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Old 10-11-2020, 02:41 PM   #1
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Anchor chain twist

Hello all having an issue with my anchor chain.
First off we anchor most all the time and our cruising area is the east coast of the US. Water depths for anchoring is from 6 to 30 feet mostly 12 so normally 60 to 75 feet of chain. After anchoring for as little as 2 months when I put out more than 60 to 75 feet the chain beyond that point is twisted into knots. I have an Ideal vertical shaft and have posed this question to Ideal and got nothing. My sailboat had a horizontal shaft and had no problem. Has anyone else had this issue. Driving me nuts, the wife says that's a short trip but seriously the chain goes out and comes back in.
Help.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:58 PM   #2
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Interesting. Just got our boat and I pulled out all the chain to measure and look for markers. Turned out to be 300' and yes, the second half was pretty twisted up. Had to run it through my hands a few times to get it all out to the end. Not sure what's causing it, find it hard to believe the winch has anything to do with it. More thinking the anchor spins as it goes up/down. (Fortress). What do you have?

Quick Google search brings up this discussion....

https://forums.ybw.com/index.php?thr...o-turn.297952/
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:32 PM   #3
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Have you run all the chain all the way out and unkinked it? Maybe there were twists in it previously. You might try an anchor swivel. Lots of people swear by them and lots curse them. Maybe try one and see how you like it or not.
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:52 AM   #4
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Some like swivels, I don't.
Others swear by grooved rollers.

I have the latter, anchor every night and very rarely will I ever get chain twist

I should add, we used to have a swivel, still got chain twist.
A swivel doesn't help with orientation of chain on curved rollers so when you winch in, the chain can and does roll/twist on the curved roller face.

Grooved rollers tend to keep the orientation straight up and down.
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:43 AM   #5
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Some, maybe most, but not all grooved rollers minimize twist.

I do agree a swivel doesn't guarantee orientation, for some of us it makes it easy to correct the anchor orientation orior to coming over the roller.

Some swivels are meant to be installed where side loading could be an issue, but seems to me if there is room between the stored anchor and windlass, all can have a couple shackles or chain used to eliminate side loading.

So calling them "weak points" is iffy and in many cases can be minimized.
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:49 AM   #6
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"After anchoring for as little as 2 months"


2 months is a load of wind and tide changes!
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:20 AM   #7
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Interesting article by practical sailor on swivels and anchor twist. In their opinion and observation, swivels are unlikely to prevent anything but extreme twist.

https://www.practical-sailor.com/blo...reduce-twist-2

Occurs to me that fast windlass retrieval speeds probably exacerbate twist as it can promote what PS calls whirligig action of anchor as it comes up. Makes sense to me, though likely some anchor styles are more prone than others.

I used to run a swivel but stopped. They are expensive gizmos that provide little practical value. For many boats with short distance between roller and windlass, they interfere with proper securing of the anchor in its stowed position.

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Old 10-12-2020, 06:28 AM   #8
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Every time we are hauled for any reason dump all the chain down. Try to find wood to place it on and clean it well. Renew chain markers and once a year or so reverse it and replace shackle. Find this improves life expectancy of the chain but also removes twist. Just like a working line on a sail boat twist collects even if it’s flaked correctly. Although not handed like a 3 ply rope how it falls produces it. Think few anchor lockers are fully symmetric and few falls around gypsy and then down are either. Don’t use a swivel after being on a transport where the ends bent not permitting it to go over the roller so we had to remove the anchor every time we moved. Couldn’t remove it as didn’t have a cutting wheel Also don’t think it adds anything. Don’t think much twist remains in the chain if you take your time getting it up from the point it’s up and down. Think more twist is produced in the short segment where chain leaves the windlass then goes down the deck piercing. It’s at that 90 degree bend where troubles can arise giving a quarter turn of twist. Think if the hole is large enough the chain doesn’t touch and the fall straight down you get less twist. Think that’s easier to do with a horizontal windlass than vertical.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:37 AM   #9
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Good article Peter. Consistent with my experience. Was writing when you posted. Thanks. Learned something.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:42 AM   #10
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Interesting article, but the author went into it with an anti swivel bias, and admitted as much.


Our rode is 75' of chain followed by 200' of 8 strand brait. Intially it had no swivel, and I tried to avoid using one for the reasons stated in this thread. I had major issues with chain twist, to the point where it would jam up my windlass. I especially noticed this when we would anchor in Bahamian creeks with a lot of current and 4 tides per day. It was a problem as it made it difficult to retrieve the anchor.


I started by laying the chain out on the dock and straightening it. That would help for a few days, but after three or 4 anchoring sessions it would come back. I tried it four times with the same result every time. Next, I switched to a grooved roller. That didn't help. Tried retrieving the anchor slower to let it spin, but we often anchor in depths of 8' or less, so that didn't work either. You can't let 75' of chain hang and straighten in 8' of water. Finally added a Mantus swivel about two years ago. We haven't had a twist issue since.


That's not to say that a swivel is right for everyone. I think that a combination of the shallow water, strong current and mixed rode caused our issue. Nonetheless though, the swivel fixed it.


I wonder if they ran the same test with say 20' of chain how many twists it would take to make the swivel turn?
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:28 AM   #11
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You should watch the chain as it goes down and comes up. Some rollers will roll the chain like mad: if pulling at even a slight angle, the chain walks up the groove then rolls over. In this scenario the net twist in the chain is zero - it has as many left hand as right hand rotations because only the middle is rolling. However it will play havoc with the gypsy and if any twists get through, now you have real twists in it. The factory roller on my AT34 did this spectacularly well. I replaced it with a roller that had a proper groove for the vertical links, now it is very resistant to twisting.

Another source of twist is simply swinging the chain across the sea bottom, you only need to swing a little. The chain on the bottom rolls over, half the twists are between the middle and anchor, the same number of twists the opposite way between middle and roller. These do not readily come out until the anchor is off the bottom. If the roller doesn't have a groove, they will go over the roller and end up in the gypsy. Both problems are minimized by a grooved roller.



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Old 10-12-2020, 12:44 PM   #12
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Makes sense
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:20 PM   #13
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Go to deep water, let out all your chain, winch it in and most if not all the twist will be gone.
I anchor in much deeper water and have 1200' of chain, a plain roller, no swivel and a horizontal windlass. I sometimes anchor for a month or more in one spot. I haven't had any chain twist problems. Perhaps the deeper depth allows the chain more time to remove any twist as it's being raised. Maybe after the anchor breaks loose, you could winch slower or occasionally pause, the twist might resolve itself. Every haulout, I drop all the chain to inspect and renew any missing zinc and clean and paint the chain locker. After about 5 years, I swap the chain ends to wear it evenly.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Go to deep water, let out all your chain, winch it in and most if not all the twist will be gone.

Hmmmm, where do I find 300' of water on the Chesapeake?
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:12 PM   #15
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We rarely anchor in less than 30'; 40-60' is more the norm. Rarely does the chain come up twisted although sometimes just enough that the Rocna is turned around enough that it needs to be straightened. As Psneeld says, having the swivel makes it easy to do; without it, it would be a real challenge.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:40 PM   #16
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Maybe if the OP re-anchored every several days the problem would be minimized.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Go to deep water, let out all your chain, winch it in and most if not all the twist will be gone.
I anchor in much deeper water and have 1200' of chain, a plain roller, no swivel and a horizontal windlass. I sometimes anchor for a month or more in one spot. I haven't had any chain twist problems. Perhaps the deeper depth allows the chain more time to remove any twist as it's being raised. Maybe after the anchor breaks loose, you could winch slower or occasionally pause, the twist might resolve itself. Every haulout, I drop all the chain to inspect and renew any missing zinc and clean and paint the chain locker. After about 5 years, I swap the chain ends to wear it evenly.
I gotta ask. 1200 ft of chain is a lot - 1.5 tons? Why do you need that much? What kind of windlass do you have?

I live in St Pete these days. You have to go 50nms into the Gulf to find 100 feet of water.

Peter
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:47 PM   #18
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Bring the rode up slowly. Maybe it will work itself out.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:53 PM   #19
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I think it’s the roller.
Look at the roller post#11. Far too big.
The horizontal chain links need to come at least half way up the sides to stabilize the chain re rolling.

When I have a twist I pull the chain up and down as if sawing. The chain rolls as I twist it. I just twist it until it orients itself the way I want it.
Smaller boat than most but one should be able to do this w anchors up to 35lbs I’d think.

The center groove needs to be slighter bigger than the links thickness but not much. Needs to hold the link but freely enough so the chain moves with ease and deep enough to basically swallow the edge of a link.
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:26 PM   #20
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I was not sure "2 months" was intended and not typo. If it was, it might be significant.
Go back to a clean base by untwisting the chain, by running it all out, dragging it, laying it on deck, whatever,see what happens, and go from there.
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