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Never used a swivel . Don't want anything in the anchor rode line with a weaker point than my line or links of chain

Others I have talked to it becomes a weak point.

The Rocna turns and pivots when it is in the air before it hits the anchor roller and the bail so that takes any twist out, though I've never seen a real twist
 

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That's exactly what I had in mind. The float is a nice touch because it keeps the line out of the mud. Then I could wrap the trip line around the windlass drum if I need mechanical assist for hauling in the chain.

Any other negatives to this arrangement?

Also a question about your 5/8" shackle. Is that a free-rotating shackle? My anchor currently has one, and my surveyor told me to remove it because it is a common point of failure. Is twisting a problem if you don't have it?

I like the picture, but this is a tripping line, not a recovery line. It will bring the anchor up backwards is snagged. A recovery line is attached to the anchor shackle and is used to bring the anchor right into the roller using a winch. Commonly used with in-line tandems (there is no other practical way, unless you want to reach over the pulpit and grab the chain while the boat is bucking), after the primary is secured, the recovery line is detached from the chain, fed through the other roller, and led to a windlass or winch.

Is this needed for most single anchors? No, not unless you have back trouble. If so, it is quite nice. However, a windlass and all-chain rode is a better solution. This is the bargain solution, or a work-around for a charter boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I like the picture, but this is a tripping line, not a recovery line....
As I said, I'm not going to have one, so what it's called is moot from my perspective. i was just using the terminology in eherlihy's post and picture.

...However, a windlass and all-chain rode is a better solution. This is the bargain solution, or a work-around for a charter boat.
In a world of infinite time, money, locker size, and weight capacity, chain is always better. But in the real world everything is a compromise. My windlass will not accommodate all-chain, as I already explained. I am going to use the windlass that my boat came with until my anchoring practices call for an upgrade, so I will have nylon twist rode with chain end, which every reference I have seen will be adequate for my needs on a boat this size.

Let's not go around in circles with this argument.

After reading some more threads and other websites, I will remove the swivel. After what I have read, I suspect the PO put the swivel there to allow the anchor to turn right-side-up when it comes out of the water (because with rope rode the chain has a 75% chance of bringing the anchor up with the wrong attitude). I will overcome this issue by marking my chain near the chain-rope connection to orient properly as it comes through the roller, so when the anchor appears from underwater I will know it will have the right attitude as soon as the chain starts through the roller. If the shackle comes through with the wrong orientation, I'll lower it, allow it to rotate, and bring it through the roller again with the right orientation.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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My windlass will not accommodate all-chain, as I already explained.
Go to your windlass manufacturer. You may find a replacement rope-chain gypsy, or a longer spindle and a chain gypsy under your capstan is within reach.

I suspect the PO put the swivel there to allow the anchor to turn right-side-up when it comes out of the water (because with rope rode the chain has a 75% chance of bringing the anchor up with the wrong attitude).
This shouldn't be hard. Most plow or spoon anchors will right themselves if you don't pull them into the roller too fast. If you have the sort of roller with a groove try replacing it with one that doesn't have a groove.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Go to your windlass manufacturer. You may find a replacement rope-chain gypsy, or a longer spindle and a chain gypsy under your capstan is within reach..
I will re-check this yet again, but when I searched it before the Catalina 34 and 320 message boards were filled with posts from people who said a drum switch was not possible and a full replacement of windlass was the only option. That's why I haven't bothered to check further. I don't know what brand and model windlass I have, but it may be a matter of a product discontinuation.

...This shouldn't be hard. Most plow or spoon anchors will right themselves if you don't pull them into the roller too fast. If you have the sort of roller with a groove try replacing it with one that doesn't have a groove.
The current anchor is a Fortress, so I guess it's a 50% chance instead of a 75% chance. I don't have enough experience with that anchor to know if it tends to right itself - I assume that the flukes would fall to a bottom-heavy position and it would right itself, but that anchor will become a secondary one anyway.

The grooved roller is the cause of the problem, and getting an ungrooved one could be a good fix. I'll keep that in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Already answered this. Another reason why I don't want to go all chain:
Thanks everyone for all the advice, even though I sense some cognitive dissonance between your suggestions. It's clear that the optimum choice depends on where you sail/anchor, how often you anchor, your options and willingness to head for a marina or mooring ball in foul weather, etc.

We're not going to be heading out for weeks at a time. Mostly weekends and occasional full week in the upper Bay where there are lots of non-anchoring options if conditions look bad. My wife (and I) are very cautious about conditions, so will avoid forecasted storms. Of course, there's also the possibility of stuff that pops up without a forecast.



This is correct - strictly in the muddy Chesapeake. I learned about the huge gobs of stinky stuff the hard way, and learned to appreciate the ease of handling rope rode in appropriate conditions. About a year ago we were in Eastern Bay returning from St. Michaels to Galesville in the Mason 44 my friend had lent me. 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. 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. Not even a puff of wind. This meant that about 170' of chain was sitting on the mud bottom the whole time. It took us over an hour to hose off the whole chain as it came in, about 5' at a time (in other words, pull in a freeboard length, stop, hose down that section, pull in another freeboard length, etc.).

Not only does my new boat not have a chain gypsy, but it does not have a washdown system either, which is an absolute must for all-chain. So that that further adds to the complexity of switching to all chain. With a short chain and rope, washing down with a bucket or with my portable washdown pump is sufficient.

https://youtu.be/dvZSW6J7JaU

I anchored out in my last boat only a few times - less than expected. With this boat I will anchor more, but still not nearly as much as many of you do, and I will likely be more selective about conditions. So I will not switch to all-chain unless my usage patterns change from what I anticipate.
 

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Already answered this. Another reason why I don't want to go all chain:
Sorry - I didn't remember. I don't take notes. *grin* I really do try to keep up. Both the bucket and the portable washdown can be effective but sometimes the Chesapeake mud really gets ahead of you. Getting it off the chain and rope, while inconvenient, is better than having to clean out the anchor locker.
 

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Discussion Starter #49 (Edited)
Sorry - I didn't remember. I don't take notes. *grin* I really do try to keep up. Both the bucket and the portable washdown can be effective but sometimes the Chesapeake mud really gets ahead of you. Getting it off the chain and rope, while inconvenient, is better than having to clean out the anchor locker.
No problem, I really do appreciate your advice. I can't even remember what I wrote much of the time, so I can't expect you to remember what I wrote. ;)

Speaking of forgetting what I wrote, here's a swivel debate that I had totally forgotten about. I even participated in it! Rereading it today "sealed the deal" that I don't want anything to do with a swivel in my ground tackle:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/cruising-liveaboard-forum/174482-anchor-swivels-yea-nay-how.html

FYI, I ordered a Mantus today. Any of the three would have been fine, but I got a good deal. Also, the videos by Steve Goodman showed the Mantus to be just a little better than Rocna or Manson Supreme at maintaining a set when jerked 180 degrees with low scope (2.2-2.8). Since my rope rode will result in poor catenary, this difference in performance could be more important for me than for others who have all chain. So that tipped the balance to Mantus for me, even if only slightly.

Now it's time to go look and see why everyone says my windlass can't be converted to gypsy.
 

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As I said, I'm not going to have one, so what it's called is moot from my perspective. i was just using the terminology in eherlihy's post and picture.
I answered your exact opening question with a proven solution and correct nomenclature. Sorry.

As for finding a gypsy that goes smoothly from rope to chain... be warned that doesn't always work as advertised. They tend to jam at the transition. That is why that combination is unpopular.

There are several splices that can be used at the join. The conventional short backsplice is fat and troublesome. Try a long backsplice.
 

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There are several splices that can be used at the join. The conventional short backsplice is fat and troublesome. Try a long backsplice.
I agree about a long backsplice. In my experience the splice is more important than the gypsy.

The question is can you adapt your existing windlass for rope/chain instead of just a capstan.
 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
Keep us in the loop. I love coming up with creative ways to overcome "can't."
Based on web postings from C34 and C320 user groups, it appears that Catalinas of similar vintage to mine came from the factory with Maxwell 500 VC windlass with capstan drum only. Although designed to be mounted in vertical orientation, Catalina installed them in horizontal orientation inside the anchor locker. They were also installed without the needed switching to operate in both directions, so they crank only in one direction, with free-fall drop.

Maxwell sold a kit to convert this to a 500 VW model, which had both capstan and gypsy. The conversion kit also included a new gearbox which was required to do the conversion, and made it so costly that some owners instead would just replace the whole windlass with a new 500 VW (or upgraded at time of purchase). However, in horizontal orientation the performance and ergonomics of the gypsy is compromised, so this alternative was not fully satisfactory to many users.

The 500 series has been discontinued, and conversion kit is no longer available.

Also, my boat does not have a washdown pump built in. So if I wanted to go all-chain, I'd have to:

  1. Buy a new windlass
  2. Carve out the anchor locker and deck lid to provide access and space for a windlass installed in vertical orientation
  3. Find a place for a second foot switch for "down" operation
  4. Install a washdown pump, including new through-hull, pumping, electricals, etc.
  5. According to some users' comments, I'd need to find a way to expand the locker to accommodate sufficient chain
  6. Solve the weight balance issues that would come with a suddenly heavier locker filled with chain

All this for a boat that I haven't even anchored out in yet. I have anchored out in similar charter boats that had rope rode, and somehow survived.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound cynical, but at this point I'm going to go sailing and anchor with my existing tackle (except with new Mantus anchor when it comes). I'll enjoy what I already have until I decide that I want to do major surgery on my boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
One additional thing: From user comments, it appears that many of them use the capstan to haul in the 10'-35' of chain at the end of their rope rode. They say that a little tailing tension on the chain provides enough friction for the capstan to pull it. However, it does chip the chrome plating off over time, and the chips can be very sharp and therefore a cutting hazard.

As far as the splice, there's a Chuck Hawley demo video floating around somewhere where he demonstrates a 5-6-7 backsplice. It's still bulky, but the transition is more gradual. Those with the 500 VW said it would go through the gypsy OK. With the capstan, the main benefit of the splice is that it eliminates the bulky eye and shackle that can take a chunk out of the anchor locker's gelcoat as it goes around the capstan.
 

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Op, I thought your original suggestion Re a fibre line attached to your anchor sounded pretty reasonable. I have done a lot of anchoring. To help define a lot of anchoring, I was a deck hand, and mate on Buoy tenders for over a decade.

As you likely know, buoys are anchored to the bottom and in busy seasons we would place 25 a day in varying water depths and varying currents, even ice conditions.

Here's what works best.

Whatever works.

I have combined fibre and chain, cable and chain and different sizes of chain. I can think of no reason you're idea wouldn't work. Fibre snubbers on chain are common practice for pro's so I can't see why it wouldn't work on a yacht that anchors a few weekends a year.

Same thing with swivels. You're anchoring for a week end? A swivel isn't going to wear through in a week end, not unless it's made of popsicle sticks, just take a look at it every time you pull the anchor up.
 

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... So if I wanted to go all-chain, I'd have to:

  1. Buy a new windlass
  2. Carve out the anchor locker and deck lid to provide access and space for a windlass installed in vertical orientation
  3. Find a place for a second foot switch for "down" operation
  4. Install a washdown pump, including new through-hull, pumping, electricals, etc.
  5. According to some users' comments, I'd need to find a way to expand the locker to accommodate sufficient chain
  6. Solve the weight balance issues that would come with a suddenly heavier locker filled with chain

All this for a boat that I haven't even anchored out in yet. I have anchored out in similar charter boats that had rope rode, and somehow survived.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound cynical, but at this point I'm going to go sailing and anchor with my existing tackle (except with new Mantus anchor when it comes). I'll enjoy what I already have until I decide that I want to do major surgery on my boat.
Sounds thorny.

Depending on the depths you anchor in, you should be happy with 150' of 1/4" G43 chain and the balance 1/2" nylon. That should be enough 98% of the time to anchor on all-chain in the mid-Atlantic and Chesapeake. Saves a lot of weight and you only very seldom have to pass the splice. I have a set up similar to this in the Chesapeake (34' catamaran) and it is quite trouble free.

IF it wasn't for my own bad back, I'd say use what you've got. As it is, I feel your pain. 35 pounds of anchor + chain + mud is not light and the angle is bad.
 

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I am thinking his issue is the chain without the proper windlass. Adding more chain will only magnify this situation. So I guess you are faced with a conundrum

Surely there are ways your Catalina 34 could have either a horizontal or verticals windlass but would be a major project. Having a correct set up with a powered windlass I am sure is possible for the long term solution. You have something so use it and don't let it deter you from anchoring which I am sure you won't. So without changing the windlass it appears you want to use as little chain as possible. Which of course leads to other compromises. Anchor rode angle, not wanting to anchor in other than begnign situations, worrying that the anchor will hold, hassle of raising the anchor.

For now I am sure you will deal with this the way you have decided. If it were me I would look for a better solution long term as you'll have the boat a long time. But that comes in the following years I am sure.

Many people opt for a fair amount of chain and rode combo. There is a reason for that . . I am sure they are not completely wrong with those thoughts. We decided we were not just staying in the Chesapeake which meant we needed a robust anchoring solution which meant a new gen anchor and 90 ft of chain. It doesn't unbalance the boat as its only 90 ft, but it helps keep the rode angle to a good angle, especially in situations with reversing currents or large tide changes.

There is another solution you haven't brought forth and that's a manual windlass. We have one and it works perfectly well and saved my back,it crancks in 1 foot at a time as its double Action and with the other hand I can stream the water from the wash down over the links so no mud. You don't have to worry about an extra battery, long heavy cable runs which add weight, it is very low maintsinence and it's good exercise.

The portable wash down will work for now, but eventually having a dedicated wash down makes it easier Having a good wash down system with continuous strong water pressure is a great addition. They are not that expensive. We actually use the thru hull for our head as we use only fresh in the head. It's no big deal to Set up a T valve up there if you don't want an dedicated thru hull. Having that great pressurized water allows us also to wash down the boat too. It took me 2 hours to install.

These are long term solutions as you grow into your boat. Getting a new gen anchor is a good first step. It's also a safety solution in an emergency too. It will give you greater peace of mind when you do anchor. Confidence in anchoring for you wife will come with repetition. Anchoring for us involved both of us acting in tandem. While I usually am in the bow, we sometimes switch roles. The key to anchoring is proper technique both setting and retrieving. We have watched some real horror stories and also seen some very harmonious people who obviously have developed a good routine. Especially when retriving the anchor. The key is allowing the boat to do most of the work. The last step after the anchor had broken free usually is the last 30 ft or less in the Chessie. When we have over 90 feet out and it's on the rode no need to use the windlass as the boat is moving forward and our rope rode comes aboard easily without using the windlass. Only the last 90 ft do we utilize the manual windlass. And we are not pulling on it with tension as Donna is moving the boat forward. Once the anchor breaks free she just holds the boat in position while I cranck and wash.

Do whatever you need to to get you out. Sailing is a great sport passion. There is a certain amount of my wife and my pleasure in anchoring out with friends or in many of the special anchorages the Chessie had to offer. Having dinner at anchor with a sunset, watching Eagles fish, or having coffee in the AM with your loved one takes a special perk of having a good cruising anchor set up and feeling adept at doing it. Even anchored in the rain can be enjoyable and is so different than a slip, or mooring in a crowded field. We raft up with others many times and I want the other captain to feel secure if I am the anchor boat. Anything which detracts from being able to anchor a lot with peace of mind and ease is something I would fix.

Just enjoy your new boat. She's a beaut.
 

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Don't understand much of this discussion. A couple of feet up from interface use a truckers hitch to attach a line. Use one of the winches at the mast or long line to a primary ( this allows long sections to be unstressed). Tighten, winch in and take all strain off rode. Now have unstressed section of rode to feed by hand into locker. Rinse and repeat as necessary. No additional expense as a stout dock line or other spare line will serve. Use two lines to make it easier to untie truckers hitch and work rode in safely. Slow but foolproof. We've done this on a thirty thousand lbs boat when using the fortress secondary anchor which has rope to chain rode. Sure it would work fine on OPs smaller boat and he can keep his set up until there are bucks in the cruising kitty. Works best if you use engine to keep strain off rode. Have done it without mechanical advantage or secondary lines with just with an alert person at the helm on prior psc34 which is in the same weight range as OP but need to watch your fingers in case there's stress of rode inadvertently.
 
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