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Old 08-06-2015, 11:00 PM   #1
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Is 5/16" chain sufficient.

Looked at a 42 GB today and it had a 44lb Bruce with 400' of 5/16" 43 chain.

Everything I read makes reference to 3/8" chain so, is 5/16" questionable for that boat?
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:16 PM   #2
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43 is high test with a safe working load of 3900lbs, same as we have on our boat. Personally I would like to see the anchor one size up but for our area it is OK.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:37 PM   #3
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43 is high test with a safe working load of 3900lbs, same as we have on our boat. Personally I would like to see the anchor one size up but for our area it is OK.
Thanks Mike.
You are ok with the 5/16" chain"
Never been a big Bruce fan so, going a size bigger would give me an excuse to try a Rocna, wouldn't it?
Course I'd have to call the boat mine, first.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:39 AM   #4
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Hawg,
Why not just a bigger Bruce?
And if you get the Rocna why would you get a bigger one?
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:51 AM   #5
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Hawg,
Why not just a bigger Bruce?
And if you get the Rocna why would you get a bigger one?
The thought was... if the current anchor maybe neede to be replaced, it would be a good time to try a Rocha; of appropriate size. But not to sweat, it's all hypothetical at this stage.

Still wondering if the 5/16 is adequate, though.

I guess a good question now is; how much chain is too much for the "average" malel to hoist by hand?
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:14 AM   #6
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"Still wondering if the 5/16 is adequate, though."

For most O' nite in a protected harbor 5/16 should do.

For a thunderstorm area or a real storm, nylon that will stretch is far stronger and will ease the ride on the vessel.

If you are stuck with chain in a blow a killet will help.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:24 AM   #7
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5/16 43 is more than adequate for that boat. Always use a snubber for getting stretch.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:00 AM   #8
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We run 5/16 HT chain on our boat which has significantly more windage than the boat in question.

5/16 HT chain has almost double the rated working load of 3/8" bbb chain BTW.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:06 AM   #9
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both 5/16 HT and BBB have a working load usually either higher than the actual dragging or breakout holding of the anchors carried or close enough to the average tested...the breaking limit of the chain is a quantum leap higher.


If I have to ride a hurricane out with my 5/16 BBB...and the anchor holds past the stretching limit AND I survive...I will be happy to replace the $450 worth of chain...I bet my insurance company may even pay with glee....
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:17 AM   #10
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both 5/16 HT and BBB have a working load usually either higher than the actual dragging or breakout holding of the anchors carried or close enough to the average tested...the breaking limit of the chain is a quantum leap higher.


If I have to ride a hurricane out with my 5/16 BBB...and the anchor holds past the stretching limit AND I survive...I will be happy to replace the $450 worth of chain...I bet my insurance company may even pay with glee....
Yep!!!

It's funny, we discuss breaking strengths of chain when unless our anchor gets stuck on a rock, there is no way it will hold up to that strength.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:51 AM   #11
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We run 5/16 HT chain on our boat which has significantly more windage than the boat in question.
Thanks Kevin, that answers the primary question.
Apart from short term usage on larger boats, my experiences have been confined to under 40' and less than 30,000lbs. All of them had a chain-nylon combination rode and though I came close in Squirrel Cove once, I've never had to leave an anchor behind. All chain is another student project for me.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post
Thanks Kevin, that answers the primary question.
Apart from short term usage on larger boats, my experiences have been confined to under 40' and less than 30,000lbs. All of them had a chain-nylon combination rode and though I came close in Squirrel Cove once, I've never had to leave an anchor behind. All chain is another student project for me.
All chain Vs combo rodes opens up a whole series of opinions in boats <40' Over 40' and most use an all chain rode.

Once you are in to the >40' range you run into a problem where getting a windlass gypsy to work with both chain and line is difficult. Thats why you see windlasses with a capstan on one side and a chain gypsy on the other.

On smaller boats this is not so much of a problem. Most of the smaller capaciity windlasses seem to have a gypsy that handles both chain and rode pretty well.

What I and apparently others have found is that actually using a capstan regularlly with large ground tackle is not so much fun. That leads us to use an all chain rode.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:57 PM   #13
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Kevin,
Re my capstan anchoring ..
My anchoring in 20' is almost a pleasure.
40' deep and 400' of line out and it's no fun at all.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rochepoint View Post
43 is high test with a safe working load of 3900lbs, same as we have on our boat. Personally I would like to see the anchor one size up but for our area it is OK.
Yes, while 5/16" G-4 chain in new condition has a SWL of 3900 lbs, in real life it may be degraded.

As important, though, are the shackles used to secure the chain. Unfortunately, the "safety factor" for shackles is not standardized so it's difficult to match a SWL. The general rule of thumb is one size larger than the chain. So...for 5/16 Hi-Test chain you're going to need 3/8 shackle of similar material. So, something like a Wichard 1246 (actually 15/32, but Wichard makes awesome fittings!).
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:02 PM   #15
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relax , your Bruce anchor will never will never develop enough grip to test a 5/16 chain.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:32 PM   #16
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If using a windlass, all chain makes life simpler.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:13 PM   #17
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One factor no one has mentioned is the weight of the chain. 5/16" grade 43 galvanized chain weighs about 1.15 lbs per foot and 3/8" weighs about 1.5 lbs/ft. A significant factor in the holding of an anchor with all chain rode is the weight of the chain. When you have 100' of 3/8" chain out you have 35 lbs more weight out than with 5/16. That will keep more chain on the bottom which will make the pull on your anchor more horizontal, which is what you want. That said, as everyone else has said, 5/16 is strong enough.
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