Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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I'd recommend getting Rocna 20 (44 lbs.) or a 45 lb. Manson Supreme. These are next generation anchors which have improved setting and holding power over older designs.
I'd recommend going with 40-80' of 3/8" G43 chain and a 7/16" Crosby load-rated shackle. For the rest of the anchor rode, I'd go with a 3/4" nylon double braid or octoplait rope and splice it directly to the chain. I believe both the Manson Supreme 45 and the Rocna 20 will take a 7/16" shackle. If the anchors can't take a 7/16" shackle, then going with 3/8" shackle, 5/16" G43 high-test chain and 5/8" octo-plait or nylon double braid anchor line would be the proper choice.
The amount of rode you'll need depends on where you're cruising. The Pacific generally has deeper anchorages, and a minimum of 300' is usually a good idea—say 80' of chain and 250' of nylon. For the Atlantic, you can generally get away with less rode, in most places, and 200' is a good minimum....say 80' chain and 125-150' rope.
I like vertical windlasses better than horizontal ones, since they're a bit more versatile and a bit safer, since the rode takes an 180˚ wrap versus a 90˚ wrap on a horizontal windlass. Lewmar, Maxwell, and several other companies make decent windlasses. If your boat is 12 VDC, then going with a 12VDC windlass makes a lot of sense.
A reasonable setup would involve having a windlass battery forward and using a duo-charge or echo charger to keep it topped up.
The capstan is a good idea, since it allows you to use the windlass for hauling the dinghy aboard the foredeck, using a snatch block and halyard and things like that.
I wouldn't use any stainless steel for the ground tackle—anchor, shackle, swivel or chain. Stainless steel is very expensive, and doesn't do well in an oxygen deprived environment, like being set in the mud or sand on the bottom of the ocean. Stainless steel suffers from crevice corrosion, especially when oxygen deprived, and the damage is cumulative—this means the stainless steel chain or swivel or shackles can fail drastically without warning. Galvanized steel will at least give some warning signs before failing.
As for shackles... I don't recommend them for an anchor rode. Swivels fail under fairly low loads if the loads are not in line with the swivel. Side loads can be fairly common on anchor swivels, and if you must use one, it should be connected to the anchor via a short piece of chain. This means you have three shackles, two pieces of chain and a swivel...SIX potential points of failure versus two with a chain, shackle and anchor alone.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-06-2010 at 10:51 PM.