Chain anchor rode length - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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Old 10-24-2009
Craig Smith's Avatar
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Yes it becomes less important on larger boats, obviously the length required cannot scale down with a smaller LOA, which is why using high tensile grades to attain the require strength for less weight is a good idea.

Don Dodd is 100% correct with regard to an anchor rode in normal circumstances. Heavy chain is entirely pointless with regard to "helping the anchor", and a shock absorber is important. However, on a world cruise, depending on the destinations, "...the elasticity of nylon is more important than the abrasion resistance of chain, using only enough chain to deal with coral, rocks..." will give you lengths similar to those discussed above. Deep water anchorages with high coral heads in the Pacific or steep rocky cliff-side drop-offs in Antarctica require a lot of length to avoid rope ending up on something sharp. On the other hand if you are day sailing in Maine, Don's advice is exactly pertinent.

If you have those "all destinations" chain lengths, then you end up using a 100% chain rode (chain never leaves the gypsy) by default in the majority of anchorages. That then mandates the use of a snubber, nylon or otherwise, as a shock absorber; always on smaller boats, and sometimes on larger ones. A more minor factor is also the convenience of the chain not leaving the gypsy, again more of an issue on a larger boat, and the extra layer of security that brings (should the nylon chafe or otherwise fail).
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