CHB 34 max anchor chain length

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Dec 27, 2019
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Trying to assess if 300' of 5/16" G4 will practically fit in the anchor locker of a CHB 34. For those that have been successful with longer rode lengths what is the functional limit that you've found to work in said anchor locker? Seems like 200' will fit but not so sure when going 200+.
That would be a lot of weight in the bow of a 34’.
I had about 250ft. The problem with putting more is that you have to hand spread it while bringing it in.
So are you saying with 250' it would usually come in okay with all 250' out? I say usually because I know once in awhile chain will just create a pinnacle every now and then that have to knock down by hand. 250' is better than 200' so I am happy to hear you managed 250'.
My mistake - youstill have to flake the chain with much less than 250ft - it just gets worse!
Thanks for clarifying, it's helpful to know your experience vs. me guessing.
We recently got a 34 CHB Europa. Our first non-trailerable boat, so we’re new to anchoring. I pulled the rode out and laid it on the dock to measure and learned that we have 150’ of chain and another 150’ of rope.

Putting it back in was an adventure! The rope kept binding in the windlass (maybe/hopefully it would work better when wet and more slippery?) and the chain kept piling up at the deck pipe, requiring us to manually push the rode around in the locker every 20 feet or so. That’s sure not going to work when actually bringing up the anchor….

The comments about having to hand-spread the chain caught my attention. I’d like to learn what your technique is for that. I figure we’d have to somehow just let the chain collect on the deck when retrieving and then hand-feed it into the anchor locker once it’s all up and we’re again underway. Otherwise how do you manage things once the anchor is halfway up and you have to keep running down to the anchor locker to knock the rode down every 20 feet while simultaneously having to run the boat now that it’s no longer anchored.
Binford - I feel for your situation. Anchor recovery for you requires two people (one down below).

How can you improve this?

Perhaps remove the rope? At least, do not store the rope at the bottom of the locker (pull it out into the cabin?). For most anchorings you will not need to deploy the rope.

Perhaps change to a smaller chain size and go only chain (200ft?).
Three people in my case, since the only windlass control (at least at this time) is at the lower helm!

Maybe I could do a better job of hand-laying down the rope portion of the rode in the bottom of the locker to make more space available for the chain which is much easier to run through the windlass. At any rate, we’ll have to play around with it to figure out the best approach for us.

Thanks for your thoughts!
Can you put a small shelf at the top of the locker to hold the rope? As I said, many times you will not need the rope. (depending of course on your anchoring situations)
On our CHB 34 there was a floor in the bottom of the anchor locker. I removed that to allow use of all available space in the bow. I store 150’ of 3/8” chain in this area. I also had a stainless steel hawse pipe made to guide the chain off the gypsy into the anchor locker. Still have to knock the pile over when retrieving longer lengths of chain road but it is better. I also have another 150’ of three strand rope road spliced to the end of the chain. There is a large storage area under the forward end of the V berth. I cut hole in the bulkhead between the anchor locker and this area and installed a short section of pvc pipe as a guide. The rope is stored in the area below the V berth. If we use the rope it has to be fed back by hand. But as Nick said above we seldom do. I view the rope as emergency road.
The ideal solution in my mind would be to extend the hawse pipe from the deck all the way to the area under the V berth then store all the road both chain and rope there. This would likely require that the area be glassed to seal and reinforce it and a drain installed. However it would provide a much larger anchorage locker and move the weight of the heavy chain lower.
I had about +350 feet of chain when I purchased. When retrieving the anchor, I needed to go down at least twice to knock over the pile of chain the windlass dropped into the locker. I cut 100' of chain off to attach to the anchor and replaced the rest with 165' of eight plait anchor rode (265' total). It now drops down into the locker without a problem. I usually anchor in 20 to 25". That allows me to put out all of the chain and tie the rode to the Sampson post. Only the chain is on the bottom and even though it picks up mud, it is much easier to clean than rode. The bow is now several hundred pounds lighter.
Hi Binford - in response to your question of what is "hand spreading" - this the same as "knocking the pile over" - simply distributing the chain around in the chain locker.

This means you need a minimum of 2 people for anchor recovery. You should get a winch control at the winch and/or at the upper helm station so that two people are sufficient.
Having had a windlass and all chain rode, one comment - my control on the bridge did not allow a view under the bow. I painted a red section 10 ft from the anchor.

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