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Old 06-13-2018, 10:51 AM   #1
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Anchor rode rope chain versus all chain

What are your thoughts? We currently have 35' of chain then rope. Like my last boat with the same, every now and then, the windless gets hung up on the transition point where its spliced.. We are leaving on an extended cruise in Sept to FL and the Bahamas. Knowing the rope/chain has issues, you can always cut free if needed! I am considering going all chain..... Your thoughts please?
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:11 AM   #2
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If the combination rode has worked well, Iíd stick with it.
- have someone at the bow when raising or lowering the anchor and it should be easy to nudge the splice over the windlass.
- Chain is a lot heavier than rope, could change your trim
- Chain is expensive, the rope is already there.
- With a combo rode, you donít need a snubber or bridle

Iíve used both and have all chain on my current boat, but I really like a combo rode and it has some advantages.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:32 AM   #3
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If you anchor near coral heads (like some places in the Bahamas) rope cuts very easily on sharp coral. Chain has significant dampening effect for sailing at anchor. A racing sailboat has a reason to use rope, otherwise I prefer chain.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:29 PM   #4
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I know some people don't like no chain, but I have no chain, just rope. Not noticed any problems yet. We anchored in a thunderstorm and it held ok with very gusty winds.

Boat came that way when we got it. I have noticed some of the line closer to the anchor is wearing more the the rest of the line which looks new. Line is 3/4 inch nylon 3 strand twist. Way back down the line, a part that almost never gets used, prior owner spliced on 5/8 line.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:20 PM   #5
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soggy,
You’re good to go but if you want better catenary keep the same lenth of chain and use a size larger (heavier).
No point in chain close to the boat.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:25 PM   #6
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sdowney 717,
A bit of chain close to the anchor will do quite well at holding the anchor shank down. W/O coral chain is mostly to aid setting of the anchor.

I’ve always been for mostly line rodes but I’ve never anchored w no chain at all.

As you go up in boat size at some point all chain has very high utility. A winch w a wildcat for one size chain. Up - down. It’s simple.

But for really good performance nylon line is king.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soggy View Post
What are your thoughts? We currently have 35' of chain then rope. Like my last boat with the same, every now and then, the windless gets hung up on the transition point where its spliced.. We are leaving on an extended cruise in Sept to FL and the Bahamas. Knowing the rope/chain has issues, you can always cut free if needed! I am considering going all chain..... Your thoughts please?


We had switched from all chain to a combo with 50 feet of chain. The main reason was that part of the chain was deteriorating and needed replacement. Two factors I like with the combo over all chain is 1. Less weight and 2. No need for a snubber. There is a long thread of discussion on this if you can find it.

Enjoy! Dave
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:04 AM   #8
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soggy
Here's another suggestion, for what it's worth, that I followed on my last boat:

How far back is your windlass from the end of your anchor when stowed? You may consider removing the 35' of chain and replacing it with 3' of very heavy - perhaps 1/2" stud link or even 3/4" chain.

This leader will keep the pull on the anchor nearly horizontal.

Then wrap canvas or other abrasion-resistant material around the first couple of feet of nylon to protect it when sitting on the bottom and rubbing against sand/rocks.

Also ensure you are satisfied with the weight of your anchor and perhaps up that a couple of sizes more.

I found this to be a high performance anchoring solution that was light weight as well. The only thing I did differently for my situation was to switch to poly instead of nylon in order to float the line off the bottom. The limestone outcroppings here are like anchoring in coral.
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:10 AM   #9
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Soggy, what brand and size of windlass?

As boat size increases so does the desire and/or need for all chain. Once approaching 50' and over 50,000 lbs all chain is commonly used with a good heavy duty windlass.
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