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Old as Dirt!
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For our first trip south next fall/winter (ICW, Keys, Bahamas) we're purchasing a new gen anchor (no discussion here which one).

Question is which of existing anchors to take as spare? We'll take the Fortress and then need to decide between the Delta (our current primary) and Bruce.

Second question is about chain/rode. Current set up from PO has spare rode same as primary with 125 ft of chain and then 3 strand line. Thinking that if we need to use the spare it's more likely that doing this by hand. Would it make sense to shorten the chain to make handling easier?
With one of the new generation anchors (Rockna/Manson/Spade and similar), you may find that you will have little need for a secondary anchor. That said, the Fortress is a wise choice for alternate bottom conditions, particularly very mushy/muddy bottoms. As for the Delta/Bruce choice it's likely 6 of one/a half dozen of the other. I would probably choose the one that is easier to handle since the function each is very close to the other.

As for the secondary rhode, if your primary anchor isn't suitable for a given bottom you might need to rely upon the secondary in which case I would want the rhode to be no less suitable/reliable than the primary rhode. With that, it is reasonable that both the primary and secondary rhode be the same. From your comment/question, I assume your anchor windlass cannot be used for your secondary rhode which must be handled manually. If so, that task would be greatly simplified by installing a chain lock inboard of your secondary bow roller. For example:



By passing your chain through this, the lock will take the strain of the chain between hoists, which can be timed to the fall of the bow. I/We used this method with both our primary and secondary rhode on our former yacht, which was not fitted with a windlass, to good advantage.

While some will argue that a short length of chain (equal to the length of the boat for example) will be sufficient, others, including me, feel more comfortable with a substantial length of chain between the rope rhode and the anchor if one is not fitted with all chain. For the Bahamas/Keys etc. you will likely find that, in other than exceptional conditions, 125 feet of chain is more than adequate for your needs.

FWIW...
 
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