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Old 09-25-2014, 12:20 AM   #1
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Brait on a windlass

I am also looking at a windlass upgrade, from none to having one! I am looking for information on who is using combination rhodes with brait lines, what diameter line they are using, and on what windlass. Seems a lot of people are using brait, is that mostly on chain wheels for 3 strand line or are the wheels specific for brait? LoFrans says "chain only" for the Tigres, but I know of a couple of owners who use mixed rhodes through the chain wheel with satisfactory results. I like the windlasses that are made for 1/2" 3 strand but I have a 20,000 lb boat to anchor and 1/2" don't git it! I don't like to 7,000 lb rating of 1/2", and brait 17/32" is only 1mm larger and rated to 9,000. It's enough to make your brain spin :-) Trying to figure out what will work and how to mount it. Nice pics in the windlass threads...
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:02 AM   #2
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I am also looking at a windlass upgrade, from none to having one! I am looking for information on who is using combination rhodes with brait lines, what diameter line they are using, and on what windlass. Seems a lot of people are using brait, is that mostly on chain wheels for 3 strand line or are the wheels specific for brait? LoFrans says "chain only" for the Tigres, but I know of a couple of owners who use mixed rhodes through the chain wheel with satisfactory results. I like the windlasses that are made for 1/2" 3 strand but I have a 20,000 lb boat to anchor and 1/2" don't git it! I don't like to 7,000 lb rating of 1/2", and brait 17/32" is only 1mm larger and rated to 9,000. It's enough to make your brain spin :-) Trying to figure out what will work and how to mount it. Nice pics in the windlass threads...
On the anchor rode size...

While your boat might weigh 20,000 pounds the pull on you anchor line is based on the windage of your boat as it faces into the wind.

Our boat has a bit more windage than your Willard and we use 5/8" rode. Lots of guys with the same model boat use 1/2" rode.

You'd be just fine with 1/2".

On that size boat I've used the maxwell HT series windlass with great success. I dont know if it'll handle brait but it did just fine with 3 strand.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:03 AM   #3
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On our previous 32 footer we had a Maxwell HRC 10-8 which handled the combined rode/chain flawlessly. The chain was 5/16 and the brait was...crap I can't remember. We went with what was recommended by Maxwell so it would be easy to determine the brait size on their site I'm sure.

We had 150' chain and 250' brait so didn't see the brait all that often, but when we did we were pulling up a 33 pound anchor and 150' of chain (approx. 150 pounds) and never had any slippage. It was a great anchoring package.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:12 AM   #4
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Doug,

I added the Lewmar Pro Series 1000H windlass and, at the recommendation of the folks at Defender, upgraded the 8 ply Brait to 5/8 with this combo rode. Lewmar specs call for a 9/16 rope - 5/16 HT chain gypsy but the 9/16 8 ply Brait will slip. My 5/8 Brait works very well in this unit.

I subsequently added another 90 ft to the 30 ft of chain and have been very pleased with that choice.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:42 AM   #5
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Rode and braid.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:11 AM   #6
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This brait you guys talk about is this braided line as opposed to 3 strand laid rope.
It is just that it is not a term used here in Aus.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:42 AM   #7
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Brait is a product name from Yale. From the advertisement:

Yale's Nylon Brait is not your average line. Its energy absorption is 75% greater than 3-strand rope and 85% greater than nylon double braid. Brait is easily spliced and delivers 100% of the rope's advertised strength. As an anchor rope it does not tangle in a rope locker (unlike 3-strand that tangles and gets stiff as it ages) with its greater energy absorption you may be able to use of smaller, lighter anchors and anchor lines on your race boat. As dock lines, brait inflicts less wear and tear on deck and dock hardware.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:49 AM   #8
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Line for overnight will be thinner than Hurricane line as you want the line to yeild and stretch .

Nylon requires 10% to 15% of its rating to begin to stretch , so that would be a 700 lb load , probably only seen if the boat dodges at anchor from too much windage fwd.

Line that is too heavy can easily rip out tiny anchors from the shock load.

From the trip line to the bitter end , its a matched system.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:49 AM   #9
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........ LoFrans says "chain only" for the Tigres, but I know of a couple of owners who use mixed rhodes through the chain wheel with satisfactory results...........
There's little to gain from starting out with something that's against the manufacturer's instructions.

If you are planning on a combination chain/rope rode, you might as well start out with a windlass that's designed for such a rode.

I have a Lewmar 1000 Pro with 5/16" G4 chain and 9/16" or 5/8" three strand rope (I'm not sure which) and it works fine for my 10,000 lb boat. I haven't had problems with it tangling.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:05 PM   #10
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This brait you guys talk about is this braided line as opposed to 3 strand laid rope.
It is just that it is not a term used here in Aus.
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Here's a good link to a site with the line specs. This line is also soft on the hands. It's very pliable and relatively smooth compared to 3-strand.



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Old 09-25-2014, 02:42 PM   #11
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Here's a good link to a site with the line specs. This line is also soft on the hands. It's very pliable and relatively smooth compared to 3-strand.



That stuff looks just like 8 plait
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:11 PM   #12
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I am looking for information on who is using combination rhodes with brait lines, what diameter line they are using, and on what windlass. Seems a lot of people are using brait, is that mostly on chain wheels for 3 strand line or are the wheels specific for brait?

Our windlass is a Maxwell RC 10-10 with 5/16 x 5/8 chainwheel.

The chainwheel is said to be specifically designed for both chain and rope, and sure enough it handles both chain and rope easily. (Their rode counter is good with chain, nowhere close with the rope.) Perhaps "RC" stands for rope/chain?

The combination rode is 25' of 5/16" HT chain and 300' of 5/8" brait (which they also called 8 plait) line. This per Maxwell's recommendation for combination rode with this windlass, and in fact they made up this rode for me at the same time we had the windlass installed.

We chose this particular rode make-up so I don't have to spend the whole century cleaning Chesapeake mud from an al-chain rode, every time we bring the anchor back aboard. The rope is 300' because that's the longest they happened to spool at the time.

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Old 09-25-2014, 06:04 PM   #13
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My understanding is that Brait is a registered trademark name for an 8-strand line like Kleenex is to facial tissue. An 8-strand plait of another brand would be plait, not Brait. I don't know if there are any substantial differences between the two.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:10 PM   #14
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Seems a lot of people are using brait, is that mostly on chain wheels for 3 strand line or are the wheels specific for brait?
As you have heard, Brait is a trade name. The proper word for the lay and makeup of the line is Braid Plait or Plait Braid.

Anyway....

The windlass' for both chain and line have a groove in the hub. This groove is normally to allow the 'other' link of chain to pass, as the link in engaged to pull up the chain. Some time ago, the manufactures realized that by putting a set of ridges inside the cheeks of the groove, it could pull a line too.

The difference between line and chain use requires a acceptance of performance. The accommodation was made to satisfy the 'line, chain' combo. The problem is: the line wears out MUCH faster than the chain does. So, it doesn't take long (really a few seasons use) for the line to be worn down so it slips in the grooves. The difference is the line is sort of chewed up while being hauled each time. The difference between the two is the problem. Chain wears over decades. Line wears over seasons. (the more use the sooner) So the line specification is actually a 'best guess' for average use. You may buy a slightly larger line now, that will work with problems, but as it wears in will work fine. But buying the exact size line now will only last a few seasons as it wears out. The bottom line is that either way, the line wears out. It slips. You will have to accept that replacing the line will allow you to use these types of winches.

The typical user has enough chain measured to operate in the usual depths expected. This way the chain is used to 'pull' the anchor off the bottom. The line is only pulled as you operate the boat over the anchor (read no load). If you use the windlass to pull the line under load, you will likely reduce the rode life. (as well as the diameter to fit the windlass.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:43 PM   #15
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So, it doesn't take long (really a few seasons use) for the line to be worn down so it slips in the grooves. The difference is the line is sort of chewed up while being hauled each time. The difference between the two is the problem. Chain wears over decades. Line wears over seasons. (the more use the sooner) So the line specification is actually a 'best guess' for average use. You may buy a slightly larger line now, that will work with problems, but as it wears in will work fine. But buying the exact size line now will only last a few seasons as it wears out. The bottom line is that either way, the line wears out. It slips. You will have to accept that replacing the line will allow you to use these types of winches.
Interesting perspective, but YMMV. What problems should I have been having in the 4 1/2 years of year round anchoring with my oversized Brait line?

Mine has worked perfectly from day one and continues to do so after 4 1/2 years of year round anchoring in fishing waters around the SF Bay and California Delta. I suspect there are hundreds (thousands?) more out there who have had similar experiences. I don't doubt that wear on the line is likely if slippage frequently occurs, but I doubt that slippage is a forgone conclusion on line rodes in combo gypsies.

I agree that the proper technique is to position the boat over the anchor to avoid pulling the boat with the rode under tension. I suspect more windlass motors burn out from ignoring this technique than rodes.

What's on your boat, Cappy? All chain?
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:01 PM   #16
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The boat I usually 'drive' has 720' of 2" cable, 40' of 2" chain and a 7,000 lb anchor.

BUT: On the boat you think of:
I have 90' of 5/16 chain on my CQR. With an accompanying 200' of 1/2" line if needed. But, I have the side by side gypsy/ chain capstan. I haven't had to use the rode yet.... waiting. However, my experience has been using the 'combo windlass/capstan on others boats. Most users only press the 'up' button and wonder why the line isn't coming up. A quick perusal of most any windlass operators manual will state: "The windlass is NOT to be used to pull the boat TO the anchor. It is used to pull the slack in the anchor rode to the boat." Meaning: the weight of the anchor is what is expected to be hauled by a windlass. Keeping the load OFF the windlass is normal procedure. However........

I agree that years of use can be expected with judicious use of the capstan. However, many people have a different expectation of what "judicious" use is. Sometimes you can see such 'use' and others marvel that it is not appropriate.

As an afterthought: The last couple of feet of anchor rode are where the 'slippage' usually occurs. The simple remedy is: cutting off, and resplicing the bad footage. However this is why marinas and shipyards make their money! Typically the last couple feet of usage is the worst. And unscroupulous marinas will take advantage of this and tell you that either your windlass is bad, or your rode needs replacing. (sort of a good excuse for buying an extra 50' of rode when you renew!)
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:20 PM   #17
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l I suspect more windlass motors burn out from ignoring this technique than rodes.
So.... If the motors burn out, what would be the cause? running the windlass wondering why the line isn't coming up, or the line slipping, overloading the capacity of the windlass that has a determinate time, amp hour rating? The windlass isn't capable of operating indefinitely.
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:44 PM   #18
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Doug I am using an economical capstan ($425) 400' of 5/8ths Brait, 12' of 5/16" chain and 3' of 3/8ths chain.

The winch (capstan) seems to have plenty of power as I've pulled up a tree sized limb w/o seeming to overload the capstan at all. It does make LOTS of noise. Has planetary gears. I do have some trouble with line creep on the drum though.

I store the Brait (actually the whole rode) in a plastic box just ahead of the fore cabin. The Brait comes out of and back into the box w not even a hint of trouble. I know I wouldn't be able to get 3 strand to fit in the box. I remove the anchors and store them in various places.

Here's two pics of the capstan. Notice the Brait and the box. The box was supposed to be temporary but sometimes temporary goes far.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:04 PM   #19
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The common theme of the Braided line is it has no 'memory' of how it is stored. Thus its compact and flexible storage ability. From a practical point it is easier to hand line in and out as it has more 'surface' to grip when used especially compared to three strand.

This is why it is popular among sailboaters to use as sail sheets. It is easier to use on winches and to control sails.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:46 PM   #20
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A lot of windlass manufacturers only list 3 strand in combination rhodes. I talked to a QUICK representative and he said they have no windlasses set up for it, and LoFrans specifies 3 strand in their systems that will pull a rope.

Brait is interesting in that you can only pull it, not push it. It's ability to stack itself in less space is a huge plus. The lack of a core is what differentiates it from braided line, as well as making it stack better and splice more easily.

I have pretty much settled on a LoFrans Project 1000 vertical windlass with the capstan on top. I will hide the motor in the riser for the windlass to match the rail and roller height. I wonder what you would call that kind of a base? Someone out there probably makes them...

The LoFrans handles 5/15" HT and 9/16" and 5/8" 3 strand. Since it handles both, I imagine it would handle 5/8" brait as well.
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