Join Date: Sep 2006
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We cut back from 300' of 3/8" to 240' for a few reasons: save weight, make it stack below the pipe and because we were never using more than 240' anyway. You can shorten scope to 3 to 1 when you anchor deeper than, say, 50' (see Eric Hiscock, Miles Smeeton, etc.). There is so much weight out there you will never lift the chain behind the anchor off the bottom, although you will lift 5/6" closer to the hook than 3/8". I have always based my choice of chain size on weight, not strength. If you have the weight, the strength follows, especially with HT, though BBB is fine.
Since we rarely use more than 180', even in coral waters, we put the first 60' (10 fathoms) on the port side of the divider and the rest in the main part of the locker. Our 180' of 3/8" stacks with no problem that way. If we use more than 180, it draws from the port side and we have to lead it back to there when weighing, but this is rare.
One other tidbit: if you sail the hook out in any kind of breeze, the chain will not stack, but this is not always possible.
As to electric windlasses. Can't say. I took the electric windlass out when we bought the boat and put in a Muir manual. Never gets hot.
PSC 34 #305 "Swan"