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Old 02-01-2015, 10:59 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Tunajoe View Post
I'd love to go all chain.
The only hassle is the splice of the rope to chain.
I've watched several videos on it, but I'm not sure I'd trust my splice.
I haven't tried 8-plait yet, but three-strand splice to chain (shackle splice, or crown splice) is not too tough to learn and it's easy to tell if you've done a good one or not. It should be tight firm and even. Try it a few times, take a good look at the results each time, and you'll get to a point of confidence fairly soon.

I started making decent three-strand splices after meeting Brion Toss (author of Chapman's book of knots) at his booth at the Seattle boat show. With just a few hints he greatly improved my technique.

Some hints:

Suspend the chain so that you can sit with the chain end hanging in front of you roughly at the height of your shoulders. Flatten out each of the three strands after you tie on a constrictor and unlay them - don't keep them twisted and round. Cut their ends into a bit of a taper, and then tape around each end with masking tape making somewhat of a point. After each round of three over and under tucks, roll the splice between your hands to firm it up and even it out, then pull each of the three strands tight, and maybe roll again, before the next round of three tucks. You shouldn't need more than 5-7 rounds of tucks, if they're done right.

Best by far three-strand splicing tool is Brion's Point Hudson Phid - makes it so much easier than a basic fid! The directions for eye splcing that come with it are pretty good even without a book. Google Brion Toss to find his web site.

I don't have as frequent need for an eye splice, but I re-do my rope-to-chain splice annually (Google shackle splice, and you'll find Brion's detailed description). For extra durability, I finish the splice by putting a whipping around the section of the splice where the tapered ends wind up (with the masking tape removed - peeled off as I do the last tuck or two). It looks fairly spiffy, and lasts a summer of anchoring.

Takes maybe 1/2 hour, after you get the hang of it, if you're not in a hurry.
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Old 02-01-2015, 01:04 PM   #22
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Greetings,
Mr. Tuna. Rather than buying 200' of chain, how about a barrel filled with water to the weight of the chain and put it in the foredeck to see how it might effect performance?
Thank you!
That's why I love this forum!
Great idea!
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Old 02-01-2015, 01:12 PM   #23
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TunaJoe,

We carry 200' of 5/16 chain on our NT32, also with a Lofrans Tigres windlass. Your NT can handle the weight. To balance the bow, I had to re-position the weight bags (crushed granite) in the stern locker, putting a couple of the bags as far back within the swim platform to level things out. We usually anchor out when off our mooring, and in New England, we seldom need to anchor in over 20 feet of water, so we seldom have over 80 feet of anchor out.

Over the years, our galvanized chain is rusting out on the ends. I reverse the chain each season, but even with that, I've been cutting off rusted chain each year. I'm down to about 160' now, and when I get below 120', I'll splice on some 5/8" brait. Picture shows our windlass setup. I mounted the Tigres offset to have a straight, center-line chain run into the chain locker. The Tigres has a port side rope drum. My second, port-side anchor roller carries a 30# folding grappling anchor (or a 20# Bruce), which I use for fishing or a lunch hook. I carry 150' of 5/8" brait for that anchor. You can see the anchor snubber line coming through the chocks.
Thank you Puffin for the detailed explanation.
So you made up your weight bags to even out the "attitude" of your NT?
That's another solution I could consider too

I can't imagine re-positioning my windlass. That must have been quite a job.

Funny, my chain is rusting at the ends too.

Does your anchor pulpit flex when bringing up your anchor? When I bring mine up, even slowly, the anchor pulpit flexes a lot. I've looked underneath to see if a larger piece of aluminum backing plate could be placed, but it doesn't look like an easy job.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:13 PM   #24
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We have 200' of all-chain rode. In the PNW, particularly as one goes farther north in BC, 200' is not enough. While we have gotten away with it thus far, when the time comes that we can take longer trips and go farther north we will replace the 200' with 250' or possibly even 300.'
If you can adapt your windless to chain rode and your chain locker is large enough I would suggest 150 ft of chain and 200f+ft of Braid rode. That way you will hardly ever have to use a snubber and the bow will be lighter.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:23 PM   #25
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Although my windlass is currently fine, I can see the BBB designation being an old type of chain. Good point in replacement of windlass to upgrade chain to HT also.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:52 PM   #26
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I have been searching for a replacement windlass all winter and found that at least in the horizontal variety suitable for our boat, very few deal with line very well.

Allot of them have a capstan for the line part of the rode, but I have found through personal experience that hauling long lengths of line, with the weight of a large anchor and a hundred feet of chain totaling about 225 lbs is just no fun at all using a capstan if you do it very often, and I do it several times a day when fishing.

The only horizontal windlass in this size range that I've found that even advertises a gypsy that will effectivly handle line and chain both is the Maxwell HRC series.

Thats a big reason we decided to go with an all chain rode. For us going with an all chain rode with our lifting requirements of 300' of chain plus a hundred pound anchor forced us to replace our Muir Cougar windlass with the higher capacity Lofrans Tigrress windlass.

The point is that if you are considering a line/chain combination rode make sure that both you and your windlass are capable of that work in the actual depths you anchor in. I know our requirement to anchor in 300' of water is unusual, but your anchoring conditions need to dictate the gear you choose.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:48 PM   #27
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Greetings,
Mr. Tuna. You're most welcome. Glad to be of service. Keep in mind your barrel of water WILL be higher than your rode locker and this may have some effect due to higher center of gravity.
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:48 PM   #28
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If you can adapt your windless to chain rode and your chain locker is large enough I would suggest 150 ft of chain and 200f+ft of Braid rode. That way you will hardly ever have to use a snubber and the bow will be lighter.
Not quite sure I understand your comment. Out rode is all-chain and our Lofrans Tigres only accepts chain on the wildcat.

Also, for a boat like our PNW boat, we don't believe in using a combination rode. All-chain is the only way to go, in our opinions, and if we feel we need more rode we'll get a longer chain.

Combination rodes are the solution for boats that are tender in the bow, like lighter-weight, semi-planing or planing lobsterboats and the like, and generally for sailboats. But for a 30,000 pound plus cruiser, 200 or 300 feet of chain in the bow of the boat isn't going to make enough difference to notice in terms of trim or handling. That's been our experience at any rate. We have a very effective snubber system and process that helps lower the angle of pull on our anchor and we see no value at all in nylon line or brait in our rode.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:24 PM   #29
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Not quite sure I understand your comment. Out rode is all-chain and our Lofrans Tigres only accepts chain on the wildcat.

Also, for a boat like our PNW boat, we don't believe in using a combination rode. All-chain is the only way to go, in our opinions, and if we feel we need more rode we'll get a longer chain.

Combination rodes are the solution for boats that are tender in the bow, like lighter-weight, semi-planing or planing lobsterboats and the like, and generally for sailboats. But for a 30,000 pound plus cruiser, 200 or 300 feet of chain in the bow of the boat isn't going to make enough difference to notice in terms of trim or handling. That's been our experience at any rate. We have a very effective snubber system and process that helps lower the angle of pull on our anchor and we see no value at all in nylon line or brait in our rode.
Actually I had to remove some chain from my 48 foot 34,000 lb boat to correct trim so I guess some boats do react to weight up front. I also cruise the NW and for the last 16 years a chain rode combination has worked on three different boats. When anchored in 40 ft or more a good portion of the chain does not get to sit on the bottom so why not have some stretch in that part of the system. Perhaps talking chain vs rode is like getting into anchors and people have their strong preferences. Since the A word just came up maybe with the right anchor you don't need as much chain. And then there is the ecology click who would like to get rid of chain scouring the sea bed. Many windlasses allow for wild cat exchange for different chains or combo chain rode and I don't know about your set up.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:24 PM   #30
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The chain that is not sitting on the bottom is still adding its weight to lowering the angle of pull on the anchor. The nylon, brait, etc. in a combination rode plays almost no role in this at all.

A snubber has only two values to my way of thinking: taking the pull of the boat off the chain in the bow roller and so prevent it from moving in the roller and transmitting annoying noise into the boat, and providing sone shock absorbing when the conditions kick up enough to pull most of the catenary out of the chain and thus cause shock loads to be transmitted directly to the boat itself.

That's why our snubber set up is designed to allow most of the weight of the deployed all-chain.rode to keep the angle of pull on the anchor as low as possible.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:26 PM   #31
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Marin if your lofrans is horizontal as I suspect There might be a reason for all chain. ( The internet site I accessed shows options for wildcats.) Depending on angle the rode comes into the wildcat there may not be all that much grip and that would work better with chain than rode. I once had a horizontal wildcat and had that problem until I devised a heavy duty roller to keep the chain and more important the rode at a low angle on approach to the wildcat and that also allowed the wildcat to get a good grip on rode. I now have a vertical unit and there is more chain and rode in contact with the wildcat so a chain rode combo works fine. As for the extra weight and chain that has become a debatable issue with modern deep set anchors. I will concede the value of chain where there is a rough bottom and chafe is an issue. The rode is stronger and more elastic than chain and if the weight is not needed with a deep set anchor other than to help the set why carry the extra weight. I do not think the last 50 foot of chain would be significant to the set. My end game is that I need no snubber it is built in and I can make do with 150ft of chain and 200ft of rode. If I went all chain for that 350 foot nose down and some loss of sea keeping do to extra weight at extreme forward end of boat.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:38 PM   #32
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The boat's original windlass was a horizontal windlass as well, same cofiguration and mounting as the Lofrans Tigres we replaced it with, and it used the chain rode we still use today.

But regardless of the windlass type and configuration, we would always go with all-chain rode with a boat like this one. For a boat of this type and weight, we see no advantage to a combination rode and several disadvantages.

If we had a lighter, more weight-critical boat it might well be a different story.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:56 AM   #33
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TunaJoe,

The weight bags were placed in the stern locker at the factory. The idea is to compensate for any weight of factory/dealer/owner installed components like generator, freezer, chain, windlass, etc. My recollection is I have about six 50# bags of granite rocks. You can also use 25# bags of lead shot.

I do see some flex at the pulpit if I bounce the 35# Delta up onto the roller under power. The factory shipped the roller and it was dealer installed. The roller extends out over the bow more than I like, so there's quite a bit of leverage on the pulpit area. I generally haul up to the shank, then pull the anchor up on the roller by hand. I installed the windlass myself so no re-positioning necessary. I've got a 1/2" aluminum plate under the windlass. I'll check under the roller to see how the dealer did it. I suspect nothing more than large SS washers. If so, one of these days, I'll replace that with as large an aluminum plate as I can get under it.

To follow up on Marin's comment on snubbers. Out of frame, I have a couple of large cleats behind the chocks. I can also bring the 2 ends of the snubber to the samson post. I hang on a double-penant mooring, and I'm rigged for that. The snubber is essential in any long-term anchoring. The snubber spreads the load to the sides. It lowers the catenary angle closer to the water, and acts as a shock absorber.
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:57 PM   #34
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Still say if you've got 300lbs (or thereabouts) chain in your rode you'd be much better off anchoring w a 250lb anchor and all nylon line. Whatever kind of boat you've got. Unessessary weight is just that ... unessessary. But if it makes you feel good ........


However on bigger boats (30 tons?) and without the splice and dual rode option all chain made good sense. But on smaller boats a combination rode is best. Even Chapman says so.

And Marin I think a case can be made that weight of the upper 1/3 of a chain rode from the bow roller to a point 2/3rds up from the anchor actually REDUCES catenary. If you were to hang clothes on a clothes line only in the middle of the north end I'll bet the droop in the line on the south end will become less. And transferring that to anchor rodes the longer scopes would make that even more so.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:06 PM   #35
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Still say if you've got 300lbs (or thereabouts) chain in your rode you'd be much better off anchoring w a 250lb anchor and all nylon line. Whatever kind of boat you've got. Unessessary weight is just that ... unessessary. But if it makes you feel good ........
Eric

I won't jump into the virtues of chain vs line except that sometimes a line rode is inpracticable or even unfeasable.

The problem is that in larger capacity windlasses the concept of a combination gypsy is a falicy. In actual practice, even the tech suppoort people at the several windlass manufacturers I've spoken with say that their supposigle combination gypsies do not handle line well.

In my boat I'm not going with an all chain rode because I think its any better. I'm going all chain because it is easier to find a horizontal all chain windlass that actually works.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:07 PM   #36
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Eric-- Your theory might be okay but the reality isn't. Few to no boats in the size category of things like Nordic Tugs, most GBs, Bayliners, etc can accomodate a 250 pound anchor, nor can their windlasses. And hauling up a 250-pound anchor by hand should a windlass fail is a non-starter for most recreational boaters. So once again, your anchoring theory is soundly trumped by reality.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:16 PM   #37
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There are just as many virtues of an all chain rode as all nylon or mixed.

Along the lines of what Kevin posted...many people who select all chain like the simplicity of the retrieval and go from there...if their vessel can carry the weight and few can't as the smaller the boat, downsizing ground tackle is possible.

I could see using a combo rode but my personal experience has not used a windlass that I trust with line retrieval..others may have... but until I need a new windlass and have personal experience with a windlass that handles both flawlessly in all conditions and for years...sticking with all chain and a anchor that doesn't need to be bigger.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:19 PM   #38
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My system takes advantage of all chain to a point then rode. With the combo of 150ft chain and then rode I find myself anchoring most of the time with all chain and going to the rode for deeper anchorage or short 20ft rode as snubber. As I have said before horizontal wildcats may not like rode. Since my windless can handle the combo I see no reason not to have it both ways while lightening the bow and having the option of a longer combination then if only chain. Modern thought about weight and anchor and rode is changing. the more secure anchor digs deep and big bulky anchors with heavy chain are handicapped in digging and tend to drag. Weight of anchor and chain may help some with initial set but after that the weight is not so important and more scope of lite line would do the same thing and once dug in a lite modern digger will out hold old heavy iron almost all anchor tests agree with that. If you have mostly line and a good digger anchor you can set with additional scope then shorten to same as chain in tight anchorage. I think the real value of chain is in rocky rough bottoms and windlasses that are poorly set up or designed for only chain and do not do well with the combo. A heavy duty roller on the deck not too far from a horizontal can make a big difference by causing the wildcat to engage more of the chain and or line in its circumference. The reason a vertical works better is that more of the rode or chain is engaged by the wildcat before it peels off.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:31 PM   #39
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One thing for newbies....

There is very little substantial "proof" of anything about anchoring.....

All you can do is go with what you think will work...how you come to that conclusion is read everything you can and talk to as many cruisers as you can. Then experiment...taking your time till experience with YOUR setup either works or doesn't.

No one anchor, system, windlass, rode comes close to satisfying all cruisers.

Authorities on anchoring are people with experience and will tell you what they know willingly...when they narrow things down in general and not specifically to a boat or cruising style...I'd be wary of thinking the advice will necessarily apply to you.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:34 PM   #40
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psneeld, ksanders and Marin,
Excellent posts and I think we're actually getting closer to what really is except for Marin's "And hauling up a 250-pound anchor by hand should a windlass fail is a non-starter for most recreational boaters. So once again, your anchoring theory is soundly trumped by reality." As I said reality is that if you dumpted your chain and used a 250lb anchor your rode weight would be (for all PP) the same so REALITY is that pulling up your rode would be the same.

About the splice I'm not 110% ready to trust it. Many here do but I think the pinching forces on the line would be very high and not very good for same so ..... If I ever go to much more chain than I have now (15' or so) I'd probably do 1/4" chain and stop at 200'. I'd rig it so I could quickly attach (w a shackle) another rode or a long length of line. Using all chain w a gypsy and storing it in the chain locker would sure be simple ... and easy. At 75 easy has some appeal. But the combination rode is best or perhaps better put here on TF "ideal" but not from an operational standpoint.

There's two platforms here. 1. what is easiest to handle and 2. what will hold the boat best w/o unnecessary weight. The chain scores in number 1 and the combination scores in number 2.

Kevin and Scott's input above is IMO very objective and addresses the "real" world that I think Marin is talking about.
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