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Old 03-08-2020, 09:49   #46
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartWeibel View Post
you may find some useful perspective in this article:

https://www.petersmith.net.nz/boat-anchors/catenary.php

Wow. Nothing new in that article, but very well explained by the builder of one of the best anchors on the market. Take aways:
* Chain provides ZERO reduction in scope requirement
* There is ZERO catenary effect in anything but light winds (it exists in winds to say 20 kts). This applies to kellets too.

* Chain doesn't reduce sailing or shock loading in anything but light winds

* Weight of chain is better put in the anchor


Nothing new, this is all old hat. But the rumors and internet lore still cling to the false lore.


Chain isn't pointless though.
* It provides chafe protection (on the bottom or at the boat)

* It does provide reduced sailing in light air
* As another poster pointed out, in sufficiently light conditions, the anchor isn't a part of the equation (is that a "benefit?")
* Chain is much nicer on a windlass than rope
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:28   #47
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

Not sure what the lore is but in my case I never think of it as chain necessarily offering a better chance to set or hold an anchor, just a lot better at not being shredded by a rock or debris or coral. That's kinda important. And this is coming from one who has a chain/nylon combo. Because I know my local anchorages (or at least I HOPE I do) I trust my 50' of chain on both anchors for now BUT I am very wary of just where I am. I once anchored smugly in a spot I thought was only sandy bottom. When I went diving and saw my rode (the chain section fortunately) sliding right over a rock outcrop I was instantly humbled.
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Old 03-08-2020, 13:02   #48
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

I'm a racer who cruises and I have no windlass and use rope plus chain. True even on the 45ft race boats I ran in the Caribbean.

Were I to go off on a voyage of pleasure, all chain to a sturdy windlass for certain!
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Old 03-08-2020, 13:11   #49
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

Don, Sounds like we are in agreement. Chafe is one of the benefits of all chain. Setting and holding are not. That's the "lore" part of it.
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Old 03-08-2020, 19:14   #50
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

Some believe that all you need is a length of chain as long as your boat.

I believe that the more is better.

Who's right? Don't know. You will hear about the success and failures of both.

You decide what you want an who to believe
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Old 03-08-2020, 21:20   #51
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

What o n earth has the length of the boat got to do with the chain length requirement?

What a silly metric.

And for Sailing Harry, who is awfully sure that chain makes little difference and that catenary is unimportant... there is a lengthy and fairly erudite thread currently under way here relating to that question. It involves the mathematics of catenary, energy dissipation and wave energy and a bunch of other factors, all with the mathematics to back up the hypotheses. And it shows very convincingly that catenary is quite important to anchoring success, especially in deep anchorages.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...pe-235053.html

A perusal of this information might change your mind about things.

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Old 04-08-2020, 05:34   #52
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

I agree that length of boat is irrelevant. In my mind, for a mixed rode, minimum chain length should be a bit more than the deepest water you expect to anchor in. That way you've already transitioned to chain before breaking the anchor out, as doing the transition with the extra weight of the anchor being off the bottom will be more challenging.
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Old 04-08-2020, 08:40   #53
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

I grew up spending my summers working on a shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, mostly on the Texas Coast but at times it could be anywhere from Campeche, Mexico to Key West. We had an 85ft steel hull. We shrimped all night and anchored all day. Usually in about 30 fathoms (180ft). We had a very large plow anchor with about 50ft of chain and about 500ft of 1" nylon. My brother said the chains purpose was to keep the angle low to help keep the anchor set and prevent chafing. The rope was a good shock absorber.
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Old 04-08-2020, 10:24   #54
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

We painted USA flag colors. Red, white, blue every 30 feet. When we reached the next sequence it was 2 red 2 white 2 blue, etc. That way we were sure how much we had out, convient in the dark, or saying was that 90 feet or 180. When you are tired it helps, and other cr know what you did.
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Old 04-08-2020, 10:28   #55
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

For a color scheme, I came up with my own that's worked pretty well. It uses 3 colors: neon orange, neon green, and black. Paint on the chain, spray on fabric dye / paint for the rope portion.

Marking scheme is as follows: Orange marks count 25, 50, 75. Green marks count 100s. So 2 orange is 50 feet. 1 green, 1 orange is 125 feet. 2 green, 3 orange is 275. Black marks start about 15 feet before the end, so when the first one of them comes out of the windlass, it's a "stop now" indication. The green and orange have proven to be easy to see. And most importantly, each mark is individually readable, so there's no need to count or remember which mark came before.

Pictures are of marking my primary and secondary rodes.
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Old 04-08-2020, 10:36   #56
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

We rely on 100M (330ft) of chain on a 58 ft yacht. We are extensive cruisers, have been for 15 years and never had any issues. The overwhelming majority of our nights are spent at anchor. That said I have to admit that we rarely ever have more than 65M (200ft) or chain out even when we expect gale winds as we will seek shelter in shallower places if that is the case. Those who have been at anchor in a gale know that with a lot of chain out, the boat will tack/swerve at anchor like crazy and it is those back and forth movements that heavily stress the tackle. Since we can't compromise on the scope (the more the better) it is better if at all possible to seek to anchor in shallower places as to not end up with a huge amount of chain out.

No matter what, the portion of galvanised chain that is only used occasionally is rough and tends to cause issues with the windlass when finally deployed. Also galvanised chain tends to pile up in the locker when retrieving also causing issues with the windlass. For all these reasons I am toying with the idea of using say 65m (200ft) of high quality Stainless Steel chain with an additional say 80M (250ft) of rode. Of course we will never use that much rode but that would give us enough in reserve to cut a piece of rode out and splice it if it gets damaged.

Two questions for those who have experience with chain/rode on an electric windlass:

1) How troublesome is the transition from chain to rode and rode to chain. My windlass can theoretically handle both chain and rode but it is the transition that I am worried about.
2) When you have rode out, does your boat tend to tack/swerve even more at anchor in higher winds? My concern is that the lighter nylon rode might not keep the bow as much pointed in the direction of the wind and allow the boat to tack/swerve even more.
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Old 04-08-2020, 10:39   #57
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

If the winds are gusty and a little shifty, the boat can definitely sail around more as it stretches out the nylon and then rebounds. But it usually takes a good bit of rope to cause that and you can always control the stretch by using a less stretchy rope and then adding stretch with a snubber.



Transition wise, my windlass does it quite nicely. Just let off the button right before the splice hits the gypsy so the windlass slows down and it coasts through when retrieving. Then it'll grab the chain and you can continue. On deployment, it's seamless. The chain clatter just ends as it transitions and leaves only the windlass motor humming along while it pays out the rope portion.
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Old 04-08-2020, 11:00   #58
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Re: Anchor Chain vs rope!

I did the same thing for my C&C 39, it was a huge improvement from all rope. Pulls the lead down and helps set the anchor, and gives it a little droop. If you are a gung ho Cruiser, then, yes, you would probably want all chain. What I had worked fine for the Great Lakes.
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