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Old 04-06-2010
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Ground tackle for a 37 footer

Ok, I've tried to do my homework but every website or book seems to recommend something different. Not that I expect to get a single definitive answer here, but at least I'll get differing answers directly related to my boat So what would you use for a 37' 15400lb monohull? How much chain and what size? How much rope and what size? If I get a vertical windlass what size do I need and what's a good brand? 12V or 24V? Can I even use 24V if the rest of the boat is 12V? Is the extra capstan option good or is it just something else to trip over? Is stainless chain good? Enquiring minds what to know. The boat will initially be used for day sailing but I want to be able to go bluewater cruising at some point so I want to lean more to the have duty side without weighing the bow down too much. Thanks again in advance......
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Old 04-06-2010
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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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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-06-2010 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 04-07-2010
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Given a plan to go bluewater cruising at some point, I think that Sailingdog laid out a very sensible primary anchor package. The one thing that you didn't tell us was the characteristics of your boat that affect windage and how it sits at anchor. If the boat has a lot of windage or "sails on the hook" a lot, then you probably need to go to a bigger anchor.

My own recommendation would be to use a Rocna 25 with 200' of 5/16" G70 chain and 200' of 5/8" nylon double braid or octaplait. Rocna anchors have been discussed many times on this board and while people do not like their marketing very much, most people really like the product and that is what will count in the end. Their recommendation which is based on 50 knots of wind and average holding puts your boat somewhere between the 15kg and 20kg models. While they have the most realistic anchor sizing chart of anyone out there, for a bluewater cruiser I still feel that upsizing is good. You never hear of people complaining that their anchor was too big and they didn't drag.

It used to be thought that having big heavy chain was important for catenary. However, it has been shown that the effects of catenary are almost non existent when it is really blowing which is when you need them most. Therefore, it is not worth carrying any extra weight in chain, you might as well put that back into the anchor. G70 chain has the best strength to weight ratio of any chain meaning that you can use smaller chain. You don't want the chain being the weak link in the system, it should be at least as strong as the reasonable holding power of the anchor. 5/16" G70 would be well matched to a Rocna 25. You will need to get the chain with a larger end link so that you can fit a sufficiently strong shackle between it and the anchor. I suggest 200' of chain due to the chafe protection that chain provides. This is a big investment in weight so if you are diligent about chafe, you could go to substantially less chain and more line.

Since you will be anchoring in some very deep anchorages, I would think that a total rode length of 400' would be appropriate. Since you won't be at these anchorages very often, making up the balance of the rode with a very high quality line made for anchor rodes would be appropriate.

Regarding windlasses, I would mock up a few and see how they fit on your bow. If your boat electrical system is 12V, you want to use a 12V windlass since you don't want to mess with having to step up the voltage.
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Old 04-07-2010
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Some good advice above, my opinion would be to go with a 35 pounder as primary tackle, I like the Delta. Until you have a windlass, raising a 45 pounder plus chain and mud by hand, may be something you will only do once.

When you go prepare for offshore I would think you want to add an all-chain rode. Whether your boat can handle the weight in the bow will tell you something about it's suitability for that purpose.
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Old 04-07-2010
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with a seidelmann 37 we use a 35 pound cqr and 30 ft 3/8 chain..works great....
with my 41 formosa i use 300 ft 5/16 chain and a 35 pound cqr--sets well and stays...with my 35 ericson i use 100 ft 5/16 chain and have 400 ft 7/8 line..lol....have fun and smooth sailing

all my anchor rode that is not chain is 3 strand nylon.....

Last edited by zeehag; 04-07-2010 at 09:25 AM. Reason: boatkat broakd speelchix and i cant speel!!
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Klem—

The Rocna is the larger of the two he could use. Going up a size would be really overkill IMHO.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Klem—

The Rocna is the larger of the two he could use. Going up a size would be really overkill IMHO.
I am aware of that, it is just a difference in how heavy we like our anchors. I tend to like overkill since the anchor plays a large part in my storm plan and there is nothing worse than dragging anchor in a storm. I have been lucky in storms (largely due to good ground tackle) but have watched way too many boats drag past with their owners frantically trying to power the bow back into the wind without success. I agree with you that the 20kg would be more than adequate for almost all situations that even a bluewater cruiser would see but I like to size for 100% of the time not 99% of it. Just personal preference.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Some good advice above, my opinion would be to go with a 35 pounder as primary tackle, I like the Delta. Until you have a windlass, raising a 45 pounder plus chain and mud by hand, may be something you will only do once.

When you go prepare for offshore I would think you want to add an all-chain rode. Whether your boat can handle the weight in the bow will tell you something about it's suitability for that purpose.
I personally think that a 35 lb Delta would be undersized for that size boat. The anchor should be sized to the boat not to the strength of the crew. If you can't handle the right sized gound tackle hit the gym and pump some iron or get a windlass, (manual or electric).

If you are going to be day sailing only, can keep an anchor watch and are concerned about weight go with an aluminum Fortress. Pound for pound a very good anchor but often won't reset with a wind shift. If it would be your primary anchor I go a size up from what the manufacturer might recommend.

Last edited by LinekinBayCD; 04-07-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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One thing I'd add is that my philosophy on ground tackle is fairly simple. I don't believe in storm anchors. I believe that the primary anchor should be strong enough to handle storms—without resorting to things like tandem anchoring or using kellets. I also believe that any given boat should carry at least two decently sized anchors... since the anchor is a very important, if often overlooked, piece of safety gear. It can often give you the time to deal with a situation before the situation deteriorates into a life-and-death one.

A good example of this... last season, as I was waiting for a swing bridge to open the engine on my boat died. The 15 knot SW wind was pushing me into a marina and mooring field. All I did was walk forward to the bow and untied my Rocna 15, and dropped it with about a 2:1 scope. We stopped dead. That gave me time to fix the problem with the engine—turned out to be a simple line wrap—without worrying about what else might go wrong.
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Old 04-07-2010
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Works for me

I can't tell you what is best but I can tell you what works for me.

The Panacea is a 37 foot monohull that weighs in at 10 tons fully laden. I'd say it has about average windage based on the general hull and pilot house design as well as the dodger and bimini that I've added. I use a 33# Bruce on 200 feet of 5/16 high test chain backed up with 200 feet of 5/8 nylon three strand. I've anchored in some pretty rough areas up and down the inside passage between Vancouver Island as well as on the West side of the island. I've never drug anchor. I have had a difficult time pulling anchor a few times due to the anchor being well buried.

Good luck!



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