Upgrading from chain and rode to all chain anchor tackle

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mobocracy, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions

    OK....please report back on here once you get it on the boat....

    thanks....
    cliff
     
  2. be_prepared

    be_prepared Member GOLD Sponsor

    206
    Oct 12, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2002 Sea Ray Sundancer 340DA
    Twin Mercruiser Horizon 8.1 inboards
    I noticed on my 2002 340DA parts list that there was an option for an all chain rode, and it was 125' of 5/16HT. I'm looking into it myself this year. I wonder if the 125' they spec'd was based on price point, or weight in the bow, or space, or what?
    I had been thinking of putting 100' of 5/16 HT chain, and another 100-150' of 6 plait nylon.
    If you go with "all chain" do people carry bolt cutters with them just in case they have to set it free? I was figuring most of the time where I anchor I won't need more than 100' of chain, but if I had to, I could always cut the nylon. I've never had an anchor get so stuck that I had to abandon it, but I know the problem is out there, and I don't often rig a trip line.
     
  3. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    Our chain piles up the admiral get to push it to the side as I bring it up. There are supposed to be devices that spread the chain around but we do not have one. Perhaps others can provide what works best.
    I had to cut my chain once I carry an angle grinder.
     
  4. mobocracy

    mobocracy Member

    233
    Jun 29, 2014
    United States
    310 Sundancer
    350 Mag & Bravo III
    I'm kind of puzzled by the "cut the chain" problem. I mean, there is a bitter end to even an all chain anchor line which is connected to....nothing, right? Unless you attached it to something that won't pass up from the anchor locker or go through the windlass. My existing nylon rode has a giant ball knot at the end so you can't absentmindedly run it all out and lose it.

    If I was so stuck my anchor wouldn't come up with all chain, why wouldn't you just run the rest of the anchor chain out the windlass -- and either just abandon the chain entirely (panic emergency, have to leave in a hurry) or tie it off to a fender or two so you (or a diver or whoever) can come back and make a salvage attempt.
     
  5. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer
    2X 454 w/ vDrives
    I added 150 ft of chain to my setup, but left the 150ft of 3 strand as the backing. So if i ever had to dump the chain I would, and I would tie something that floats to a bit of the rope and come back later to retrieve the anchor and chain (if it hadn't been stolen/recovered by then). But that is based on boating in the great lakes where we anchor in shallow bays (usually 15 to 30 ft deep at the anchor)
     
  6. Mittens

    Mittens Member

    410
    Mar 5, 2017
    Huntsville, AL
    2002 340 Sundancer, All Cherry Cabin, Black Canvas.
    8.1 Mercs, V Drives, 4.5kw Westerbeke.
    So what I did, was cut the noose attaching original rode to boat. Removed all rope but 15 foot or so, then retired the noose to boat... so I have factory 15 foot of rope attached to boat, and the factory splice to 25 foot of factory chain, attached to 200 foot of new chain. I used a temp chain connector just to get the chain off the dock and into the boat but to my surprise it passes through the windless.. on multiple tests, and I don't plan to get to the 200 foot mark unless I am letting it All out to cut loose in a emergency anyway.

    But the chain fits. I have not dropped it and pulled a hard load with it but it seems to go in the types fine.
     
  7. AKBASSKING

    AKBASSKING Active Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    SE Alaska Summer/Columbia River winter
    1988 Yacht Fisher
    Twin 375hp Cat 3208 T/A
    How deep do you plan on anchoring? You stated fresh water, so less than 30 feet? The amount of chain will be determined by your anchorage and your scope. Once you figure your length call the company that made your windlass and make sure which gypsy do you have? 5/16, 3/8 and so on. Then what type of chain i.e. BBB or HT and so on. How will the chain affect your chain locker and any additional weight on the bow and how it affects handling performance.

    I switched to an all chain rode due to my cruising area, PNW, B.C., and SE Alaska. I changed out to 550 feet (a barrel) of 3/8 BBB. My bow sank less than an inch as I have a bow light boat. I regularly anchor in 60-100 feet. Good luck
     
  8. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions

    that's good info to know.....thanks for the follow-up....

    cliff
     
  9. be_prepared

    be_prepared Member GOLD Sponsor

    206
    Oct 12, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2002 Sea Ray Sundancer 340DA
    Twin Mercruiser Horizon 8.1 inboards
    Thanks for the info. I was a little worried about adding a couple hundred extra pounds in the anchor rode locker up there on the bow, but thinking about how I have to trim the bow down most of the time with the tabs anyway, maybe it's not a problem.
     
  10. sandydlc

    sandydlc Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    482
    Feb 24, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    450 Sundancer 2010
    Cummins 480 HP w/Zeus pod drives
    Just skimmed this thread - one thing that I wasn't certain about is what type of rode do you have? Is it 3-strand? I was told that the 8-plait rode is known to remain much more flexible when used for ground tackle. Last year I extended our 200' of chain with an additional 100' of 8-plait rode and I'm really happy with it. I did the splicing myself which isn't perfect but it's strong as hell. Something to consider is just replacing the rode if you're not set on moving to all chain. If you're only anchoring in fresh water that might be all that you need. Good luck!
     
  11. Tommyroot

    Tommyroot New Member

    20
    Nov 25, 2017
    Brigantine NJ
    2008 350 Sundancer
    8.1 Merc V Drive 496
    Hope this is not a stupid question, if you go all chain is the winch strong enough to hold, I have the same problem, rope and chain come up fine the rode I have to work back and forth. I have always tied to the rope to the cleat.
     
  12. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    I think you would use an anchor chain bridle to tie the chain off to the cleats in a similar manner as you tie off a rode to the cleats....

    cliff
     
    Tommyroot likes this.
  13. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    There are no stupid questions. Tying to the anchor cleat is correct for a rope rode to remove the load from the windlass. If you change to an all chain rode, you would install a chain stopper in place of or next to the anchor cleat. It holds the chain, removing the load from the windlass. It is fine for short duration or low wind conditions (fishing, day at the beach etc.) For overnighting or rough conditions, it is best to use the bridle set up. The advantages over the chain stopper are spreading the load to the two bow cleats and the bridle absorbs shock through the rope stretching during surge. While those issues most likely will not come into play for day anchoring as most of us don't anchor at the beach in bad weather, storms can blow in. Also for overnight anchoring, the bridle allows you to remove the load on the chain over the bow roller (it just hangs between the bridle legs), eliminating chain rumble that can be heard while in the forward berth as the boat drifts around on the anchor on calm nights.
     
    Tommyroot likes this.
  14. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    We have 250 feet of chain and have got it all dirty. To clean it I let it out in 500 feet of water to get mud off. It pulled up OK 250 feet = 250 pounds anchor was 44 pounds so total 300 pounds windless worked well.
     
  15. mobocracy

    mobocracy Member

    233
    Jun 29, 2014
    United States
    310 Sundancer
    350 Mag & Bravo III
    My dumb question is how do you connect the bridle to the chain past the bow roller? Is it a Texas two-step where you use the chain stop first, then some kind of boat hook to pull up the chain to attach the bridle? Back-feed it through the bow roller so you can connect it to the chain and it goes out that way? Maybe this is easier on other boats, but it seems like it would be awkward. Not questioning the logic of the bridle, just wondering how you do it in practice (and/or how long it would take me to train the admiral....)

    My plan, such as it is, was to make up a short length of rode with a snubber on it to serve as a tie-off for the chain to keep the load off the windlass, allowing for the snubber and rode to also act as a shock absorber.
     
  16. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I have a 30' 3/4" three strand line I use as my "snubber". I simply tie it to the chain using a rolling hitch knot and tie the other end to the anchor cleat. Then let out enough chain to transfer the load from the chain to the line. It has held rock solid in the worst conditions. I learned this from an old experienced boater. I don't always tie off to have the full 30' of rope. Depends on conditions. If it's a calm day and a short few hour anchoring, I'll tie it off maybe around 15'. Here is what the knot looks like. I tie the other end to the cleat you see and then just let out the chain until the rope has the load.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  17. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    The Bridle has eye splices in the ends of the legs just like a dock line that go over the bow cleats. The chain end of the bridle has a thimble with an anchor chain hook attached. The bridle comes up through the bow roller and hangs from the bow rail as we move from anchorage to anchorage. When we get to our spot for the night we drop the anchor, let the boat drift back on it for an initial set, finish letting out the appropriate scope, she unhooks the bridle from the bow rail and clips it to the chain, then she finishes letting out the scope with the foot pads because she can see when the bridle has the load then I back down on it for the final set. It doesn't take any time to attach the bridle. When staying at docks, she unloops the bridle legs from the bow cleats to make them available for dock lines and either pulls them up through the bow roller and stows the bridle or, if we will be anchoring again soon, leaves the bridle up on the bow rail.
    You can use your plan, it is what ZZ13 is doing as posted above. He has an anchor cleat, (we do not because our boat was all chain from the factory so no rope cleat). Although the chain stop would be effort free for day anchoring.
    Also, don't underestimate the strain on the bow roller from heavy surge during inclement weather while at anchor (if you will even anchor in bad weather, most don't) It doesn't take much to get the deck leaking from loose bow rollers or windlasses.
     
  18. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    Mark and I have the same boat. As he mentioned I have an anchor cleat and he doesn't because my factory setup was 25' chain and 220' rope. I replaced the 25' chain with 140' chain. And I can verify his loose hardware warning. When I replaced the chain I found three of the windlass nuts very loose. Only one was really holding the windlass in place. I ended up replacing them with locking nuts. Fortunately no deck compromise, but the vibration of the moving rode had loosened them up over the years.
     

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