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Old 02-06-2020, 09:12 AM   #1
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Adding rope to all chain rode

My boat is equipped with 200 feet of 5/16 chain and a Maxwell vertical windlass with a capstan above the gypsy. I would like to anchor in 60 feet of water this Summer and hope to add 200 to 250 feet for rope to the chain so that I have plenty of scope if needed (it's a huge anchorage with plenty of swing room that can get frightening squalls but no big waves). There's a huge amount of space in my rode locker so no worries about. I am pretty sure my the Maxwell gypsy I have does not do rope and chain, I think I need to switch to the capstan when I transition to rope. How does one handle this? Is it safe to assume I need to use a rope to chain splice?
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:15 AM   #2
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Which Maxwell windlass do you have?

If you're going to use the capstan, you could use a thimble and shackle. But if the rope is going through the gypsy, it'll have to be spliced to the chain.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:33 AM   #3
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Which Maxwell windlass do you have?

If you're going to use the capstan, you could use a thimble and shackle. But if the rope is going through the gypsy, it'll have to be spliced to the chain.



I cannot recall the model, 5600 comes to mind, but that's a guess. Manual for it is on the boat and it's 23 miles from me right now so... It's original on a 1992 boat and is in perfect condition.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:48 AM   #4
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With 200' of chain out and 100'+ of rope out while anchored in 60' of water, it will be easy to pull up the rope by hand until you get to the chain splice. Then wrap the chain around the gypsy and continue with the windlass.


So, yes- use a rope to chain splice.

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Old 02-06-2020, 09:54 AM   #5
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I cannot recall the model, 5600 comes to mind, but that's a guess. Manual for it is on the boat and it's 23 miles from me right now so... It's original on a 1992 boat and is in perfect condition.
Check it next time you get a chance. A lot of Maxwells (excluding the big ones) handle line through the gypsy. So even if yours doesn't, they might have a gypsy that fits your windlass that does.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:14 AM   #6
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With 200' of chain out and 100'+ of rope out while anchored in 60' of water, it will be easy to pull up the rope by hand until you get to the chain splice. Then wrap the chain around the gypsy and continue with the windlass.


So, yes- use a rope to chain splice.

David
That’ll work on a calm day, but withg any tension on the line it’s not a viable solution.

The process of switching from your capstan to a gypsy under tension is the reason I went to a all chain rode.

Here’s how you do it.

You use the capstan to bring in your rode under tension until the chain almost touches the capstan.

Then while holding the rode taunt to avoid slipping you connect a pre-installed chain grab on a separate line far enough back on the chain to allow you to slip it into the gypsy.

Then you unwrap the rode from the capstan, place the chain on the gypsy, and bring the chain in enough to take the tension off of the chain grab, so you can remove it and continue bringing in the chain.

Try it sometime in a good wind and you too will not want to do it again.

Remember the OP has probably a mid 40’ aft cabin looking boat with a heck of a lot of windage.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:20 AM   #7
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I have 150' of chain to 250' of rode. It works great and when there is substantial rode out - no chain snubber needed!

As far as lifting the rode by hand goes, if in 60' of water you will end up with somewhat more than 60 feet of chain hanging in the water column so while its doable it does get heavy.


Splicing chain to rope is easy. See attached.


Ken
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:41 AM   #8
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Assuming my gypsy does not handle rope: When paying rode out, I'm worried that as I get to the rope/chain splice, the rope will slip in the gypsy and the weight of all the chain will make the rope zip out of the rode locker uncontrolled until the chain hits the bottom or the rope snarls in the windlass hawsepipe. Was thinking I should stop the chain just before the splice, lock the chain with my chain stop, let out the remaining chain onto my deck until the the rope is exposed, wrap the rope on the capstan, disengage the chain stop, and use the windlass to pay it out rode in a controlled manner. Is that the typical procedure? My last boat had a windlass that handled rope and chain so there was never any need to think about it, just hit the button and it worked...


There's no good reason to add another 100 feet of chain instead of rope right? I TIG weld so I'd just cut a slot in one link, bevel the edges for 100% penetration, and weld it back together neatly after attaching the two lengths of chain together. I know they make connecting links but they are much weaker than welded chain. Just seems like 300 feet of chain is overkill for the rare time when I anchor in deep water. We normally anchor in 20 feet or less and the boat can plane, so the extra weight on the bow is not desireable.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:23 AM   #9
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I have 150' of chain to 250' of rode. It works great and when there is substantial rode out - no chain snubber needed!

As far as lifting the rode by hand goes, if in 60' of water you will end up with somewhat more than 60 feet of chain hanging in the water column so while its doable it does get heavy.


Splicing chain to rope is easy. See attached.


Ken


I actually have that .pdf printed out and in my splicing kit. I have made quite a few of those splices over the years as the last 10 feet or so of the rope often got beat up from dragging on the rocky bottom, on my last boat. Thinking 8 plait for the next rode extension though, so will need to figure that splice out...
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:25 AM   #10
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Yes, I agree lifting 60' of chain by hand will be difficult. So does your windlass have a rope capstan or can one be added? That will make it easy to pull up the rope and then switch to the gypsy. And I agree, letting go to switch may let the chain all fall down again, so lock it first before you switch.

I have used chain/rope gypsies and they never work well. The rope doesn't feed easily into the hawse hole and will often get twisted up in the hawse hole and you have to stop and straighten it out.

If you can't get a gypsy/rope capstan for your windlass, I would just add more chain. A splice link with rivets that you hammer home might not be as strong as the original link, but enough.

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Old 02-06-2020, 11:31 AM   #11
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FWIW I have added 200' nylon rode to my 300' chain and haven't had issues pulling up the combination with our Maxwell 3500 dual windlass.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:42 PM   #12
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My boat is 32'. For years I used a combination of 100' 5/16 chain and 250' rope.

My horizontal windlass was up only so hand fed out. You have that beat.
I had a top mounted cleat on the windlass and that helped.

Aside from the normal painted markers I had one different and long marker to warn when my chain/rope join was approaching as it went out or in.

My windlass also had the rope handling drum on the side opposite the chain wildcat.

My rope/chain joint too was done with an eye and shackle.

My bow roller extension was modified to split the angle between the bow roller and the rope drum by the use of a secondary smaller roller. That worked well. '

I used and had handy always a 30' line with a chain grab hook 5/16. That line had a loop spliced in the opposite end so I could drop it over a bollard off to the side so it could not go overboard. If you don't have that then simply tie or snap shackle the end to something solid nearby.

The windlass would pull the chain up untill the chain was on the main roller and the join almost on the wildcat at which time I could decide if I was going to manhandle it to feed the join into the hole and set the chain on the wildcat OR use the hook line to hook the chain as far overboard and down as I could reach. Then I used the extra line on the rope drum to pull in the few feet and hold it while I dropped the chain onto the wildcat and fed the shackle into the chain hole.
If manhandling the chain I didn't bother with the aux. line.
Then I could disconnect the holding line and pull in the chain.

I only used that, only needed to, a couple of times, the aux. line when the wind was up. The rest of the time I manhandled the joint.

I usually managed to anchor in 30' water so the extra line was not always needed but we also anchored in about 70'. That could be a grunt.

Attached are two shots of my setup including the aux. roller.

I'm sure your setup is much prettier than mine but the idea should be adaptable with a trailer roller on an aluminum bracket.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:42 PM   #13
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I have used chain/rope gypsies and they never work well. The rope doesn't feed easily into the hawse hole and will often get twisted up in the hawse hole and you have to stop and straighten it out.


David
I have the same problem with nylon rode due to the lack of weight pulling down on the rode going into the my fairly shallow chain locker.
It requires someone manually keeping a bit of tension on the rode during this part of the anchor retrieval process. No big deal, it just means being at the bow during this retrieval process.

A slightly larger diameter rode may bite better in the gypsy, but I'm currently using the diameter recommended by the windlass manufacturer. A larger diameter may have trouble getting the splice through the gypsy.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:59 PM   #14
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I think feed from the windlass into the locker is part of why windlass manufacturers often suggest 8 plait. It falls more naturally, so it feeds more like chain.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:58 PM   #15
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I sometimes have to read and reread articles and posts about topics surrounding ground tackle equipment to fully understand the intent of the writer. Gypsy, chain gypsy, gypsy winch, wildcat, chain wheels, anchor windlass, capstan winch (vertical and horizontal), and finally the various incarnations of winch are all terms I see used interchangeably in these discussions in part because (as I have investigated) manufacturers using the terms incorrectly.

However, I think I understand the PO's intent. He is assuming that his wildcat is not a combination chain and rope wheel - is that true of his windlass? If so, the either the rope-to-chain splice or the use thimble and shackle will work in shifting from rope to chain and from wildcat to gypsy on his windlass will work. However, having had the same setup of 200 feet of 5/16" chain and 200 feet of 5/8" nylon braided rode shackled together, I can say that at the time of shift over from hauling in the nylon to the the chain, you need to make sure there is enough momentary slack to allow for a shift which gets the union point clear of the wildcat (chain wheel). After that, you are golden.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:59 PM   #16
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There's no good reason to add another 100 feet of chain instead of rope right? I TIG weld so I'd just cut a slot in one link, bevel the edges for 100% penetration, and weld it back together neatly after attaching the two lengths of chain together. I know they make connecting links but they are much weaker than welded chain. Just seems like 300 feet of chain is overkill for the rare time when I anchor in deep water. We normally anchor in 20 feet or less and the boat can plane, so the extra weight on the bow is not desireable.

If you have HT chain, I believe a lot of that extra strength is obtained from heat treating the chain. A weld would literally be the weak link. What about a chain gypsy that also accepted rode? You could add length with minimal extra weight.


Ken
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:07 AM   #17
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A deck mounted chain stopper will hold the chain as you switch from rope to chain.


AS this should be installed anyway, purchase a quality cast unit instead of a sheet metal unit.


At times in a surge, it must hold more than the weight of the boat.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:27 AM   #18
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A deck mounted chain stopper will hold the chain as you switch from rope to chain.

Agreed. I have one and I mentioned it as part of the plan in the first post. The attached photo is my setup. That Vulcan fits like it was made for my boat. Yes, I intend to replace the SS shackle that came with the boat with a galvanized one.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:53 AM   #19
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If you have HT chain, I believe a lot of that extra strength is obtained from heat treating the chain. A weld would literally be the weak link. What about a chain gypsy that also accepted rode? You could add length with minimal extra weight.


Ken

I will not be adding chain, I decided I'm going to buy some 8 plait at the Defender sale and splice it onto my chain. I'll deal with whatever issues that causes on the rare occasions I need to use the extra rode. See you in P-town.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:41 AM   #20
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I will not be adding chain, I decided I'm going to buy some 8 plait at the Defender sale and splice it onto my chain. I'll deal with whatever issues that causes on the rare occasions I need to use the extra rode. See you in P-town.

You'll see me before then!

(BTW - 8 plait is great!)
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