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Old 29-11-2021, 12:14   #1
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Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

Hi fellow Sailors!

We (my wife and me) are planning on sailing the world starting in two or three years, thus we are looking for a catamaran to surf the waves with. I really fell in love with the Outremer Brand, the 45 and 51 also seems reasonable from a price perspective. We both like the sports aspects of sailing which also fits to the Outremer philosophy and strengths.

There is just one thing my wife hates about the Outremer design and we both try collecting arguments why Outremer has this kind of setup and how it works for present owners: the anchor chain being exposed on deck.

I get the idea that the weight is centralized and to reduce weight to not have any kind of channel, but still it really does look bad, provides a tripping hazard and we can imagine that it also is bad in terms of longterm rust / dirt on the deck.

So appreciate any arguments why the design of the anchor chain is valid and maybe even very good as it is.

Cheers and happy sailing
Timo
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Old 29-11-2021, 14:44   #2
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

I'll offer a few reasons why this arrangement is good, even though when we bought our O51 I had a similar concern:

- it's good to be able to see and remove mud and weeds that your chain drags up, before it enters your anchor locker (we have a pressurized seawater outlet nearby that we use, and we have a battery (low) powered pressure washer if fresh water is needed)
- you can see chain markings more easily so you know how much chain you have out
- attaching and detaching the bridle is easier when the chain is on top

I don't think of the chain itself as much of a tripping hazard (it runs in a channel), but the windless is.

Any boat will likely have some objectionable feature; I would not personally rate this concern too highly relative to other potential pitfalls.
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Old 29-11-2021, 15:01   #3
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

Hi conway

Thank you very much for your answers this helps a lot! Which other major concerns did you have before buying the O51 and did you have other boats in mind? Would love to get some insights into your buying process!
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Old 30-11-2021, 09:12   #4
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

No major concerns. Doubts included the lack of sun protection at the helm (fixable after sale, but doesn't bother us as much as we thought), the quality of the dinghy davits design (not great, but it works after a warranty repair) and whether or not to get an overlapping genoa or stick with the self-tacking solent (kept it simple by keeping the solent).

We chartered Leopards, Lagoons and Fontaine Pajots and spent a week on an Outremer, and visited most of the cats at boat shows several times.

Main reasons why we went for the Outremer: it's an efficient production boat from a reputable builder, sails easily at 90+% of wind speed when the wind is 8 knots (top speed when the wind is up is much less important imo but it's fun to surf), needs much less horsepower (and fuel) when motoring, easy to handle by a couple. It is very comfortable and plenty spacious for 4-6 people (less spacious than the charter oriented boats); ease of resale down the road; quality of design (it's designed primarily for offshore sailing with a lower profile, less fibreglass upfront, safe enclosed cockpit etc.). It's not perfect but we have no regrets.
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Old 30-11-2021, 10:29   #5
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

Conway, many thanks for your in depth review happy to hear you are happy!
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Old 01-12-2021, 17:07   #6
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

I run my anchor chain on deck and am very happy with it. It is better from a few viewpoints.

You get to see the state of the chain as it runs in and out, you can also see any fishing line or weed that gets entangled in the chain, you can use painted marks on the chain to use as a guide to the amount of chain you have out and it allows you to easy change anchors.

There are a few problems with the chain going straight to the locker - it looks good but it can be a real pain to get the boat to pull nicely up to the anchor when dropping or retrieving. A friend had a sistership to mine with this setup and whereas I would drop the chain and be all safe and happy on my own, he would have to ask his partner to stand up the front and use a sort of slipping snubber to get the boat to lie head to wind. He found if he put the bridle on early, the line would get caught under the bows.

Also it is hard to quickly change an anchor if it is below the deck. This is not something that happens regularly but in out last cruise we swapped anchors when our normal one would not set. This is easy to do on the setup where the chain goes over the forebeam and along the deck.

For beating to windward for a long time, I can grab our anchor and bring it back to the locker, but I usually don't bother.

Of course you should not be near the chain when it is moving. With our electric winch, we don't even have anyone up the front of the boat most times, we use the switch at the helm. We don't have another switch anywhere else. There is no need to be near the chain when it moves.

Try both set ups, but I will not be changing mine.

cheers

Phil
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Old 01-12-2021, 20:53   #7
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by catsketcher View Post
I run my anchor chain on deck and am very happy with it. It is better from a few viewpoints.

You get to see the state of the chain as it runs in and out, you can also see any fishing line or weed that gets entangled in the chain, you can use painted marks on the chain to use as a guide to the amount of chain you have out and it allows you to easy change anchors.

There are a few problems with the chain going straight to the locker - it looks good but it can be a real pain to get the boat to pull nicely up to the anchor when dropping or retrieving. A friend had a sistership to mine with this setup and whereas I would drop the chain and be all safe and happy on my own, he would have to ask his partner to stand up the front and use a sort of slipping snubber to get the boat to lie head to wind. He found if he put the bridle on early, the line would get caught under the bows.

Also it is hard to quickly change an anchor if it is below the deck. This is not something that happens regularly but in out last cruise we swapped anchors when our normal one would not set. This is easy to do on the setup where the chain goes over the forebeam and along the deck.

For beating to windward for a long time, I can grab our anchor and bring it back to the locker, but I usually don't bother.

Of course you should not be near the chain when it is moving. With our electric winch, we don't even have anyone up the front of the boat most times, we use the switch at the helm. We don't have another switch anywhere else. There is no need to be near the chain when it moves.

Try both set ups, but I will not be changing mine.

cheers

Phil
I agree with all of that. Plus: It's easier to install and remove the snubbers, especially for those times when the wind picks up and you want to let out more chain. Or those times when you have to raise and clear the anchor of debris, before trying to reset it.

We studied both methods before deciding to run everything up above, where we could get to it.

Cheers.
Paul.
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Old 01-12-2021, 21:35   #8
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

We have an older Danson Outremer with the same arrangement and wouldn’t have it any other way, for all the various reasons mentioned above. On our boat the chain, when tight, reaches a height of 1 foot/30 cm above the walkway near the windlass. Once we have the anchor up we have a hook out near the roller that locks it in place, and then we ease the windlass and the chain falls into a groove on the walkway. No tripping hazard, easy to keep clean, all around an easy way to work with the anchor.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:26   #9
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

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Originally Posted by conway View Post
No major concerns. Doubts included the lack of sun protection at the helm (fixable after sale, but doesn't bother us as much as we thought)
I was wondering what the fix would be. The Sailing Family's O51 has an enclosed cockpit which looks like the boom height would have had to be reconfigured.

Nice boat btw
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Old 14-12-2021, 15:25   #10
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Re: Outremer Anchor Chain Setup

We have a first generation O55L with the windlass at the head of the walkway just in front of the main beam. The chain rests on the passarelle (removable from the walkway for dock access from bows or sterns) when slacked by the chain hook, or from 3-20cm above the passarelle when loaded. The bow roller is built into the front of the walkway so the anchor sits just behind and below the front beam.

Neither the chain nor the windlass are tripping hazards because you learn where they are and have plenty of room to get around them. Iíve seen sisterships with the windlass immediately in front of the mast, on top of the main beam - I expect it depends on whether the boat was configured for overlapping Genoa or self tacking jib.

As others have said, lots of positives with having the anchor and chain readily accessible.

The biggest issue we have is with the shallow anchor locker. We have 12/13mm (1/2Ē) chain and it needs hand flaking so it doesnít pile up and jam the hawsepipe. Oh well.

Regarding sun cover for the helm, I always wonder about why that is such an issue. After all, the autopilot does the vast majority of the steering when underway. Wear a hat or wet weather gear as needed. These are sailboats, not recreational vehicles - fully enclosed cockpits are nice at anchor but completely divorce you from the conditions when underway - that is a safety issue.

That said, we are going to enlarge the stock bimini to fully cover the rear 2/3s of the cockpit. Our current bimini provides OK sun cover but leaks like a sieve.
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