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post #1 of 23 Old 04-27-2019 Thread Starter
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Combination chain/nylon line

Have an all chain anchor system (200 ft) ,thinking about may be combining chain and nylon.
Have a Lewmar Pro Series 1000H Anchor Windlass for 5/16" G4 Chain & 9/16-5/8" Rope.
How feasible/practical/functional will this work?
Visualizing the nylon going first into the chain locker below deck,then the chain piling on top,how will I keep these two from fouling each other on next use. Cape Dory 30.
As of now have to whack the chain to avoid piling itself.
My question is directed to those who use this combination and have experience.
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post #2 of 23 Old 04-28-2019
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How much of the 200' rode is chain? Did you just acquire the windlass?

It's pretty straightforward. The windlass' fall should be straight into the anchor locker so the rope rode will guide itself into the shape of the locker. The chain will often form stalagmites that you need to knock over so it doesn't jamb; there's nothing you can do about that really. It helps to meticulously wash the mud and dirt off as you raise the chain. A washdown pump is critical here.

That's all there is to it. The larger and deeper your anchor locker, the better but you have to deal with what you have. Make sure your locker is free of other stuff as well.

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post #3 of 23 Old 04-28-2019
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Re: Combination chain/nylon line

With 200 ft of chain, do you expect to need the nylon very often? You can always flake the nylon into the locker and then let the chain stack atop. As mentioned, depending on the geometry of your locker, chain can castle and fall over, but that can happen either way.

The bigger issue is the nylon, at the bottom of the pile, staying wet and collecting all the dirt and grime from the chain. If you don't deploy the nylon often, you'll likely need to get at it and clean it routinely. I would also want to be sure there was a raised locker floor, so the nylon didn't just sit in the dirty slurry.


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post #4 of 23 Old 04-28-2019
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Re: Combination chain/nylon line

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
This anchor was wrapped around my chain about halfway between my anchor and the bow. How long do you suppose a line rode would have lasted?
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post #5 of 23 Old 04-28-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Combination chain/nylon line

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
With 200 ft of chain, do you expect to need the nylon very often?

The bigger issue is the nylon, at the bottom of the pile, staying wet and collecting all the dirt and grime from the chain. If you don't deploy the nylon often, you'll likely need to get at it and clean it routinely. I would also want to be sure there was a raised locker floor, so the nylon didn't just sit in the dirty slurry.
thank you very much
as mentioned exploring to shorten the length of 200 down to may be 50 or 100 and complete with nylon.
Do not want to get into the chain vs nylon etc discussion,
personally have always used all chain however there (for me) some benefits on a combination,as also described is my concern on how these two will work on deploying, however your point about the wet and dirty nylon under the pile of chain is something did not think,that will be a negative given the configuration of my locker.
thank you very much
PS and no,there is no raised floor,another negative.

Last edited by Davil; 04-28-2019 at 08:03 PM.
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post #6 of 23 Old 04-28-2019
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Re: Combination chain/nylon line

Davil: FIW, it you fill in your profile, we will know where you sail and what kind of boat, which will improve the quality of the answers. It helps.

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post #7 of 23 Old 04-29-2019
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Re: Combination chain/nylon line

FWIW, we have 30’ of chain with 220’ of 8-plait braided nylon. We sail primarily in SE New England and typically anchor in 20’ or less, but need to be prepared for deeper anchoring at times.

Our anchor locker floor is sloped down toward the bow and drains overboard, below the stem fitting. The “fall” from the windlass to the locker is short—about 11”—which is far less than ideal, but we have direct access to the locker from the deck, which facilitates tending the windlass operation. It really isn’t a big deal with such direct access, but we have to clear periodic jams of the nylon (like pushing wet spaghetti) when retrieving the anchor and also need to knock down the castling of the chain.

We also have a second anchor (Danforth high tensile) with its 250’ of nylon rode underneath the primary anchor rode. Sometimes the primary nylon rode will snag the second anchor, so we have to watch for that, but it isn’t a big deal.

So, this arrangement works for us, and having the shorter chain length pretty much assures that the nylon is out there, acting as a self-snubber.

Hope this perspective is helpful.
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post #8 of 23 Old 04-29-2019
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Re: Combination chain/nylon line

A combination rope/chain rode should work just fine, assuming your chain locker is large enough. If the rode just falls freely into the locker, it should run back out without any problem. If you have to knock down the pile to get it to fit in the, then it is more likely to get tangled. 8-plait line is more flexible than 3 strand, so it takes up less space in the locker. The drawback is that 8 plait will snag on things (shackle seizing wire, cotter pins, etc.).
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Re: Combination chain/nylon line

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Originally Posted by Davil View Post
...as mentioned exploring to shorten the length of 200 down to may be 50 or 100 and complete with nylon......
Got it. Your OP said combining, but wasn't clear you were eliminating current chain. One other factor to consider is how you will splice the rope to chain. Several solutions, either direct knots or via hardware. The most secure, in my book, are harder to manage over a windlass.


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post #10 of 23 Old 04-29-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Combination chain/nylon line

thank you Fallard,Damon and Minnewaska.
The last 3 postings touch on the issues and questions I have.
The Cape Dory 30 MKII has the slope of the locker floor actually the opposite to yours.slopes down to stern,and the hauser pipe is situated forward of the middle so the chain piles up about half of retrieval,have to whack it to make room on the downfall,and the more I think I believe will have the fouling each others,add to this I sail alone so problems on retrieving the anchor and jamming soon become real "situations".
At this time since installing the new windlass having to create a new hole for the new chain pipe am using the old chain hauser pipe to insert a pvc pipe with an elbow at the end and sort of hit the chain as piles up,this way do not have to go down below,it works sort of.
I think will just leave well alone as it is,if If had the open locker on deck as Fallard I will not hesitate,better and easier control.
Again,thanks for all your time and ideas,did help.
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