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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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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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Old 12-20-2018, 09:54 PM   #10
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Anchor rode

We have all chain on both anchors but thinking about changing one to chain and rope as our windlass will handle either.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:15 PM   #11
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Your thoughts please?

What is the displacement of your boat? On a small boat all chain is foolish. On a large boat anything but all chain is foolish. In the middle lies the rub.
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:14 AM   #12
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All chain is common around here, my boat came so equipped, though given a choice I would have opted for line and chain, but this works and as Eric suggests it certainly gives the anchor a better shot at good purchase on the bottom. I thought about going to line and chain but the setup on the boat would require changing out the thru deck fittings to accommodate a shackle going thru where there is none now with all chain. Oh well, it works fine and there also came with the boat a nice long pc of line to shackle into the end of the chain should anchoring deep become necessary which so far it has not.
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Old 12-21-2018, 02:14 AM   #13
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Anybody who is anchored for any length of time knows the value of all chain. Certainly there is very little downside
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Old 12-21-2018, 06:59 AM   #14
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All chain on my boat, and I sleep well at night on the hook. Another compromise might be to have enough chain for normal anchoring and a couple hundred feet of rope above it. You get all the advantages of chain for shallow anchoring in the Bahamas, and an appropriate length in total should you need it.

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Old 12-21-2018, 09:55 AM   #15
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All chain on my boat, and I sleep well at night on the hook. Another compromise might be to have enough chain for normal anchoring and a couple hundred feet of rope above it. You get all the advantages of chain for shallow anchoring in the Bahamas, and an appropriate length in total should you need it.

Ted
Exactly.... Keep what YOU think you need, not what most others do.

I am always pondering the right combo.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:30 AM   #16
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Soggy, I've got all chain and very happy with it. you mention the ability to cut free; a common practice (and what I have) with an all chain rode is that just the last few feet it changes to nylon, just enough to reach out of the chain locker. This way in an emergency where it is all let out, you can quickly cut it free with a knife.
From most of the more experienced captains i've always heard you never want a chain bolted or fastened to the chain locker without a way to quickly cut it free.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:53 AM   #17
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...Another compromise might be to have enough chain for normal anchoring and a couple hundred feet of rope above it. You get all the advantages of chain for shallow anchoring in the Bahamas, and an appropriate length in total should you need it.

Ted
This is how I set up FlyWright with 120 ft of 5/16 chain and 240 ft of 5/8 Brait followed by 100 ft of 3/8 floating poly in case I need to abandon the anchor quickly. The poly is not for anchoring, just for retrieval of the separated anchor/rode.

Most of my fishing anchoring is in 35 ft or less so I only the chain portion.
When anchoring in rough conditions or deeper water, I have another 240 ft of quality rode for the purpose.

The Brait-chain splice passes through the gypsy so my anchoring normally is just a single-finger deploy/retrieve from the lower helm unless I'm using a snubber.
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