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Old 11-05-2010
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Anchor Chain Question

Just a Quick Question for some of you "Old Salts"
We have a 31 Bombay Clipper / (see Heavy Wide Battleship of a Boat). Use it mainly for Florida Coastal Sailing. Planning a trip in Feb from Tampa area to Key West and Dry Tortugas. I have no windlass other then my wifes arms, Useing a 20 lb CQR with 200' Nylon Anchor Line, will 30' of 5/16 chain be enough or would more be better. Keeping in mind we dont intend to anchor in allot of "High Chafe" areas at least not for another 5 years or more. Back up anchor is a 15lb Fortress with 10' Chain +150' Line. I have researched for the anwers but they seem to be more answers regarding lots of chain for high chafe, not so much discussion for those who dont anchor around allot of coral and rock.

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Old 11-05-2010
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The Keys and Bahamas are basically 6 inches of sand on a terrazo floor...I had an almost identical anchor system on my 4,000 lb low windage F31 tri. I dragged all the time with 7 to 1 scope.

Your boat weighs 10,000 lbs...you need a biggger anchor and a stronger wife!

Last edited by Yorksailor; 11-05-2010 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 11-05-2010
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Hmmm...this is one of those questions where you'll get lots of different answers.

Here's my opinion: More chain is better than less, so long as you have some rope rode for shock absorbtion or use a snubber. However, you're limited by arm/back strength since you do not have a windlass. In that case I'd use just as you suggest, 30' of 5/16" chain, but with a heavier anchor if you can get it back on deck. We use this set up with a 33lbs Bruce anchor (on a 28 footer) and haven't had trouble bringing it up. Although I think 33lbs is about the max size without a windlass.

You can compensate for not having an all chain (or very long chain) rode by putting out extra scope. If you have room, use at least 7:1.
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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 11-05-2010 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 11-05-2010
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I have a longer section of chain 70' but I was calculating it out Feel it would be too heavy. I wonder would I be better with a 70' chain and 20-25lb cqr or a 30' chain and a 33lb anchor? My wife is prety damn strong, though I fear if the anchor got too heavy I' would end up as Anchor bitch
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Old 11-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DulceSuerna View Post
Planning a trip in Feb from Tampa area to Key West and Dry Tortugas. .... Keeping in mind we dont intend to anchor in allot of "High Chafe" areas at least not for another 5 years or more. ...but they seem to be more answers regarding lots of chain for high chafe, not so much discussion for those who dont anchor around allot of coral and rock.
Thanks,
Not an Old Salt yet, so forgive my interjection.

Isn't most of Florida composed of coral and sand? I would think you would want to be ready for coral anywhere in Florida. Even if you don't intend, there may be some within your anchorage. Or am I mistaken?

Another purpose of the chain is to maintain a good caternary, which helps with holding and shock loads. see MaineSail's post or just do a search on these forums for caternary.

I'm sure others will be along with better informed opinions.

Have fun!

Last edited by ottos; 11-05-2010 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 11-05-2010
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I also have a Bombay Clipper31 but the deep draft model. I use 30' of chain attached to 250' of rode. My anchor is a 44lb claw and have no problem getting it up and have never dragged yet. It is nice having the bow roller built in and strong on the Bombay Clippers. I would like more chain and will probley add more sooner or later. Everybody says "Damm that's a big anchor" but, I sleep good at night
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Old 11-05-2010
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How about the use of a 'Sentinel' or 'Kellet' to give you more caternary on your current setup. I don't have a pic but you can google it to see what it is, basically a heavy weight that you can attach at the end of your chain where the nylon rode attaches, this would hold your chain closer to the bottom and provide more holding power.
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Just to re-emphasize, I think you should at the very least upsize your anchor if you plan to sleep while on the hook. As BlueWaterOnly points out and the Dashaw's have written (paraphrasing): "If people laugh at the enormous size of you're anchor while carrying it down the dock to your boat, you've got the right size." If you're just using the 20lbs CQR as a picnic hook then you're probably fine. And don't forget, proper scope is just as important as the anchor and chain.
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Old 11-05-2010
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Yep, scope is very important! Kedge good also. Now if only I can keep this big @ss girl from sailing on anchor all whould be great. I am going to try a riding sail so my dog does not stand on two legs or try to snuggle pushing me into the seat My dog and I have become very close at anchor I have to hold her butt while she does her biz or it goes where I don't want it to.
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Old 11-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
Just to re-emphasize, I think you should at the very least upsize your anchor if you plan to sleep while on the hook. As BlueWaterOnly points out and the Dashaw's have written (paraphrasing): "If people laugh at the enormous size of you're anchor while carrying it down the dock to your boat, you've got the right size." If you're just using the 20lbs CQR as a picnic hook then you're probably fine. And don't forget, proper scope is just as important as the anchor and chain.
And Just to re-re-emphasize; Along with adding more chain, You could double up your anchors in tandum, with a fathom or two of chain between them. This will increase the lighter anchors holding power.

Also you do have winches on board. You can always take the anchor rode to the halyard winch on the keel stepped mast or to one of the sheeting winches on the Cockpit rail, your choice. But when that chain comes aboard you WILL want to have some chaffing gear laid down on your decks.
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