Anchor chain size & length - SailNet Community
 2Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 51 Old 06-26-2011 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
JordanH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 324
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
 
Anchor chain size & length

I came across another 'surprise' (although expected) on my new-to-me Contessa 26. I pulled out the mass of anchors, line and chain to see what the inventory actually looked like before going on our trip.

Fair enough, the spare Danforth has about 140' of 1/2" 3-strand line but without any chain. Not ideal, but workable in the Great Lakes as a spare for my small boat. It looks like the anchor, line and even thimble have seen some practical use.

However, the primary Bruce has 150' of rode, good condition nylon braid but attached to an absurdly thin chain that measures only 14'. A fellow, whom I trust, recommended 5/16" chain to replace it and at least 1.5x the boat's length.

My question is simply to verify that 5/16" chain and 40' is sufficient for my 26' Contessa. What would you use in my case if different?

To make this thread valuable to other members, feel free to add your opinion on what is an appropriate amount and size of chain for anchoring on your particular size of boat.

... The silver lining to this surprise is that I now have an appropriate sized chain for locking my dinghy motor.
JordanH is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 51 Old 06-26-2011
Senior Member
 
night0wl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 1,457
Thanks: 0
Thanked 21 Times in 21 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
It all depends on the locations you're anchoring and the composition of the bottom.

Here in Florida, we typically have skinny waters often covered by weedy bottoms. You often anchor in 7-9 ft of water. Adding your freeboard, usually means that 50' of chain and 100' of rode is AMPLE. I'd keep a minimum of 50' of chain since for durability and protection against what's down there.

As for anchors - I used to have a Lewmar Claw which is a Bruce knockoff. Worked great in mud, but if you hit the slightest bit of weed or seagrass, the anchor was useless.

Now, if I anchored in deep coves such as in the South Pacific - I'd have a completely different anchoring package.

I'm actually going to be upgrading my primary anchor package and make my Claw a backup anchor. Primary package will be 125' of 5/16 High Test + 150' of nylon rode on my Rocna 15.

S/V Jendai
Beneteau 343
night0wl is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 51 Old 06-26-2011
Senior Member
 
mitiempo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 7,487
Thanks: 0
Thanked 94 Times in 85 Posts
Rep Power: 8
   
Jordan

I think for a Contessa 26 5/16" might be larger than you need. I am installing a windlass on a 32' powerboat and he will be using 1/4" HT (grade 40) chain, which would be a good size for you as well. Safe working load is 2600 lbs and breaking is 7750 lbs.

40' or 50' should be plenty. Same as I will be using on my CS27.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
mitiempo is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 51 Old 06-27-2011
tdw
Super Fuzzy Moderator
 
tdw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 16,402
Thanks: 15
Thanked 103 Times in 97 Posts
Rep Power: 10
     
50' of chain may be an acceptable minimum but I'd still push for twice that.

On the old girl, 34m (approx 100') of 5/16 was acceptable but I'd have preferred 50m. trouble is of course that more chain means more weight and on a relatively light boat like a Contessa 26 that is not good for sailing performance. 35m to me would be a nice compromise.

When I bought my previous boat (28' med displacement) she had around 20' of chain and we draged all over the place in anything other than perfect conditions. I increased that to 20m and had no more problems even when the anchor was a Danforth.

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

Malo 39 Classic
tdw is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 51 Old 06-27-2011
Senior Member
 
mitiempo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 7,487
Thanks: 0
Thanked 94 Times in 85 Posts
Rep Power: 8
   
That would probably depend if there was a windlass or not. Without one an anchor of 25 or 30 lbs and 50' of G40 (37 lbs) is getting close to max - both for weight in the bow area and hauling by hand.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
mitiempo is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 51 Old 06-27-2011
tdw
Super Fuzzy Moderator
 
tdw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 16,402
Thanks: 15
Thanked 103 Times in 97 Posts
Rep Power: 10
     
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
That would probably depend if there was a windlass or not. Without one an anchor of 25 or 30 lbs and 50' of G40 (37 lbs) is getting close to max - both for weight in the bow area and hauling by hand.
oh yes ... oh yes indeed. Our windlass died , and not just the electrics, with all 35m of chain on the bottom and getting it back on board was well nigh impossible for me at least. In the end got it up with the aid of sheet winches but not a fun thing to do.

Sorry, but i should have thought of that. I guess not many 26'ers have a windlass, certainly my 28'er didn't.

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

Malo 39 Classic

Last edited by tdw; 06-27-2011 at 12:41 AM.
tdw is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 51 Old 06-27-2011
TQA
Bombay Explorer 44
 
TQA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,887
Thanks: 0
Thanked 77 Times in 73 Posts
Rep Power: 7
 
Like others have said it depends where you are and what conditions you anchor in. I live on the hook in the Caribbean often in anchorages where the bottom is littered with junk that would eat through rope rode in an hour.
Sometimes the depth is 50 -60 feet and in one place 180 feet.

So I have 200 feet of 3/8 chain followed by 200 feet of rope rode, times two. The boat is 44 feet long and I have an electric anchor windlass. Fairly normal for my cruising area but overkill if you only stop for lunch in Biscayne Bay.

Do bear in mind that one of the things you never hear said when a black squall is blowing through an anchorage with zero visibility and winds of 40+ knots is " I think we need a smaller anchor and less chain don't you?"
TQA is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 51 Old 06-27-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 174
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
 
Send a message via AIM to HPLou
14'-15' of 1/4" chain with 150' of 3/8 or 1/2" nylon rode is a standard anchor package for a boat that size. Will it work? probably. Is this package right for you? You have to know your anchorage areas and have an idea of what circumstances you would need/want to anchor before you can determine your own ground tackle needs. Keep in mind that chain is heavier than nylon and anchor rode ratio should be about 5-7:1.
HPLou is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 51 Old 06-27-2011
Senior Member
 
blt2ski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6,862
Thanks: 0
Thanked 26 Times in 25 Posts
Rep Power: 12
   
For my 30' 6500-7000 lb fin keel boat, I have a 7.5kg/16.5 lb bruce with currently 16' of 3/16" chain and 250' of 1/2" 3 strand. Then again, here in Puget Sound, you are usually in 40-100' of water when you anchor, add in upwards of 14' tides......... lots of rode is nice. I do plan to go with a bit longer chain and one size up. To a degree, the more metal be it anchor or chain, the better the holding.

I've also been toying with a race hook on the bow with a 7lb fortress alum, about 4-5' of 1/4" chain and 3/8" line in the 150' length too. Race rules require a min 6lb anchor and 10'ish lbs of total chain and anchor for myboat, one figure out how to get the best appearance bang for the buck when racing, vs cruising.

If I was in the Caribbean, Oz or other places with coral, the more chain the merrier! I might look at 50-60' and an appropriate anchor that would catch in coral/rocky bottoms. Or if it does not catch per say, at least have enough anchor and chain such that the wt might hold me.

If you need to go thru a hurricane or equal, again, a different anchor wt and chain. probably something in the 30KG/50 lb anchor and 75-100' of chain depending upon depth etc.

Marty

She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!
blt2ski is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 51 Old 06-27-2011
Senior Member
 
JimsCAL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Glen Cove, NY
Posts: 2,777
Thanks: 2
Thanked 68 Times in 63 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Hard to disagree with the "more and heavier" suggestions. Also agree HPLou about the "standard" package for a boat your size. Remember that you ar going to have to get the chain and anchor up on deck each time, so there is something to be said for something that isn't too heavy. Assuming your anchoring requirements are similar to what we see here on Long Island Sound and southern New England, I would go with 15 to 30 foot of 1/4 inch chain and then switch what you have to the other anchor.
JimsCAL is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chain anchor rode length braidmike Gear & Maintenance 20 10-24-2009 11:06 PM
Anchor Chain Size question montenido General Discussion (sailing related) 12 08-17-2009 09:29 PM
Anchor Chain Size Question crzhors Gear & Maintenance 4 06-10-2009 03:31 PM
Chain rode/size & length southernman Living Aboard 5 03-06-2003 01:22 PM
anchor systems - length of chain? kmedley Gear & Maintenance 19 06-21-2002 06:12 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome