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· Master Mariner
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No chain is a very bad idea and about the only thing you can count on is the anchor pulling loose. The more the better and it should be sized for the boat and the windlass if you have one. Cable is just not going to replace chain unless it's a pretty thick cable. It's the weight of the chain that keeps the pull of the anchor on a horizontal rather than a vertical. Never in over 50 years of boating have I ever seen cable on an anchor rode. Chuck
Every commercial fishing vessel I've seen or worked on, on the West Coast, from Mexico to Alaska has had a cable rode on a spool. It is also very common on commercial work boats, internationally. However, I would not recommend it on pleasure craft as it is usually a pretty messy, requires much more scope than chain and the cable does require frequent changing and a powerful windlass, normally hydraulic.
 
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