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Old 11-14-2012, 07:32 PM   #1
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Rode length;how long?

In the discussion of anchor size, the question of rode length kept coming up.I have long thought my boat has the bare minimum for safe anchoring, and am thinking of adding least 100' to the present 160'x 1 1/2"chain rode set up.

I very rarely,if ever, anchor in depths of over 45', however the posts seem to suggest that my present set-up is only good for about 30' for safe overnight anchoring.I have never dragged an anchor, however I think more rode would be sensible.

I am wondering whether to stay with all chain or to splice on some nylon line.

By the way my winch is a Lofran, so it can handle both chain and rope. Our sea bed in this part of the world tends to be sand/mud combinations.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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If you are a serious cruiser, who anchors out in situations where winds can get up to the 30s, then you need all chain rode, if for no other reason than to avoid the nylon parting due to chafe.

Anchoring in 30' water depth means that the total vertical depth is about 35' (water depth plus height of your bow roller). For decent holding power you need a 6:1 scope ratio. So that means 210 feet of rode deployed. So your 160' is not enough. And it is way, way too short for 45' water depth.

Can you get by with 160'? Sure if you only anchor in nice weather in places with little fetch where the wind will be 20 kts or less.

I always try to deploy 6:1. In a tight anchorage I will sometimes compromise on less, but when the wind picks up, the boats in the anchorage are usually lined up well and I will put out more rode to get to 6:1 and if it is really blowing, 7:1.

And FWIW there are cruisers who have dragged at anchor and there are cuisers who are going to drag at anchor.

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:07 PM   #3
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I carry 600' of rode and 100' of chain on the end of that.

We anchor in 75-150' of water regularly, just due to our local topography.

I have found that unless the wind really picks up 3:1 scope works just fine. We have very rarely drug anchor at 3:1

One of my favorite things to do is to drop all 700' in a fishing hole of 300' or so. This isn't a night time anchorage, but it sure makes for a nice day fishing, even with strong currents. Very peaceful not having to keep re-starting a drift while fishing.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:01 PM   #4
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5:1 seems to be the accepted average all chain scope.

Mild conditions and 3:1 is acceptable, 7:1 when it's gonna blow and many believe that anything longer than 7:1 is really ineffective as far as anchor holding but sheer weight may help a tad.

If I thought I was "occasionally" going to anchor deeper than a 5:1 scope with my all chain...I would just shackle on some nylon as long as it was a mild to moderate conditions situation....if I thought I was gonna anchor in the deep for storm or above conditions...then I would re-chain.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
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Andy G,
I wonder what this means .. "160'x 1 1/2"chain rode set up."

I agree your rode is too short but if you've got 160' of 1/2" chain I'd not ad more chain as your rode will be very heavy. You're talk'in of a bigger anchor and the whole thing gets very heavy. Weight is a bad thing beyond what you need anywhere in/on a boat. I'd ad 150' of appropriately sized nylon (I like Brait best) to your existing chain. Everybody has their own opinion on the all chain question and I lean toward about 25' of chain and believe more than 50' is only of benefit for connivence if your winch only handles chain. Then I'd use the smallest HT chain that is plenty strong enough. I have a 400' rode. Almost all nylon.

ksanders,
I've never dragged either and anchor regularly at 3-1 and on occasion a bit less. When it blows I grab all the scope I can get though. However I did anchor in Lyman Anchorage (very small) at about 2.5 to 3-1 w a smallish Danforth anchor. The weather was to be almost calm but Lyman is a blow hole in a hole in the mountains and it blew 35 all night long. Wind shifted during the night and swung us fairly close to the rocky beach but the anchor held and we stayed off the beach. Most of my anchors are 18 to 22lbs. The little Danforth is 14lbs and I have a 34lb Dreadnought. Never dragged w any of them and rarely anchor at more than 3-1.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:48 PM   #6
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Andy, Much of the water you frequent has alternative anchorages for protection from unwelcome wind directions. But the " fjord like" areas, like Smiths Creek and Jerusalem Bay, are deep, requiring plenty of scope (if you luck out on an NPWS mooring) and they really funnel the wind. Adding nylon braid as suggested above, which will stretch and absorb shock (less confident about the ubiquitous silver rope in that regard) sounds good. Can`t see the point getting rid of any of the 1/2 inch chain which served you well, most time you won`t pay out anything else. You might review Daddyo`s report of his Sandy experience, he had a combination out I think, with lighter chain than yours.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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Bruce that was "Brait" not braid.
It's a special anchor line that when put into an anchor locker or box you can get twice as much in (as 3 strand) and it will always come out w/o a hitch.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Andy G,
I wonder what this means .. "160'x 1 1/2"chain rode set up."

I agree your rode is too short but if you've got 160' of 1/2" chain I'd not ad more chain as your rode will be very heavy. You're talk'in of a bigger anchor and the whole thing gets very heavy. Weight is a bad thing beyond what you need anywhere in/on a boat. I'd ad 150' of appropriately sized nylon (I like Brait best) to your existing chain. Everybody has their own opinion on the all chain question and I lean toward about 25' of chain and believe more than 50' is only of benefit for connivence if your winch only handles chain. Then I'd use the smallest HT chain that is plenty strong enough. I have a 400' rode. Almost all nylon.

ksanders,
I've never dragged either and anchor regularly at 3-1 and on occasion a bit less. When it blows I grab all the scope I can get though. However I did anchor in Lyman Anchorage (very small) at about 2.5 to 3-1 w a smallish Danforth anchor. The weather was to be almost calm but Lyman is a blow hole in a hole in the mountains and it blew 35 all night long. Wind shifted during the night and swung us fairly close to the rocky beach but the anchor held and we stayed off the beach. Most of my anchors are 18 to 22lbs. The little Danforth is 14lbs and I have a 34lb Dreadnought. Never dragged w any of them and rarely anchor at more than 3-1.

Like you I like line as well as chain. I like the ease of tying the rode to a cleat, and the stretch it provides.

Some will want all chain rode, but lifting 200' of all chain rode in a deep anchorage plus our 66 lb anchor can be hard on even the strongest windlass. I don't know the capacity of our windlass but it is a monster sized muir unit.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:05 AM   #9
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I think it was FF who put up a link somewhere (can't find it now - FF?), anyway, it convinced even me, normally a proponent of all chain, that once one goes beyond a decent length of chain, (eg ~ 150'), then a mixed rode with appropriate nylon (I guess Eric's Brait brand if one can get it), would be the way to go, just for those times one might really need real length. Apparently the catenary properties of mixed are the best compromise in terms of not dragging and shock damping at the same time. Something Eric has often raised, so good onya Eric.
As a matter of fact, I doubt many of us ever anchor in places where huge depths are encountered. I know in our Moreton Bay I have never anchored in more than 11 metres = ~ 40 feet. Usually it is about 3-6 m. If you need to anchor in depths over 50', then chain + nylon makes good sense in terms of weight, cost, strain on winch, etc.
The real benefit of all chain is where chafe could be an issue, eg around reefs like coral, but that is usually not the case in greater than average depths.
Something else I have I have long suspected is that rather like the issue of anchor weight to boat weight, once you get over a certain ratio, more makes no difference. Hence I suspect that although the recommendation of 5 : 1 or more for over-nighting is valid in say 10 feet of water, in over 50 feet, I doubt more than 3 to one is going to make much difference unless we are talking hurricane conditions.
Actually coming back to anchor weight, someone referred to ships anchors versus ours, well here's the reason why I suspect once over a certain limit more does not matter much.

My boat weighs ~ 9000kg and the anchor 22kg = 409 : 1

Queen Mary 2 ~ 148,528 tonne, anchors 23 tonne = 6458 : 1
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:43 AM   #10
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My boat weighs ~ 9000kg and the anchor 22kg = 409 : 1

Queen Mary 2 ~ 148,528 tonne, anchors 23 tonne = 6458 : 1

QE has a 24 / 7 deck watch when anchored , most cruisers do not.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:54 AM   #11
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Modern ships anchor with a completely different mindset than cruisers.

The USCG usually requires ships that stay in anchorages bring their engines on-line for heavy weather and they have 24 hr watches.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:14 PM   #12
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Can your boat and or anchor locker hold another 100 ft of chain? I was thinking of adding another 100 ft of chain as the Eagle’s bow is light and the anchor locker is deep. However a chain and rope might be the better than all chain? The Eagle has 200 ft of chain and 200 ft of rope.

The formula fine tuning an anchor rode http://alain.fraysse.free.fr/sail/rode/rode.htm has been interesting as by changing the size of the boat, size of the rode, weight of the anchor and the holding power of the bottom calculates the length of the rode required.

Using the Eagle as an example, our 65 lb anchor, all chain rode, good bottom holding, will hold in 50 mph winds with a 5 or 6 times scope.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:35 PM   #13
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In the discussion of anchor size, the question of rode length kept coming up.I have long thought my boat has the bare minimum for safe anchoring, and am thinking of adding least 100' to the present 160'x 1 1/2"chain rode set up.

I am wondering whether to stay with all chain or to splice on some nylon line.
The all-chain rode that came with our boat was rusty and not long enough. So we replaced it with 200' of all--chain. Two hundred feet seems to be the "norm" on boats like ours in this area

But 14 years later if we were buying new chain today we'd get 250' or even 300.' While the anchorages we have used to date have usually allowed anchoring depths of 30-40 feet, there are places up the Inside Passage where the anchoring depths are considerably deeper.

We have no use of a combination rode for a variety of reasons, one of which is that our Lofrans Tigres horizontal windlass, while it has a chain wildcat and a line gypsy, requires a combination rode to be switched between them during the retrieve since the wildcat does not accept line.

But even without the wildcat/line gypsy situation we would always use all-chain. A combination rode can be a better choice for a boat that is sensitive to weight in the bow like Carey's lobsterboat. But our boat could care less how much weight we put up there so 250-300 feet of chain would work well.

You could use a connector link to add more chain to your existing rode. I've thought of doing this with our rode but I don't really trust connector links. So when the day comes that we decide we need a longer rode we will simply buy 250' or 300' feet of new chain.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:23 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Phil Fill;112867][FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Can your boat and or anchor locker hold another 100 ft of chain?

Good point. It would be tight, there's not a lot of room in there, also I have the electrical winch cables running through the chain locker as well, I don't want chain piling up on those cables.It looks as though it will be 150' of Eric's Brait line or similar. All I have to do now is work out how to securely attach the line to the chain link.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #15
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Bruce that was "Brait" not braid.
It's a special anchor line that when put into an anchor locker or box you can get twice as much in (as 3 strand) and it will always come out w/o a hitch.
Eric,apologies for assuming a typo; it`s not a brand/ I know here.
3 strand "silver rope" (of polyethylene) is commonly used and recommended for anchoring but I don`t think it has the stretch of nylon. It floats so if you anchor with combination and have some out,helpfully it coils on the surface when the anchor hits bottom.
Andy, Earl Hinz (The Complete Book of Anchoring..pp329/330- 2nd edn.) prefers " a properly thimbled eye splice" to the 2 rope to chain splices he illustrates. Would a thimble go through the Lofrans wildcat? If not, the splice. Other ideas guys?
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:40 PM   #16
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The reel winch is the real answer but not acceptable at the yacht club.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:13 PM   #17
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The reel winch is the real answer but not acceptable at the yacht club.
Yacht clubs get hoity-toity over one's anchor-recovery system?
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:52 PM   #18
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Not really and it's not the "answer" either...just "one" possibility...
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:02 PM   #19
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psneeld,
Right you are but it is the only winch (other than your arms and hands) that allows you to have what ever rode you want. Frequently I disagree w the Alaskan fishermen but on this anchor rode question I agree fully.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:10 PM   #20
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Reel winch: ugly but capable. Looks like this boat has a combination chain/rope rode.

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