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Old 06-08-2019, 07:15 PM   #1
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Windlass and anchor recommendation

Hi all,

I'd like is a recommendation for what I need for windlass, chain/rode and primary anchor for Florida and Bahamas boating. I've got a 1981 42ft Europa-style trawler.

A picture of the current arrangement is attached.

Some background...

Before listing the boat, the PO removed his actual ground tackle and swapped in a windlass that is too weak and an anchor that is too light. It wasn't a surprise -- it was known before the sale. So, although I wish he hadn't, I also wish for a pony -- I've got nothing to complain about.

I'm just beginning to boat in Florida. My prior boat was the same size, but berthed in Los Angles. My use of the anchor there was barely a lunch hook -- I mostly grabbed balls.

The windlass on that boat was probably undersized, but those old Ideal windlasses were bullet proof. I upgraded it to reversible and it reliably did its job without struggle.

For this boat, I'd like to equip it "properly For real-world use", but also avoid wasting money on over-kill or features I don't need or brand-names for brand-name sake (vs product-sake).

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
-Greg
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:59 PM   #2
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A Lofrans Tigres windlass is a very popular windlass with a good reputation. Lots of Grand Banks are equipped with them and have a similar anchor pulpit board for mounting.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:34 PM   #3
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Hi HiDHo,

Thanks!

Being new to Florida...

What depths should I plan for if coastal cruising and heading to the Bahamas?

How heavy an anchor for my boa

Do most people use all chain? Or rode with a few feet of chain? Or...?

One thing so am trying to figure out is what max pull I need.

Thanks again,

-Greg
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:04 AM   #4
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I would opt for 200 feet of 3/8 HT chain attached to 100 feet of 3/4 line. That should be plenty for Florida/Bahamas. I would put on a 60-80 lb Spade, Rocna, or Mantus.

I cannot tell from your picture if a vertical or horizontal windlass would work better.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:27 AM   #5
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Hey Rain Dog,

Thanks so much!

How do I do the math to figure out what max pulling capacity I need? I keep computing numbers lower than I think I should.

From what you offered, I'm guessing you are thinking 60ft or so of water, max. Then another 10ft or so to my windlass. 70ft of 3/8" chain probably weighs 100lbs or so. Another 80lbs for the anchor. I'm at 180lbs. Triple it for max working load and I'm at 540lbs max pull. Call it 600lbs.

But, I keep running into numbers more like 900lbs or 1000lbs for my boat size, by length.

Maybe those numbers assume deeper west coast or Great Lakes waters?

What am I missing?
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:42 AM   #6
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anchor & chain

I have had great luck with the Ultra Anchor. 77 lb size should be fine. Outstanding performance in very trying conditions. However, remember, No One anchor is perfect for all bottoms & all boats & all conditions. Pick your size that you can sleep with & the windless can lift.

I have Muir Cheetah 24-Volt Windless with chain gypsy on both sides. Works flawlessly & very powerful.

For Rhode - Go with 100% chain - no rope or line please, -- I recommend a compromise to save a little weight to go with G-4 High test Chain 5/16". -- I would go with 350 feet minimum as enough, but 400 would be better, although more is better, even a half a barrel at 275 feet would be OK. You need ground tackle enough to have 7 to 1 scope - that is the key. - Hence my specific 350 feet recommendation as minimum for the areas you mentioned.

100% --- 5/16 size High test chain should work fine. You will pull the front of your boat off before you break that chain. I would recommend that you stay away from rope Rhode any where there is coral. This chain is plenty strong & is a bit lighter. -- It is what I use.

Every one has an opinion on anchors & ground tackle - No matter which one you choose, someone will say its is to light or not long enough or not big enough or not strong enough. -- So good luck.


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Old 06-09-2019, 12:57 AM   #7
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Hi Alfamike, Hi all,

Thanks so much!

So, if I go with a 77lbs anchor and 300ft of 5/16" HT and in the worst case would be lunch hooked at 60ft or overnighting at 40ft...

...how much max pulling power do I need from a windlass?

I want to say that is 3 x (77lbs + 60x1.1lbs) for 429lbs

And if I would allow for regular 3/8" it woukd be 3 x (77lbs + 60x1.5lbs) = 501 lbs

...but my math seems to be off by 50% as compared to some tables by boat length Ive seen on the Web. Maybe they assume deeper water?

Or is my way of calculating just off?
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:03 AM   #8
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"but those old Ideal windlasses were bullet proof."


Ideal is still made , still serviced and still bullet proof.


You may have answered your own question. They were never cheap.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
Hi Alfamike, Hi all,

Thanks so much!

So, if I go with a 77lbs anchor and 300ft of 5/16" HT and in the worst case would be lunch hooked at 60ft or overnighting at 40ft...

...how much max pulling power do I need from a windlass?

I want to say that is 3 x (77lbs + 60x1.1lbs) for 429lbs

And if I would allow for regular 3/8" it woukd be 3 x (77lbs + 60x1.5lbs) = 501 lbs

...but my math seems to be off by 50% as compared to some tables by boat length Ive seen on the Web. Maybe they assume deeper water?

Or is my way of calculating just off?


Good info on chosing a windlass.

https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...nchor-Windlass
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:26 AM   #10
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FF, I had read that Ideal was going out of business. What information do you have, I love my Ideal vertical capstan & wildcat windlass. Ten years and counting and yes bullet proof.

gkesten, 200’ 5/16” HT chain with 44 lb Rocna Vulcan on starboard side, to port 150’ 5/16” chain plus 100’ three strand on a Fortress anchor.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:11 AM   #11
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so many possibilities, so many choices....so many opinions.


some opinions fit many possibilities, some fit but a few.


some opinions cover worst case scenarios, some are for 99.5 percent of your anchoring practices and with a little change or flexibility you can cover the rest. Your boat may have the limitations over desires...sometimes it is you (me in particular...a lifetime of boating and water rescues have taught me to stay away from boating extremes....but not everyone is there yet).


Anchoring in my experience is 1/3 art (captains input) 1/3 science and 1/3 equipment. So one can see why for me I go with what works for me and I don't push any solution.



It took a lifetime of boating and working on/over the water to get there...for those with less experience...experimenting is gonna be part of the process...following anyone else's suggestions is a direction, not a solution.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:40 AM   #12
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Hi all,

THANKS!

HiDHo: The original family sold Ideal to Schaefer marine who still sells parts, etc. It isn't clear how well they know the product line by my,phone conversations with them or how many they sell, but they can still supply every screw, rebuild them, put a whole one together for you new, etc.

Ben2Go, All: It seems that sites like West Marines (and others) may be assuming that the windlass will need to be able to lift all of the chain and/or rope, not just 1/5 or 1/7th of it or something. But, I'm not seeing why this should be the case, because it needs tovbe scoped out. What Am I missing?
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:45 AM   #13
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Well there are four questions here: what anchor, what size, what rode and what windlass for Bahamian and Florida anchoring.

First in those areas you will never anchor in more than 20' and most of the time less than 10'. So add 5' for the bow height and worst case is 25' depth and 6:1 scope gives you 150' of rode required. So 150' of chain with maybe 100' of nylon backing it will cover you nicely.

Size of anchor? Well if you want to anchor safely in anything short of a hurricane you need to handle 50+ kts of wind. There are formulas to calculate wind drag on a boat at various wind forces and I roughly remember your size boat can pull 5,000 lbs in those conditions. So it will take a modern design of about 75 lbs- a Rocna, Manson Supreme, Spade, etc. to hold that much force.


Not all bottom conditions will provide that much holding power, some more and lots less. But a 75# anchor is probably in the ball park. The modern anchors noted above provide much better setting and maybe a bit more holding power than the classics like the CQR.


That much force takes 3/8" G4 chain and 1" nylon backing it up. Snubbers need to be 3/4" (two share the load).

So in 20' of water (25' to deck) that 3/8" rode weighs about 35 lbs. Add the 75 lb anchor and your vertical load is 110 lbs. But most of us use the windlass to pull forward, at least in light winds, so the pulling power should be more. Most windlasses can pull 500 lbs and a lot can pull 1,000 lbs.

So you may be surprised that your current windlass can handle the anchor/chain pulling requirements.

If you want to take a risk that you will never be in such winds, or move to a marina or whatever and don't want to go so heavy, then 5/16" G4 or even 3/8" proof or BBB chain and a 50# anchor should work with the same length of rode.


I would first look at your existing windlass. What is its pulling power and what chain can the windlass take. Then go from there and decide on what conditions you want to provide for.


David
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:47 AM   #14
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Sometimes you have to raise the anchor in extreme conditions...if you are single engine...that may be when the tow vessel has hooked up but is having difficulty pulling you up your rode.


The strongest windlass may get your anchor and chain up saving over half the cost of the best windlass..... if you have to cut...no guarantee you will get your anchor and chain back free.


A great windlass (Lorfrans Tigress) was my choice for all the reasons why some gear should be top notch while many things can actually be bottom of the line (despite inexperienced TFers saying the opposite).
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
How do I do the math to figure out what max pulling capacity I need? I keep computing numbers lower than I think I should.

From what you offered, I'm guessing you are thinking 60ft or so of water, max. Then another 10ft or so to my windlass. 70ft of 3/8" chain probably weighs 100lbs or so. Another 80lbs for the anchor. I'm at 180lbs. Triple it for max working load and I'm at 540lbs max pull. Call it 600lbs.

But, I keep running into numbers more like 900lbs or 1000lbs for my boat size, by length.

Maybe those numbers assume deeper west coast or Great Lakes waters?

What am I missing?
I cannot think of any anchorage in Florida or The Bahamas with 50ft of water. I don't think I have ever anchored in over 30' of water cruising the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the Bahamas.

As for windlass pulling power, if you always only use your windlass to retrieve chain and a broken out anchor, then I think your 600lbs calculation would work.

The problem comes if you are using your windlass to pull your boat against the wind or to break your anchor out of the bottom. Either of these situations will greatly increase the load on the windlass. If the windlass is undersized you will be constantly tripping your breaker, which is annoying. In theory, you should not use your windlass to pull your boat or unset your anchor. In reality, I know I do sometimes.

I would be more inclined to go with the manufacturer's recommendation on sizing from a chart like this: https://www.lofrans.com/selection-chart. As someone pointed out above, the Tigres seems to be the most common choice on Trawlers in the 40' range.
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:02 AM   #16
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What is nice is that marine prices are all over the map...I shopped around and got the Tigress for 2/3 price over many of the common US suppliers...comparable to much lesser windlasses.


Can't say that deal is always available...I just hit it at the right time.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:30 AM   #17
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The problem comes if you are using your windlass to pull your boat against the wind or to break your anchor out of the bottom. Either of these situations will greatly increase the load on the windlass. If the windlass is undersized you will be constantly tripping your breaker, which is annoying. In theory, you should not use your windlass to pull your boat or unset your anchor. In reality, I know I do sometimes.
We jog the boat forward and only pull when the chain is slack. That keeps the load in check.
When "breaking out" an anchor, the chain is secured to the snubber. Again no load on the windlass. But usually a minute or so of tension with the chain vertical will break it out.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:50 PM   #18
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For what it's worth, our 35,000 lb NT42 has an older Lofrans Tigress, 400' of 3/8 chain and a Rocna 33 (73 lb). Most of our anchoring along the BC coast is in 40-50' but can be down to 100', and usually in gooey mud. That combo works great for us; never dragged and never fouled.
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:31 PM   #19
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It looks like wave inn has a really good deal and the lofrans tigres in din 766, so I guess I'll order that.

If anyone knows ehere to get 300' or so of din 766 chain at a good price, lemme' know.

Now to sort out anchors...

Thanks again, everyone!
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:33 PM   #20
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Hey psneeld,

Where did you buy?

Thanks!
-Greg
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