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Old 28-05-2022, 07:41   #1
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Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

My Bavaria 38 came with a #22 CQR spare anchor and 300 ft of rope rode stored under the V-berth. It has no chain.

The primary anchor is a #22 delta with all chain which I certainly plan to upsize. I have been in the Chesapeake, mostly weekending, and have never had to deploy a second anchor.

I plan to cruise up to Maine then down to the Caribbean next year and was wondering how much chain I should have for the spare anchor? My wife is small and cannot lift much and I am hoping to minimize the weight of chain. I'm hoping to store it in a small sturdy bucket but not have to lift it out on a halyard!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 28-05-2022, 08:33   #2
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

There are many anchoring experts. I am a fool and know little but here is my advice.


If you can afford it, get an aluminum Spade or aluminum Sarca Excel for your backup anchor. (Of these, the aluminum Sarca Excel unbolts for storage while the aluminum Spade does not). Get 30' of chain. Be sure the chain is compatible with your windlass, and use the same kind as you have for your primary anchor. Get 300 feet of 5/8" 8-plait nylon rope and splice it to the chain. Set up a shackle and mousing wire on the anchor so it's ready to attach but leave it disconnected. You will end up with a 20 pound anchor and a 58 pound rode. That's reasonably manageable to get from below decks to up on deck, and in shallow water the rope will more or less stay off the seabed. It is also something that is reasonable to retrieve hand-over-hand if your windlass is unusable.


You will probably never use it.

The 8-plait nylon rope will store in much less space than 3-plait. Be sure it's compatible with your windlass.



You can get a galvanized steel anchor for less money if you'd rather have $600 to spend on something else instead of a lighter weight backup anchor.
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Old 28-05-2022, 09:49   #3
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

The first consideration is how you plan to use the “spare anchor”. Is it kept as a replacement for the primary anchor (in case the primary anchor is lost), or something else?
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Old 28-05-2022, 10:37   #4
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

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The first consideration is how you plan to use the “spare anchor”. Is it kept as a replacement for the primary anchor (in case the primary anchor is lost), or something else?
There are several reasons I might want to set a second anchor (see this link).

And it would be foolish not to have at least a temporary spare.
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Old 28-05-2022, 11:53   #5
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

The first four options listed in the article you linked require an anchor with a performance similar to the primary anchor. You will need plenty of chain with a CQR anchor. The CQR is finicky to set and does not work well with no or even little chain. If you are planning to keep the Delta as a spare it is a little easier to set, but still requires a reasonable amount of chain. Having said this, the first two techniques (V-configuration and tandem anchoring) are a little outdated. They are of marginal value, and generally not used these days.

The “Rolly anchorage” option requires little holding power, in fact an anchor with low holding that acts as “fuse” if the wind picks up and can be retrieved easily can be an advantage. Little or no chain is fine.

The final option of “med mooring” is an odd inclusion in the article. Normally this involves using the primary bow anchor (and this is what the diagram illustrates) so a secondary anchor is not used.

There are plenty of other uses of a second anchor that are not mentioned in the article, such as using it as a kedge or as a replacement in case the primary anchor is lost. As a kedge the CQR is poor. It is heavy, has poor holding without chain and the articulated nature is good at trapping fingers. As a replacement for a lost primary anchor it is better fit.

If the chain connected to primary anchor is lost you will need some spare chain, but if the anchor is snagged usually some of the chain can be saved.

Personally, I would buy a new good primary anchor such as a Mantus M1, Rocna or Spade. Keep the Delta as a second anchor. If there is any money left in the kitty, a Guardian or Fortress anchor would be a great addition and would be better than extra chain.
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Old 28-05-2022, 12:14   #6
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

If it is stored under the V-berth, it's a pretty sure bet you will never use it.


a. A modern primary, at least 35 pounds, is the first step.


b. most of the uses for a secondary will NOT use that small CQR. Sell it or give it away and gets a Fortress. Keep the Fortress in a stern locker, whee you can get to it. Kedging. Possibly two anchors in a V in super soft mud and severe thunderstorms, but not the way the article describes.


https://www.practical-sailor.com/sai...ndem-anchoring


To reduce swing in certain circumstances. But none of these require more than 10 feet of chain, since the boat will not be swinging and will not be chafing. The second anchor may be rowed out, so light weight and minimal chain are virtues.


A Fortress is by far the most common and most logical secondary on the Chesapeake, because it works for kedging if aground, and it works better than anything else in super soft mud, which we have in abundance. The primary should be something more conventional (Excel, Mantus, Spade, Ultra, Viking, etc.). Yes, I listed those in alphabetical order, because I don't want to unpack that!
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Old 28-05-2022, 13:27   #7
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Personally, I would buy a new good primary anchor such as a Mantus M1, Rocna or Spade. Keep the Delta as a second anchor. If there is any money left in the kitty, a Guardian or Fortress anchor would be a great addition and would be better than extra chain.
Thank you for that advice. I am researching primary anchors. The Rocna 20 (44 lb) anchor seems the best choice to me, which means I will likely use the old Lewmar/Delta 22 as my second anchor and put the CQR into our front lawn.

I would really not want to go to a 44 lb anchor as a second. I cannot imagine trying to lift it from below my V-berth even if it would fit so they will not be matching.

Per my original question of how much chain. I'm thinking a boat length (round up to 40 feet) will be about right. Less would be easier but the tandom anchor technique on the link I posted said to use a boat length of chain.
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Old 28-05-2022, 13:40   #8
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

You can get by with zero chain if you have the correct scope out for the depth. BUT, chain's advantage is not all in keeping the anchor set, it is to avoid losing your rode and anchor (and boat) to chafe in the rode. If you know for sure you will always use your anchor in places where you will see it set and can see there are no rocks, coral or old cars for the line to chafe against, then you need little or no chain. Personally I see the "spare" anchor as a necessity that may one day become the primary anchor for some reason. So I'd pick a good one with 100' of chain at least. That will allow you about 5:1 scope in 20 feet of water (long snubber attached.)
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Old 28-05-2022, 13:50   #9
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

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Possibly two anchors in a V in super soft mud and severe thunderstorms, but not the way the article describes.


https://www.practical-sailor.com/sai...ndem-anchoring

I find it interesting that the article I linked suggests to not use the V and the practical-sailor article basically says it is the one to use. But this may be a soft-bottom thing as a that is the focus of the PS article. I'm more concerned about anchoring in a hard blow in New England where I read that the bottom is generally harder. (I read that the sand in Bahamas makes for better holding IF the anchor is a modern one.)
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Old 28-05-2022, 13:55   #10
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

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Thank you for that advice. I am researching primary anchors. The Rocna 20 (44 lb) anchor seems the best choice to me, which means I will likely use the old Lewmar/Delta 22 as my second anchor and put the CQR into our front lawn.
Good plan.

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Per my original question of how much chain. I'm thinking a boat length (round up to 40 feet) will be about right.
A boat length is good compromise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by argold57 View Post
Less would be easier but the dual ancho technique on the link I posted said to use a boat length of chain.
You will find a v-configuration of minimal value. The 44lb Rocna will have much higher holding capacity than a 22LB Delta. If the wind strength is high enough to drag the Rocna as the force comes on the Delta it will also drag and the boat will “walk” backwards. The second anchor greatly complicates the setting and recovery process. If you drag it can be a nightmare with a tangled rode.

Tandem anchoring is of minimal value and the second anchor may even compromise the the setting and holding power of the primary anchor.

There is some value to a Bahamian moor, but you will be dependent on the 22Lb Delta holding the boat in position for half the time.
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Old 28-05-2022, 14:39   #11
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by argold57 View Post
I find it interesting that the article I linked suggests to not use the V and the practical-sailor article basically says it is the one to use. But this may be a soft-bottom thing as a that is the focus of the PS article. I'm more concerned about anchoring in a hard blow in New England where I read that the bottom is generally harder. (I read that the sand in Bahamas makes for better holding IF the anchor is a modern one.)

Yes, the PS article is a method for soft bottoms, and all of the practical as well as load cell testing was in the Chesapeake Bay. The OP is in the Chesapeake Bay. Thus, the suggestion.


As for "walking, the PS article specifically addresses that. A smaller secondary anchor is never used, because it adds nothing useful. The secondary is assumed to be a VERY high holding pivoting fluke type, with greater holding than the primary, and the primary serves to stabilizy the pull on the pivoting fluke (Fortress) anchor. Very different from the common and ineffective practice of using a smaller anchor to assist the bower. The assumption should ALWAYS be that each anchor should be capable of holding the full load, and the second anchor is only there to add some additional trait, such as reduce swing or reduced wiggling or yawing on the primary.



There are other methods for other specific situations. The only universal truth is that a single, conservatively sized modern anchor is best >95% of the time. It's been years since I've set two, but I do know how.


And don't forget kedging. Anyone can run aground in the Chesapeake!
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Old 28-05-2022, 14:41   #12
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

If you know for sure you will be pulled in one direction then 2 out in a V might be fine, as long as they are equally robust. Chances are only one will be holding the load from time to time, so the other is useful as a back-up. But if the boat swings 180 degrees things could get complicated at a time when you really want things to be simple. I see many folks suggest the Fortress as the second anchor and that's probably fine. But at the risk of being annoyingly repetitive to those who follow the anchor threads, don't rule out the Danforth Hi-Tensiles IMHO. For your boat the 20HT could hold you through a very good breeze. I believe Steve on Panope found the Hi-tensiles the superior choice for pulling one direction in sand and mud. (Correct me if I am wrong Steve!)
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Old 28-05-2022, 14:45   #13
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

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Yes, the PS article is a method for soft bottoms, and all of the practical as well as load cell testing was in the Chesapeake Bay. The OP is in the Chesapeake Bay. Thus, the suggestion
True but I said I’m cruising Maine to Bahamas next year and this is what the post is about. I have weekend/vacation sailed the Bay for a decade with the “toy” anchor the boat came with but now I hope to get out with the big kids!
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Old 28-05-2022, 14:52   #14
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

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I have weekend/vacation sailed the Bay for a decade with the “toy” anchor the boat came with but now I hope to get out with the big kids!
Most of the big kids have all chain.
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Old 28-05-2022, 15:09   #15
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Re: Minimal chain for my spare anchor?

Fortress with 15-20ft of chain and the same 300ft of rope you have.
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