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Old 04-09-2019, 06:21 AM   #1
City: Pascagoula
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Second Wind
Vessel Model: 1984 Kirie Elite 37
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 5
New Owner

Just purchased a 1979 Mainship 34. Boat has no ground tackle. Suggestions on rope diameter/ chain size and length and anchor? Mostly cruising Mississippi Sound with sandy muddy bottom and little to no grass. Thanks in advance!

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Old 04-09-2019, 07:08 AM   #2
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City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5,145
It's been too long and my memory always did suck...

Didn't have a windlass on our '87 Mk III... I don't remember what chain we used...

But I do remember a 35-lb original Delta anchor didn't always do so great here in the Chesapeake mud. And a relatively small (~14-lb?) steel Danforth usually worked like a champ. There are boatloads of "new generation" anchors to choose from that would likely do better in our conditions. Any one of those, plus a slightly oversize Fortress, might make a decent combination. (Our current primary is a SuperMAX, but you can find good reviews on about 6-7 other likely candidates, some with multiple choices: Spade, Mantus, Rocna, Anchor Right, Manson, Ultra... probably others I'm forgetting.)

Generally a windlass gypsy will work with a specific chain size for proper function.

Some windlass units have a rope/chain gypsy (i.e., a single that functions with both), and even an extra capstan for rope. Our current Maxwell RC 10/10, for example has a rope/chain gypsy, and they also offer an additional capstan model to handle two separate rodes independently -- as for a second anchor, etc.


South River, Chesapeake Bay
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:13 AM   #3
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City: Seneca Lake NY
Country: US
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 3,711
Four boat
Welcome aboard TF... lots of knowledge and experience here... also no shortage of opinions.
I will claim no significant anchoring expertise but will say this is an oft discussed / debated topic... you might look back at some of the many anchor posts. There is one I recall that includes links to underwater videos of various anchors in action.
Congrats on your MS 34. We live ours and there are many prior / current owners here.
2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:16 AM   #4
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Country: Bumpkin?
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Welcome aboard....Uh, oh. Ground tackle...


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Old 04-09-2019, 12:17 PM   #5
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City: Westerly, RI
Country: USA
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Vessel Model: 1999 Mainship 350 Trawler
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I prefer 'new age' anchors Rocna, Manson or Spade. I keep about 130 feet of 5/16 chain and about 150 of 5/8" 3 strand line. I only anchor in up to 15 feet, only about 75 feet of chain ever leaves the chain locker.

Check the manufacturers' recommendation on anchor size. I assume a 35lb would be the recommendation by most of them. Rocna tends to oversize their anchors a little.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:39 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,884
I owned an old Mainship 34 for 14 seasons.
My ground tackle:
22 lb deep set Danforth, 13 feet of 3/8 chain, 200 feet of 5/8 3 strand nylon.
Never dragged, held in many many tx storms.
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:58 PM   #7
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City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
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First do you have a windlass? Second do you cruise in an area with potential for significant wind shifts, ie when a front comes through?

If no windlass and no wind shifts, then a medium 20 lbs or so Danforth with about 30' of 1/4" G4 chain and 150 of 1/2" nylon makes a lot of sense. It will be fairly easy to pull up by hand and the Danforth is one of the best straight ahead pull anchors. But not so good when the wind shifts- it sometimes gets fouled up with its chain and won't reset.

A more robust rig to use with a windlass is one of the newer designs mentioned above: Spade, Rocna, Manson, etc.; the latter two have designs with and without steel hoops which won't work with some pulpits. Go with a 35 lb anchor and 150' of G4 5/16" chain (or whatever matches your gypsy) and another 100' of rode. 99% of the time you anchor with all chain but the extra 100' of nylon lets you put out lots of scope in a blow or when faced with a really deep anchorage.

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Old 04-09-2019, 02:05 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard. Congrats on your new boat.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:16 PM   #9
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Welcome! I will let others in your area do the recommending.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:14 AM   #10
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Since this boat is for fun , perhaps think of installing a manual windlass as a first purchase (used & working is fine) the SL 555 is one of the best .

Then match the capacity of the windlass to the anchor selected.

Used quality anchors can be had for a buck or two a pound , a 20H or 35 H Danforth with a couple of ft of chain would work fine.

The chain should be short , so need not match the windlass.

Long chain is needed in coral or rocky areas , but cleaning it is a PIA , so avoid it if you can.

Do not select too heavy anchor line , 5/8 should be enough , so the nylon can stretch easily , reducing the load on the anchor.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:02 PM   #11
City: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Capricorn
Vessel Model: Mariner 29 - Sedan Cruiser 1969
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Manual windlass? Don't! Old style anchors? Don't!

Look at the boats in a marina, how many have manual windlass's, not many. More boats have old style anchors but there is a reason experienced folks like the newer anchors, they work better.

I prefer 'new age' anchors Rocna, Manson or Spade

When planning, assume the worst and you'll be prepared, plan for the easy times only, not a good idea.

Choose a modern anchor style that will fit your boat, go to that manufacture's anchor size chart, find one that is suitable for you boat length and weight, then go one size up.

Better still, go to a decent chandlery and accept help in choosing the windlass/anchor and line/ and possibly bow roller.

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