Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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After pondering Ron’s question for awhile I have another thought.
On most yachts one finds chain anchor rhode, frequently something on the order of 100’ or so (limited because of weight considerations), followed by rope rhode, commonly on the order of 100-150’. When the required scope is within the length of the chain, one or more rope snubbers are commonly used to absorb and dissipate the energy of the yacht surging to wind and/or sea. When the required scope extends to the rope rhode, snubbers may not be needed but it is not uncommon that a kellet is used to increase (preserve) catenary and hold the rope rhode below the keel/rudder should the yacht swing.
An effective alternative might be to alternate lengths of chain with lengths of rope so that the advantages of each—weight for the catenary and energy dissipation—are always available regardless of scope. For example, on our yacht we might alternate 50’ of chain (3/8” BBB) with 50’ of ¾” 3-strand (or ¾” plait given we carry both). While this arrangement will obviously require chain/rope splices, these are really a no brainer and, properly done, preserve 90%+ of the capacity of the rope alone (per Practical Sailor).
Rather than splicing the stranded line back together one way or another, adding a length of chain equal to the weight of a kellet--16-30 lbs--between the ends might be preferable.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."