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Old 03-16-2016, 08:46 PM   #1
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How much chain?

I'm sure this has been addressed here before, but I'm new so bear with me. I have a Bristol 42 (1970) about 34000 lbs. My wife are soon going to be cruising up and down the ICW and eventually maybe do the loop. I have converted my Ideal windlass to chain and am carrying a 60lb Manson Supreme with 200' of Acco 3/8 G30 galvanized chain. Is that enough? I can probably fit another 100' in the locker. I do like the idea of having a total of 300' ready to fly if needed. Overkill for coastal/ mostly inside cruising?
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:52 PM   #2
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While I'm ignorant of your particular situation, I wouldn't think 200 feet of rode would be insufficient. (You're only navigating in a big ditch?) That length-of-rode works for me here in the SF estuary. Here, depths can exceed 100 feet, but most of the water is 20 feet deep or less.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:02 PM   #3
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Your anchor is too small, it's the wrong kind and you don't have enough chain.
Seriously it sounds like a good setup for the ICW. You'll be able to anchor in up to 40 feet of water with a 5:1 ratio.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:18 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have enough for the ICW. You aren't going to be anchoring often in depths much above 10 feet with good planning. Same applies for the Loop. Only small concern would be if you have an engine failure and need to drop anchor while repairing and you are crossing deep water.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodscrew View Post
I'm sure this has been addressed here before, but I'm new so bear with me. I have a Bristol 42 (1970) about 34000 lbs. My wife are soon going to be cruising up and down the ICW and eventually maybe do the loop. I have converted my Ideal windlass to chain and am carrying a 60lb Manson Supreme with 200' of Acco 3/8 G30 galvanized chain. Is that enough? I can probably fit another 100' in the locker. I do like the idea of having a total of 300' ready to fly if needed. Overkill for coastal/ mostly inside cruising?
I have 60 Manson and 200 feet of 5/16. I try to anchor in 10 feet average but in areas of 8 feet tidal change near Savannah, obviously it goes up a bit but 200 feet is still plenty.

Maybe just have another 100 feel of nylon with an eye and shacles ready for that rare deeper water emergency if concerned.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:50 AM   #6
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I have 2 anchors, one with 200' and the other 350'. Cruise the same area as you, ICW and the loop next year. Haven't used 100' on the ICW yet. So I think you're fine with the 200' for now. When you do the loop, you can always reconsider if you need more as it's pretty easy to change. If you haven't done it already, add the 50 to 100' of line to your chain and secure the other end in the chain locker. It would be embarrassing to need 190' and put out 201'.

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Old 03-17-2016, 07:51 AM   #7
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It depends on where you will be cruising. Get yourself a copy of Earl Hinz' "Complete Book of Anchoring and Mooring". The section about anchors is dated, but the advice on ground tackle set up and technique is still excellent.
We used 300' of chain in our cruising and constant anchoring all up and down the eastern seaboard and adjacent islands and waterways, and were glad we had it. Also carried another 300 feet of appropriately sized rode. One of our mottos was "we love to anchor, therefor we boat". We had several occasions to anchor in 40+ foot water. If I were in the OP's position, I'd add another 100' or so of rope rode to the existing chain.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:17 PM   #8
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Seems like our own anchor video guru is proving that for many conditions and many anchors, an all chain rode of 3:1 is more than adequate.


Also there is buzz that the more chain let out the more effective it is until severe conditions are experienced...due to all the weight out.


I haven't been up in Maine yet so I can't accurately comment on there and scope...but it is going to be rare along the Atlantic Cast to need more than 200 feet of chain and some emergency nylon add on as has been suggested several times.
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Old 03-17-2016, 04:08 PM   #9
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The other obvious reason for a length of nylon, is so you have something easily cut in an emergency.....as in you need to drop your anchor. It's also easy to attach a buoy to and won't drag under water.
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Old 03-17-2016, 04:13 PM   #10
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My Grand Banks, which I cruised in the same areas you have planned, had 300' of chain. Or so I thought. It turns out it was only 200', but I never knew it. So apparently 200' is enough for those cruising grounds. Now the PNW is different. There, I'd say 400' in the minimum, which is what I have now. And I've been thinking about adding another 100'.
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:48 PM   #11
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200' should be found for your stated cruising grounds. We had 280' on our sailboat and 300' on Hobo and never deployed it all during our circumnavigation. Granted we never rode out a hurricane or cyclone at anchor.
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Old 03-17-2016, 06:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
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200' should be found for your stated cruising grounds. We had 280' on our sailboat and 300' on Hobo and never deployed it all during our circumnavigation. Granted we never rode out a hurricane or cyclone at anchor.
I did like your Weather Ouija board built into your chart table....
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:04 PM   #13
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If the cruising grounds are indeed solely restricted to the AICW and immediately connected waters, then technically yes, 200 ft is plenty. Get up to New England / Maine, or up the Hudson, or say, the outer anchorages at Dry Tortugas to name a few and you'll want some extra rode.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:23 AM   #14
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"Overkill for coastal/ mostly inside cruising?"

PIA , most of the anchorages are in protected shallow water , 10, 15 FT.

To keep the dead mud stench from below you will enjoy scrubbing the amount of chain that lays on the bottom.

As all cruisers carry a back up anchor , when you tire of the morning scrub sessions , try your back up.

Say a 35H Danforth with 4 or 5 ft of chain (to be able to lock it on deck) and 1/2 or 5/8 line.

And no matter what anchor setup, buoy the anchor crown to assist other cruisers on your set ,

and especially to retrieve the anchor from dead trees and other ICW bottom fun.

More enjoyable to be put putting down the waterway than scrubbing stinky mud every AM..

Save the chain for over night near coral in the Bahamas.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:57 AM   #15
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FF,
I don't like scrubbing mud either. I am hopeful the wash down pump I installed to go with the all chain setup will do the job. 24 volt, 60psi, 5 gpm. On a test run it put out way more pressure than a garden hose. I've been thinking about getting a buoy setup for the anchor. Seems like a good idea. I am considering a big Fortress as a backup. Thanks .
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Old 03-18-2016, 03:03 PM   #16
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I've been thinking about getting a buoy setup.

Ours is dead simple ,

The 3/8 nylon line is tied to the anchor crown.

It is passed thru a red 8 inch ball .

At the end is an old fashioned sounding lead,

Toss it in first or let it be dragged in by the anchor .

When you do run aground the lead already on deck will help figure the direction of the deeper water.

A puss off pole with the vessels depth painted on is a great help too , esp if the dink is used to find the deeper water. This is heavier than a boat hook in diameter.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:12 PM   #17
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FF, thanks for the idea. I like the dual purpose for the lead on deck and the sounding stick too. Sounds like you have been aground a few times. I'm expecting to cruise up and down the ICW indefinitely and never touch bottom. But seriously folks; how much line do you keep on the buoy?
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Old 03-18-2016, 08:47 PM   #18
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I make up a few different lengths of line I can clip on as needed based on the depth.

You can rig it up with one longer line with a weight on one end. You thread the line through a shackle that is attached to the buoy. The other end of the line is attached to the anchor. That way the buoy is self adjusting to a point. Depending on the length of line you use.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:35 AM   #19
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"It depends on where you will be cruising. Get yourself a copy of Earl Hinz' "Complete Book of Anchoring and Mooring". The section about anchors is dated, but the advice on ground tackle set up and technique is still excellent."

Another excellent suggestion and I would also recommend a new release by Rudy and Jill Sechez, "ANCHORING, A Ground Tackler's Apprentice, Basics and Beyond." Easy reading, comprehensive, and practical.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:49 AM   #20
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I find it curious with all the disagreements in thousands of anchoring threads throughout the internet by competent cruisers that anyone can be seen as an authority on the subject.

In fact, some pretty simple testing and modeling by contemporary people with good experience and reputations are showing how some "boating experts" of yesteryear maybe relied too much on reputation and experience and little on science.

Now don't get me wrong....experience says a lot...but lots of experience doesn't always mean depth of knowledge.

Hopefully my boating friends who don't cruise respect my advice on anchoring....but...I tell them I have little experience in heavy weather anchoring because I don't expose myself to it. I feel ready for it, just don't want to experience it so I use my other skills to avoid it.

So I really wonder how valuable all these books and articles really are on a subject that is almost never agreed upon by people I trust that have lots of experience too...other than some very basics (easily picked up for free almost anywhere) and variations of anchoring (easily read on internet).

Heck, from tackle, techniques and even the anchorages themselves are almost always disagreed on.

Like many subjects here.
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