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We have just completed our first season as owners of a 31 foot sailboat. This has been a dream come true, and I have been addicted to this site for a year and a half. So now I have loads of questions for all the experts.

I bought a 22 lb Delta anchor. I do not have a windlass. How much chain can I use (weight wise) and still be able to pull the anchor up manually? I have a winch on the main mast. Also, I am going to add a bow roller. I have looked everywhere, and looked at many boats, but can't tell if it is better to install the bow roller parallel to the deck, or at an angle to the deck. If parallel, would I use a block of wood to support the back end?

Dan
 

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50' of 5/16 chan ought to be enough.. Depending on where you are sailing. We are using that configuration on Stone Age and it works well.. We have a bit bigger anchor (60#) and are using 3/8"chain, but 50 feet is great.

I had 50' of chain and a 13# danforth on our 26 footer and same results. Only dragged twice and that was because of operator error and nothing else.

Add a kellet to your arsenal and you're in good shape.

John
 

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Danjcon,

Usually more chain is better for holding power, but a lot of folks find that an all-chain rode is a heavy load to haul around for typical weekending/coastal sailing. Whereas long-distance voyagers often feel it's a worthwhile trade-off/insurance policy.

It sounds like you're more of a weekender/coastal sailor. Another variable is where you're anchoring. Assuming you're on the Chesapeake, one consideration is the amount of mud that gets embedded in the chain links. It can make a real mess on deck if you don't have a system for getting rid of it.

We have a 31 footer also. One of our primary anchors has about 30 feet (35lb CQR) of chain, the other about 20 feet (25lb Delta), with the rest of those rodes being 3-strand. We get very good holding with these arrangements, especially the CQR. More chain would probably yield better holding, but realize that more chain = more mud mess.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Anchor

Thanks for the responses. I do mostly do short cruises around the Chesapeake. I want to use as much chain as possible, but hadn't tried it yet with the Delta anchor and was concerned about the weight when trying to raise anchor manually.
 

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If you are reasonably able-bodied, even a 35 lb anchor with 25 - 50 feet of chain should pose little trouble. We do not have a windlass and I've never really wished we did. I've never had to use a winch either. Sometimes, if it's really blowing, we'll motor up to the anchor slowly, and use the boat's momentum to break the anchor out.

The weight of the chain generally doesn't amount to more than the length of chain equal to the depth of water you've anchored in and a bit more for the rise between the surface and the roller-- 10-15 feet typically.
 

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That kind of depends on how strong you are, now doesn't it??? I'd highly recommend going with at least 30', preferably 50-60' of chain. Anything more than that is overkill unless you anchor in areas with coral heads all the time. :)

One thing that will help a lot is a chain pawl. Makes it much simpler to haul the anchor up... since you can let go of the anchor chain to adjust your grip without the chain rattling back overboard. A good chain pawl helps a lot if you don't have a windlass.

One common type looks like this:



As for bow rollers, it really depends on how your foredeck is setup. A photo of it would help...as would saying what 31' sailboat you have. :)

The ground tackle setup I installed on my boat looks like this:



It is a bit tight, but that is mainly due to the fact that a trimaran has a pretty narrow foredeck. :)


We have just completed our first season as owners of a 31 foot sailboat. This has been a dream come true, and I have been addicted to this site for a year and a half. So now I have loads of questions for all the experts.

I bought a 22 lb Delta anchor. I do not have a windlass. How much chain can I use (weight wise) and still be able to pull the anchor up manually? I have a winch on the main mast. Also, I am going to add a bow roller. I have looked everywhere, and looked at many boats, but can't tell if it is better to install the bow roller parallel to the deck, or at an angle to the deck. If parallel, would I use a block of wood to support the back end?

Dan
 

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Dan... you might as well cave in now. You're gonna get sucked in anyway! First, you should get about 25 feet of chain. Then you will want it spliced to your rode since shackles don't do so well on windlasses. (more on that later!)...Next you will anchor a few times and find muddy chain all over your deck, exhaustion from setting and resetting the anchor to find good holding and you will be installing a wash down system to get the slime off of you and the boat. Then you will be thinking "it would be a lot easier to wash the chain down as I'm bringing it up and not get it all over me and the boat but I don't have 3 hands." Then you will realize that a windlass is really what you should have gotten from the start and be grateful that I told you to get a splice between the chain and rope rode! :D
Oh yeah..you're gonna need another battery and a bow roller too. :D
 

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My boat is pretty light, at -5k lbs and 27ft but I probably have -10ft of chain on a 13lb danforth and 100+ feet of rode.

Am I under-chained??

I only plan on dropping it in an emergency in -10ft of water in the Chesapeake. Many pre-pakaged anchor systems come this way.
 

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Dan... you might as well cave in now. You're gonna get sucked in anyway! First, you should get about 25 feet of chain. Then you will want it spliced to your rode since shackles don't do so well on windlasses. (more on that later!)...Next you will anchor a few times and find muddy chain all over your deck, exhaustion from setting and resetting the anchor to find good holding and you will be installing a wash down system to get the slime off of you and the boat. Then you will be thinking "it would be a lot easier to wash the chain down as I'm bringing it up and not get it all over me and the boat but I don't have 3 hands." Then you will realize that a windlass is really what you should have gotten from the start and be grateful that I told you to get a splice between the chain and rope rode! :D
Oh yeah..you're gonna need another battery and a bow roller too. :D
You've just described what the past year has been like for pretty much every system on the boat.
 

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Another story!

First for those who are not afraid by mathematics, have a look at the very interesting web page:
- Tuning an anchor rode : Tuning an Anchor Rode

Danjcon: How much chain can I use?
The main purpose of the chain is to attach the anchor to the boat, or if you prefer the boat to the anchor.
Its main advantage is to be the best mean to avoid chaffing of the rode to the sea bottom (sometime very aggressive)
- For this reason a chain length of one or max two times the length of your boat is far enough, and then an elastic rode: Nylon rope...

Don’t listen to people who says
Add a kellet to your arsenal
as the efficiency of a kellet (angel – Chum – Sentinel..) is nearly nothing (see the previous web page)

Don’t listen either to people who says
Usually more chain is better for holding power.
This is wrong; the realty is more RODE is better for holding as it will decrease the pulling angle.

The best rode is a rode with enough ELASTICITY (chain doesn’t have elasticity – Nylon YES), so take enough chain to avoid chaffing of the rode on the sea bottom, and then Nylon rope

If you want to save more weight, look at “NEW GEN” anchors, as they are by far more efficient, you can decrease the anchor weight by one to two sizes.

João
 

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Cam-

You do know that they do still make manual windlasses that do not require electricity or batteries to operate, right???? Not everyone is as lazy as you... :) ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As for bow rollers, it really depends on how your foredeck is setup. A photo of it would help...as would saying what 31' sailboat you have.

I have a 1971 31' Seafarer Yawl - Bill Tripp design. The bow is shown below.



I have a Kingston model BR-20 anchor roller with a Delta 22# anchor. I am trying to determine the best way to attach the roller. I think the chain stopper is a good idea, but I'm not sure how to configure in the space provided.

Thanks for everyone's help.

Dan
 

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Dan—

IMHO, you'd be better off running the bow lines across to the cleat on the opposite side, rather than to the one on the same side, as the line would lead far more fair and probably chafe less, since they'd be making a less sharp turn and wouldn't be rubbing against the pulpit stanchions. :D



You'd probably have to relocate the cleats and the chain pipe to accommodate the anchor roller and chain stopper—since your foredeck is almost as small as the one on my boat. :)

If you can put a bigger image of the foredeck up in your picasa account as well as say how big the bow chocks are in inches, I can see if I can draw something up that might work for you.

I have a 1971 31' Seafarer Yawl - Bill Tripp design. The bow is shown below.



I have a Kingston model BR-20 anchor roller with a Delta 22# anchor. I am trying to determine the best way to attach the roller. I think the chain stopper is a good idea, but I'm not sure how to configure in the space provided.

Thanks for everyone's help.

Dan
 

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I think this is a larger image. The bow chocks are about 8 inches long. I was planning to replace them with smaller chocks to match the other ones - 6 inches long, and move them further aft, just ahead of the pulpit post. That would allow for a place to put the bow roller. I could add a cleat further back. Not sure what to do with the hause pipe, since that is directly above the space where the anchor rode is stowed.
 

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Don't go down in size on the cleats. As it is, your cleats are a bit undersized IMHO. A 10" cleat can handle two 5/8" lines. An 8" cleat can only handle two 1/2" lines well. This is based on the rule of thumb that a cleat can handle two lines 1/16 its length in diameter, which is pretty accurate IMHO.

Looking at the photo of your foredeck, what I'd do if I had your boat is move the bow chocks aft along the toe rail so the forward end lines up just aft of the stanchions. Then I'd mount the bow roller over the starboard side toe rail, angled slightly to starboard, with a teak block supporting the aft end of the roller. I'd add a 4" mooring bitt to the deck in front of the chain pipe, to secure the chain to.

This leaves you the option of adding a vertical drum windlass aft of the chainpipe that could have the chain fall into the chainpipe.
 
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