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nolesailor 02-07-2013 08:40 AM

Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
Hello All,

I know this has been asked and answered extensively here (and elsewhere) and I certainly don't mean to be rehashing the same topic, but I am replacing my anchor and rode and would appreciate comments/suggestions concerning the size/diameter of anchor chain. Boat is a Catalina 28, dry displacement of 8600 pounds, closer to 11500 probably with us an everything else on it. Current anchor is a 22 lb Bruce knockoff with 20' feet of chain and 200' of 1/2 inch rode...unsure of the chain diameter.

Anchor will be replaced with a 25 lb Manson far as the diameter/length of chain, I was planning on 30' of 1/4 inch G4...with 180' of 1/2 inch nylon rode (deepest water for anchoring will be around 20-22'). I do not have a windlass. Question is...should I up the 1/4 in to 5/16 inch? The larger chain will have more weight on the bow and on the sea floor. I've read the articles on the Rocna site on how the weight of the chain does not really improve the holding power/angle of the anchor as it is stretched tight...I've also read numerous comments with opposing theories and how the weight is helpful in improving the angle. 5/16 overkill? Should I up the length of say 40' and go with 1/4 inch? I will mostly be overnighting for a day or two and will be close to home do not plan on being out in 60 knot winds. I would say the most would be 30-35 knots associated with the passing thunderstorms ever so prevalent down here in FL.

Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated...


Lake Superior Sailor 02-07-2013 10:29 AM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
I use heavy rope 3/4 as its a lot better on your hands when you haven't a windlass, as for the chain and anchor remember you have to lift it ---line, chain & anchor!... and do this in all weather & postions....Dale

chef2sail 02-07-2013 10:35 AM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
I think you chain and rode specs are fine, however I would increase the length of rope rode. Mansons are great anchors.

If you anchor in 20 ft of water and want to do 7:1 you are on at the outer edge ( 22 + 6 ft for the freeboard =28 ft X 7= 196 ft and you have 40+ 180 = 220 ft.

It wouldnt hurt to increase you rope to 250 for a cushion.


eherlihy 02-07-2013 10:36 AM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
I think that the 25lb Manson is a good choice for your boat. If I were you, I would up the chain to 5/16". My reasoning is that the weight difference is not all that great 0.37lb/ft (0.63lb/ft for " and 1lb/ft for 5/16"), and the tensile breaking strength goes from 5000lb to 7600lb. Because the safe working load is somewhere around 50% of the breaking strength, and because it will not improve with age, I think that the difference in price (about $1/ft) is well worth it.

FWIW, I have a 30' 5/16" leader on my anchor for a 35' boat (33lb Rocna as the anchor), AND I have a 10' length of " chain that I attach between the leader, and the nylon double braid rode if I think that I need extra holding power. The heavier chain is not used for the increased tensile strength, but for the shock absorption that it provides as the boat is pushed back on the rode by wind and waves. Think of it as an in-line kellet. I don't use it unless I think that I need it because it weighs a lot, and my only windlass (me) is getting old.

nolesailor 02-07-2013 11:01 AM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
Ahh yes...I always forget freeboard in the calculation...thanks for the reminder Chef and I agree that the nylon rode should be increased...

bwindrope 02-07-2013 01:15 PM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
Seems to me like you are looking at a solid set up. Enough chain, not too much, and enough rode. And a solid anchor. These new anchors are ridiculous in the improvement of holding power. I recently upgraded my trusty 35# CQR to a 35# Mantus, and that darn thing just digs in so fast and deep that it just about knocks me off the deck when I tug back to set it. It has really changed my thinking about the amount of chain necessary, like what Rocna says on their site.

I've found that the Mantus will not move, period, and that I have to be 1:1 with my Lofrans Tigres windlass before it will pop free. So the good news is it digs in and stays put, even on short scope. The trade off is unlike my CQR it does not lift casually off the ocean floor.

Without a windlass, expect to have to do some serious yanking, or motoring, to free your Manson from the sea floor.

nolesailor 02-07-2013 02:08 PM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
bwindrope - and others with a Rocna/Mantus/Manson...concerning your comments about potential difficulties in extracting said anchor from sea floor without a this possibly a legitimate concern...or would sufficient yanking/motoring be enough to free the I need to be worried about being unable to extract the anchor. The bruce knockoff I have never really is a problem...

And, if this is a cause for concern...would I want to use the "rock slot' on the Manson to help extract the anchor, despite anchoring in a soft/muddy bottom?

Thanks again!

eherlihy 02-07-2013 02:21 PM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
I use a dedicated retrieval line with my Rocna 15 (33lbs), and the two arm windlass. I have never had a problem breaking it free, but the damn thing is heavy...

Stu Jackson 02-07-2013 02:21 PM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
Size the SYSTEM, not just the components

Anchor System Sizing Tables (Reply #6) Ground Tackle & Anchor System Sizing TABLES & Swivels

marianclaire 02-07-2013 02:34 PM

Re: Anchor Chain Size/Lenghth Suggestions (again)
nolesailor. If my anchor comes up easy that is when I am concerned. I have used the Bruce type , Rocna and Manson. I am the windlass and no spring chicken. I haul in until I am directly above the anchor and if she will not pull out by hand I cleat the chain to the sampson post and slowly/gently motor forward. The bow drops and then the anchor comes out and you can feel and see the boat move. Never failed in hundreds of attempts but you just have to do it slowly. Dan S/V Marian Claire

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