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Old 04-27-2003
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Anchor Chain vs Dog Wire

Fishermen routinely use wire with their nets and trawls, so using wire for anchoring should work. Dog wire might not be the item to use in a salt-water environment, however. Find out what the commercial fishermen use. Coiling and stowing the wire might be a problem on a small boat. You don''t want to do it by hand - "soldiers" in the wire are inevitable, especially if you''re going to be setting near coral, and will cause nasty cuts in any skin they come across. (We replaced our wire halyards because of this.) This means you''ll probably need to set up the wire on windlass reel, the way the fishermen do. Unless you have the room below for this, it is going to make your foredeck look a bit wierd, and may interfere with your foresails. Another reason people go with chain, instead of wire, is that chain, because of its weight and linked construction apparently provides
a catenary "cushion" for the anchored boat; giving and taking with each wave. A lighter wire will stretch tighter and not have the same "give". Each wave will tend to pull more sharply at the deck fitting - and the boat- and you. Chafe is also a big issue with wire. The loading on the bow chock will be fierce, and likely to saw throuh soft stuff like stainless steel.
All in all, wire might not be a great idea. Chain, though heavy, can be easier to store and handle. Must be why it''s still around.
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