My chain is too short!!

paddydog63

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I've made a mistake in purchasing only 40 metres of 8mm chain (calibrated to a Lofrans electric windlass) I'll be anchoring in up to 12 metres at high tide (Bristol Channel). What can I do to achieve a 5:1 chain rode or do I splice on 40 metres of anchorplait to make a 7:1 rode
Suggestions greatly appreciated
 

jdc

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Anchor threads seem to generate a lot of animosity, so I answer with some trepidation!

I anchor a lot and virtually never lie alongside when on a summer cruise. I have 60m of chain - v nice but also v heavy - but actually hardly ever let out more than 40m, and in a blow it's probably better to have a mixed rode with some stretch in it. So I'd recommend splicing nylon multiplait (quite a lot, 50m say) onto the 40m of chain as being both simpler and more useful than adding weight you'd have to carry all the time for the rare occasions when you need extra length.
 

alan006

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If you find that you are anchoring in deeper water than normal such that you are short of anchor chain and/or wharp then rigging a traveller on your anchor is a solution. The traveller is simply a weight of anything from 20 to 50 lbs depending on the size of your boat on a loop or big shackle that you lower down about 1/2 way down your anchor chain. This has the effect of reducing snubbing on your anchor cleat and vastly increasing the holding power of your anchor as the angle of the anchor chain from the sea bed will be much more horizontal. It is amazing what a difference this makes, for example, with a Stockless anchor increasing the angle of chain by 5% reduces the holding power of the anchor by 25%.
 

EdWingfield

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My setup is similar to one of your options ie. chain and nylon rope through a Lofrans windlass.

Tip. When weighing, make sure the splice comes through the windlass with tension at the windlass exit or the splice may double back on itself and jamb solid. I guarantee this will cause your language to degrade! /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
 

vyv_cox

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You can join chain with C-links, sold by many chandlers for the purpose. These have the advantage that they will pass through a windlass. If you don't have a windlass it is quite acceptable to use a shackle.

I tested C-links for a YM article in 2007. At that time only two had a strength close to that of the chain and some of the others were so weak that failure under quite moderate anchoring force was a distinct possibility. In general the ones sold in chandleries came out pretty badly. A couple of the stainless steel ones did rather better but some way below the strength of the chain.

Two makes of link, both American and both intended for lifting/hoisting applications did well, strength equivalent to the chain. Thanks to the efforts of a forumite it transpired that one of them, marketed by West Marine, was no longer made by ACCO in USA but had been farmed out to a far east company. The one sold by West under the same name and description was a far inferior one that I had also tested.

So that only leaves one. It's made by Crosby and is sold by a company in Yorkshire, Selby Engineering. Look here for their 'missing link' at the bottom of the listing. The item itself is not expensive but Selby Engineering have a minimum order value of something like £30 (when I last enquired), so buying a single one works out expensive.

I can add that before I did this work my own anchor chain consisted of three separate lengths of chain, all joined with C-links bought from chandlers. I used this chain on a frequent basis, on long summer cruises, for many years. None of them failed.
 

charles_reed

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I'd second the comment made by Vyv and add that even the tested ones rust far more quickly than galvanised chain.

I'm now a total convert to a mixed chain/textile rode, so would recommend splicing in the 40m of octoplait as being the most stisfactory.

To use the textile rode in the windlass you'll need at least 14mm.

I now have 65m chain and 40m textile. You'll find in depths above 10m you'll be able to use a shorter scope than 7:1
 

jeremyshaw

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We have only 50m of chain on our 43' cat, but this is spliced to another 50m of rope.

IMHO 50m of chain is quite enough to lug around for the average boat (esp 10mm), but you never know when you'll want more rode, so it is definitely worth splicing on that rope. Over hundreds of anchoring occasions we've used the rope maybe only a couple of dozen times, but when you need it, you need it!

I used multiplait, which has the disadvantage of being harder to splice and slightly more prone to surface abraison. However it flakes very easily which easily outweighs those minor shortcomings. After 5 years it has remained very flexible.
 

vyv_cox

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I carry 60 metres of chain and I have 50 metres of anchorplait that I could attach to it. Unlike you, I have an eyesplice and thimble in the end of the Anchorplait. This means I can shackle it to the end of the chain if necessary, and the chain is set up for this, but I can also use it for other purposes, e.g. kedge anchor, towing warp, sea anchor, etc.
 

AncoraLatina

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[ QUOTE ]
I've made a mistake

[/ QUOTE ]

No I don’t think you’ve done a mistake at all, 40 meters of chain is more than enough.

Like Jdc and others I recommend splicing about 50 meters of Nylon three strands directly onto the chain.

[ QUOTE ]
then rigging a traveler on your anchor is a solution.

[/ QUOTE ]

Again an old perceived wisdom! This « traveler » is also called « Chum », »Angel » « mobilest » an is both complicated and inefficient , it doesn’t increase much the holding, doesn’t reduce snubbing, or only with light winds, when you don’t need it.....

João
 

vyv_cox

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<<< 40 meters of chain is more than enough >>>

I don't agree. I know that the theory tells us that the elasticity in a chain catenary disappears in winds over about F6, so using nylon in the latter part of the warp is theoretically better. Where it falls down is in an anchorage (especially with a tidal range of 12 metres) where some boats are on all-chain and some are on chain and rope. Rope-anchored boats swing to every puff of wind, whereas all-chain ones remain more or less stationary. Collisions are frequent, especially now that anchorages tend to be more crowded and boats are much closer to each other than used to be the case. I see very few liveaboards in the Med who do not have all-chain rodes.

If your normal anchoring is on, say the east coast of UK or western North Sea, then 40 metres will almost certainly be sufficient anyway. Once you venture further afield you may need more. When I sailed in North Wales I carried 45 metres, which was always enough. Now I'm in the Med I have anchored many times in 15 - 20 metres of water, so I now carry a little over 60 metres, which is mostly sufficient for the depth. I use a nylon snubber in parallel with the chain to give me some elasticity in stronger winds.
 

alan006

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I was very interested in your comments about the anchor traveller. I know it is extra work to rig one but I thought the benefits can make it worthwhile. I know its an old system but if it does the job that is what is important.
Has modern research shown them to be less effective than used to be thought?
 

AncoraLatina

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Sorry vyv_cox, but you should read the whole phrase, not only taking a part of it, I suggest 40 meters of chain <span style="color:red"> ++++ </span> 50 meters of nylon. (Total 90 meters)

[ QUOTE ]
Rope-anchored boats swing to every puff of wind, whereas all-chain ones remain more or less stationary.

[/ QUOTE ]

This is my time to slightly disagree – Yes you’re right if you talk about boats anchored only with rope, but in this case, using 40 meters of chain before the rope, this boat will behave exactly like other boats anchored with an all chain rode.

This is the friction of the chain on the sea bed which reduces swigging of the boats, not the part between the seabed and the bow...

An all chain rode is unnecessary weight on the bow, 40 meters is far enough, but then, I fully agree, if you are using an all chain rode, then the use of a snubber is a must !..

João
 

AncoraLatina

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[ QUOTE ]

Has modern research shown them to be less effective than used to be thought?

[/ QUOTE ]

They are three different purposes to the anchor “traveler”:

1° - to reduce swinging, the « angel » should be along the mooring rode at about a little bit more than one water height of the bow

2° - to reduce snubbing, then the »angel » should be located at about half way down

3° - to increase holding, then the « angel » should be located as close as possible to the anchor shank

But you can’t have the three at the same time unless you will be using three « angels » /forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif

There is a very interesting mathematical study about rode and also the use of an « Angel » done by a long time living aboard sailor Alain Fraysse:

Tuning an anchor rode

And I know only one positive study, the one done by NZ manufacturer of the « Anchor buddy »
/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

João
 

Sy-Revolution

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I have 30m Stainless 8mm chain and added another 30m of galvanised (couldn't stomach the cost of more stainless) connected with one of those C links, but I'm not too happy about that. I was thinking of splitting one of the stainless links and re-welding, is this advisable?

We're heading for the Med later this year (fingers crossed) and so want to keep at least 60m of chain. I have 60m of anchorplait to add to that if nessesary.
 

AncoraLatina

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I will advise you to discard the stainless steel part and to use only the 30 meters of galvanized chain - with 50 (60) meters of three strands Nylon spliced directly on the chain...

Except in a few parts of the Med, you will not anchor in more than 10 meters, (very often in less) and as most anchorages will be crowded, mostly in summer, you will not have the possibility to use a very long scope.

I will play the security side, unless the SWL of the "C" link is clearly mentioned (see vyv_cox comments), I will not using it.
Welding could be a solution, but again unless it is done by a certified welder, with an X-ray check, you will not have any insurance of the quality of the weld.

João
 

vyv_cox

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It's up to you whose advice you take. I have been full time in the Med for the past four years and I went up from 45 to 60 plus metres because of the problems I detailed earlier up in the thread. Always anchor in 10 metres or less? I wish.

Boats on chain plus rope are always visible and usually a menace to all the rest of us. I have spent far too much time fending off boats like this, whereas everyone around me on chain is lying just the same as me. In some anchorages in Greece in particular, where the wind is going around in circles almost all day but depth is well over 10 metres.

I am advised that when we move on to Turkey we can expect depths to be greater.

The weight of 60 metres of 8 mm chain in a 35 ft boat loaded with cruising gear is not insignificant but has virtually no effect on the sailing performance or attitude compared with 30 metres. Its benefits far outweigh any perceived advantage in going to chain plus warp (unless you don't have a powered windlass!)

C-links are OK as said, but for total peace of mind use the Crosby one. Personally I would far prefer one to trying to get a good butt weld on a stainless link. Far too many possible things to go wrong. If you could get a really good welder to make one up on the paperclip design, and it would go through your windlass, I might try that.
 

vyv_cox

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<<< Sorry vyv_cox, but you should read the whole phrase, not only taking a part of it, I suggest 40 meters of chain ++++ 50 meters of nylon. (Total 90 meters) >>>

I understood that and responded accordingly. Read my reply more carefully. Nobody would suggest that a long-term cruising boat should only carry a 40 metre warp.

One of the most important reasons for having an all-chain warp is to cope with the practice of stern-to berthing in the eastern Mediterranean. Usual recommendations are to commence laying out anchor and warp at about three boat lengths from the wall. This is subject to estimation, so I often find I have laid 50 metres of chain rather than the intended 35 or so. The weight of the chain is important when going astern, especially in a cross-wind, when suddenly laying out rope instead of chain would have many undesirable effects.

The other big advantage of chain is that sooner or later someone is going to catch your warp around his prop, or his keel, or his anchor. This is a fact of life in the Med. Chain is quite difficult to disentangle from a prop but it's vastly preferable to having your rope warp cut, perhaps when you are not on board. I've seen this happen several times and it would have happened to me on one of the few occasions when I was berthed bows-to with my kedge warp. Fortunately I saw the owner of the boat that caught my warp with a carving knife in his hand and was able to dissuade him.
 

AncoraLatina

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[ QUOTE ]
Why discard the stainless and not the galv?

[/ QUOTE ]

Personally, I don’t like stainless steel chains... A galvanized chain will show if you run past its working load limit, you will note the link deformation.

Stainless steel – without oxygen, can develop crevice corrosion, which is very difficult to see, and if you run past its working load limit, it can break like glass...

João
 

alan006

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Thank you for the interesting reply, I must admit its at least 30 years since I've had to do maths of the standard in the report so I'm taking his conculsions as read.
Never too old to learn more in this game. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 
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