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Old 02-05-2015, 10:49 AM   #101
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I'm really pleased with my Rocna which replaced a smaller genuine Bruce. Over the last three summers of anchoring in SE Alaska, it self-launches, sets quickly, holds like crazy, and resets without complaint when the wind shifts.

All terrific, with one exception: I never had significant chain twisting with the Bruce, and now I do with the Rocna. Maybe the Rocna, having bigger fluke area, and maybe being built very slightly asymetrical or welded just the tiniest bit crooked (??) just does that.

Enough so that last year I added an apparently robust Suncor SS swivel. It helps quite a bit, but does not totally get rid of the twisting.
I'm really pleased with my Bruce Anchor Over the last 14 summers of anchoring in Alaska, it self-launches, sets quickly, holds like crazy, and resets without complaint when the wind shifts.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:47 PM   #102
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:04 PM   #103
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So is twisting another reason not to use so much chain? Can that be added to the expense-the weight in the bow-rusting-shock loading-hard to clean mud off-noisy-restricts deeper bury of anchor-and now twisting.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:08 PM   #104
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Anyone know why some chain twist is a problem?

If twist is an issue under load....that's where a swivel may start to work better....at least till the strain becomes to great for any friction.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:20 PM   #105
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Don't recall anyone saying it was a problem Scott but I hear your (subtle and nicely done) implication that it was presented as such.

But I sure don't see it as a problem. Never seen anyone put a swivel on a line rode. No one complains about twist in nylon line and like a tea bag it should find it's equilibrium as the rode is hauled in. Same w chain. Mystery?

Can anybody's confirm that twisted rode is a problem?
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:27 PM   #106
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Greetings,
Mr. mb. "Can anybody's confirm that twisted rode is a problem?" Only problem I can see is if it untwists the factory installed twist.

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Old 02-05-2015, 01:30 PM   #107
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...anchored in 300ft in...typical rode for Alaska is 600'
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...550' of anchor chain and new windlass...
Anchoring and retrieving in those depths will put most windlasses to the task. The standard windlass motor is high torque, short rated and not for continues duty. You'll probably get a few nuisance trips at the breaker. Nothing to worry about, that's what the breaker is for, if the system is wired correctly. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:31 PM   #108
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Can anybody's confirm that twisted rode is a problem?
Twist as long as it does not become kink is no problem for me, but I suppose it might be for somebody who needs all his blocks lined up in perfect precision. Functionally I see no issue if the anchor on the way up has to spin a bit maybe beneficial if it helps shed mud otherwise it will take care of itself.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:35 PM   #109
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I had posted this in a previous thread.

I measured 2 feet of 3/8" G4 HT, about 20 links. I then twisted it to see what happens. I easily twisted the chain 1 complete revolution with no kinking. If I had to say what is the average amount of road we put out when anchoring it would be ~150 feet. So that says the boat could rotate/twist 75 times without the chain kinking?
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:46 PM   #110
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550 ft of chain. There are many boats in the 40-50 ft size that would suffer with the bow weight. I suppose a heavy FD boat with a wide entry and plenty of bow buoyancy could handle it with grace, still it would add something to hobby horse tendency although it might be small effect. I tried 250 ft 0f 3/8 th chain in my 48 ft 34,000 lb boat and it was a noticeable problem. By going to 150 chain and then rode and some lead in the stern could balance the boat. If I were on east coat the whole chain would go. I keep the chain because in most of the anchorages I use it lies on the bottom which in PNW can be rocky and hard chafe wise on rode.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:38 PM   #111
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We have a 44 pound Rocna. It replaced a Bruce some seven or eight years ago. We eliminated the swivel from our setup a good 14 years ago when we learned about the problems a swivel can create. We use the same all-chain rode today that we used with the Bruce. We usually anchor in 20 to 30 feet of water on a 5:1 to 7:1 scope. We use the setting process with the Rocna that we did with the Bruce which includes the use of reverse to set the anchor. This always pulls all the catenary out of the chain. It's not bar tight; there is always a bit of sag from the weight, but not much.

And in every instance where I've bothered to notice, there has always been a bit of a twist in the chain when we pull it straight. With the Bruce and with the Rocna. No difference. Maybe a quarter turn in the chain we can see. I've observed this on land when I've used long lengths of chain to pull hard on something. Along the length it will twist a bit and then the twist comes out at the other end. I'm not talking a full turn, but enough to face the flat side of the alternate links in the middle in the same direction as the flat side of the other alternate links near the ends.

I think it's just the nature of chain to sometimes do this over a long distance suspended under pressure.

And we have never had a problem with our rode twisting or kinking on retrieval even after several days at anchor with the current changes moving the boat all around the anchor more or less continuously. This was as true with the Bruce as it is with the Rocna.

In other words, changing anchor types has had zero impact on our anchoring process or the behavior of our swivelless all-chain rode.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:00 PM   #112
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I suspect there may be a glitch in the inside ends of the links caused in the chain manufacture like a cast parting line. I'll look at some chain when I get home. But even if there was such a glitch the chain link would have IMO a 50/50 chance of settling one way or the other so they would average out and not twist. Thinking in text.

It would seem much more likely to be revolving anchors. Do most trawler skippers lower an anchor faster than I would by hand? I've seen many a windlass advertised as "free fall" and that gives me visions of anchors descending very fast indeed and spiraling down.

I would think an anchor hung by any length of chain say less than 1000' should hang freely w/o any twist.

And yes RT I Remember the twist.

I don't care if it twists or not. It's just interesting to speculate on.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:23 PM   #113
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I am very apologetic if I implied chain twist was a problem. I simply meant to observe there was twist and I then opened up the question as to how it happened.

Now, whether twist is a problem. Thousands obviously think so or why else would they spend good money introducing a swivel with extra connections (each swivel having 3 connections). A clevis pin at each end and the swivelling device itself. Swivels are not designed to be particularly efficient under load, in fact in my experience they are not particularly efficient at all. (I'm not keen on swivels).

People who use swivels come out with the story - its there to untwist the chain in a change of tide or wind - the image shows many more twists than would ever occur in a change of tide and those twists do not appear to alter the performance of the anchor. The anchor might not have been set deeply, which if it was soft sand and it had been loaded to 500lb (a load with which I'd agree) is simply not deep (in my book its not set 'properly' - but if its hard sand, different result). But 500lb on a 35' yacht, maybe 30 knots of wind.

But again ignoring the depth of the set the anchor looks square, it does not appear to be influenced by the twist in the chain.

So why do people use swivels.

But I'm still interested in how the twists develop.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:25 PM   #114
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Don't recall anyone saying it was a problem Scott but I hear your (subtle and nicely done) implication that it was presented as such.

But I sure don't see it as a problem. Never seen anyone put a swivel on a line rode. No one complains about twist in nylon line and like a tea bag it should find it's equilibrium as the rode is hauled in. Same w chain. Mystery?

Can anybody's confirm that twisted rode is a problem?
DO NOT use a swivel with a 3 strand soft (line) rode , you will be sorry. I don't know if it will work with Brait line or not.
Twist in an all chain rode isn't a problem as long as you don't expect the windlass/winch to pull your boat ahead, against the strain .let anchor and chain come off the bottom (motor ahead/slack) and let the chain untwist on its own. Some patience required
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:26 PM   #115
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...Do most trawler skippers lower an anchor faster than I would by hand? I've seen many a windlass advertised as "free fall" and that gives me visions of anchors descending very fast indeed and spiraling down...
We free fall our anchor to the bottom every time. We have the ability to lower the anchor either from the pilot house or deck electrically but by the time we've picked our spot and get the anchor to the bottom we have drifted or been blown off where we want it to go. The anchor (s) we use do not spiral down. They do sail or plane thru the water but not far from our intended target. Our windlass is a Lighthouse 1501, one of the better windlasses out there IMHO, but it's slow. Retrieval is ~37 fpm at 12 VDC and going down electrically isn't much faster.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:41 PM   #116
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I had not thought about it - but depends on which way the chain twists and how 3 strand (or which way) 3 strand is twisted (or laid) but potentially in a blow and with the chain tight, or tightish, then a twisted chain would unravel 3 strand.


edit I believe some windlass manufacturers recommend the use of swivels (though I have never heard why). The apparent phenomena might be the reason (to recommend a swivel) - if anyone is close (knows) to a windlass maker it might merit a question. close edit
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:47 PM   #117
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DO NOT use a swivel with a 3 strand soft (line) rode , you will be sorry. I don't know if it will work with Brait line or not.
Twist in an all chain rode isn't a problem as long as you don't expect the windlass/winch to pull your boat ahead, against the strain .let anchor and chain come off the bottom (motor ahead/slack) and let the chain untwist on its own. Some patience required
I believe the first time I ever remember the warning of swivels and 3 strand is from old Chapman's dating back into the 60s. I believe the warning was against the line from developing hockles due to it twisting a lot under load and needing that pressure to retwist as the boat springs back when unloaded. Then again Chapman's goes on to say swivels SHALL be used with all chain to prevent it from snarled up.

I'm trying one this year...less about chain twist as aligning the anchor into my pulpit.

....playing around with it confirmed that under relatively lightto moderate loading, they (even the cheapo galvanized one I have) swivel just fine. Except in the most extreme situations...the rode goes from heavy to moderate loading as the boat tugs back and forth with catenary and spring generated by the snubber...so as the load lessens...I'm confident it reaches a range where swiveling can take place.
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:01 PM   #118
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II believe some windlass manufacturers recommend the use of swivels (though I have never heard why). The apparent phenomena might be the reason (to recommend a swivel) - if anyone is close (knows) to a windlass maker it might merit a question.
As one data point, there was no mention of swivels pro or con in the installation/operations manual for the Lofrans Tigres windlass we installed on our boat a number of years ago.
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:14 PM   #119
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I fitted a traditional type swivel between the sliding slot shackle (of my Sarca) and the chain, largely to prevent the chain fouling around the shackle.
Identifying the cause of chain twist may be solved with a video of the anchor drop, from leaving the pulpit to set. Break out the popcorn...
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:14 PM   #120
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Do most trawler skippers lower an anchor faster than I would by hand?
Eric-- Our windless has power out, power in. So we lower our anchor at the speed our windlass runs, which in this case is a pretty good clip.

Watching the anchor go down there is no swiveling or rotating action on the part of the anchor as far as I can see it going down. We do not believe in swivels in anchor rodes so all there is between the end of the chain and the anchor shank is a single shackle.

And when we retrieve the anchor, by the time it gets up enough for me to see, there is no swiveling/rotating movement at all. It is usually not aligned with the bow roller as it hangs down by the forefoot, but it's not rotating as it hangs there.
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