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dreamdoer 01-14-2018 01:42 PM

Chain locker tangles?

I will embark on my first overnight cruise this year and will be anchoring out overnight for the first time, probably single handedly. I am confident in my ground tackle, but my question is; how concerned should I be about tangles in the rode. I have never anchored using a chain locker and chain pipe. I have a fear of coming in to anchor and being on deck ready to drop when the anchor rode seizes up due to a tangle getting caught in the chain pipe. Am I worrying for nothing or should I pay out the rode before I get in position and coil it on deck? I have a 22 foot boat with 30 feet of chain and 250 feet of nylon triple strand.

Thanks for all advice.

Gladrags1 01-14-2018 01:47 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
Do you have access to your anchor locker from above? Most snags occur when you are trying to store everything below after picking up the hook.

Might be good to do it at the dock as a dry run first to see what is characteristics would be.

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dreamdoer 01-14-2018 01:51 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
Hi Glad:

I basically don't have deck access. I could lay on the deck and reach through the forward hatch, but probably not far enough to do any good.

Thanks for the reply!

RegisteredUser 01-14-2018 02:36 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
If you are using rope to chain, use 8-plait rather than 3-strand or double braid.

Barquito 01-14-2018 03:41 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
As said, you could pull some out before you leave for the day. Make sure is comes out OK, then put it back. Or, just before you arrive at the anchorage, pull out enough to put you at at least 3:1, and flake it on deck. That is, lay it down on deck in an orderly fashion such that the anchor end of the rode is on top. If it jams after you get that much out, you will probably have plenty of time to figure it out.

MikeOReilly 01-14-2018 04:07 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
If you’ve never hauled out the rode before (new boat?), then I’d do so in a stable place first before putting it to the real test in an actual anchoring situation — especially if you’re soloing. Rode can certainly become entangled or twisted such that it gets jammed coming out of the hawse pipe. It has happened to me many times, and I anchor very often.

I’d haul it all out (or as much as you can), and then feed it back down in a controlled manner.

That said, the forces you’re dealing with are pretty small (small boat, small rode). It’s unlikely you’d lose control of things unless you’re trying to anchor in very difficult situations.

capta 01-14-2018 04:08 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
If I had that worry, when I went to set up the anchor for anchoring (unsecure it from it's sailing position and hang it partially over the roller), I'd pull out at least 5 times the water depth I expect to be anchoring in and coil it on the deck where it cannot get caught up on something. The bigger the loops of the coil, the less chance that it will foul when running out. If you really want to get 'salty' you could learn to do a running coil and you would never have to worry about your coiled lines fouling ever again.

Jim_W 01-14-2018 08:08 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
When you pull it out mark it at different lengths so you know how much rode you have out. I mark mine every 25'.

capta 01-14-2018 09:06 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?

Originally Posted by Jim_W (Post 2051346690)
When you pull it out mark it at different lengths so you know how much rode you have out. I mark mine every 25'.

I don't see much point in marking the 25' because who ever puts out less than 50'? After that, fair enough.

reduc 01-14-2018 09:23 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
Unless your anchor locker is a complete mess I don't think you need to coil it on deck. If you've never anchored at all (as opposed to overnight) you may want to take it out and make sure there is nothing crazy going on. As others have mentioned, having length markers is very helpful for determining proper scope. If you are anchoring in an area with reversing currents or wind you may want an anchor kellet - basically a light weight on the rode that will hold it below the keel such that if the current or wind reverses the rode doesn't float up and get behind the keel or rudder. I use a small mushroom dinghy anchor (~10 lbs) where the ring goes over the rode and a small line is tied through one of the holes is the mushroom to allow it to drift down lower than the keel. I'm not sure how many people do this, but having wrapped my keel on one occasion I never want to do it again.

Jim_W 01-14-2018 09:37 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?

Originally Posted by capta (Post 2051346738)
I don't see much point in marking the 25' because who ever puts out less than 50'? After that, fair enough.

It's a 22 footer with 30 of chain a mark at 25' is 55' of rode he can probably anchor in 3' of water

Scotty C-M 01-14-2018 10:09 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
Post #6, Mike OReilly, gave you good advice. In fact, there is a lot of good advice in the responces.

You don't know your system yet, so go out and practice. Do it on a really calm day, in a location where you have plenty of room and won't get in anyone's way. You may find that your system needs Oh-My-God a lot of changes, but probably it will work just fine. Practice a bunch of times (like 5 or 10 times). Your boat is relatively small, and you won't have to work too hard (just kidding)! After doing it a few times, you'll probably realize the little "touches" that make your system work. If after 10 tries it's not working for you, then you need to try different ideas. Some of those ideas have been suggested here.

Read a few threads about how to anchor properly (scope, swing, backing-down, etc.) and take your time. Once you get the feel for it, anchoring really is fairly easy. I single-hand and anchor out quite a bit. Practice a bunch in calm conditions and you'll get more and more confident.

By the way, Yes!, mark your anchor chain and line. I have markings at 25' intervals. One of my favorite anchorages is about that depth. When I put 25' out, I start backing down so that the chain does not "pile" on the bottom. It lays out. It also helps to make a mark at 10'. I do this so that I can see when the anchor is comming to the surface.

capta 01-14-2018 10:51 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?

Originally Posted by Jim_W (Post 2051346778)
It's a 22 footer with 30 of chain a mark at 25' is 55' of rode he can probably anchor in 3' of water

I'm sorry, I don't understand; what's 55'? When would he not put at least the 30' of chain out? So he knows he's got 30' out instead of 25. Chain doesn't do much good in the chain locker.

dreamdoer 01-14-2018 11:56 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
Hi everyone:

Thanks for all the great information. Some further information about my gear. The line, chain and anchor are all brand new. Never been wet before. I am very cautious by nature and when I bed down for the night I don't want to worry. I will any ways, but less.:wink. I have read all the books, but I have never read any comments about anchor rode tangles or lack there of when the rode is fed down into the chain locker. I guess my cautious nature guesses that when I feed 30 feet of heavy chain onto a constrained pile of nylon rode, a tangle is more than likely. To all the experienced anchor out sailors, is this true by your experiences? If it is, how often does a tangle happen? Twenty %, 50% or hopefully never. I talked to a friend who has sailed extensively and said that when he came in to anchor, the admiral would take the helm and he would go on the fordeck and pull out rode and flake it on deck. Said he never had a tangle. Is that the common experience or was he blessed?

Thank you all again for many, many good suggestions that I will put into use.

Also I bought a Galaxy tablet and down loaded the Drag Queen app so I will know when I am being swept onto the lee shore.

MikeOReilly 01-15-2018 01:48 AM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
dreamdoer, in general a tangled rode is not common. But it really depends on your chain locker, itís shape and depth, and how the rode normally piles up. Under normal circumstances it will pile up as it goes in, and come out in reverse just as easily. The chain landing on rope shouldnít increase the chance of a tangle.

The times Iíve run into problems is when my rode pile rolls over on top of itself, usually after Iíve hit heavy seas for a while. But my rode is all-chain.

Iíd recommend feeding the new rode down the hawse pipe as you would normally do when storing it. Then try hauling it back out. If it comes out cleanly ó especially if you do it a few times ó then youíre probably fine.

You could haul a bunch out and flake it on deck as you prepare to anchor, but this presents a possible danger if it should get away from you. Iíd rather get comfortable with it feeding in and out properly.

BTW, yes; mark your rode in some way. How you do it, including what gradients, is up to you. If you normally anchor in shallow waters, then a finer gradient is warranted. Doesnít really matter, as long as you know what it is.

I personally mark every 10 feet in one colour, and every 50 feet in another. I mostly key in on the 50í marks as Iím rolling it out, but sometimes I appreciate the finer detail. As with most things in cruising, thereís no 'single answer.í Whatever works for you is the Right Answer.

dreamdoer 01-15-2018 07:56 AM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
Thank you Mike and everyone else. I think I have the answers I was looking for, namely some practical EXPERIENCED advice. Thank you all for taking the time to share your real world experience and knowledge.

albrazzi 01-15-2018 08:54 AM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
As Mike stated Flaking the line any line will keep it from tangling, whether in a bag or a locker. It's basic and is worth mentioning, know what it is and when to do it. Don't twist loop wrap or anything just let it ball up in a pile, it looks pretty scary sometimes but it will come right out when needed.

TQA 01-15-2018 11:56 AM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
Wear leather gardening gloves.

Flake the chain and rope rode on deck before you anchor.

Make REALLY SURE you have the bitter end tied on to something.

Back down to set your anchor. If it does not set reanchor and wait 20 minutes before trying to set it. I do not know why but this often works.

Back down gently at first then fairly hard. Better it drags now than at 3 am in a rain squall.

roverhi 01-15-2018 03:00 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
I'd be more worried about stacking line on deck than leaving it in the chain locker till needed. Have almost universally had line tie itself in a knot or hockle when I've piled it up. Would pull the line out of the chain locker and restow it so you'll have some idea if it will run smoothly. Haven't had issues with the line in the chainlocker but I'm using 8 plait which doesn't have the twist and hockle issues of 3 strand. Do not twist the line as you restow, in fact you might pull all the rode and be sure that it's not twisted. That seems to be the biggest cause of issues with line tangling.

Arcb 01-15-2018 04:55 PM

Re: Chain locker tangles?
Dream, i currently have a mixed chain/rope rode. I do occasionally get a tangle in the line but i dont think it should be much of an issue with chain. Either way, its not something i would stress about.

You have a small boat, so you can be really selective about where you anchor. Hopefully you can find a sheltered little bay or creek to anchor in. I cant think of any reason you would want to anchor a boat of that size in more than 10 feet of water.

So, you find your little nook, ideally divoid of most wind and current. You go up to your foredeck, and you drop your 30 feet of chain out. You now have 3:1 scope out which should hold your boat firmly in place which will give you pleanty of time to clear any snags that may or may not occur. There is real safety value to anchoring small boats in shallow coves, basically, if a big boat cant get there, then it cant run into you in the middle of the night.

Another trick you may want to try is, while you are still in open water, go grab your anchor and carry it back to the cockpit, running the rode outside the shrouds and life lines. That way when you reach your destination you can drop your anchor from the cockpit where your tiller and engine controls are. This may or may not work depending on your set up.

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