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Old 24-10-2011, 20:30   #1
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Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

Out 40 foot boat comes with a 45lbs delta and I am wondering if it is worth upgrading as it will be our main anchor for one year crossing the pacific. I like the "new generation" anchors and always planned on getting one, but I am wondering if it will be worth it in this case since the delta is supposed to be pretty good.

The adds claim its good for Sailboat Size: 49' - 58', but that seems a little optimistic.
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Old 24-10-2011, 20:45   #2
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

More then enough with plenty of chain.
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Old 24-10-2011, 20:49   #3
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

Depends on the displacement of your boat. If it's around 20,000# it should be fine. If you are sailing a heavyweight, it's probably a bit undersized.
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Old 24-10-2011, 20:53   #4
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What about your other anchors, Dennisail?

We carry a mansion supreme, a delta and a fortress and we are thinking about upsizing the supreme and ditching the delta....
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Old 24-10-2011, 21:14   #5
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

The boat weighs 20,000 unladen. So I guess 25,000 when fully laden? The boat comes with high test chain. I am not sure on the length. How much is recommended for anchoring pacific islands?

I can not remember what other anchors come with the boat, but there is a large danforth style anchor and rode in the bilge.
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Old 24-10-2011, 21:17   #6
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

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Originally Posted by dennisail View Post
The boat weighs 20,000 unladen. So I guess 25,000 when fully laden? The boat comes with high test chain. I am not sure on the length. How much is recommended for anchoring pacific islands?

I can not remember what other anchors come with the boat, but there is a large danforth style anchor and rode in the bilge.
I would recommend all chain in the corals of the Pacific as did an earlier poster.
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Old 24-10-2011, 21:20   #7
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

Yes I will be using all chain on the primary. I wonder what length will be OK? Also can chain be joined?
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Old 24-10-2011, 21:41   #8
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

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Yes I will be using all chain on the primary. I wonder what length will be OK? Also can chain be joined?
Around 300ft would be OK.

It is my understanding both Jim Cate and Evans Starzinger who have done a lot of pacific crusing use all chain on their vessels

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Old 24-10-2011, 22:30   #9
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

The philosophy that makes the most sense to me is getting an anchor 2 sizes up from what is reccommended (unless you are near the bottom end of the size range then go up one size. This means that you will always have a storm anchor down. In marginal conditions the extra size will be making up for the poor bottom. In normal situations, you will always be prepared for a storm and will not have to change primaries if one comes up unexpectedly.

The manufacturer's tables are usually made up for 30kt wind and limited fetch. You need to be ready for more than that if you go offshore.

In your case I would go 55lb or maybe 70lb for a primary, and use downsize the chain by using G40/G43 instead of G30/BBB which will more than compensate for the added weight of the oversized anchor. I have heard various things about not being able to regalvanize G40/G43, but everything I have been able to get from suppliers indicates the extra strength compared to G30 or BBB is due to alloying elements in the steel not heat treating so regalvanizing should not be an issue.

If you do use HT chain be careful about the joining method you use that it is as strong at the chain. Alloy shackles are available for all but the smallest sizes of HT.

I have read that 300' is a good number in the pacific, there are a lot of deep anchorages.
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Old 25-10-2011, 05:09   #10
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

We were very happy with our 44 lb Delta. We've done quite a bit of anchoring over a variety of bottoms. It never dragged but once, but the most wind we ever experienced at anchor was 40-45 kts. The one time it dragged was in an enclosed basin where the bottom was soupy black mud, in a heavy thunderstorm. The engine kept us off the bulkhead until the storm passed. I've experienced it breaking out in a wind shift of 180 degrees and then resetting all by itself.

Our boat weighed about 24,000 lb and had a fair amount of windage. We had 150 ft of chain and 175 feet of nylon three-strand, which was fine for the US east coast and the eastern Caribbean. I'd go with 300 feet of chain in the Pacific, from what I've read about anchoring there.
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Old 25-10-2011, 05:34   #11
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

The bigger the anchor, the better you sleep. I would go up a size or 2, regardless of which technology you go with.

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Old 25-10-2011, 05:59   #12
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

I have a 35# delta for 31' boat, which is +2 for the recommended size as previous posters recommended, I believe the manufacturers recommendations are for wind speeds up to 30Knts with good holding, chances are you'll be seeing higher wind speeds and less then good holding.
Deltas are great with firm holding, they not so good when its soft mud and will live up to their anchor type by plowing through the mud. Fortress are great for soft mud. These two types should cover you in almost all instances. I might add a fisherman (Luke?) in case you have a rocky or heavy grass bottom, 80# minimum.
I agree that 55 or 70 delta would be ideal and probably handle 98% of your anchoring workload. As far as the fancy new anchors, I prefer time tested old school anchors.
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Old 25-10-2011, 07:58   #13
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

FWIW, we had a 45# CQR on 230' of BBB 3/8" chain on our nominal 19,000 displacement boat. We were down something lik 5" on her lines when we left so estimate cruising displacement was close to 23,000 pounds. We only used the full length of chain once in a Tropical Depression that blew 50 plus. We never had a problem with the anchor holding except when I anchored on 1.5 to 1 scope for a quick stop in Papeete to pick up something off another boat. Usually used 3 or 4 to 1 scope. There are some anchorages that may require more scope but I'd use a rope tail if you need more than 250' of chain to get decent scope. You'll use all that extra chain so little it will be a waste of money and weight. The Starzingers aren't your normal SoPac cruisers, btw. They've gone to the exremes of the earth and they have the boat and equipment to handle these extreme environments.

Unless your boat is particularly sensitive to weight in the bow, I wouldn't go down on the chain size. Weight of the chain is very important to give a catenary for shock absoption and general anchor holding. Another factor is the higher the tensile strength of the steel, the more prone to rust it seems to be.

A larger anchor won't hurt you unless you have a weak back when you are installing. Still, it's a question of money. Do you want to add another boat unit to the cost of your cruise with limited, though not wasted, value in an attempt at security. A properly set up boat with windlass, anchor roller, etc. means you won't ever have to handle the anchor and chain. A manual windlass will give you a workout but it's only cranking the handle, not wrestling the chain and anchor. With the new generation anchors like the Manson Supreme would expect that the reccomended size would be adequate. A secure anchor system is peace of mind, however.
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Old 25-10-2011, 08:57   #14
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

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Originally Posted by dennisail View Post
Our 40 foot boat comes with a 45lbs delta and I am wondering if it is worth upgrading as it will be our main anchor for one year crossing the pacific. I like the "new generation" anchors and always planned on getting one...
Dennis, the basic answer to your original question is that your 45lb Delta should be fine, especially if you go with all-chain rode & make sure it's set properly. We used a 45lb CQR (very similar to your Delta) on our 40' tri & our (heavy) 45' cat & dragged maybe 4x over 16 years (& 1 of those was a hurricane).

We spent 3 years crossing the Pacific, & carried 80m (250') of 10mm chain. Sometimes we had to nose around a bit to find good anchoring depth (I like at least 5:1 scope to the deck) but we always could (& being a cat, we don't like to carry more ballast than needed). I would not join your chain, as the join link is much weaker than the chain. A friend got their chain caught under a coral head on short scope & it parted at the join, making them have to motor around in small circles all of a dark & stormy night in the Tuamotus.

I don't happen to agree with the folks who say "go up a size (or 2)" as I believe in a good storm anchor (as well as a smaller "kedge" anchor). All 3 types of anchors have different requirements.

A working anchor should hold the boat in most conditions, but it's primary duty is to set quickly & easily. For that, I like the new breed of "Dragon's Tooth" anchors (Rocna, Manson Supreme, Bugel, etc) as we sometimes had problems getting our CQR to set.

A storm anchor doesn't have to set quickly, but it does need extreme holding power. For that, I like big flukes & lots of surface area, like a Danforth type (we use a Fortress FX-125). It may not set easily, but once in it's not going to drag easily.

Kedges have yet a 3rd set of requirements - quick & easy to deploy from the dinghy.

I talk quite a bit about anchors (what types are good for what bottoms, pros & cons of different types, how to set an anchor, scope, snubbers, anchoring hand signals, etc) on our Anchors Cruising Info page.
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Old 25-10-2011, 09:13   #15
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Re: Is a 45 Pound Delta Big Enough for a 40' Offshore Liveaboard ?

My boat is 40' and 22k# in cruising trim. It came from the factory with a 44# Delta which was generally okay but didn't hold well in soft muds (like Chesapeake Bay) and didn't set well in grass (like some places in the Bahamas). I replaced it with a 25kg (55#) Rocna. The performance of the Rocna was so good I bought a second one.
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