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post #11 of 27 Old 04-26-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

Good points, capta. Thanks.
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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

The amount of chain you carry forward doesn't just impact the trim of the boat, it also affects how she moves through the waves. The more mass you carry farther from the center of the boat, the more slowly the boat will rock bow to stern. The bow can rise more slowly and you may find yourself planting it in waves instead of riding over them. Rotational Inertia (I~mr^2) which measures the resistance to rotational acceleration increases with the square of the distance of the mass from the axis of rotation. Carrying a lot of chain has a dynamic as well as a static impact.

I only recently started anchoring on all chain and compared to a mixed chain and rope rode, it is a right PITA. My ideal setup is enough chain so that I can get the rope-chain splice through the windlass before the anchor breaks the bottom. I have had issues at times with the splice jamming as the last of the rope comes off the gypsy and starts down the hawse pipe. If your anchor is free and there is a significant wind or current that can be a bit stressful to say the least. I was quite happy to live for many years without rigging a snubber and then re-rigging it if I need to change the amount of scope I have out.
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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

Pretty clear that smaller diameter chain will fit better. However, it won’t necessarily fill automatically. That depends on the geometry of the hawse and locker. Chain often has the tendency to castle up, like sand dropping through an hourglass. In some configurations, it will fall over intermittently and trap itself, making it harder to deploy. I suspect you won’t put out all 200 ft each time. When you do, it’s not unheard of to have to manually push the initial retrieve around the base of the chain locker to evenly fill the corners. At some point, the rest works on its own.

Personally, I’m a fan of all chain, unless it’s not a viable option. My reasons are beyond the scope of your question.


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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

8 plait or braid anchor line stores in a much smaller space and doesn't get stiff like 3 strand so is much easier to work with. It also way more chafe resistant tha double braid so much better as an anchor line.

Chain tends to stow in a cone shaped pile. If the anchor locked isn't deep enough, you'll have to go below and tip the pile over when it gets too high to self stow.
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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

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Originally Posted by chicory83 View Post
The amount of chain you carry forward doesn't just impact the trim of the boat, it also affects how she moves through the waves. .
I can't imagine any proper vessel designer would not take into account the anchor and chain weight when drawing a boat's lines. That would be toral incompetence IMO.
Not accounting for that weight is the same as ignoring the weight of an outboard, if designed into a boat, or the tankage for that matter. I don't think you are giving the good designers their fair due.
Obviously, some flat chat racers don't accommodate the ground tackle on/in the bow, but even stored amidships, the weight has to be figured into the design.

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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

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I can't imagine any proper vessel designer would not take into account the anchor and chain weight when drawing a boat's lines. That would be toral incompetence IMO.
Not accounting for that weight is the same as ignoring the weight of an outboard, if designed into a boat, or the tankage for that matter. I don't think you are giving the good designers their fair due.
Obviously, some flat chat racers don't accommodate the ground tackle on/in the bow, but even stored amidships, the weight has to be figured into the design.
There is a difference between designing the boat so that the boat can manage the presence of ~350# of anchor chain (I have 300' of 5/8" HT @ 1.16#/' on my Bristol 40) and saying that it won't affect performance. We all make lots of adjustments to our boats to improve the way they sail. I can definitely tell the difference between having the 50 gallon v-berth water tank on my Bristol 35.5 (~400#) full or empty when beating to windward in short seas. It is not the end of the world, but it is definitely noticeable. I wouln't consider Ted Hood incompetent for designing a boat that was affected this way. YMMV.
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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

So the big boys say it doesn't affect the sailing of the boat. Obviously to them it doesn't as all of them are 20,000 lb plus . Many of them anchor in deep places also.

At 11,000 you are 4000 less than us a a relatively light boat. Any substantial weight on one end ( like an anchor locker) has a much greater affect on the balance of the boat. Think teeter totter here.
Ask yourself some questions....what depth is most of your anchoring in.
What conditions is most of your anchoring in?

Think about reconfiguring your locker and put your spare in back vrs split side to side.

We have 90 ft of chain....which is plenty. It acheives the proper cantenary angle in deep water of 30 ft. In most of the more shallow Chessie anchorages it more than enough . After the 90 we have 300 ft of 8 plait . Much easier tying off the anchor through a chock to a cleat than dealing with snubbers and hooks with chain. ( Hell of a lot safer too!!! I've seen some nasty anchoring injuries) caused by chain. 8 plait has nice shock absorbing qualities at anchor.

All chain with an 11,000 lb is overkill.


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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

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Originally Posted by chicory83 View Post
There is a difference between designing the boat so that the boat can manage the presence of ~350# of anchor chain (I have 300' of 5/8" HT @ 1.16#/' on my Bristol 40) and saying that it won't affect performance. We all make lots of adjustments to our boats to improve the way they sail. I can definitely tell the difference between having the 50 gallon v-berth water tank on my Bristol 35.5 (~400#) full or empty when beating to windward in short seas. It is not the end of the world, but it is definitely noticeable. I wouln't consider Ted Hood incompetent for designing a boat that was affected this way. YMMV.
I'm sure your boat was designed to sail with that tank full, but you have the choice as to whether you want to bother filling it or not. You don't exactly get to choose when you take your ground tackle with you. Depending on the service of the vessel, your boat could probably do just as well anchoring on a Fortress and a bit of chain and some line, but I would expect Ted Hood to take into account your not excessive ground tackle weight.
How many of us casually carry a dink on the foredeck, a not inconsiderable weight for some of us. Now that a designer can't really account for, especially if RIBs weren't available or popular when the boat was designed.

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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
So the big boys say it doesn't affect the sailing of the boat. Obviously to them it doesn't as all of them are 20,000 lb plus . Many of them anchor in deep places also.

At 11,000 you are 4000 less than us a a relatively light boat. Any substantial weight on one end ( like an anchor locker) has a much greater affect on the balance of the boat. Think teeter totter here. ….
Agreed Chef, which is why I described my boat and suggested the OP actually test how his boat behaves. I know many lighter boats do suffer from added weight in the bow or stern (davit-hung dinghies, or even heavy outboards on the rail). And while ~200# may not be a large mass compared to the total 11,000# displacement, placing it far out on one edge (away from the fulcrum) creates a much-magnified cantilever effect resulting in a far greater forces.

If a cruising boat can carry all-chain, I think this is usually the best rode option. But many lighter boats cannot. In these cases I would definitely stick to some sort of rope/chain rode.

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Re: What packs in anchor locker better? Nylon or Chain?

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Originally Posted by chicory83 View Post
There is a difference between designing the boat so that the boat can manage the presence of ~350# of anchor chain (I have 300' of 5/8" HT @ 1.16#/' on my Bristol 40) and saying that it won't affect performance.........
This is why I chose to say "I’m a fan of all chain, unless it’s not a viable option". The question is in the eye of the beholder to determine what a successful outcome may be. Some search for boats with 10 second PHRF rating differences and consider that an important characteristic. Others never know the difference. Clearly, the boat will continue to sail with this marginal added weight, it's only a matter of whether the skipper and boat can tell the difference in characteristic.

There are pros and cons to different rode setups. Some seem to feel a need to defend their choice. I simply say I prefer all chain, where viable. I can't say if it's viable in the OP's boat. Only they can.

The OP question, however, was which will fit more length. That's been definitively answered.


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