane that never comes. I wouldn't recommend it...
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:06   #10
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Re: How much chain

5 feet sounds pretty skimpy. Perhaps a better solution would be a shot of chain equal to the length of your boat. This has been (at least in my recollection) a well established rule of thumb for some time, though "Chapmans" states 6-8' or longer, so I might be mistaken as to source.

Total length of rode would be roughly 10 times the greatest likely anchoring depth, as mentioned above.

The advantage of additional chain is that it reduces the pull angle on the anchor in light to moderate winds, improving the holding. In high winds, that improved pull angle will be eliminated.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:57   #11
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Re: How much chain

No mention of how far afield this cruiser is going. Agree 20 ' is probably fine for day sailing or a few nites in settled weather. A more extended trip to for a week or more would require the 1.5 times the boat length suggested elsewhere and attached to a a dozen fathoms of rode would not be excessive.

Going for weeks (years?) ,all chain and lots of it will do much to ease the worried mind of those cruisers who will inevitably find themselves in scary situations .
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Old 12-07-2014, 18:24   #12
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Re: How much chain

When I went off cruising for 3 yrs on my 36' boat I knew I would be on anchor every night when I wasn't under way. I got 200 foot of 5/16" chain and an Maxwell vertical windlass. I use a CQR and don't drag. Obviously I have a few times on fouled bottoms... but all chain works a charm. You definitely need a windlass and a good snubber.I usually put down 100' and anchor in 20' or less.... but if the anchorage is crowded you need to have proper swing room.
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Old 13-07-2014, 11:40   #13
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Re: How much chain

I use about 30' of 3/8" for a 38' 20k# boat attached to 175' of 3/4 brad. I like the heavy chain, it keeps then angle to the anchor low. The heavy brad was free for working on a boat so I ungraded. This is attached to a 44# Bruce. Little heavy to retrieve without a windlass, but doable.



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Old 14-07-2014, 16:18   #14
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Re: How much chain

I just today purchased 30' of 5/16" for my 30' CS...the present is 5' and since i am in stalling a new maxwell windlass i went with what maxwell recommended as for size. I hopes and dreams is to take her south but if that happens i may increase that from the 30 to 60 or even 90...
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Old 14-07-2014, 17:13   #15
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Re: How much chain

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
If you are hand hauling I would reconsider the 30 feet.

Cheechako has it right.

We all get stuck in our paradigms. That's why anchor threads are so contentious. For the weekender, hand hauler, smaller boat all chain is dumb.

If you want to survive a hurricane carry a dock and piling system with you....

Every anchoring situation can demand a different solution. If one hooks out for lunch on the weekends in a 32 foot boat one can certainly carry 300 feet of chain and an 80 pound anchor and be prepared for the hurricane that never comes. I wouldn't recommend it...
I agree.. tool for the job, whats the job?
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