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Old 09-03-2011, 18:26   #1
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Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

Greetings all,

This is my first post on Cruisers Forum although some of you may know me from BoatDesign.net. I have a 46' motorsailer under construction and have spent a couple of hours today trying to research a design issue with limited success. Maybe someone here can point me in the right direction.

I have a Lofans windlass with a combination gypsy that fits 3/8" HT chain and 5/8" or 9/16" rope. My plan is to carry 150' of chain with 200-300 ft of rope behind that. I expect that the vast majority of my anchoring will be done on 100% chain (w/ snubber). The default arrangement is to have the rope spliced on to the chain and let the rope lie at the bottom of the chain locker, getting all crudded up for years until it is finally put into action.

Alternatively, I could keep the rope rode separate and shackle it to the chain only for the limited occasions when it is required. This requires a bit more gymnastics around the windlass during deployment and retrieval but isn't an insurmountable obstacle.

I do like the self-tailing / storing notion of having the rope drop through the spurling pipe. However, I donít have any experience with this type of set-up and wonder if Iím off in la-la land thinking the rope is going to simply come to rest in a tangle free pile at the bottom of the anchor locker. I am interested in hearing how others have dealt with this situation.

Best Regards,

Sea Jay
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Old 09-03-2011, 18:33   #2
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Re: Storing Chain/Rope Combo Rode

Personally I would go with 300ft(100m) all chain and avoid the hassels.

Keep 300ft rope as backup.

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Old 09-03-2011, 18:51   #3
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Re: Storing Chain/Rope Combo Rode

There's really no good way to do what you want to do. Dropping 150' of 3/4" chain on all that line, especially if the chain is muddy, is not a good way to treat rope.

I second the suggestion to go with an all-chain rode. A 46' motorsailor shouldn't have any trouble carrying the weight of 100 meters of chain. You won't find many cruisers with that much displacement carrying combined chain/nylon rodes.
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Old 09-03-2011, 19:53   #4
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Re: Storing Chain/Rope Combo Rode

Guys,

I appreciate the feedback, but I don't want the thread to get off on to what sort of rode or anchoring gear I should be carrying. Trust me, I've given this a lot of thought and my selection as outlined above meets my requirements.

I agree that dropping the muddy chain on top of the rope isn't a good idea but these windlasses are designed to do just that, and like Bash, I have not conceived of a good way to handle the problem. In concept, I am thinking about a raised rope bin off to the side of a chain containment structure, but if the rope is spliced onto the chain it would mean the rope would have to be flaked from inside the forepeak during retrieval. Here is another guy asking the same question...

Storing Rope & Chain Anchor Rode - SailNet Community

The only solution offered is really not applicable to my situation.

Regards,

Sea Jay
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Old 10-03-2011, 00:18   #5
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

I am no help, but feel your pain. I recently purchased a type 1 Albin Vega with no chain locker. I will be building a Chain locker and plan to use a chain-rode combo. I'll let you know how mine turns out if you'll do the same. ;-)
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:06   #6
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

If you have a windlass designed for a combination chain / rope rode it should store both in a below deck locker with no problems. Usually the wet rope (assuming it is nylon or polyethylene) sits on the floor of the locker, then the chain sits on top.

If you want to use a chain pipe to move it all to a locker below a berth, rather than below the deck, you may have a problem. Then you need to use all chain.

I have never worried about mud or dirty rope. If you want to make that an issue, I would suggest you figure out a way to wash the chain on deck, it would not be hard with a pressure pump.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:33   #7
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

I can say that I have stored chain, sometimes muddy, on top of line for years in a deck access shallow locker. The line outlived the chain.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:38   #8
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

We use 200 feet of 3/8" chain spliced to 200 feet of 5/8" 3 strand nylon. It runs through the rope/chain gypsy with no problem, although sometimes the splice needs a little help to get past the gypsy, depending on the load. The rope piles itself in the bottom of the locker with no problem, and comes out with no tangles. We keep the chain clean with a salt water washdown system, so mud in the locker is not an issue.

Most of the time we're on all chain, with a snubber. One rope rode outlasts several chain rodes. I just replaced the chain this week, and the rope is a little brown from rust stains in places, but otherwise in fine shape. Anchoring 365 days a year in the Caribbean coral sand, we wear out a chain in about 3 years. The rope must be 10 or 12 years old, and is still in fine shape after sitting under all that chain. It was soft enough for me to splice on the new chain wiht no problem.

we've been happy with this arrangement for over 20 years.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:24   #9
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

Thanks for the recent replies! What I'm taking away is that there really isn't a problem leaving the chain on top of the rope so I'll stop worrying about it. This greatly simplifies things. Life's complicated enough without looking for problems.

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Sea Jay
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:32   #10
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

I never trusted rope to chain splices and I have exactly what 'downunder' suggests; 300ft of chain and 300ft of rode that could be shackled on with proper slices, eyes and shackles.

The previous owner dropped his chain on the rode and it was in very poor shape, hard and salt/mud encrusted.

A 46ft motor sailor can certainly handle the weight forwards

In three years in the Caribbean I have never deployed more than 250 ft of chain and I have only done that once.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:56   #11
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

Chain on top of rope... no big deal. If you use plaited rope it will flake nicely and take less room.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:02   #12
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

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Originally Posted by Sea Jay View Post
The default arrangement is to have the rope spliced on to the chain and let the rope lie at the bottom of the chain locker, getting all crudded up for years until it is finally put into action.

Alternatively, I could keep the rope rode separate and shackle it to the chain only for the limited occasions when it is required. This requires a bit more gymnastics around the windlass during deployment and retrieval but isn't an insurmountable obstacle.
I have not read the entire thread, so someone else might already have suggested this but what I do is this:

- I have 3/8" chain with 200' of 3/4" rope spliced to the end. Mostly I use all chain, but occasionally the rope does go out.
- The chain is stowed in a box at the aft end of the chain locker and the rope flaked on a raised platform at the front end of the box. The splice is on the edge of the platform.
- In normal use the chain runs in and out and the rope and splice never get wet.
- When needed the rope runs out from its flaked position just fine.
- When bringing the rope back in, I flake it by hand back to its shelf, up to the chain splice. When the splice comes in, I then go back to normal chain retrieval mode.

It would be a clumsy solution if you planned to use the rope frequently, with with about a once a year rope usage its seems like a decent compromise solution.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:13   #13
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

Another way to handle this, if your anchor locker is big enough and you are using something like brait is to flake the line into a big plastic bucket or milk crate to keep it separate from the chain. If using a bucket I would drill some holes in the bottom so it doesn't collect water. Brait would flake really nicely into the bucket. Frankly, I have never done that and just let the chain pile on top of my 3-strand line, but it does make it harder to clean out the anchor locker and means that the line is perpetually wet and mucky down there.
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Old 14-03-2011, 03:39   #14
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

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Originally Posted by Sea Jay View Post
Greetings all,


I have a Lofans windlass with a combination gypsy that fits 3/8" HT chain and 5/8" or 9/16" rope. My plan is to carry 150' of chain with 200-300 ft of rope behind that. I expect that the vast majority of my anchoring will be done on 100% chain (w/ snubber). The default arrangement is to have the rope spliced on to the chain and let the rope lie at the bottom of the chain locker, getting all crudded up for years until it is finally put into action.



Best Regards,

Sea Jay
Hi Sea Jay,
I have the same configuration on my 45'sailboat. I have experienced various combinations of rope quality and chain length. My final choice for the rope was a 18mm squareline. Quite easy to splice on a chain and dnt twist in the locker.
The rope is not stored below the chain but in a separate lcoker and keep the splice well above the chain locker botton. The splice is easy to check (visual) and the 100m can be used separately, going trough the peak hatch.

regards
Gael
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Old 14-03-2011, 04:39   #15
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Re: Storing Chain / Rope Combo Rode

I'm of the school that says piling the chain on top of the rope is no big deal. They both will flake nicely and never get tangled unless you mess around with it in some way that changes the normal last-in-first-out order of the pile. I do trust the rope-chain splice and check it at least annually. When the link joining the rope starts to rust I cut it off and re-splice. It is just maintenance.

I think it's a bad idea to use a shackle/thimble rope-chain join for routine use with a windlass because it would be a major hassle getting around the windlass. Might even cost the boat if you needed to re-anchor under emergency conditions.
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