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Thread: Thoughts - Chain vs. Brait? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-30-2006 08:06 AM
Originally Posted by labatt
My wife is having a problem with me spending 5 to 10 boat units on chunks of metal, but I get to make the final decision.
How does that work?
11-29-2006 10:00 PM
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Labatt... I agree with you on the anchors... a #55 Delta (or equivilent Spade or Rocna) would be a much safer primary. Given your existing rodes...why not combine the 150 chain and 150 nylon into one rode then add 50 ft. of chain to the other nylon and run the Bruce off of that? 150' of chain will give you an all chain rode in anything less than 30' and no need for a snubber in anything over that!
The 55# Delta is exactly what I was thinking. Also, not a bad idea to combine rodes. When we go down to work on the boat in a couple of weeks I'll look at the viability of that. Defender wants $760 for 300' of 5/16" BBB connected to 50' of 5/8" brait with shackle and splice, but not including shipping (which will probably be $150 or so, by truck). My wife and I were just trying to figure out how we would get it to the boat!
11-28-2006 11:12 PM
sailingdog Chain has some advantages over nylon, but also has some serious disadvantages.


Chafe resistance, catenary curve,


Weight, shock loading of ground tackle, generally requires a windlass,

BTW, the catenary curve provided by chain is negated in high wind conditions, when both chain and nylon rodes are going to be heavily loaded and essentially straightened out.

Depending on your boat, it may make more sense to go with a combination rode, with about 30-60' of chain to give the rode chafe resistance, and then the rest of three-strand nylon, for the shock absorbtion and lower weight.
11-28-2006 12:34 PM
camaraderie Labatt... I agree with you on the anchors... a #55 Delta (or equivilent Spade or Rocna) would be a much safer primary. Given your existing rodes...why not combine the 150 chain and 150 nylon into one rode then add 50 ft. of chain to the other nylon and run the Bruce off of that? 150' of chain will give you an all chain rode in anything less than 30' and no need for a snubber in anything over that!
11-27-2006 11:29 PM
labatt Here's what came with the boat.

Anchors: Bruce 45#; CQR 35#; Fortress 23#
Rode: 150' 5/16" high test chain; 200' 3/4" nylon; 150' 3/4" nylon

I'm guessing the bruce was the primary I'm not a lover of the Bruce... I'm thinking of making it my backup and buying a big Delta Fastset which I had excellent luck with on my prior boat (albeit much smaller). I'm debating 50ft of chain + 300ft of line, or 300ft of chain + 50ft of line. I spent many days anchored in 60 ft. of water last summer - I want the flexibility to anchor wherever I want, and away from people who may not have as much rode. Lake Champlain is a very deep lake, all the way to the edge, although others have pointed out to me that there are plenty of anchorages in the 20'-30' range. I'm sure there are, but I didn't find them in the one season I was on the lake. I will definitely be looking for them this year!

The following year we plan to bring our boat to Cape Cod (although I'm wondering if I'll be able to get a slip or mooring within a reasonable distance of my house near Albany NY i.e. no more than 3 hours away). We'll be cruising throughout Cape Cod and the Maine coast.

Then we'll be selling our boat and moving up to a 50'-55'. I should say moving onto since we'll be spending the next 18 months living on it.

I do not expect to be anchoring THIS boat anywhere that coral exists. We will be anchoring it in rock, sand and mud.

I'll be doing a complete inventory of the boat in a couple of weeks and I plan to pull all of the chain and rode out of the locker to check its condition. I have a pricing request in to Defender right now for a 300' chain + 50' brait combo. I don't even want to guess what shipping costs will be! I should see about buying it local - it will be the one time when tax will be less than shipping!

And with regards to beer, I will drink a Labatt's when visiting Canada, but I'm much more of a Sam Smith Nut Brown or Oatmeal Stout guy myself, served warm and in a pint glass I'd still much prefer a Planter's Punch from American Yacht Club in Rye, NY any day.
11-27-2006 10:14 PM
camaraderie Bill...I have one all chain rode and one rope/chain so I understand the need for good tackle and the advantages of each. Given his limited proposed cruising grounds...what anchoring advantage do you feel all chain provides? (I understand the resale value argument).
My own feeling is that a combination rode with sufficient chain up front is a better system for the shock loads of a good blow to KEEP you anchored when the catenary effect of all chain is lost. I know that the snubbers provide some slack but not to the same effect as an extended nylon rode. In coral or other high chafe environments all chain is my choice as well. mention 3 anchors but are only looking for input on one rode. Why is that? What does the boat have already?
11-27-2006 07:23 PM
btrayfors Labatt,

As others have said, all chain is the way to go. I heartily agree. You can save a bit of money by buying less chain....200' or 250' is plenty, IMO.

Re: type and sizing, suggest strongly you go with 5/16" G40 (high test) chain. Pay special attention to the SHACKLES used to connect the chain to the anchor. Most shackles you see in the chandleries are not adequate; they are not as strong as the chain, and are the weakest link. Good shackles, made of alloy, are pricey but you can find them online for reasonable prices. Columbus-Mackinnon and Crosby both make very strong alloy anchor shackles. Buy the largest which you can fit (I believe 3/8" shackles will fit 5/16" G40 chain, and use a 7/16" or 1/2" shackle to link that to the anchor.

With an all-chain rode, it's a very good idea to use one or two bridles made of nylon line with a chain hook on the end. These are used after the anchor has been set to help absorb shock loads and to transfer the anchor load from the windlass to cleats on the foredeck. They also help keep the boat from "sailing about" at anchor. For your boat, 1/2" 3-strand nylon about 30 feet long would be sufficient for these.

You mentioned that you only expect to have your boat for 2 years, so price is a consideration. I understand that, but suggest you consider resale value also. A Passport 40 is a very high quality cruising boat, with a fine pedigree and much sought after if in good condition. If I were in the market for one and spotted anything other than first class ground tackle and windlass gear, it would raise alarms in my mind about how the rest of the boat had been outfitted and cared for.

For this, and for the very practical reasons noted above (peace of mine, keeping the Admiral happy, etc.), I would not skimp on ground tackle and windlass gear.

S/V Born Free
(also a Perry design)
11-27-2006 07:10 PM
ebs001 Cam from his name Labatt I think he will enjoy a Labatt Blue or Bleu rather than a Molson. I have to agree though that all chain rode is a bit of over kill not to mention a helluva lot of extra weight and expense
11-27-2006 07:05 PM
ianhlnd Labatt,

Ask yourself, do you like to sleep at night? If you do, a goodly amount of chain is the answer.

You see all those boats springing around their anchor, Booinngg in one direction then Sproooinnnggg in the other that's three braid.

Note: Booinnngg and Sproooinnnggg are ficticious representations of a boat springing on its rode, usually followed by SSSMMMaaaacccckkkk!
11-27-2006 05:57 PM
Cruisingdad Labatt,

Decide on your windlass before buying your chain/size. You can get a windlass for either, but my reccomendation is to buy them in synch. If you did not like the price of the chain, you really won't like the price of a 3/8 chain windlass. Of course, you can always tell the wife what I told mine: You are responsible for weighing anchor! She will be much more amenable to anything that will save her back (and your marraige).

I think the 5/16 would be fine. That is what I bought for mine. I have a Catalina 400, about 22000 lbs before the pots and pans. I will warn you though, I paid for the solid gold chain with studded diamonds, but all they sent me was this crappy galvanized chain (Grade 70, Hot Dip Galvanized High Test).

Enjoy pulling out the credit card. But remember this: the real fun won't start until you try to get 44 tons of chain down the dock in a push cart and try not to let it fall in the water or blow out your back!

- CD
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