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post #1 of 4 Old 05-03-2003 Thread Starter
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How much anchor chain is enough?

I have a IP 37 that I''m getting ready to go. I presently have 2 main anchors, a Bruce and danforth and a smaller fortress. On the 2 main anchors, I have 20 ft of chain and 250 ft of nylon rode. I cruise the West coast of FL and am planning on cruising the Bahamas and East coast of the US. Do I need all chain and a windlass or is my present set-up OK?
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-03-2003
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How much anchor chain is enough?

Your needs are based on your cruising grounds. We have just returned from 3 years cruising and we have anchored almost everywhere. If you are planning on achoring verses being in marinas an electric windlass is an excellent asset. This will provide an extra safety margin by being able to move when you need to. When using the manual system you may take the wait and see aproach. Also this will make it possible to carry more chain. However if most of your anchoring is in the Bahamas you won''t need that much due to the shallow waters. I believe that using regular anchorrode should not be a problem as long you add roughly a boatlenth''s chain. We always have used a snubber when using all chain. The snubber should be of a smaller diameter that will still have the breaking strength of the chain. Just some advice on your choice of anchors. We also carry on board the bruce anchor and have been very happy with it. However the bahamas has some areas with very hard sand. The Bruce would not hold. When switching to the Cqr we usually were succesfull. So you may want to add another type of anchor like the CQR, Delta, Spade.

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post #3 of 4 Old 05-03-2003
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How much anchor chain is enough?

You obviously need a lot more anchor chain than 20 feet of chain for an IP 37. There are a variety of rules of thumbs for sizing the minimum amount of chain should be used on an anchor rode. The two most commonly cited are one foot of chain for every foot of boat length, and the other is roughly 6 to 10 pounds of chain per thousand pounds of displacement. So for an IP37 the first rule of thumb would suggest 37 feet of 3/8" chain and the second method would suggest roughly 80 to 150 feet of 3/8" chain. If I were going to the Bahamas where the anchorage tend to be bouncy, have sharp bottom features and be fairly shallow, I would think that 100-150 feet should be adequate. I would think that you could get by with less than 100-150 feet on the southern US eastcoast but as you got into the rockier north east US I would think that you are back to wanting a lot more chain again.

Good cruising,
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-05-2003 Thread Starter
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How much anchor chain is enough?

Thanks for the information. I''ve been thinking of adding 150-200ft of chain and with that a windlass will be necessary.
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