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Old 04-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #1
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Chain Rode

Would you use an all chain rode on a trawler?
*
1. What if it's fouled and a storm comes up.**
2. How would you cut and run with an all chain rode?
3. What about all that x-tra weight setting in the bow?*
4. Do you rubber snubber.*
5. Do you rig a rope (can't remember what it is called) to ward off some of the slam from wakes and waves.

I run 50' of chain and the rest 5/8 nylon 3 strand. 300'

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Old 04-06-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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RE: Chain Rode

We have mostly mud or sand where I boat. For a lunch hook I use a plow anchor that has 15' of chain. Overnight on the hook I swap this for my Fortress, same chain set up. The small section of chain I use is ALWAYS a pain to clean. Eventually I hope to have a washdown system on the bow to handle this as I retrieve the anchor. Our tidal range down here down here is 1-2 feet so all chain may not be necessary.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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RE: Chain Rode

My understanding is that the use of chain and rope for the rode is a cost issue rather than anything else.* I have two bow anchors and each one has 400' of 3/8" chain rode.* I can also remove one of the anchors and shackle the two rodes together in in the unlikely event I needed 800' of chain (some sort of end of the world circumstance).* I does weigh more than rope (obviously!) but you just need to take that into account in terms of trim and stability.* Each one of my rodes is shackled to a the boat with a 10' length of 1" 3-strand line that can be cut in the unhappy event that I need to dump the whole thing.* For the anchor bridle (needed to remove the shocks from the windlass while anchored), we have a "Y" bridle with 1" 3-strand nylon line that is 15' long and attaches to the Sampson post on our foredeck.* If we're in really windy conditions, we run both legs of the "Y" through one hawser to minimize the "sailing" on the anchor.*
One huge benefit to an all chain rode is that it requires less scope to get the same degree of horizontal force on the anchor.* This is really important in some tight anchorages.* YMMV.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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RE: Chain Rode

Like most powerboat operators in the PNW, we use all-chain rode. To address your questions---

1. THe boat end of an all-chain rode should be secured to the boat (usually to a heavy eyebolt inside the chain locker) with a length of line that is long enough to appear on deck if the rode is let all the way out. The line can be cut to get off the anchor and rode if necessary. If one has the presence of mind the end of the chain can be buoyed up using a couple of fenders so it and the anchor can be retrieved when conditions improve. The line needs to be light enough to cut fairly easily but strong enough to hold up under the jerk of the chain if it should inadvertently be allowed to run out all the way.

2. See 1. You dump the rode and cut the line. Given the weight of the chain it only takes a few seconds to dump it all out of the locker.

3. Depends on the boat. On a GB it's not an issue. On something like Carey's lobsterboat it is, so he uses a "custom" rode with about 100 feet of chain and another 100 or more feet of nylon.

4. I would not rely on a rubber snubber for anything including mooring lines in our slip. We use a pair of nylon snubbers shackled to a chain grabber plate. The bitter ends of the snubbers are secured to separate cleats on the foredeck.

5. The snubbers we use in (4) accomplish this task. That's what they're for. They also eliminate the noise of the chain working in the bow roller as the boat is moved around by the wind or current. And the snubber deployment configuration we were taught also helps, along with the weight of the all-chain rode, to keep the angle of pull on the anchor lower than if we did not use the snubbers (or had a nylon-chain rode).
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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Chain Rode

Say you are at anchor with an all chain rode. What do you do to counter the slam if the sea kicks up or even swells come into your anchorage? I would imagine as the bow rides up and down again it would hit pretty hard without any stretch. As in an all rope or chain and rope combo rode.
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-- Edited by skipperdude on Tuesday 6th of April 2010 03:42:30 PM
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:41 PM   #6
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Chain Rode

Not really. The catenary in the chain acts as a shock absorber. A short nylon snubber keeps the noise at the stem-head fitting down. We use all chain (300ft) and this is very common here in NZ where the tidal range often exceeds 3m. Yes, the foredeck gets a bit muddy but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages IMHO. A grunty hydraulic windlass helps.


-- Edited by Bendit on Tuesday 6th of April 2010 04:44:43 PM
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:34 PM   #7
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Chain Rode

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:

Say you are at anchor with an all chain rode. What do you do to counter the slam if the sea kicks up or even swells come into your anchorage?
The weight of the*chain rode*provides a lot of*catenary (droop) that acts as a shock absorber in a way.* As the bow comes up it picks up some of the slack (catenary) in the chain. So under normal wind and wave condtitions the slack is never completely out of the chain so there is never any shock transmitted to the boat.* When there is no wind the chain goes straight to the bottom and then along the bottom 100 feet or more*out to the anchor.* All this hundreds of pounds of*weight has to be picked up and straightened out before any shock can be transmitted directly to the boat.*

While it doesn't show very well, in my avatar photo you can see the snubber lines hanging straight down.* The chain in the chain grab was going straight down to the bottom--- in this case about 30 feet down--- and then straight out in front of the boat for about 120 feet to the set anchor.* That's a hell of a lot of weight that would have to be picked up and the wind would have to be intense to then blow the boat back hard enough to take every bit of catenary out of the chain.

However, we use nylon snubber line (actually two of them in a vee) as added shock protectioni.* We use very long snubbers, we let them out until the chain grabber plate they are*shackled to*is about eight to ten feet below the water.* We cleat them off and then let out a loop of chain that extends to about fifteen feet (or more) below the surface.* This heavy loop of chain helps hold the chain grab low in the water to keep the angle of pull on the anchor as low as possible and also adds to the weight that has to be picked up as the boat pitches or tightens up on the rode if the wind picks up.

On the rare (if ever) occasion in these waters if we were to*get caught out at anchor in a really*severe blow, even if all the catenary is removed from the chain by the force of the wind, the nylon snubbers will provide shock absorbing to protect the boat's hardware.**

With the snubbers, the pull goes from the anchor, up the chain, into the snubber(s), and to the boat's deck cleats.* The pull does not go up the chain all the way to the boat.* There is always slack chain (in our case a lot of slack chain) between the snubber chain grab and the boat itself.* In fact when we're at anchor, our windlass brake is released completely and the chain on the pulpit is held back with a chain stop to keep it from running out into the big loop of slack chain*under its own weight.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 6th of April 2010 05:42:02 PM
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:56 AM   #8
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RE: Chain Rode

I seem to be in line with most northwest boats, 400' 3/8 chain, 10'of line on the bitter end to cut in a worst case situation. With our weight and windage we need heavy ground tackle. When we cruised the Pacific in our sailboat we still used an all chain rode... even though we were very weight conscious. A big factor is the expected bottom conditions that you will anchor in. The rode is just as important as the type of anchor you use with different bottom conditions. Anchor in a rocky, or bottom with coral heads and it better be all chain. We always look at the boats we anchor near as a chain/rope rode boat tends to " sail" around the anchorage... plus they have a lot more scope out.

Two summers ago we got into a situation with a really nice almost new top of the line northwest built trawler, when the boat that was 52' drug in 15kts in a very protected anchorage in the Gulf Islands. I had noticed the boat, a twin 500hp engined trawler sailing really fast across the anchorage. We were about 200 yards downwind of them and I went in to the engine room for a fluids check. Ten minutes later the Admiral.. who had been sunning her self on the flybridge summons me with a tone in her voice normally reserved for major lottery winnings, child birth, or in this case a very nice larger than we were trawler in the process of impaling itself on my bow. It took about 30 minutes to get my chain out from between those big props that the frantic owner wanted to drop in gear.
I ended up getting on his boat to facilitate the extraction because the skipper went into a mode where he could think of nothing to do except trying to grind my chain to bits. I was amazed to find that when it was all said and done the big trawler had a 45 lb anchor and 5/16" chain!. The skipper took offense when I suggested his gear was too small. He assured me it was sized right for the weight of the boat. I assured him my anchor gear must also be sized right as it was holding two 50,000 lb.+ boats in 15+ knots of wind and we hadn't drug at all. I got a nice set of gouges in my just out of the yard paint job for my troubles.

I have ranted enough!, just remember that your safety... and others safety rely on the ground tackle that you use... It is not the place to save a few bucks and a few pounds.
Some wise,old, likely long dead mariner once said " you can never have to big of an anchor or too much chain"
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:18 AM   #9
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RE: Chain Rode

Here's a photo taken at the same time as my avatar picture. The buoy is the trip line for our anchor and is more or less directly above it. We were anchored in about 30 feet of water and we had about 150' of chain out plus the long loop hanging down behind the chain grab which was about eight feet under the water's surface. The boat is headed into what little wind there was but the current had moved the boat up toward the anchor, so there was probably chain looped out and back on the bottom as far behind the boat as in front of it.

That's a lot of weight to have to lift off the bottom even in a decent wind.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:50 AM   #10
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Chain Rode

Quote:
Marin wrote:The buoy is the trip line for our anchor and is more or less directly above it.
Since the "trip line buoy" is deployed when dropping the anchor, how is the trip line adjusted for the water depth? (Keeping the buoy just above the anchor) Does the trip line just feed out while the anchor is on it's way to the bottom? When running, do you fasten the trip line to the anchor just before deploying or is it fastened to the anchor all the time, with the buoy secured on deck?

*


-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Wednesday 7th of April 2010 08:54:27 AM
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:59 AM   #11
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RE: Chain Rode

Easiest way is to attach the trip line to the anchor, run it through a loop on the buoy, and leave extra on the other side with a weight on the end. That way it self adjusts. The heavier the weight, the more directly it is above the anchor.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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RE: Chain Rode

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:Since the "trip line buoy" is deployed when dropping the anchor, how is the trip line adjusted for the water depth?
While the weight thing works for some it does not work for us because of the way we deploy the trip line and buoy.* We tried it once, it made a horrible tangle, so we went back to our tried and true method.* We deploy the buoy and line far out to the side of the boat when we deploy the anchor which keeps the trip line and buoy well clear of the anchor rode*as it's going down.* Since*we inevitably have to take the dog ashore once we're anchored, I simpy motor over to the trip line buoy and haul in the slack, accounting for the tide range,* coil it, and clip it to the underside of the buoy.

Often the anchorages we are in are not crowded, in which case we may elect to simply leave all the trip line deployed.* The buoy drifts away from the anchor somewhat but it's not an issue.* Our trip line is about 90 feet long (I think, it's been so long since we put it together).

The buoy in the photo is the Mark I model.* I have since made a much taller version so I can retrieve the buoy from the foredeck without needing a boathook.

*
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:21 AM   #13
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RE: Chain Rode

Marin,

How often do you have to trip your anchor? I have never set a trip on the anchor and never needed one (Knock on wood)
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:32 AM   #14
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RE: Chain Rode

I've only actually needed it a couple of times. But we use it whenever we anchor in a location that's known to have logging or other debris on the bottom or where we think the anchor might dig in very deep.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:31 AM   #15
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RE: Chain Rode

Quote:
Marin wrote:

I've only actually needed it a couple of times. But we use it whenever we anchor in a location that's known to have logging or other debris on the bottom or where we think the anchor might dig in very deep.
I couldn't be bothered with all that mucking round, and we don't even have a dog to take ashore.* That's why I love my Sarca anchor and the tripping slot if needed.* In fact, because the darn thing digs in so well, I have just got into the way of driving up over it when retrieving, with light tension on the chain and using the slot to trip it out just to save effort and wear on the winch.


*
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:07 AM   #16
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RE: Chain Rode

A trip line on the anchor is very useful to OTHER boaters , as it shows how your anchors are set.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:44 AM   #17
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RE: Chain Rode

Quote:
FF wrote:

A trip line on the anchor is very useful to OTHER boaters , as it shows how your anchors are set.
It also becomes a hazard in some anchorages for dinghies at night. In an anchorages with boats that travel back and forth to shore and return late, you will not be looked upon as a good neighbor. Just something to keep in mind. Chuck
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:33 PM   #18
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Chain Rode

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Peter B wrote:That's why I love my Sarca anchor and the tripping slot if needed.
The success of using a tripping slot may well depend largely on the characteristics of where one anchors.* Up here with tidal ranges that vary between perhaps eight and twenty feet* or more (as one goes farther north the range gets bigger)*the strong*currents that swirl into, out of, and around the anchorages---*plus the squirrely local*winds that we get in amongst all the islands--- cause boats to*move around their anchors almost constantly.* In the course of just*an hour or less a boat*can go from pulling in one direction to pulling in the complete*opposite direction and back again.* Where I took my avatar photo, which is in a small bay between two islands,*even with a light wind, the boat never stays in the same place relative to the anchor for*more than a few minutes.* It*constantly moves*around the anchor as*the current*and wind direction and strength change on a more or less continuous basis.* Within minutes of taking the photos, the boat was probaby at least ninety degrees off in another direction.

The couple of reports about the Manson Supreme that I've read from boaters in this area talked about the constant unsetting of the anchor when trying to use the slot.* I recall one of these people talking of the anchor being pulled out every half hour or so all day*as their boat reversed pull from current swirls and wind changes.* And since the reverse pull slides the anchor nicely backwards*out of the bottom he said*it didn't take much pull to do this.* In fact he said some of the unsetting was due simpy to the*local current's changing direction.

In places where these kinds of frequent changes in pull direction don't occur much or at all, I can see where the slot could be very beneficial.

When we were researching*a replacement for our Bruce I recall reading an article or interview with Peter Smith in which he said that when he was first designing the Rocna he considered and then*rejected the idea of a tripping slot because he felt it could cause the anchor to trip when he didn't want to.

-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 8th of April 2010 03:45:26 PM
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:52 PM   #19
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RE: Chain Rode

Trip lines are great for bay boats in shallow crowded sandy bottom waters where owner pulls by hand. I can see no use with a 65+# hook and 100 plus feet of chain in anchorages Marin cites.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:06 PM   #20
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Chain Rode

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:

Trip lines are great for bay boats in shallow crowded sandy bottom waters where owner pulls by hand. I can see no use with a 65+# hook and 100 plus feet of chain in anchorages Marin cites.
You will the day your anchor snags on a huge, rusty*logging cable or chain*that years ago fell into the water off an A-frame, log raft,*or skyline*and is lying across the bottom of the bay.* We've hung up on this sort of thing a couple of times*in different bays and the only thing that*got our anchor free was the trip line we had set based on the reputation of those particular bays.

Our trip line is a*fairly heavy-duty line and if we*have to use it to free the anchor*we haul it in with the gypsy drum on the windlass.* We do not try to*pull our trip line in by hand.


*


-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 8th of April 2010 04:10:33 PM
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