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Old 02-05-2015, 05:43 PM   #121
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I know why I use a swivel. The swivel I refer to is a ball joint and not prone to the lateral stress loads that made many surveyors advise against swivels that attach to anchors directly. The swivel on my boat is not there because of twisting of rode it is there because it is by design able to right the anchor at the roller and relieve stress on windless when the 90 degree pull forces the anchor rode junction over the hump. This swivel is made by the Ultra people and there site might have some information on it. Some years ago while talking to a builder of custom reel windlasses I learned that some of the biggest loads on a windless are at the hump particularly if the anchor is not well aligned.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:04 PM   #122
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There is a massive old thread about swivels and their attachment. Especially about NOT attaching the swivel directly to the anchor, despite some being marketed as anchor connectors. I bought one of the shiny s/s new type swivels, eventually decided to use it as a paperweight and fitted an old style gal. swivel instead.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:16 PM   #123
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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.
you can "twist" this subject every which way but...

Almost ALL large boats use an all chain rode.

ALL ships use an all chain rode.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:58 PM   #124
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Marin,

I have heard of people who retrieve their anchors and they are misaligned when they hit the bow roller. Some attach a swivel simply to overcome this issue - which does appear to be an expensive option. Anchor Right have a special device called a Boomerang that resolves this issue, but might need a personal email to obtain detail.

This is not to cast aspirations on your anchor - so do not get defensive. But you say when you retrieve your anchor that it is not aligned with the bow roller. Can you be more explicit.

There might be a twist in the way you have attached your anchor to the chain. It merits looking to see if there is a 90 degree or 180 degree twist in the chain - between windlass and anchor (easily remedied). I have seen this countless times, done it myself.

But it might be that, for some reason, your anchor will always lie 'not quite right'.

I heard of another person with a large anchor, like yours, whose anchor always arrived upside down (and I do not know if he had a 180 degree twist when he attached his anchor). He ascribed the problem to the centre of gravity of the anchor. He changed to a Spade and problem solved - but it might have been the 180 degree twist, it might be a function of the anchor design, it might be a random characteristic of all anchors.

I am interested as the problem, whatever it is, seems common.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:05 PM   #125
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I have an image of a seaman big enough to pull up a hundred or so feet of 1" studded chain w a capstan. They'd probably put his bunk in the hold somewhere.

Whether to use all chain in boats like average trawlers it boils down to whether or not the skipper trusts the splice necessary to do that. If not the only practical solution is to use all chain, cable or a reel drum winch. It appears most trawler owners can't afford a reel winch. I suspect that on ships the percentage of weight of the whole ship to the ground tackle probably favors chain. By that I mean that the ground tackle is a smaller percentage of total weight than on trawlers or cruisers. Or it dosn't and that would tend to explain why ships seem to have such small anchors. They probably turn the prop a bit to counteract the force of the wind. And probably have a strain gauge to dictate when that is necessary.

Here's a picture of a fish buying scow probably big enough to not consider line and a capstan. However no attempt has been made to use a high performance anchor. I'm guessing this Navy anchor is about a 250lb.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:19 PM   #126
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Eric,

Interesting point about the anchor. Most of the bigger commercial boats in Oz and NZ, so those that might overnight (or more) invariably have Deltas, CQRs, Bruce (or copies of) or some form of Navy pattern - or a SARCA. I have never seen a Rocna, Supreme, Excel on a big commercial fishing boat, rescue boat, oil rig supply vessel - but have seen big SARCAs. The only exception is the new RNLI Shannon Class lifeboat in the UK (which are also quite big) with a Spade.

Big private, pleasure vessels are different and I have seen Ultras, Rocnas, Supremes, Excels etc.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:29 PM   #127
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Whether to use all chain in boats like average trawlers it boils down to whether or not the skipper trusts the splice necessary to do that. If not the only practical solution is to use all chain, cable or a reel drum winch.
Really? Trust the splice? As a reason to use all chain rode???

I've in all my years of boating have never even thought twice about the line to chain splice. On three strand it takes all of a few minutes to make a splice. 8 plait for me takes opening up a book or printing a instruction page, then a little more time but not all that much.

The problem with line/chain rode combinations has everything to do with the simple fact that combination gypsies do not work worth a darn in anything much heavier duty than what you'd find on the average weekend cabin cruiser.

Most larger boat windlasses have a capstan for the line portion of the rode. A Capstan is a very unpleasant thing to use if you are hauling much weight over a significant depth. The unplesantness is amplified due to the fact that most windlass gypsies are set up for a straight line from the bow roller to the windlass gypsy. This makes the capstan at an angle to the bow roller making for a less than optimum line arrangement.

That's why all chain rodes are popular in my opinion. Not because owners are afraid of the splice. Not even because all chain is any better. Simply because its really the only way to get the job done on a larger boat.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:42 PM   #128
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ksanders,

Certainly not .... as a reason to use a combination rode that is of course half the weight. Edit .... Kevin of course if the winches don't work then that's not an option. But there's thousands and thousands of fishermen w reel winches in Alaska that enjoy the benifits of a combination rode. Many of them have two different sizes of chain in their rode and lots of line. If I could afford it I'd have a reel winch.
Another edit;
There were quite a few TF members here that said that the combination rode winches worked fine. Haven't heard anything from them since several years ago.

Djbandi,
I think the mega yachts use an anchor that can be seen on the Manson website. They call it a "Kedge" but I think elsewhere it's called something else. Looks more like a Navy anchor but has squared off lines. They even have one that is pulled up through the hull bottom (called a "hiding" anchor) and the butt end of the anchor becomes part of the hull.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:17 PM   #129
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you can "twist" this subject every which way but...

Almost ALL large boats use an all chain rode.

ALL ships use an all chain rode.
I really think rode chain or combo all work. But if it means anything that big boats use all chain I would suggest that the more numerous small boats do not and I don't see the shorelines inhabited by small boats dragging up any more than big boats. There may be other reasons for large boats to use all chain unrelated to holding and the weight and need for a windless tells us something about why small boats are rarely into all chain. I don't fault all chain but I also don't see it as a necessity or even a good thing on many boats that are hurt by the weight in the bow. I see the chain/rode combo as a middle road for boats in the mid range size which includes many of the boats on this site. Its no big deal, if I bought a used boat with all chain I would try it and if it did not affect the trim and gave me the total scope I needed would use it if not hack saw and splice.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:33 PM   #130
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There is a massive old thread about swivels and their attachment. Especially about NOT attaching the swivel directly to the anchor, despite some being marketed as anchor connectors. I bought one of the shiny s/s new type swivels, eventually decided to use it as a paperweight and fitted an old style gal. swivel instead.
I think most of the problem with those swivels was due to lateral stress without adequate toggle effect. The ball swivel addresses that problem and the Ultra swivel goes one step further by making sure the anchor if not straight flips to attention while coming over the roller. The trouble with old news its old and development is a moving target. I also have one of those expensive shinny paper weights.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:37 PM   #131
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ksanders,

Certainly not .... as a reason to use a combination rode that is of course half the weight. Edit .... Kevin of course if the winches don't work then that's not an option. But there's thousands and thousands of fishermen w reel winches in Alaska that enjoy the benifits of a combination rode. Many of them have two different sizes of chain in their rode and lots of line. If I could afford it I'd have a reel winch.
Another edit;
There were quite a few TF members here that said that the combination rode winches worked fine. Haven't heard anything from them since several years ago.
OK, I have been researching this for over a year. There is only one electric reel winch large enough to use. Its called the EZ anchor puller. It is actually cheaper than the winch I bought. The problem is that it was just too wide for my existing anchor pulpit and I decided I did not want to go through the hassle of coming up with a yacht quality fix. There are other reel type winchs, but they are hydraulic. All the fish boats have hydraulic for their gear, but its not so prevelant on the average large pleasure boat.

Then I actually started calling manufacturer reps for large boat horizontal windlasses. First thing I figured out is that not allot of people actually make windlasses for large boas. Not nearly as many as make windlasses for smaller boats.

I started calling because I knew the internet is misleading. For example my current windlass a Muir Cougar (not a bad windlass BTW) says it'll handle line and chain but when you call the manufacturer you get another story.

What I found through my reaserch is that the only company I talked to that affirmativly said their windlass would work with a line/chain rode was Maxwell. They have a patented gpysy that will work.

So, just this week, as a culmination, having done the research, and being REALLY tired of dealing with a combination rode on my boat I decided to go all chain. Not because its better, but because I had so few choices.

I also decided to upsize my windlass because of the lifting capacity I need when anchoring over a halibut hole at 300'.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:40 PM   #132
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I saw a Greek fisheries protection vessel with an all wire rode. In coral no-one would use any cordage (whatever the size of the vessel), this might also be true where there are many loose rock, pebble anchorages. If you range far and wide you might anticipate abrasion as a potential issue and use all chain. In mud, abrasion is not going to be a problem, but cleaning cordage must be an issue - but I do not know as we use all chain (and its difficult to clean, or takes time. when used in mud).

But if weight is the problem then G70 offers opportunity to downsize link size and hence weight.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:41 PM   #133
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This is not to cast aspirations on your anchor - so do not get defensive. But you say when you retrieve your anchor that it is not aligned with the bow roller. Can you be more explicit.

.
Sure. And I just realized that "aligned" was not the best word to use. "Oriented" would have been more accurate.

The same situation existed with the Bruce that we had before the Rocna, so in our case it's got nothing to do with the anchor brand or design. In both cases, the chain has been aligned correctly between the wildcat and the anchor with the anchor in its stowed position.

A photo or video would be far more effective in showing you what I mean, but I'll try with as few words as possible. I suspect the same situation exists for everyone regardless of whether they use rope or chain as their rode.

When the anchor is hanging on the chain below the pulpit, it's anyone's guess how it will be hanging in orientation to the stem of the boat and the pulpit above it. "Random rotational positioning" is a made-up phrase that perhaps applies.

Most of this is due to how the chain is lying on the bow roller above the suspended anchor, some of it may be how the chain links decided to "hold hands" at that particular time, and some of it is due to the slop in the chain-to-shackle-to-anchor connection.

The cure, at least for us, is simple. Our generation of GB36 has a relatively short pulpit, and my position at the windlass foot switches is such that I can easily reach down and grab the chain between the aft and forward rollers over the pulpit channel.

So if the anchor has decided to hang in a rotational position that would bring it up to the bow roller out of orientation with the roller--- in other words the anchor shank is presenting its side to the roller or its back--- I simply reach down, grab the chain, and give it a twist one way or the other while pulling up and letting down on it so the chain is forced to "flop over" on the bow roller as it moves a few links back and forth.. When it does this, it re-orients the anchor hanging down below.

Once the anchor has re-oriented itself and is hanging more or less in the proper orientation to the bow roller, I finish the pull up to the pulpit and stop the windlass just as the shank moves into the bow roller. Then I reach forward, grab the chain, and haul the anchor up over the roller by hand. Holding the anchor in its stowed position, I use the foot switch to use the windlass to take up the slack in the chain.

The windlass is more than powerful enough to haul the anchor over the bow roller, but the Lofrans Tigres is a fairly fast windlass and it's either on or off; there is no variable speed control on it. So I prefer to pull the anchor over into its stowed position by hand rather than have the windlass yank it over the roller and slam it into its final position.

A swivel would be of little or no value in our situation. In fact, we used to have one-- first installed incorrectly and then correctly after I read Earl Hinz's book--- and it made no difference to how the anchor (the Bruce in this case) oriented itself to the pulpit when it came up out of the water. I still did the twist-the-chain thing to orient it, which for us is far faster than reaching over the rail and pulpit with a boat hook and trying to rotate the anchor on the swivel.

But..... for people with larger boats and/or much heavier anchors, the twist-the-chain thing and haul-it-over-the-bow-roller-by-hand thing is out of the question. So in this case a strong, properly-installed swivel would be the smart way to go.

FWIW, while we believe the fewer components in an anchoring system the better, the one swivel I've seen that I would consider using if we needed one is the WASI Ball.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:42 PM   #134
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What's the big deal about chain twist? I've never known it to be a problem, but I'll be the first to admit, I don't have the decades of anchoring experience of some of our community. But I do commonly anchor 5-10 times per fishing trip, with trips occurring 2-3 times per month during the winter. So let's say I anchor 15-25 times per month in 25-45 ft of water just for purposes of this discussion.

Yes, my chain twists a little, but in the 90 degrees of gypsy contact on my horizontal Lewmar Pro-Series 1000 windlass, it's never been an issue. My windlass deploys and retrieves at 105 ft/min and has never even burped with the chain. Now it's important to note that I'm careful to not pull my boat with the windlass, but rather, position the boat to allow a slack retrieval of the rode and anchor.

My line feeds in and out perfectly unless the clutch requires adjustment, which it requires about twice per year. When this happens, the gypsy spins when the line/chain splice is encountered. It's a simple matter of tightening the clutch at the gypsy with the Lewmar 1/2 inch drive wrench. (Any 1/2 in drive socket would suffice.) When it's properly adjusted, the splice is not even noticed.

A properly set up windlass operated correctly with an appropriately matched chain and line should not have a problem with line or chain, twisted or not, splice or no splice. Just because others experience difficulties with their setups does not mean all systems should expect the same problems. The systems have evolved greatly over the years and when properly installed, adjusted, operated, maintained and matched with ground tackle should offer seamless and reliable operation without jam or slippage.

It's also important to note here that the Lewmar windlass is not the most stout or highest regarded windlass in the business. It's an affordable and reliable option to those looking for an alternative to the pricey units out there. All I'm saying is that you don't have to have the most expensive or elegant system on the water to experience a system that functions reliably. Mine is a DIY system that works and doesn't break the bank. It can haul chain and line without complaint. It doesn't care if the rode twists. Just don't try to pull the boat with it....move the boat to the rode and anchor with the engine(s).
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:52 PM   #135
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By the way the Ecology people don't think much of our anchors and are really against chain scouring the growth on the bottom. No surprise if there is a govt agency somewhere that might try to limit the use of chain. Certainly the restriction of anchoring in grass beds is on their table.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:59 PM   #136
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There were quite a few TF members here that said that the combination rode winches worked fine.
Mine works extremely well! It's a Muir 1200VRC . Once the line is grabbed by the gypsy, you could haul an elephant aboard without any slippage.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:00 PM   #137
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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). So why do people use swivels..?

But I'm still interested in how the twists develop.
Re the latter issue…"how the twists develop", I'm with Marin there. Chain, when stretched out, tends to naturally indicate a kind of rotation, but over a very long axis, so it is not really a twist, because if the tension is taken off it, it does not tend to bunch up, which is a problem and does indicate a really bad twist. I suspect just the random effects of the manufactured surface and shape induce this rotating effect.

As to the former question, "why do people use swivels?". For me the benefit of the swivel is that sometimes I have to admit my Super Sarca comes up point outwards, which looks bloody ugly on the bow, so the swivel makes it much easier to just slacken off a bit, go forward and give it a bit of a…yes…twist…and then hoist her all up nice and ship-shape with point down and towards the bow. I doubt it helps much otherwise, but as it's gauge is larger than the chain, I'm happy it is not causing a weak spot in the chain, so I sleep soundly.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:30 PM   #138
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Here are pictures of the very expensive Ultra flip swivel. And it works. The arm of metal protruding from one end causes the anchor to flip to proper orientation when coming up to the roller. Forget the outdated stuff you think you know about swivels this is the new tech. Combine this with a spade type deep digger anchor and you are good to go. Well your old anchor will still work just like a 30 year old car. I used to own an antique Jag 140 XK it worked and was cool but functionally any modern sedan will blow it away when it comes to function and reliability. Technical development just keeps marching on whether we all accept it or not. For those counting who has combo chain rode my Lofrans 1500 with a combo wildcat works well with 3/8 chain and 8 braid 5/8th rode. My previous boat had combo with a different brand windless with 3/8 + 5/8 3 strand also worked well. only issue is occ. hang up at splice easy to deal with so no big deal.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:00 AM   #139
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Mine works extremely well! It's a Muir 1200VRC . Once the line is grabbed by the gypsy, you could haul an elephant aboard without any slippage.
Yes, vertical windlasses have many more choices that accept line and chain.

Not many large horizontal units.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:17 AM   #140
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Mine works extremely well! It's a Muir 1200VRC . Once the line is grabbed by the gypsy, you could haul an elephant aboard without any slippage.
Let`s hope you never have to, could be messy.
My Muir Cheetah,predecessor to the 1200VRC, was re-engined with a 1200W motor, chain comes off so fast sometimes it gets jammed at the hawse pipe,unfortunately it fried the ammeter which only reads to +/-50amps
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