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Old 03-02-2015, 01:11 PM   #141
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Our windlass has both a chain gypsy and a rope drum, so I don't see a problem goin' over to Brait. Eliminating the "chain pyramid" would make de-anchoring a lot easier.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:01 PM   #142
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The windless will handle both chain and rope.
It just dawned on me that you do not have a combination chain & rope windlass. It's beginning to sound like what you have is an all chain windlass with a capstan! (Which you are calling a drum.) Is that correct? knowing exactly what make & model windlass you have would answer a lot of questions & steer you in the right direction.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:08 PM   #143
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Our windlass has both a chain gypsy and a rope drum, so I don't see a problem goin' over to Brait. Eliminating the "chain pyramid" would make de-anchoring a lot easier.
Thats the system we have right now.

You should try it out. We have for several seasons and it is most unplesant.

You might find different, but for me it was unpleasant enough that I bought a new windlass, an all chain rode to go with it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:20 PM   #144
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Some good points about rope to chain to anchor (especially on small to mid sized pleasure craft):


- Much lighter in bow; especially when stocking considerable long lengths
- Way easier to handle when any type hand effort is required
- Easy to quickly visually inspect; determining if rope is worn in any place
- Relatively inexpensive to replace in total on systematic-date basis
- Upon replacement - previous rode becomes good dock lines!


There are draw backs too - - but - - I'll let the "chain rode" luvers point those out.


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Old 03-02-2015, 02:24 PM   #145
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Per this thread I'm not talking about rode being "gone" or abrasion resistance and picking up dirt.

Is there enough catenary to do enough good when it's needed or not? Enough good to warrant all that weight and expense?

Catenary is clearly good and helps set anchors. No doubt in my mind. But if an anchor sets fine w no chain at all having it for that purpose is pointless.

But I don't think skippers here have all chain to set their anchors. They have it for convenience and to help hold the boat when it blows hard thinking there's enough catenary in high winds to allow the anchor to hold the boat whereas without the heavy chain the anchor would fail for lack of catenary.

The winches that can handle both chain and line on the same rode w/o switching drums for gypsies is a very recient thing on the market. An all line rode for a larger boat being impractical all chain became the norm. Now that there is the choice (combo or all this or that) the need to have all chain may no longer apply. And if only a small amount of chain like Chapman recommends is all that's needed everybody should know.


Good point about wear Tom but chain rusts and it may rust faster than line wears from abrasion. ancora needs to replace his chain rode because of rust and several others have aluded to this same issue talking about getting their chain re-galvanized ect. But what say you about catenary? Wasn't it Dashew or Smith that said catenary disappears in strong winds?
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:31 PM   #146
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We have an Ideal anchor windless, power up only. The only time we anchor is on raft-ups, four times a year and even then, at the raftmaster's discretion, we use a stern anchor only.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:52 PM   #147
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I'd think twice about changing any system that required me to use a rope drum/capstan to retrieve the anchor. Think of the labor and the mess on the foredeck. Weeds, mud, grass on the deck and the saltwater muck flowing along the gunnels. No thanks. Been there, done that. Ain't gonna do it again.

If you only anchor 4 times per year, why change a thing? Rusty chain isn't the worst thing you can experience in anchoring.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:07 PM   #148
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All chain rode versus rope

The biggest problem I have with an all chain rode is how do you lift it when your windlass breaks or jams badly. I lifted 70ft of chain with a anchor hang off it it was like 300# total dead weight and add little boat bounce for good exercise. I will never go back to all chain rode if it was any deeper I would have to cut it loose. My stern anchor is all 3 strand with a small fortress I can swim it out if I need to. That anchor holds very well with no chain.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:16 PM   #149
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I would imagine abrasion would be extreme at the thimble and shackle with no chain. I used 1/2 the length of my boat as a guideline, but will be moving to 1 1/2 times the length when my windlass is installed. I do a lot of anchoring on short scope in deep water during calm weather patterns, and I think the weight compensates for lack of scope. Sometimes the middle of the bay with a breeze beats shallow sets with bugs :-)

I think the chain keeps the rode from tangling on the bottom in current and tide changes, getting the rode away from the anchor.
Bingo on those points.

If you anchor is set, the neck is being pulled thru the bottom, whatever the bottom is made of. Thus the observation on the famous anchor test this past summer of having cable (wire( instead of chain connected to your anchor. I would probably do it, but for for the windlass, as I have an anchor lock and I like the chair on the wildcat, plus my bungee cord.

I have 400' of chain. I don't want more because I think that should I need to anchor in deeper water, I would use rode at the end, if for no other reason than, why put my windlass thru the effort of hauling 6 or 800' of chain. At at point it won't help the anchor, so why take the chance (that the windlass dies and you are hauling my hand).

Lastly, for those who doubt the catenary effect. I hear you, but have you ever seen your chain underwater in 20 knot winds?
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:50 PM   #150
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Lastly, for those who doubt the catenary effect. I hear you, but have you ever seen your chain underwater in 20 knot winds?
Have you ever seen a nylon rode underwater in 20 knot winds.

No, you're correct and it can take considerably less than 20 knots to pull much or most of the catenary out of an all-chain rode. Hence our very long V-bridle snubber.

One of the reasons Id like to install a proper wind speed/direction sensor at the lower helm is that for the typical recreational, part-time boater, including us, wind is almost always blowing slower than we think it is.

We'll be on the boat in its slip on a windy, blustery day and are convinced the wind is blowing 20 or even 30 knots with gusts even higher based on the sound and feel. So we'll get our handheld wind speed instrument and climb up on the flying bridge steps and hold it into the full force of the gale and find that the wind is screaming by at by at...... 12 knots. With an occasional bump up to 15.

Very disappointng.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:23 PM   #151
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...... for the typical recreational, part-time boater, including us, wind is almost always blowing slower than we think it is.
I've found this statement to be absolutely true and right up there with recreational boaters reporting wave heights they've experienced.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:24 PM   #152
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Have you ever seen a nylon rode underwater in 20 knot winds.

No, you're correct and it can take considerably less than 20 knots to pull much or most of the catenary out of an all-chain rode. Hence our very long V-bridle snubber.

One of the reasons Id like to install a proper wind speed/direction sensor at the lower helm is that for the typical recreational, part-time boater, including us, wind is almost always blowing slower than we think it is.

We'll be on the boat in its slip on a windy, blustery day and are convinced the wind is blowing 20 or even 30 knots with gusts even higher based on the sound and feel. So we'll get our handheld wind speed instrument and climb up on the flying bridge steps and hold it into the full force of the gale and find that the wind is screaming by at by at...... 12 knots. With an occasional bump up to 15.

Very disappointng.
By pleasure boaters: Wind speed and wave height and water-current speed are three items too often over-blown compared to reality.

By professional fishermen: Those three items are usually guessed at pretty close to reality.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:24 PM   #153
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I just posted a thread where I swung on an all 5/16 chain rode, 75 feet out, 30 feet 1/2 inch nylon single snubber, rolling hitch attached.

I was in about 8 feet of water in a very protected cove with around 48 hrs of 15 to 20 knots gusting 25 say.

I hardly knew I was at anchor as the snubber rarely became tight enough to lift the chain off the bottom.

Had I anchored outside the cove at the end of 20 miles of fetch in the Indian River...I would have guessed that there were 1 to 2 footers rolling through and I bet the snubber would have come tight enough in the gusts and occasionally well timed waves to jerk the bow around.

Like most anchoring threads..unless very specific about tackle, boat, winds AND waves to a much greater degree....most comments can't be applied to much. Eliminate any one variable and it changes the equation enough that it may hardly ever apply to anything but your boat in similar conditions.

Yes anchor chain can become enough to deform links so I am assuming catenary is moot at that point...at least in the tugs which aren't always there.

And again...hopefully some will finally catch on....that most all chain guys DO use enough nylon to absorb shock. So unless you re talking hurricane/typhoon, all chain or combo...what the heck? Same components just different quantities and order of battle.

Sure every boat may or may not be able to or want to carry all chain...but claiming one is superior, at all times for all reasons for all boats and skippers is like every other circular discussion in boating.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:41 PM   #154
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:15 PM   #155
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I don't put much stock in catenary. When anchoring here with the typically strong currents, my chain rode is stretched, and the claw still holds.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:32 PM   #156
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Is there enough catenary to do enough good when it's needed or not? Enough good to warrant all that weight and expense?
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:58 PM   #157
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On the road with lousy wifi...anyone want to post the cost diff between chain and decent material rode?Its already been shown the weight between wet nylon and comparable chain in the locker isn't all that great, I'll bet neither is the price.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:59 PM   #158
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Is there enough catenary to do enough good when it's needed or not? Enough good to warrant all that weight and expense?
My dad liked to term it "Cat N' Canary"!

When I was quite young… In a whimsical manner of explanation for boat anchoring's catenary effect... He felt the Cat represented the anchor's claws and the Canary is the chain attached to anchor at end of rope. He laughingly explained the "Canary" (the chain weighing down the anchor's shank) forced the "Cat's” claws to stealth fully dig into bottom and hide so it could catch the canary when the time was right! We always used a Danforth; so, that made for an easy storyline simile.

Every time I pulled the rope, lead-chain, and anchor aboard… he’d holler from the bridge – guess the canary outsmarted the cat again!

Tain't nutten wrong wit good ol’ young-of-year boaten memories!
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:03 PM   #159
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Regardless, if having a combination rope and chain rode for one's primary anchor, the chain should be at least of the length of the boat. This would minimize chafe on the rope rode and contribute towards the anchor's digging.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:14 PM   #160
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My dad liked to term it "Cat N' Canary"!

When I was quite young… In a whimsical manner of explanation for boat anchoring's catenary effect... He felt the Cat represented the anchor's claws and the Canary is the chain attached to anchor at end of rope. He laughingly explained the "Canary" (the chain weighing down the anchor's shank) forced the "Cat's” claws to stealth fully dig into bottom and hide so it could catch the canary when the time was right! We always used a Danforth; so, that made for an easy storyline simile.

Every time I pulled the rope, lead-chain, and anchor aboard… he’d holler from the bridge – guess the canary outsmarted the cat again!

Tain't nutten wrong wit good ol’ young-of-year boaten memories!
OK, now we know where you got it, Art!
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