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Old 25-06-2018, 10:58   #1
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How much is too much (anchor and chain)

Good afternoon All,

Looking for recommendations on anchor kit for sailing the Chesapeake...

I have a "new to me" boat (1 year now). Shannon 28 cutter, displaces 9300lbs, keel 3600. She came with a 35lb CQR and 35lb Bruce anchor both nicely fitted on bow rollers.

The CQR has 100ft of chain (3/8ths I think, unknown grade) and 50 feet of rope.

The Bruce has 50ft of chain (3/8ths, ditto) and 100 feet of rope.

BLUF: this is a lot of weight in the bow and she rides heavy into the water. My sailing is daysailing with occasional overnight'ers anchored off shore.

Looking for advice: should i reduce chain? should I store one anchor and chain in storage locker? (which one?) should I move one to the stern for emergency / caught in a massive storm? etc, etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Please take into consideration my cruising grounds - just the Chesapeake bay for next few years.

(Ooops....I guess the first question should be, though, am i mistaken in thinking that a excessively heavy bow is that big of an issue? )

Thanks in advance for sharing your expertise and experience!

-Gene
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Old 25-06-2018, 11:09   #2
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

First, this is an anchor thread and there will be hundreds of answers. Your fault.


Yes, that is too much weight. The big savings will be going to 1/4-inch G4 chain. That may be enough. For day sailing I would also move one (Bruce) to the bilge. Since the second is only a backup, and because cutting in your area is extremely rare, I would reduce the chain to about 20 feet.



Want to save more? Replace the 35# Bruce with a Fortress FX 12. Better in mud for 6x less weight. Then replace the CQR with a 25# Rocna/Supreme/Mantus.


---


I'm a long-time Chesapeake sailor and cruiser. I actually use lighter tackle that that, but I don't want to scare anyone. What I have suggested is conservative for your boat.
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Old 25-06-2018, 11:26   #3
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

I sail the lower Chesapeake Bay from around Tangier South so far and use a 20 lb CQR with maybe 35 feet of chain and the rest rope rode (200') I've had this boat since 2011

I also have a Bruce as backup (and a few Danforths) with larger chain of maybe 40' and 250' or so of rope rode

I haven't actually measure it but have a photos. This setup has held my boat (a Bristol 27, Displacement 6600 lb) in wind up to maybe 25 knots and waves to 3'
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Old 25-06-2018, 11:28   #4
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

I'm with thinwater - Sell both the CQR and Bruce, reduce the chain to 20' of 1/4" G4 (this assumes that you do not have a windless) onthe 100' rope rode.

Buy a new generation anchor for your primary (Ronca, Supreme, Mantus)

Buy a Fortress for days that you need extra holding in the mud.



Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post

SNIP

Want to save more? Replace the 35# Bruce with a Fortress FX 12. Better in mud for 6x less weight. Then replace the CQR with a 25# Rocna/Supreme/Mantus.

SNIP
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Old 25-06-2018, 12:32   #5
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

Alrighty! Thanks everybody. Looks like I'll:

1. ditch both anchors

2. buy a next generation anchor for bow (i'll do research, and get +1 sized)

3. reduce chain to 50 feet. (maybe leave the 100 feet rope)

question - EVM you said "20' of 1/4" G4 (this assumes that you do not have a windless)" I do have a manual windlass. But so far in my anchor tests I just go to the bow with gloves on and pull the boat forward / pull the chain in with my hands then let it fall into the chainlocker. It's pretty hard, but works. I'm not sure how to use the windlass yet. there's some kind of breaker bar, and it looks like it cranks in about 4 inches at a time. Woof! I'd rather just pull like a mule for a few minutes and lift the 35lbs out of the water myself. Probably couldn't do that in stiff winds, though. So maybe that's when I'll use the loud cranky thing....4 inches at time.

Shouldn't a windlass fit all sizes of chain??

4. Lastly, I'll get a fortress to store in the stern, at the ready with 20 feet of chain, for emergencies. I'll figure out size later. but it'll prolly be +1 size for recommended. I'm conservative.
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Old 25-06-2018, 12:41   #6
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySailor View Post
... 2. buy a next generation anchor for bow (i'll do research, and get +1 sized)

3. reduce chain to 50 feet. (maybe leave the 100 feet rope)

question - EVM you said "20' of 1/4" G4 (this assumes that you do not have a windless)" I do have a manual windlass. But so far in my anchor tests I just go to the bow with gloves on and pull the boat forward / pull the chain in with my hands then let it fall into the chainlocker. It's pretty hard, but works. I'm not sure how to use the windlass yet. there's some kind of breaker bar, and it looks like it cranks in about 4 inches at a time. Woof! I'd rather just pull like a mule for a few minutes and lift the 35lbs out of the water myself. Probably couldn't do that in stiff winds, though. So maybe that's when I'll use the loud cranky thing....4 inches at time.

Shouldn't a windlass fit all sizes of chain??

4. Lastly, I'll get a fortress to store in the stern, at the ready with 20 feet of chain, for emergencies. I'll figure out size later. but it'll prolly be +1 size for recommended. I'm conservative.

a. Don't go +1. Get the size they recommend for storms. The people suggesting sizes on this forum already took all of that that into account. Same with chain. The safety factor is already in there.


b. No, a windlass only fits one size and one chain style.


c. No, you probably don't need a windlass. Remember, you break the anchor out by cleating the line and letting the boat do it, so you are only lifting the weight of the anchor + chain in about 10-15 feet of water.


d. Don't pretend that dumping and anchor off the stern will stop you. That is pure myth. A Fortress may just plane, most anchors will just skid at any speed, and you probably don't have the room. Imagine the momentum you are asking the anchor to arrest. A MUCH better plan is usually to use the momentum you have, cut a quick U-turn (which will slow the boat), and calmly lower the anchor once the boat has coasted into a safe windward position. I've used this method several times and it works.


The point is that you can either look at momentum as a bad thing, or you can look at it as a perishable asset.


Also, engine failures are really quite rare IF:
1. warm-up the engine for 10 minutes before you need it.
2. test reverse before you need it.
3. make certain all lines are on deck.



I've had a number of stalls because I did not warm it up. Once I forgot to open the fuel valve after a filter change. Wound up a dock line once. In 35 years, I can't remember a marina failure with a well-warmed up engine.
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Old 25-06-2018, 12:51   #7
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

I would sell the anchors and get the +1 ng anchor as you say, but retain the 50’ chain and rode to hang it from and sell the 100’ chain, keeping the other rode in a locker to use with your new fortress kedge anchor. The reason is that the chain presumably fits your windlass already and unless it’s in terrible condition will be good enough as oversized.
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Old 25-06-2018, 12:57   #8
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

Thinwater, thank you for that reply. My thoughts on yours,

a. Check. The safety factor is already baked in. Perfect.

b. Windlass / chain fit. Good copy! I'll have to figure out what kind of chain i have and get the same. (although I don't think I need new chain actually, just reduced)

c. "break the anchor out by cleating the line and letting the boat do it". I have no idea what this means :/ All i know about anchoring is the sail or motor forward, drop anchor, drift or motor rear until it sets, then add a snubber. (I know, I'm at mickey mouse level of expertise, and I'm still learning!)

To pull in the anchor, I've just manually pulled the boat forward, then when I'm over the anchor pulled upwards.

My boat can't do u-turns. Well, it can, I just need about 1/2 mile turning radius. hah! I'm not sure what you mean by dumping an anchor off the stern - if I had an emergency wouldn't I move the fortress to the bow and tie off and attempt to set (assume the primary was dragging)

Probably causing you to bang head on your computer...I know. I'm all ears though.
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Old 25-06-2018, 12:59   #9
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

If it were me, I would do the following:

1) 100ft of 1/4" G40

2) 100 - 150 ft of 1/2" braided anchor line

3) 10KG Rocna or 25LB Manson Supreme.
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Old 25-06-2018, 13:00   #10
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
I would sell the anchors and get the +1 ng anchor as you say, but retain the 50’ chain and rode to hang it from and sell the 100’ chain, keeping the other rode in a locker to use with your new fortress kedge anchor. The reason is that the chain presumably fits your windlass already and unless it’s in terrible condition will be good enough as oversized.
How much chain do you think I should keep married up with the fortress in the stern? Just enough that I could hussel forward in a pinch? Maybe 30 feet?

I could have rope in the bow ready to attach to that emergency rig. That way if dragging and engine issues, SHTF, etc I could grab the fortress, bring it forward, attach to 50 feet of rope ready, and toss / attempt to set...

?
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Old 25-06-2018, 13:03   #11
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

As was said....

The wildcat (or gypsy if you are from other parts of the world) on a windless is sized to fit one size chain. It should be marked somewhere on the wildcat. It really is link length rather than chain size per say. For example 3/8" BBB and 5/15" G70 have almost the same length and work in the same sized wildcat.

Typically a mechanical windless will pull the chain up on both strokes (forward and back strokes).

Your existing chain (in a just and proper world) will be sized for your windless. But that requires the person who bought the chain to have done the right thing. Something to be checked.

The links of the chain should have markings that tell you what kind of chain it is. 3B, HT, G7 are some of the marks you may find. (G7 not likely)

Baring that you could measure the link size and deduce the chain type.

Also, a Storm anchor is "1 size up". No need to go beyond that for your proposed cruising plans.
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Old 25-06-2018, 13:08   #12
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

Chain has 2 uses 1) chain adds to your holding power, 2) chain does not abrade on coral and other rough bottoms.

Anchoring most common in mud or sand is more or less gentle on the anchor rode. So the durability of chain is of minimal utility (no coral heads).

The rule of thumb I've heard for those cases is to use a length of chain equal to your boat length. 30' is fine.

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Old 25-06-2018, 13:35   #13
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

How much does chain add to holding power?
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Old 25-06-2018, 14:08   #14
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

Quote:
Originally Posted by evm1024 View Post

Buy a Fortress for days that you need extra holding in the mud.
If you like to shop and buy stuff, go for the new gen anchors, but CQR's work great in mud and have saved me countless times on lee shores down here

Mine was dug in so deep a couple weeks ago at Kiptopeke due to strong wind and tide change, it had a ton of mud stuck to the shank and lower chain
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Old 26-06-2018, 09:08   #15
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Re: How much is too much (anchor and chain)

There are some great books on anchoring. This is my favorite, https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book.../dp/0870335391.

Also, the Rocna site has a lot of really good stuff on anchoring and choosing rode. You don't have to buy their anchor for it to be valuable. They are big proponents of using a storm anchor as your regular anchor and I agree.

Also, 1/4" G4 or even G7 for an extra degree of safety is plenty. You might be able to change the chainwheel on your windlass to use 1/4" chain. I would use no less than a boat length of chain, but I like 50' minimum. After that its all about scope so lots of line is fine and light. Also, often shackles end up being weak link, Crosby 209 shackles are the only one I'll use.
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