Join Date: Jul 2002
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Chain rode/size & length
There''s always mixed opinion on rode & anchor choices. I''d encourage you to do a little reading on your own from ''expert sources'' as it will help you form an opinion based on test data and what you end up concluding is best for your boat. Earl Hinz book on Anchors & Anchoring is straightforward and very practical. Oceanography & Seamanship is the best text I''ve read on this subject but is far bigger, more complex and farther reaching than you might want.
Were I setting up a 38'' Irwin for Caribbean sailing (meaning from shallow Bahamas banks to the deeper anchorages off e.g. Chaguaramas Bay in Trinidad, I''d want to have 3 anchors & rodes (two is the minimum, and who says you might only lose one near a chandelry!).
Primary: 45# CQR (my preference; others will suggest Deepset or Bruce), at least 100'' 5/16" HT chain + 100'' 5/8" nylon line. You''ll anchor to all-chain 95% of the time but have enough rode for all conditions. You want a 1/2" 30'' nylon snubber line for the chain and a beefy windlass to handle all this when upping anchor in a surgy harbor or with wind against tide. If choosing HT chain (stronger but lighter than BBB), don''t overlook using HT shackles.
Secondary: Large fluked anchor (Fortress or WM) of 20# or so, with 50'' of 5/16" HT chain and 150'' of 5/8" nylon line; use as a kedge, when doing a Bahamian moor, or for added security in a blow.
Back-up: A back-up burying anchor (CQR, Bruce or Deepset) with at least 50'' of chain and 150'' of nylon line.
I''d encourage you to look at the whole bow section of your boat. What will the chain rode chafe on, if anything, when the bow is rising/falling in a surge? How will you lead the snubber line, protect it from chafe, and secure it? How will you store, deploy and stow your primary rode? Your secondary rode? When putting out the kedge in the dink?
Folks sometimes use colored plastic wire ties to mark increments of chain (e.g. Red-White-Blue in 25'' increments) or scraps of nylon fabric - it helps to know how much chain you''ve put out.
Lots more to think about. Again, consider picking up Hinz book and take a look.