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More noob anchoring questions

I have a couple more questions about deck layout for anchoring. Below is a picture of the bow of my boat. I just ordered a vertical windlass for it. At this point I think I'll have to remove that big horn cleat because it will be where the windlass needs to go. However I think I'll still need a horn cleat (or cleats) somewhere to tie off the anchor line and In any case I'll need one for docking. Where should that cleat go? I'm assuming it needs to be somewhat in line with the bow roller so I don't put any later force though the roller. Secondly is a horn cleat the best thing to use? I've seen a few boats with mooring bits. Are they any better? Finally when at anchor does the rode typically still go though the bow roller or is it moved to a chock? Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-22-2010
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I really prefer a large center cleat or Sampson post, but that generally doesn't work when you have a windlass. Put a cleat on each side next to the toe rail. You could have them a little further forward than the one you have now. The line comes off the bow roller after the anchor is set and moved through the chock to a cleat. If running all chain rode then use a rope snubber to hang on and take the load. You then leave the chain hanging loose over the bow roller.


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post #3 of 11 Old 04-22-2010
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Dual cleats are a little more practical if you plan to or expect to have to raft up to someone, or between two boats at any time. A single cleat is quickly overloaded with bow lines on its own.

The rode can definitely be left over the bow roller - that's what it's for and it's likely to (should) be as substantial if not more so.

Another thing I'm seeing is the proximity to the staysail chainplate immediately ahead of the present cleat. There's likely to be a bulkhead or a tie rod below to take the load.. will it be in the way of the windlass? and will the windlass interfere with setting up the stay for it?

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post #4 of 11 Old 04-22-2010
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Where is the anchor locker in relation to that horn cleat. A vertical windlass usually has a chain pipe near it as part of the installation, and the chain pipe obviously needs to be over the anchor locker, provided the anchor locker is deep enough to allow the rode to fall into the locker properly.

A mooring bitt is a good idea, provided you can support the base and anchor it to the boat's structure properly. Mooring bitts, due to their height, allow the rode more leverage against the deck and should only be installed if they can be tied very securely into the deck and preferably the hull.

The last one I installed had a stainless steel bracket as a backing plate under the deck and the bracket tied the mooring bitt to both the deck and an adjacent structural bulkhead. You might be able to do that, since the chainplate for the inner forestay is probably fairly heavily secured.

If you can't do this, I would recommend installing TWO horn cleats. This way you will be able to accomodate the anchor rode and a bridle, which is a necessity if you have an all-chain rode.

I would recommend installing a chain pawl, since it will make hauling the anchor rode back up if the windlass fails much easier.

As for the bow roller, where you install it is going to affect where and how you mount the windlass. I'd point out that you will probably want to use a bridle to keep the loads off the bow roller, many of which are not robustly enough designed or mounted to handle the loads that anchor rodes can be subjected to, especially in storm conditions. You can also move the rode to a chock, but that is generally not as useful as having a long bridle, since you would have more problems if you have to let out additional scope.

BTW, I recommend having a relatively long anchor bridle, since a short bridle requires that you retrieve the anchor rode a bit to disconnect the bridle before you can let out more scope. A bridle should be at least 50' long IMHO. If you anchor in 15' of water... you can let use 10' or so of bridle, but it will allow you to let out an additional TWO scope, so you could go from 6:1 to 8:1, without having to retrieve the rode or move the bridle's chain hook. I'd point out that in good conditions, 5:1 or 6:1 is pretty typical, and that there is little effect of letting out additional rode once you get to 8:1 scope.

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Originally Posted by Polypterus View Post
I have a couple more questions about deck layout for anchoring. Below is a picture of the bow of my boat. I just ordered a vertical windlass for it. At this point I think I'll have to remove that big horn cleat because it will be where the windlass needs to go. However I think I'll still need a horn cleat (or cleats) somewhere to tie off the anchor line and In any case I'll need one for docking. Where should that cleat go? I'm assuming it needs to be somewhat in line with the bow roller so I don't put any later force though the roller. Secondly is a horn cleat the best thing to use? I've seen a few boats with mooring bits. Are they any better? Finally when at anchor does the rode typically still go though the bow roller or is it moved to a chock? Thanks.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-22-2010 at 05:51 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-22-2010
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One way to do it would be to install two cleats slightly outboard from centerline so that they have clear leads to the bow chocks. This is probably pretty easy and should not provide too much side loading for you bow roller.

Another thing to do would be to install a cleat on either side on the toe rail so that you would no longer use the bow chocks. This usually means less chafe if installed correctly but they can be harder to work with and may not be as good if you have a combination anchor rode.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-22-2010 Thread Starter
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The rode can definitely be left over the bow roller - that's what it's for and it's likely to (should) be as substantial if not more so.
Hmmm???? My bow roller actually looks less than substantial to me. I was thinking of having a larger one installed.

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Another thing I'm seeing is the proximity to the staysail chainplate immediately ahead of the present cleat. There's likely to be a bulkhead or a tie rod below to take the load.. will it be in the way of the windlass? and will the windlass interfere with setting up the stay for it?
I'm not 100% sure that's a staysail chainplate. I was thinking it might be for the foreguy for the spinnaker. The only reason I'm saying this is there is already a removable baby stay on the roof of the cabin. That one is definably reinforced as it a has a long stainless steel strap running down a bulkhead to the floor. There is really nothing under this one.
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Quote:
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Where is the anchor locker in relation to that horn cleat. A vertical windlass usually has a chain pipe near it as part of the installation, and the chain pipe obviously needs to be over the anchor locker, provided the anchor locker is deep enough to allow the rode to fall into the locker properly.
The horn cleat is over the chain locker (which isn't really a chain locker yet since there is no way to currently get to it from outside). The space itself is quite large so I'm not really worried about the fall distance.

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You might be able to do that, since the chainplate for the inner forestay is probably fairly heavily secured.
It's actually just attached to the deck (see my comments above). I think I might just go with the dual cleat idea that a few of you have suggested. That sounds the easiest given the current layout.

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I would recommend installing a chain pawl, since it will make hauling the anchor rode back up if the windlass fails much easier.
good point.

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As for the bow roller, where you install it is going to affect where and how you mount the windlass. I'd point out that you will probably want to use a bridle to keep the loads off the bow roller, ......
If I'm using a mixed chain, rope rode to I still use a bridle? From my reading it looks like it's always attached to chain. Or possibly I only use it if I'm in shallow water and don't have much scope out?
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The horn cleat is over the chain locker (which isn't really a chain locker yet since there is no way to currently get to it from outside). The space itself is quite large so I'm not really worried about the fall distance.
Not much of a chain locker if there isn't access. Make sure you have a fairly decent drain to the locker, so that the water and mud that gets in can get out... Also, a big hatch or access port is a good idea, so that you can clear rode tangles easily.

I'd point out that the vertical drop for a vertical windlass is a bit higher than that for a horizontal windlass, and that can be an issue. IIRC, most like to have a drop of at least 12-14" or so—but that doesn't account for how much space the rode itself will take up.

One thing that can help is that the new double-braids and plaited lines tend to take up less space, handle better and are often stronger than traditional three-strand.

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It's actually just attached to the deck (see my comments above). I think I might just go with the dual cleat idea that a few of you have suggested. That sounds the easiest given the current layout.
Ahh...too bad...

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good point.
Yup... a real back saver, especially if you have a heavier anchor and a fair bit of chain. What size boat is this???

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If I'm using a mixed chain, rope rode to I still use a bridle? From my reading it looks like it's always attached to chain. Or possibly I only use it if I'm in shallow water and don't have much scope out?
If you've got a mixed rode, I would recommend using the bridle any time you're going to have less than 15' or so of nylon out, just to give you a bit more shock absorption and also some redundancy. Once you've got 20' or so of nylon out, it provides a fair bit of stretch....

BTW, the best chafe protection IMHO is using tubular webbing rather than plastic or rubber hose. One of the most common forms of failure for anchor/mooring/docklines after chafe is failure due to the line melting from internal heat caused by friction. Webbing chafe protection allows water through and it will cool and lubricate the nylon line—hose type chafe protectors trap the heat and prevent the water from getting in.

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post #9 of 11 Old 04-24-2010
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Polypterus -
Although it's hard to tell from the picture, I was thinking your roller didn't look all that substantial. Another thing to make sure of is that the roller does not have any sharp edges on the sides, which can saw into your rode as the boat dances at anchor.

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post #10 of 11 Old 04-25-2010
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I'd point out that if you're using a bridle, the rode should be slack enough that chafe against the bow roller should not be an issue. Mike's right though, you really need to make sure the edges are smooth and curved so that the anchor rode has nothing to chafe against.

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Polypterus -
Although it's hard to tell from the picture, I was thinking your roller didn't look all that substantial. Another thing to make sure of is that the roller does not have any sharp edges on the sides, which can saw into your rode as the boat dances at anchor.

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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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