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Old 04-07-2018, 12:31   #1
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Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

We will be living primarily on the hook for two years. I have no windlass, and weight is a major consideration in my 27', 5100 lb displacement vessel. So I don't want all chain just for the sake of having it.


Is coral-head chafing common enough to warrant the extra weight?


Or perhaps I could continue with rope/chain, but with a higher percentage of it being chain? Say, instead of the 30' of chain I use in Florida, use 60'? 90'?
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Old 04-07-2018, 14:26   #2
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

Yes 100 feet is pretty much all chain for me 1/4 G4 backed up with about 100 feet of 5/8 twisted. Put a 22 lb delta or rocna on it and sleep like a baby. I always put out all the chain and about 15 feet of rode minimum .. no need for a snubber I have no windlass on my vega
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Old 04-07-2018, 15:10   #3
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

Dixiedawg,

Yes, coral chafe is common, and nylon rode, when wet, chafes through quite quickly. Once knew a guy, lost a boat anchoring on rope rode which chafed through, and never could understand why he came back to coral waters with all rope a second time. We left where that was, and I do not know what happened to him.

If you will be in coral infested waters, expect to need to use your chain.

Ann
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Old 04-07-2018, 15:50   #4
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

Second the proposal 1/4" all chain about 150 ft would be my suggestion. That's what I had on my Vega around coral. I did have an anchor winch on that boat, but on my boat before that I went from nylon rode with 60ft 3/8" (oversized, I know!) chain to all 1/4" and I found that the all chain was actually so much easier to haul in by hand (no winch on that boat). I would suggest using some leather rigging gloves when hauling all chain, though.
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Old 04-07-2018, 16:28   #5
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pirate Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

I would go all chain.. and if coral is your worry your not going to be anchored anywhere deep so 5 times your boat length in chain should be plenty.. dont sweat the weight.. theres more pro's than cons to it.
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Old 04-07-2018, 17:11   #6
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

I bet I’ve anchored 600 days the past 2 years it’s fairy rare to have more than 100’ of chain out.
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Old 04-07-2018, 17:26   #7
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

No question.. All chain down here. Chafe is a thing, but so is dragging. Its mostly settled, but sometimes not. We have been in 55 knot sustained winds twice. However, 35 knot plus is a thing, fairly often. A rode anchored boat just dragged down on our friends yesterday. They had over 200ft of rode out and still dragged in just 27 knots of wind.

We carry 175ft of chain, but that is overkill. 150 is fine %95 of the time. The very odd time in high season you might need more if the anchorage is SUPER full and you need to anchor far out. However, you could just move on to the next anchorage..

Just spend the money and put chain aboard. Its not that heavy (we have a good friend over 60 years old, that hand bombs all his chain, every time). You will sleep like a baby with all chain.

Now... Lets start an anchor thread..

(Like Sailorboy1, we have over 600 nights on anchor in the last 2 years of active cruising. We are closing in on 900 nights in total since owning the boat.).
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Old 04-07-2018, 18:20   #8
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

WOW - we have a 100% consensus!



A part of me was hoping for a different answer, but I'm glad to have such a definitive and unanimous opinion. That rarely happens!


150' of chain it shall be. I'm hoping 1/4" G4 ought to be sufficient? It has a 2,600 lb working load (double the strength of BBB) on a 5,100 lb vessel? And just to be clear: there will be more rope, more chain and more anchors on board in various places. This is just the primary.


Having never had all chain before, I might as well start pestering you fine folks about stoppers/pawls etc. I think I have a good idea as far as snubbers/bridles are concerned, but securing the chain between the anchor roller and the hawse is still a little hazy. As is securing the bitter end of the chain inside the locker. Seems like that should be something fairly easy to disconnect, just in case more rode should ever be needed. You never know, we might start out for Trinidad and wind up in Tahiti. I hear these things can happen!
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Old 04-07-2018, 18:42   #9
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

You could, at the bitter end of the chain, add in some line. The line is easier to cut than unscrewing the shackle.
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Old 04-07-2018, 19:12   #10
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olddan1943 View Post
You could, at the bitter end of the chain, add in some line. The line is easier to cut than unscrewing the shackle.

Ah! Yes, I like that. Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2018, 20:02   #11
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

OK, good decision IMO. And I'd seriously consider a chain stopper if planning to hoist by hand. The stopper acts kinda like a rachet, allowing you to rest between heaves or if you need to do something else whilst weighing. You will still need a snubber to take the load when all is set, but before you get to the snubber stage you will be very thankful for the stopper.

Now, as to anchoring depths... unlike Sailorboy, we have been at anchor more than 300 days a year for over 30 years now, and we almost always have more than 100 feet of chain out. And unlike Thinwater, we've never anchored in less than around 12 feet depth and usually it is between 25 and 40 feet, rarely over 50, and once in ~80.

No experience in the Eastern Caribe, but who is to say that you will never go elsewhere? I kinda think that the Bahamas and Florida's shallow anchorages are not representative of the world's cruising grounds... plenty of areas where much deeper anchorages are the norm, so be prepared!

Happy cruising!

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Old 04-07-2018, 20:29   #12
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olddan1943 View Post
You could, at the bitter end of the chain, add in some line. The line is easier to cut than unscrewing the shackle.
The line should be long enough that the end of the chain comes up on deck in an easy to reach place. That way you can cut easily in an emergency or bend on rode easily before untying the bitter end. Having a rope is great, but having to reach down into the chain locker to deal with it is a pain.

Also, put a good mark on the chain 1 or 2 or 3 meters (whatever you prefer) before the bitter end comes out. That way you'll know when the end is approaching.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:36   #13
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
The line should be long enough that the end of the chain comes up on deck in an easy to reach place. That way you can cut easily in an emergency or bend on rode easily before untying the bitter end. Having a rope is great, but having to reach down into the chain locker to deal with it is a pain.

Also, put a good mark on the chain 1 or 2 or 3 meters (whatever you prefer) before the bitter end comes out. That way you'll know when the end is approaching.
I always connect the bitter end to the second to last link on the chain so that I can either

Cut the bitter end and dump the chain

Or
Attach more chain /rode to the last link of the chain whilst the bitter end is still secured to the boat
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:29   #14
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pirate Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

When hauling chain by hand I like to raise the main and use the sailing up to haul in then as she reaches the top and falls off the wind and the weight comes back on snub the chain on a deck cleat with a turn.. start hauling again as the load comes off as she goes forward on the opposite tack.
You do have to time the last bit before she breaks free so you fall off to the most favourable tack giving you time to haul the anchor up to just before the roller and snub it.
You can then go back and steer clear of any other boats to clear water.. set your AP/TP before going back forward to stow and lash down the anchor.
Best to haul in stting with feet braced on pulpit supports and feed down the hawse as it comes in.. assuming your foredecks well laid out.. better for the back.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:41   #15
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Re: Do I "need" all-chain rode in the eastern Caribbean?

Boatman61 has the technique down correctly!!! Hope the OP pays attention to this previous post....
I am a woman who often single hands a 52í aluminum boat and often hauls an all chain rode by hand......
Put the main up, even if reefed.
Haul chain when tension is off and boat is moving ahead......you want to haul chain and NOT gain chain by pulling the whole boat ahead.
Have good snubber or chain lock so can take a break or tend to boat.
Rarely had more than 125í out in Carib.
An old pair of work gloves helps me...but I am not as tough as many salty sailors!!!!
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