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Old 01-08-2015, 12:15 AM   #1
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All chain rode stopper

I am probably going to change my anchor rode to an all chain system along with replacing the windlass.

I've never use an all chain rode.

What type of device to you use to take the strain off of the windlass while at anchor? Or do you even bother?

I could use a clevis hook on a line to a cleat but that could fall off easily.

What do you use?
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
I am probably going to change my anchor rode to an all chain system along with replacing the windlass.

I've never use an all chain rode.

What type of device to you use to take the strain off of the windlass while at anchor? Or do you even bother?

I could use a clevis hook on a line to a cleat but that could fall off easily.

What do you use?
Google anchor chain hook. There are a number of different types. I'm sure people will be along shortly to tell you which one is the all time best and why all others suck.

Google anchor snubbers. You attach the hook to a single or double line that becomes your snubber. You tie or loop off the snubbed line/s to a cleat or bollard. Again people should be along shortly to tell you why their snubber system is the best and all others suck.

As with most any system there is more than one right way to do it. So sort through the ones presented and see what looks like it will work best for you.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:42 AM   #3
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:02 AM   #4
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Kevin, I use a clevis type hook, or bearclaw, on a line which gets cleated off. After setting the anchor, put the hook in place across a chain link, take the other end to a cleat just in case, maintain some tension on the snubber line, and gently let go some chain until the load is off the chain and windlass, and on the snubber line. Check after a few minutes, the snubber line may stretch and the load return to the chain, if so let out a little more chain.
There are many variations, including 2 line bridles, and quite long versions. I don`t much like the hook method I`m using; something which sits under and cups the link rather than across it seems better. So far I haven`t ended up with a hole in my chain. Hinz`s Complete Book of Anchoring & Mooring, 2ndEdn pp 115-118 deals with this, shows options with illustrations etc. I got my copy from Amazon, definitely worth buying. I think Defender sell a complete bridled system I keep intending to order, and I`m sure Marin has a DYI version.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
I am probably going to change my anchor rode to an all chain system along with replacing the windlass.

I've never use an all chain rode.

What type of device to you use to take the strain off of the windlass while at anchor? Or do you even bother?

I could use a clevis hook on a line to a cleat but that could fall off easily.

What do you use?
Yep, that's what I do. A clevis hook works great, as it comes on and off easily. It's in the middle of a 30' nylon bridle which I have tied to my two bow cleats.

By putting the clevis hook on top of the chain, it doesn't fall off, and then I put about a 5' loop of chain which ends up rotating the hook so that is is under the chain, but under strain so it virtually never falls off.

This works so well, that many times it will fall off on retrieval just before the bow roller, though often as not, it may stick int he bow roller so I usually stop it a half foot below and pull it off manually.

Now, I also have a chain lock on my pulpit, so that takes the strain, should it fall off, or I don't put it on for whatever reason that now escapes me

You definitely need a chain lock. It's not the best picture, but it's that block between the windlass and the anchor. I'll send you a better pic if need be.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post

What type of device to you use to take the strain off of the windlass while at anchor? Or do you even bother?

I could use a clevis hook on a line to a cleat but that could fall off easily.

What do you use?
We use a V-bridle snubber comprised of two 1/2" diameter nylon legs and a chain grab (slotted plate). Each leg of the snubber is fastened to a separate bow cleat. We let a out a loop of chain the bottom of which is about 15 feet below the surface of the water that hangs between the bow roller and the chain grab. So no strain on the windlass at all.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:22 AM   #7
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You need to take the load off the windlass and you also need a snubber to add some stretch to the system. The snubber will do both jobs, but as snubbers occasionally break, it is safer to use both and I prefer to so.

There are many ways to attach the snubber rope to chain. I have tried most of them and the best system for me has been a Dyneema soft shackle. These are reasonably cheap, especially if you make your own, they don't come loose, don't wear the chain galvanising and perhaps most importantly never jam (they can always be cut).

The only drawback is they cannot be released without reaching the soft shackle and physically undoing it. Many chain hooks can be released simply by taking the weight up on the chain and giving the hook a jiggle.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:53 AM   #8
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Hi Kevin.

I am a bridle fanatic!

Having tried many different combinations my current setup has proven to be the best so far and is the same setup I used on my 4788, and we spend a lot of time on the pick.

The thing is imho, you want a bridle setup that does not use your bow roller setup at all ...especially with all chain, the reason is that even with plenty of rode out you will definitely shock load your bow roller, bow sprit and likely damage your roller or spread your roller mounting at some stage. I have done all the above. 4788's tend to sail around on the pick as much or more than any cruiser and at times you can and will tug hard on your roller and windlass and its noisy and chain has no give in it at all!

So you need to use your deck cleats on both sides to attach your bridle. This takes all load of your windlass as per manufacturers specs require. This also gives you a quiet nights sleep in your forward cabin with no chain grumble on the roller, plus theoreticly ( I don't believe I though) should slow down the yawing at anchor.

My setup consists of simple chain hook, cheap and strong, some shakles to attach lines. I use 18mm nylon mooring lines with built in rubber shock cord sections, this gives a beautiful soft load to the boat when it loads up on the bridle when swinging at anchor even in 35 knots of wind, I know this as I have been in these conditions for days at a time and I was amazed how much load this bridle could handle and how well it controlled the boat.

I have had failures, I always carry spare bridle lines so if needed I could double up, and they wear out so you don't want a failure when its blowing hard.
Other failures include the what I call the "lunch" bridle. That's the one when you simply attach the bridle to the chain (usually with a weak snap clip arrangement) and feed it out with the chain and then cleat it off and let more chain out to take the load off the chain. Problem is the chain and the bridle rope are all still going over the roller, still noisy, still has more shock load , often the bridle ropes then have to travel across your deck to get the cleats at the sides, this can and often does cause chafing at tha bow hawser etc..this system is easier to deploy but always lets you down when you really need it, in my experience.

The problem with the best bridle system is that its harder to get the knack of setting it up.
This my procedure. Having anchored securely ,remember that by the time you deploy your bridle you may end up letting out up to (in my case)another 5 meters of rode, so I factor that in as bonus rode.
Then I attach one side of my bridle to one forward cleat so it can be thrown over the rail ( you learn how much to put out) then I take the rest of the bridle right around the front of the boat and cleat the other side..then the hard part. You have to dangle your hook down to the now tight anchor chain and get to hook between the chain links.

This can be a pain in the a but sometimes it goes straight on sometimes not, I cannot find an easy way to this, if you have slack in the chain you can lift some with a good boat hook then manually hook it on but usually just dangle and wiggle and it will slip on.

Then KEEP TENSION ON THE BRDLE so the hook cant fall off while you let out more chain until the boat is hanging on the bridle with the chain just loose to the windlass.

With this setup you will find that the angle of the rode is lower so better angle of attack, imo, no load on windlass, no noise from chain at night, no shock loading ever and a nice ride on the pick.

Hope this helps

Regards Andrew

PS Kevin my water maker is working but the auto salt sensor from PUR is not allowing water through..I think I will get rid of it and go direct to tank after taste test.
Sorry cant attach pic as the system wont let me browse to it in attachments
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:06 AM   #9
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Here is the pic
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:17 AM   #10
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The proper install is a Chain Stopper,only anchor recovery loads for the windlass

This is deck mounted with heavy bolts and a good sized backing plate .

Lewmar, Maxwell , Sea Dog make them , but as the entire weight of the boat PLUS surge movement need to be held , I prefer the better quality of the Ideal

Accessories

Or the Galley Maid version.

Hooks and snubbers can help slow the forces on the chain when it becomes tight , but the load transferred to the boat should be taken with a chain stopper as a last resort.

Have you thought of using a capstan (vertical warping drum) instead of a windlass ?

Handy docking as a strong pull is easy for a line from most any direction.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
We use a V-bridle snubber comprised of two 1/2" diameter nylon legs and a chain grab (slotted plate). Each leg of the snubber is fastened to a separate bow cleat. We let a out a loop of chain the bottom of which is about 15 feet below the surface of the water that hangs between the bow roller and the chain grab. So no strain on the windlass at all.
I also use the slotted plate setup. Had the plate fall off twice and devised a simple solution. I fasten the plate to the chain with a small zip tie. Easy to put on; easy to take off, and the hook / plate never comes off the chain while deployed.

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Old 01-08-2015, 08:39 AM   #12
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We also use the slotted chain plate in moderate weather. It also slows down the "sailing" at anchor.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:31 AM   #13
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Again people should be along shortly to tell you why their snubber system is the best and all others suck..
There are only about 6 or 8 ways to do this right. Kevin, welcome to the don't worry be happy" all chain rode club.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:34 AM   #14
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Great ideas guys! Thanks!

I was worried about the clevis hook (or chain plate) falling off but it seems that with the weight of the chain keeping tension on the hook that doesn't happen.

I did find another device, that looks like a clevis hook with a safety catch. Anybody use one of these?

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Old 01-08-2015, 09:50 AM   #15
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Ok here's another issue I'm debating.

I'm replacing my Muir cougar windlass because it doesn't handle line well and does not have the power to lift a all chain rode from the depths I work at being up to 300'.

The new windlass is a maxwell unit that pulls line and chain just fine. I have used the maxwell on smaller boats and the gypsy did a great job with line rodes.

My question is, do you guys prefer all chain rode, or is all chain rode more popular on large boats simply because many windlasses don't handle rode will in the gypsy, and using the capstan is a pita?
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:56 AM   #16
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Unlike the V-bridle photos posted earlier, we install our chain grab on the chain with the slot facing up; away from the boat when the chain is vertical or near vertical. This plus the very long loop of chain we let down between the pulpit and the plate make it virtually impossible for the chain grab to come off the chain no matter how much things get to bouncing around. With the chain hanging down on both sides of the grab with the slot facing up this puts a lot of weight holding the chain in the bottom of the slot. Even if the chain between the grab and the anchor is pulled almost straight out, it still can't come out of the slot because of the long, heavy loop of slack chain hanging down some 15 or more feet on the boat side of the grab.

Another advantage of installing the grab with the slot up and the chain hanging down on each side of it is that when we pull the loop of slack chain out when we retrieve the anchor, the grab drops off the chain on its own as soon as the chain goes straight between the pulpit and the anchor. When it does it swings down on the V-bridle to hang out of the way under the forefoot of the hull while we retrieve and stow the anchor, after which we bring in the V-bridle.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:15 AM   #17
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My question is, do you guys prefer all chain rode, or is all chain rode more popular on large boats simply because many windlasses don't handle rode will in the gypsy, and using the capstan is a pita?
We use all-chain for three reasons.

1. It's heavy and so keeps the pull on the anchor at a lower angle than a combination rode. Where a combination rode for a boat like ours would typically have thirty or forty feet of chain lying on the bottom at the anchor end, in 30 feet of water we'll have at least 120 feet of chain lying on the bottom and resisting the upward pull of the boat due to wind and/or current.

2. Our boat can carry the weight of an all-chain rode in the bow with no adverse change in longitudinal trim.

3. The manufacturer of our anchor told us both in person and in the instructions that came with the anchor that an all-chain rode gives this particular anchor significantly better performance than it would have with a combination rode.

While not a deciding factor in our use of all-chain, our horizontal windlass-- a Lofrans Tigres-- cannot handle both chain and rope in the wildcat. So we would have to switch the rode between the line gypsy and the wildcat if we used a combination rode. Not a major deal to do, but it is quicker and less hassle to leave the rode on the wildcat for the entire retrieve.

Boats that are more sensitive to longitudinal trim, particularly sailboats, lighter, fast semi-planing boats and planing boats, often do better with the lighter weight of a combination rode in the bow. And of course, one advantage of the combination rode is that it's its own snubber. No need for a separate snubber as is usually required for an all-chain rode.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:27 AM   #18
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Don't forget to do a search here on this forum, where there have been other such discussions. I had brought this up a short while ago as well:


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Old 01-08-2015, 10:46 AM   #19
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My question is, do you guys prefer all chain rode, or is all chain rode more popular on large boats simply because many windlasses don't handle rode will in the gypsy, and using the capstan is a pita?

FWIW, we use a combination rode.... here... mostly because the holding ground here is most often mud of varying consistency... and cleaning the mud out of the chain links is a major PITA. Anchoring depths are usually shallow, too.

(Maxwell RC windlass, handles both chain and rope just fine.)

In other substrate and with deeper water, and/or perhaps when traveling longer distances... I'd switch back to all-chain... which is also what we used in Florida.

We've got both chain-stopper and an extra rode cleat on our foredeck... so can use the cleat for our combo rode, and the chain-stopper if we mount an all-chain rode. And then the bow cleats can also act as snubber cleats.

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Old 01-08-2015, 11:11 AM   #20
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Attached is a picture of my chain stopper. It's at the base of the right anchor and held in place by a stainless pin. You have to go up front to lift it out of the way when dropping anchor and then push it down over the chain when you've let out enough. It slides out of the way when retrieving the anchor.
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