SailNet Community banner

What method do you use to mark depth on your anchor rode?

  • Zip Ties - 1 for 25', 2 for 50' etc...

    Votes: 18 18.2%
  • Color Coded Paint

    Votes: 16 16.2%
  • Color Coded nylon fabric threaded through the strands

    Votes: 28 28.3%
  • Other Method

    Votes: 29 29.3%
  • I just guess based on how much rode is left in the locker...

    Votes: 9 9.1%

  • Total voters
    99
101 - 112 of 112 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,153 Posts
Been using 5:1 with. Rocna one step up from recommded. Knock on wood ok to date after 7 years down in the islands. Not so much when in the chessie, block island or Maine. Have learned in Block and Chessie to NOT back down until anchor has sat for hours. Then check set before you bed down. Think it takes hours in those kind of spots for the anchor to settle through the loose soupy mud. Up to Maine back down after a few minutes of settling. Its common for there to be rock ledge under a few inches of dirt so you think you have a good set but you don’t. Want to know that right off so I can move before turning the engine off.

PDQ is right

The point is that areas are different. I suspect all of the posters are correct within their expereince.

Would add your experience is limited to the spots you dropped in the past. I mean spots as different areas of the same anchorage may have very different characteristics. We keep our breadcrumbs for this reason as well as others. We put our experience in the log and will go back to check it if we don’t remember. If we’ve never been there before look at what others have done and may go 5-7:1 if nervous about things. With the Rocna and similar don’t think you gain anything extending the ratio past that.

Would be interested if anyone knows of testing to confirm what’s the best ratio for these kind of anchors.


Show Full Signature
Writing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,069 Posts
S love you like a brother and apologize for being nit picking but a storm still means 48-55kts sustained to me. In many places you don’t know what’s coming up. T-storms in Florida or even repetitive line squalls in Maine during the fall. Or just hours/days of fresh breeze with the occasional gust down in the islands. Don’t consider any of that storm. Do think in many places you anchor in open large bays with episodic considerable wind at times. Can’t say about this year but last year it was real common to have enough chop, at times, to make getting in the dinghy interesting. Lots of places get a good wind going for a few hours in the morning as the land thermal adds into the trades. Every place gets good and gusty as a WAVE passes by. So think being conservative is worthwhile. Especially in your cruising area. We were anchored on the NY side of L.I. Sound some years ago. A pop up came through. Lasted less than 1/2 h. Not predicted. Clocked one gust at 57. You never know. So agree on a daily basis makes sense to leave storm gear in the locker. But your routine protocol should be able to stand up to a line squall or tstorm.
Fortunately I have managed to dodge these crazy blows while at anchor. I've been moored through a hurricane or two and had gear fail but the boat had security lines and dragged the mooring but survived.

If I had time... I would add a 2nd anchor to my rode let out more scope... add more scope to the snubber and add a 2nd "security snubber" (looser then 1st snubber) . Yes you never know when a mirco burst weather event will blast through. It may makes sense if you have warning to up anchor and deal with it at sea with plenty of sea room. Seas do kick up but if you have room to run with them it's not as bad as riding them on an anchor. I don't think it makes sense to use a "storm anchoring" strategy for day to day sailing. But it does make sense to have a strategy to deal with these events.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,796 Posts
I can't honestly ever remember a hail storm here in the Caribbean, but we certainly get plenty of vicious squalls. Two nights ago we had one in Grenada with 75 mph winds recorded.
We have yet (about 5 years on the anchor 350 nights a year) to have 3:1 with all chain and a 30', 1" three strand nylon snub fail to hold the boat in the 60 knot squalls we've had since we bought the Rocna.
I don't worry about our boat dragging, though I must admit I do worry about some boats that are anchored to windward of us in these squalls.
You were not anchored in soupy mud either. The holding capacity could easily be 5x less.

My point was that situations vary and advice for one location may not translate to another location. I am sure you are right, for your boat, in your region, with your ground tackle.

For example, I typically anchor in ~ 5 feet of water (current boat and last cruising cat--same numbers). 3:1 would mean 24 feet of rode. Rediculous. No catenary starting at about 15 knots. Heck, my bridle is 18 feet. In fact, I never anchor with less than 50 feet out, and not with less than 75 feet if any wind is expected. It's just not stable. I also have to be mindful of wave exposure in such shallows. But since this would leave you aground, this is not a part of your figuring. Which is fine.

It just depends.

---

As for the original question (how to mark a rode), I tried many types of markers but settled on paint 15 years ago. It works better for me. The idea of feeling to markers in the dark is (a) quaint in this day of headlamps, and (b) a good way to loose a finger. Markers either fall out, are cut off by the gypsy, or are obscured by mud in the links. Bands every 25 feet--if you are OCD then estimate between them. On the otherhand, I've never had much trouble just going by eyeball or time. The rode angle will make it pretty obvious when it comes tight.

Paint is easy if you drape the chain across an open box top. You can do it right on deck, no mess, and when it's dry, throw the box away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,153 Posts
We’re in sand and crushed coral and use paint like P. Anytime we go on the hard drop all the chain for a good wash and inspection. Then paint where necessary. Have found if the chain is really clean and you use gavi paint or rustoleum get a full 12m. Found a weird orange metal prep paint in Bequia hardware store and bought several.good to go for awhile. Found any regular spray paint just doesn’t work.
Unless it’s pitch dark just the moon is sufficient light. Hate headlamps. It’s obvious where you painted even if some is worn away. That hasn’t been an issue.
different strokes for different folks.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,380 Posts
Likely because you anchor mostly in mud and soft bottoms. We found anchoring in sand and crushed coral can remove paint in days.

Mark
Another plus for 3:1 anchoring; not dragging gobs of chain across the bottom and rubbing off the marks and the crumby galvanizing they use these days. So far it appears as though we'll get more than 3 times the use out of this chain than the previous two lengths we bought and used more than 3:1 scope.
About the only place we have soft mud is FdF anchorage in Martinique. It's a pretty small anchorage and at 7:1 you'd be pretty unpopular. Anchoring well outside the group leaves you at the mercy of the ferry wakes, but if you must have your 7:1, that's where you are going to end up. I honestly can't remember what scope we used last time we were there, but I can only use enough to fit in the hole I choose between boats.
3:1 was pretty standard with all chain in the '60s and most used Danforths. As new anchors came out I guess they required more scope to hold. My genuine CQR certainly did. The Bruce wasn't even designed as a short term yacht anchor, but to hold oil rigs and the like over long term use.
I often have a lot more trouble getting the Rocna unset if I don't want to power it out, than getting it to set. It holds amazingly well at 1:1 or 1.5:1, (when bringing it up in a strong breeze, after being well set) though I'd never anchor on that scope. In an emergency, the Rocna did hold us as long as was necessary at 1.5:1, which surprised the heck out of me, and saved our a$$es, but I certainly wouldn't count on that again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,312 Posts
Another plus for 3:1 anchoring; not dragging gobs of chain across the bottom and rubbing off the marks and the crumby galvanizing they use these days.
Reminds me of this story from a few years ago. It was a CQR anchor...
No question that all-chain rode is more secure. But in calm conditions that chain will sit on the mud bottom and be a big mess to clean up. About a year ago we were in Eastern Bay returning from St. Michaels to Galesville in my friend's Mason 44. A fast moving thunderstorm was heading across the Bay from the west, so after making radio contact with a couple other boats who had local knowledge we followed them and ducked in behind Kent Point off of Romancoke, near where Dave anchored this weekend. The storm appeared to be coming in fast so we had to drop the hook without taking a lot of time to find a shallow spot. We were in 24' of water, so had to put out 200' of chain. As fate would have it, the storm broke up and never blew us at all. This meant that about 170' of chain was sitting on the mud bottom. It took us over an hour to hose off the whole chain as it came in, about 5' at a time.
What I didn't mention was that by the time we had finally hosed off all that mud-caked chain, ANOTHER storm was moving across Chesapeake.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chef2sail and capta

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,153 Posts
I’ve done 3:1 in the places Capta refers to. Would add Marigot in St.Lucia and St Anne in Martinique to his list. Still don't like the way it resets. Will go with a Spade if my current Rocna doesn’t last as long as me.
Capta do you think more scope would improve performance should a blow come up? Or the angle is actually better at 3:1 and more scope would cause holding power to decrease? Do note it continues to slide in further and further as time goes on. Very noticeable in hard pack.
Its a goof to wander around in the dinghy when in clear water. You end up amazed more folks don’t drag. Common to see the entire anchor and a pile of chain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,796 Posts
Likely because you anchor mostly in mud and soft bottoms. We found anchoring in sand and crushed coral can remove paint in days.

Mark
Exactly. Different areas, different long splices.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,380 Posts
Capta do you think more scope would improve performance should a blow come up? Or the angle is actually better at 3:1 and more scope would cause holding power to decrease?
I don't think holding power would decrease with more scope, but I have found that the boat rides on the anchor much more comfortably on the shorter scope. We also don't hear the chain dragging along the bottom as we used to with more scope. We seem to swing less and surge on the anchor less.
I agree with whoever above who said that day to day anchoring should be suitable for 60 knots of wind, and so far as I said above, it's been years of anchoring almost every night with some pretty intense squalls without any problems on 3:1.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
12,174 Posts
Been using 5:1 with. Rocna one step up from recommded. Knock on wood ok to date after 7 years down in the islands. Not so much when in the chessie, block island or Maine. Have learned in Block and Chessie to NOT back down until anchor has sat for hours. Then check set before you bed down. Think it takes hours in those kind of spots for the anchor to settle through the loose soupy mud. Up to Maine back down after a few minutes of settling. Its common for there to be rock ledge under a few inches of dirt so you think you have a good set but you don’t. Want to know that right off so I can move before turning the engine off.

PDQ is right

The point is that areas are different. I suspect all of the posters are correct within their expereince.

Would add your experience is limited to the spots you dropped in the past. I mean spots as different areas of the same anchorage may have very different characteristics. We keep our breadcrumbs for this reason as well as others. We put our experience in the log and will go back to check it if we don’t remember. If we’ve never been there before look at what others have done and may go 5-7:1 if nervous about things. With the Rocna and similar don’t think you gain anything extending the ratio past that.

Would be interested if anyone knows of testing to confirm what’s the best ratio for these kind of anchors.


Show Full Signature
Writing
Our experience is the same as yours.
 
101 - 112 of 112 Posts
Top