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Old 02-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
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Chain size

So I am going to replace my anchor rode on our 45'. She weighs in around 28-30k lbs. Inland river cruising, may go to west coat FL or great lakes if we get crazy and take some time off, but mostly just hanging out on the rivers. I am thinking 5/16" HTG4 chain will do the job instead of getting 3/8" HTG4. On the flip side....3/8" will only run about $120 more than 5/16" (not factoring in shipping which will be more due to weight) For only $120 more seems 3/8 would be the winner. What say ye? I haven't had a question to stir the pot here @ TF in a bit so what better way, if not discussing anchors, than to discuss the next best thing....chain.
next we can debate whether I should get the hardtop for the bridge or just get a new bimini......decisions decisions.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:16 PM   #2
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What fits your windless? As that is the deciding factor.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:39 PM   #3
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So what IS your windlass set up fore .. and the rode?
If you're all chain I'd go w the 5/16ths since you're talk'in HD. If you've got a combo rode I'd go w 3/8". Any nylon I'd go w 5/8". I use "Brait" (not to be confused w "braid" because it takes much less space and goes in and comes out w/o any problems at all. "$120 more" ? I'd go w what you need and want before worry'in about $120.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Windlass is a mute point b/c the gypsy is worn and needs replacing so I am going to get a new gypsy and new rode. Current rode is a combo 3/8 chain and 5/8" line. Gypsy is worn and skips on the chain links. Line is too large and won't fit in the slot meant for the line so it basically does not work for me whatsoever. How the previous guy EVER anchored out is beyond me!
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsong View Post
So I am going to replace my anchor rode on our 45'. She weighs in around 28-30k lbs.
Does the weight of your boat, 28-30k, include water, fuel, and all your "stuff"? I have 5/16 all chain and at times wish I had 3/8 for "sleep" factor. We are 42 feet and actual weight is about 42-45k (including water, fuel, toys, tools, etc.).
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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Don't laugh....We're 19k lbs, we have 180 ft of 3/8", with 100ft of line rode on the end of that.

We didn't add or install this, but the Beaty motto really is "anything worth doing is worth overdoing".
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:19 PM   #7
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Tony,
We're 60K and have rode out two hurricanes with 5/16". I think the more important factor then weight is how your boat behaves at anchor ie:

Weight and forward down pressure vs uplift windage

I really believe that the light boats put a lot more strain on the tackle when they're bouncing around yanking on things.

All this said I'm confident 5/16 is no problem but if the budget, forward boyancy and the windless allows it, then more is always better
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:10 PM   #8
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If it was me 5/16HT on the Monk and 3/8HT on the Bayliner.......
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:44 PM   #9
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The strength of the chain is as important as the size. Be sure to look at both.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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On our 4788 Bayliner we run 3/8 chain and 5/8 8 plait rode.

The challenge on out boat is that the stripper is pretty ineffective at getting the rode out of the gypsy. This seems to be a common issue with the stock windlass, based on discussions with other owners.

What we do is to use the capstan to bring in the rode, then let the gypsy take in the chain part.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:27 AM   #11
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Chain is the weak link in most anchor systems , just compare it to nylon.

So the chain will be deployed as REQUIRED , coral or lots of rocks.

Great in the Bahamas where mostly sand allows it to come up clean,
a nightmare in mud bottoms where it needs to be scrubbed inch by inch before stowing below deck.

The Bahamas are fairly shallow at anchorages so recovering the extra weight of 3/8 will be less hassle .
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:07 AM   #12
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I would go with 3/8 HTG4, not because of strength, but because of weight. The heavier chain will increase the catenary of your deployed rode, thus enhancing the holding power of your anchor.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:22 AM   #13
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Another thing to consider is when your windlass breaks and you have to haul it up by hand.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #14
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Another thing to consider is when your windlass breaks and you have to haul it up by hand.
Been there... Done that.

Windlass broke in a 30k blow while at Cape Lookout. Had to haul 150' of 3/8 chain in by hand. No fun AT ALL!!!!
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:18 PM   #15
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Another thing to consider is when your windlass breaks and you have to haul it up by hand.
A windlass without a manual backup, such as a lever and pawl system integral to the wildcat, is a curse. It took only once hauling in loads of chain for me to learn that. Replaced the old model with one that has a hefty manual backup. Life is good!
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:02 PM   #16
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Captain K wrote;

"I would go with 3/8 HTG4, not because of strength, but because of weight. The heavier chain will increase the catenary of your deployed rode, thus enhancing the holding power of your anchor."

Do the numbers. X amount of added weight is always better spent on the anchor. Perhaps for holding power no chain at all would be best.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:49 AM   #17
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Captain K,
I did some numbers and it seems that for a shortish rode of 200' 3/8" chain is 100lbs heavier than 5/16". How much holding power do you think you'd have w a 135lb anchor?

But re jleonard's comment it sure would be pulling anchor w/o the winch.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:46 AM   #18
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Captain K,
I did some numbers and it seems that for a shortish rode of 200' 3/8" chain is 100lbs heavier than 5/16". How much holding power do you think you'd have w a 135lb anchor?

But re jleonard's comment it sure would be pulling anchor w/o the winch.
If weight were what makes modern anchors hold, your point would be valid. It is not because most modern designs hold by digging into the bottom burying themselves. What helps them do that more efficiently is the angle of pull exerted upon them. The closer that pull is to horizontal, the better they dig in. The increased catenary of heavier chain translates into a more horizontal pull. Heavier chain also reduces shock loading upon the anchor in extreme gusts, again because of the catenary created by their weight. With apologies, as I am no physicist, but this is my understanding. I look forward to learning where I may be in error.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:46 AM   #19
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The increased catenary of heavier chain translates into a more horizontal pull. Heavier chain also reduces shock loading upon the anchor in extreme gusts, again because of the catenary created by their weight. With apologies, as I am no physicist, but this is my understanding. I look forward to learning where I may be in error.
If you are in error, add me to your club. I only use 20' of chain on my rode but I have my reasons that are not in conflict with the above.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:46 AM   #20
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I'm firmly in the bigger anchor is better club for a low speed trawler. On a planing boat, lighter rode and anchor makes sense.

Here we go ------ again.
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