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Old 01-02-2013, 01:31 PM   #21
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I think the function of the primary anchor and the kellet are different. The primary anchor should be heavy enough to stay put in the bottom under adverse conditions. However, this largely depends on the length and weight of the scope. Obviously heavier scope (chain) will protect the anchor more than light (nylon line), and longer is obviously better than short. To my mind, the function of the kellet is to add weight to the scope and to try to help keep the pull on the anchor as horizontal as possible. Increasing the weight of the primary will probably help it stick firmer but not necessarily make up for inadequate scope weight or length.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #22
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Instead of the extra gear for a kellet or tandem anchor, wouldn't one be better off just using a single anchor of the combined weight? When the rode fetches tight, isn't the anchor doing the holding...not the all chain rode or kellet? It seems to me these tactics, while effective in exaggerated conditions, do not address the ultimate condition where the rode is a straight line to the anchor?
Even though my anchor is one or even two sizes bigger than recommended for a storm anchor...there's a distinct PROBABILITY it will never see anything more than a steady 25 knots in protected waters except for the occasional thunderstorm gust.

It's likely my boat will never see all the chain lifted off the bottom.

So for many cruisers...talking bar tight anchor rodes is like talking fire or sinking. Not something you expect eevn though it's a remote possibility.

World cruisers or just those that purposly "stick their nose in it" have to worry...not me...spent a long career of rescuing boaters....have no wish to be at the other end of that hoist cable...
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #23
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My boat is 30' and 16000lbs disp. The usual serious anchor weight recommended by most authorities will fall in at around 30 lbs w another 30 lbs of chain. Sixty pounds of rode is just too much to pull for most people.
You're assuming most people retrieve their anchor and rode by hand. I think you will find that most people who own boats like most of us have on this forum have windlasses, either powered or manual. As such, it doesn't matter how much your tackle weighs as long as the windlass can handle it.

There is the issue of what to do if the windlass fails. If it simply won't run, the obvious solution is to have a windlass with a manual retrieve method as a backup. Our Tigres has this as do a lot of other electric windlasses.

If the windlass lunches a gear or two--- it happened to us with the no-name horizontal windlass that came with the boat---- that can present a problem if the anchor and rode are too heavy to retrieve by hand. But I believe that unless one has a poorly made windlass or severely overloads their good windlass this possibility is so remote as to be all but ignored.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:33 PM   #24
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Anchors again? Another discussion pops up?

As stated before I still believed in having multiple types of anchors depending the weather, depth of water and the bottom. The best tool I have found is by FF http://alain.fraysse.free.fr/sail/rode/synthesis/synt.htm Which allows you to change the conditions and variables. According to the formula, in 90+ MPH, hopefully never happen, wind, 50 ft of water, a 140 lbs anchor with a 250 ft chain scope would be required. However, the present old windlass and my WIFE can not handle a 140 lb anchor and 250 ft of chain. However, the present 60 to 70 lbs anchors with 4 times all chain scope is good to 40 mph which the windless and wife can still handle. According to the formula increase the scope is almost as good as increasing the weight of the anchor. Also the bottom holding power is a huge factor, and reducing the swing, so its not just the anchor.

Since we carry 3 different/types of anchors, old school, with two rode’s, 200 ft all chain and 50 ft chain with 200 ft of rope, the idea of tandem anchors would be the next step if conditions require. With the tandem the secondary anchor has to weight less that what can be handled/carried/lifted However, I was going to connect the rode of the primary anchor to the secondary anchor, rather than two separate rodes as illustration shows. I still can not figure out how to retrieve two all chain rodes at a time?

It would be a lot cheaper to replace the windless for about 3 grand vs. the wife several hundred grand. I can not afford a new WIFE.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:14 PM   #25
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You're assuming most people retrieve their anchor and rode by hand. I think you will find that most people who own boats like most of us have on this forum have windlasses, either powered or manual. As such, it doesn't matter how much your tackle weighs as long as the windlass can handle it.

There is the issue of what to do if the windlass fails. If it simply won't run, the obvious solution is to have a windlass with a manual retrieve method as a backup. Our Tigres has this as do a lot of other electric windlasses.

If the windlass lunches a gear or two--- it happened to us with the no-name horizontal windlass that came with the boat---- that can present a problem if the anchor and rode are too heavy to retrieve by hand. But I believe that unless one has a poorly made windlass or severely overloads their good windlass this possibility is so remote as to be all but ignored.
Exactly Marin..and if I didn't have a windlass or if it failed...I would use some sort of block and tackle arrangement to haul in my appropriately heavy ground tackle (which doesn't have to be that heavy cause i'm never anchoring in that much of a blow ) ..

I can't believe there is all the experience in this forum yet so many never think an inch out of the box....
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:49 PM   #26
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Exactly Marin..and if I didn't have a windlass or if it failed...I would use some sort of block and tackle arrangement to haul in my appropriately heavy ground tackle (which doesn't have to be that heavy cause i'm never anchoring in that much of a blow ) ..

I can't believe there is all the experience in this forum yet so many never think an inch out of the box....
Actaully I carry extra anchors and rode so if we have to cut loose one we have a spare. During a sudden wind storrm I cut the chian and let go with a bouy connected. Came back the next day to retrive. Also anchors can be used to careen/tip the boat and/or keep up ride if a ground. There are more uses for an anchor than anchoring.

Our windless has holes so pipe/bar can be stuck into so can be manual if the windless stops and/or can not handle the load. I have used the mast and boom electric winch to retrived the stern anchor before. I guess it would work for the bow also. ?
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:51 PM   #27
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So for many cruisers...talking bar tight anchor rodes is like talking fire or sinking. Not something you expect even though it's a remote possibility.

World cruisers or just those that purposly "stick their nose in it" have to worry...not me...spent a long career of rescuing boaters....have no wish to be at the other end of that hoist cable...
You make me smile.


We lived aboard for 3 years, probably spending less than a month total tied to a dock. We weren't world cruisers, but we did spend at least 6 months a year away from our home port. During our time aboard some things became apparent.

A cheap battery was good enough - we could always hand start the little diesel.

A better set of sails was was what we needed for the cruising we did.

But good and better weren't considered for ground tackle - it had to be the best and ready for the worst.

We started with the much touted, bulletproof, all chain rode. It wasn't long before we became aware that if we put the chain weight into the anchor itself we'd be better off, especially after experiencing a 'bar tight (chain) rode' that jerked the daylights out of everything/everyone aboard when it fetched up. There have been many, many posts here about snubbers, but I just couldn't bring myself to complicate things that way, so we opted for 100% nylon rode.

Then we got into the kellet/multiple anchor thing, which meant more complications so we just got a bigger anchor.

By now, the anchor was too big to manage by hand. Not wanting to indulge in complicated windlasses, we opted to go with a manual rig. Now that we didn't have any stubborn, gypsy jamming, mud catching chain to contend with, a simple capstan could be used. We opted for a 2 speed sheet winch.


With a couple wraps, the winch would only allow line to be pulled in...it would not go backwards. There is a long handle that locks into the top of the winch. When you turn the handle one way, the capstan turns at a 1 to 1 ratio. Move the handle in the other direction it takes 3 turns for one turn of the capstan. This simple piece of gear made anchoring a pleasure.

I guess if you only anchor occasionally, you view kellets, all chain rode and snubbers as a viable alternative, but when you live aboard, dropping the hook regularly, it's got to be simple and right.

And I've mentioned before, just because your ground tackle is keeping you put, doesn't mean you won't have to get it up in a hurry when someone is dragging down on you and any extra junk you attach to your anchor will complicate getting it up at a time when you most wish it was simple and easy.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #28
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"You're assuming most people retrieve their anchor and rode by hand."

No Marin I think I made that clear in post #20

I'm well aware most everybody uses a winch.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:01 PM   #29
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doesn't mean you won't have to get it up in a hurry when someone is dragging down on you and any extra junk you attach to your anchor will complicate getting it up at a time when you most wish it was simple and easy.
It continues to amaze me how many people here who have all-chain rode talk about how they'd cut the chain if they couldn't get the anchor up or have to leave without getting the anchor up. I can't think of anything slower or more silly than trying to cut a piece of chain when you're in a hurry.

We learned--- probably from Earl Hinz's book--- to attach a length of stout line between the last bitter end link of anchor chain and the big eyebolt in the ceiling of the chain locker that's meant for securing the bitter end of the rode so it won't all go overboard in the event of a wildcat failure.

The line is cut long enough so that it will appear on deck when all the rode is let out. So letting go the anchor and rode in a hurry is simply a matter of letting it all out and then taking the line cutting blade on one's Leatherman and cutting the line on the end of the rode with a couple of swipes.

The one time we came close to doing this was when we were being blown onto a lee shore with a dragging anchor. The original windlass to the boat was agonizingly slow and it became apparent we'd have to let the anchor and rode go so we could get the hell out of where we were. I figure that by the time it became apparent we'd have to do this we had perhaps a minute before the boat would be ashore. Trying to cut the chain with a saw would not have solved our problem.

Cutting the line connecting the end of the chain to the boat would have.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:59 PM   #30
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I carry large bolt cutter, so not a problem. Being a live aboard we have most tools/things that might be reqired. Besides its an anchor vs the boat and safety. The end is tied to 2x4 with a rope.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:22 PM   #31
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You make me smile.


We lived aboard for 3 years, probably spending less than a month total tied to a dock. We weren't world cruisers, but we did spend at least 6 months a year away from our home port. During our time aboard some things became apparent.

A cheap battery was good enough - we could always hand start the little diesel.

A better set of sails was was what we needed for the cruising we did.

But good and better weren't considered for ground tackle - it had to be the best and ready for the worst.

We started with the much touted, bulletproof, all chain rode. It wasn't long before we became aware that if we put the chain weight into the anchor itself we'd be better off, especially after experiencing a 'bar tight (chain) rode' that jerked the daylights out of everything/everyone aboard when it fetched up. There have been many, many posts here about snubbers, but I just couldn't bring myself to complicate things that way, so we opted for 100% nylon rode.

Then we got into the kellet/multiple anchor thing, which meant more complications so we just got a bigger anchor.

By now, the anchor was too big to manage by hand. Not wanting to indulge in complicated windlasses, we opted to go with a manual rig. Now that we didn't have any stubborn, gypsy jamming, mud catching chain to contend with, a simple capstan could be used. We opted for a 2 speed sheet winch.


With a couple wraps, the winch would only allow line to be pulled in...it would not go backwards. There is a long handle that locks into the top of the winch. When you turn the handle one way, the capstan turns at a 1 to 1 ratio. Move the handle in the other direction it takes 3 turns for one turn of the capstan. This simple piece of gear made anchoring a pleasure.

I guess if you only anchor occasionally, you view kellets, all chain rode and snubbers as a viable alternative, but when you live aboard, dropping the hook regularly, it's got to be simple and right.

And I've mentioned before, just because your ground tackle is keeping you put, doesn't mean you won't have to get it up in a hurry when someone is dragging down on you and any extra junk you attach to your anchor will complicate getting it up at a time when you most wish it was simple and easy.
OK...so just about every other long distance cruiser I know has it all wrong...
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:22 AM   #32
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There have been many, many posts here about snubbers, but I just couldn't bring myself to complicate things that way, so we opted for 100% nylon rode.
Complicated? A snubber? Never thought I'd hear a piece of nylon line with a hook on one end called "complicated" but I guess it can be more confusing than I would have thought.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:20 AM   #33
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Certainly, the snubber bridle which fouled the anchor in the post I put up there titles "Anchors away...sort of", caused a potentially dangerous situation, saved only by a fellow boater getting promptly over there in a dinghy he already had in the water. How the bridle got dropped over the anchor chain I have no idea, but it did. Another thing I noticed was just how soon the snubbers and bridles used on all the boats around me were pulled taught and in line with the chain in quite modest winds, confirming to me my simple shorter snubber is about as simple and uncomplicated as it can be, and unlikely to cause anchoring or retrieval complications, yet still do the job of absorbing shock and sparing the winch just as well as all the longer and complicated bridle type versions one sees around.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:45 AM   #34
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The All nylon . way to go, but with a heavy chain that is too short to need to have the windlass pull it , is also our way to anchor.

Set it and forget it , the problem is usually on the initial boat setup,

having a bow roller that will work with 60lb+ anchors , instead of watch fobs .

With Hyd the drum turns slowly at start up idle (800RPM) ,so the bride takes a turn rarely two and away we go.

IN the Bahamas or down island we are stuck with using all chain , coral eats nylon
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:06 AM   #35
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So, essentially, it would appear that for the majority of us, who are not ocean-going, an effective simple set up, with adequate and preferably multi-bottom capable anchor, of a really decent weight, an effective and reliable windlass, and either all chain and simple snubber, or mixed nylon/chain depending on average depths encountered, in which case no separate snubber needed, and you're good to go, following the KISS principle. Which means no tandems anchors, preferably no dual anchors/rodes, and probably not, but possibly...a good Kellet like maybe an Anchor Buddy, and for the vast majority of occasions...no dramas...and no dramas is good...right...?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:38 AM   #36
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You're gett'in close to the bottom line Peter. The word bottom is a big hint. The bottom is the biggest variable. I think that deserves repeating.

So I like very much what FF is doing and saying except I do use a modern anchor at times .. actually most of the time. But I keep reflecting back on that fisherman in Craig Ak that says re his Dreadnought anchor that it holds well in the 50 knot summer gales but drags in the 60 knot winter gales. But for myself when I knew it was going to blow 50 I didn't put out the Dreadnought but my favorite modern anchor.

FF, How big is the drum on your hydraulic winch? Sounds like you're using a capstan like a sailboat line handling "Capstan". Not a reel winch that stores the whole rode on the drum. I use a capstan also but very small and inexpensive electric.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:14 PM   #37
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:17 PM   #38
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I have an old (24 years) Maxwell winddless that just pull the anchor.
Can I change the motor to it also push? I already see and appear that the motor is diferent from the new one.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #39
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I have an old (24 years) Maxwell winddless that just pull the anchor.
Can I change the motor to it also push? I already see and appear that the motor is diferent from the new one.
Yes, it'd be good to be able to lower the anchor by power than let it splash and drop. And no, the motor isn;t the only thing that would be an issue, as there would be gear issues (up -v- down). Best to get a new windlass that does everything you want it to do, and be powered for the anchor you carry (and then some).
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:57 PM   #40
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Many can be reversed...but not all..(all you have to do is add a pre-made reversing switch set or use a couple heavy duty solenoids....)

To besure you'll have to dig up the manual, call Maxwell or get lucky and someone here will know or do it for you...
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