Anchor Rode Options

Post here if you want to discuss a topic specific to the MV/32, MV/34, and MV/41.
User avatar
AMCarter3
admiral
admiral
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:32 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Anchor Rode Options

Postby AMCarter3 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:15 pm

I've got some concerns about my anchor rode and would appreciate your advice.

Bear in mind that my boat operates in the Pacific Northwest. Typical anchorages might be 20-50' depth with rocky or mud bottoms (we don't get a lot of sandy bottoms). We also have to be prepared for occasional heavy winds and storms, particularly in the Spring and Winter. Occasionally, we'll have to anchor in deeper water -- like 75' or so with a stern tie to shore.

My current anchor rode is 300’ total — 150’ of 5/8' chain plus 150' of 3-strand 5/8" nylon line. In typical anchorages, we'll have 125’-200' ft of rode out in a 4:1 or 5:1 scope (more if we expect strong gusty winds over 25 kts). Many boats (sail and power) in this area carry ALL CHAIN rodes (300’-350’ with a short section of nylon line in case the anchor needs to be cut lose in an emergency).

It’s the nylon line portion of our rode that concerns me. After 11 years, the first 50' of nylon line (where it is spliced to the chain) shows considerable wear — it’s frayed a bit. The rest of of the line looks almost new... a clear indication that the first 50' of line gets used a lot. We've had situations occur where that part of the nylon line will slip in the windlass gypsy and make it difficult to haul up the anchor until the chain enters the windlass. It's enough of a concern now that I'm considering two options:

OPTION 1 - Remove only the 50' of frayed nylon line and ADD 100' of chain (re-splice the line to new chain). This would result in 350' total rode (250' of chain plus 100' of line). This would greatly reduce the chance of slippage issues with nylon line. It would add some weight up front.

OPTION 2 - Remove only the 50' of frayed nylon line and add 150' of chain to the existing chain. This would result in a 400' rode (300' chain plus 100' of line) and would eliminate line slippage issues. It virtually guarantees the boat would always be anchored with only chain rode. The 100’ of line would be “cushion” for those unusually deep water anchorages. However, this would add considerable weight up front... which frankly may not be a bad thing... our PDQ 34 seems to ride better in rough water with more weight up front.

What are your thoughts about these options? Any other ideas? Any concerns that I should consider? (I am evaluating the load lift constraints of our windlass)

Thanks!
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA

deising
admiral
admiral
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:48 pm
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby deising » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:17 pm

Two quick comments, Mac;

1. You don't really mean that you have 5/8 chain, do you? That is almost 4 lbs per foot and way oversize for our boats, IMHO.

2. If I understood one of your options was to add a length of chain to existing chain, I think many consider "splicing" chain together with a split link as not recommended. It is a real weak point.

We are shallow water, sandy/mud bottom cruisers, so I can't help you very much.
Duane Ising
m/v Diva Di
Punta Gorda, FL
2006 PDQ MV 34 - hull 91, 75HP, 3-blade

User avatar
AMCarter3
admiral
admiral
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:32 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby AMCarter3 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:09 pm

good catch, Duane... I meant 5/16" chain (I was thinking of the 5/8" nylon line). And thanks for the watchout on using a link to add chain. I will explore that more...
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA

John&Ria
skipper
skipper
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:07 am
Location: Vancouver BC (PDQ 34 hull 111)
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby John&Ria » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:10 pm

Mac,

Last year I spliced in 100' of additional 5/16" chain to provide us the capacity to handle the deeper anchorages and bigger tides we expected on our trip to SE Alaska. This gave me 150' of chain and about 125' of 5/8" rode. This was a compromise between not adding too much weight while still providing sufficient length overall, and to keep the rode off the bottom in most conditions. We felt secure at anchor with is arrangement. (I should add that we are usually quite selective in choosing well protected anchorages, plus the conditions on this trip were generally benign.)

A few other thoughts;
- I prefer a combination of chain and rode as it provides both weight and bottom protection against chafing, plus more flex in rough conditions.
- I did much internet research on using a split link before choosing that option; although there were many pro and con comments to be found, I concluded that it would be fine as long as we purchased a high quality product for the job.
- I think 200' of chain is the maximum I would go on a catamaran, with additional rode for whatever maximum LOA is desired to feel secure.
- Most important is picking a design that lets you sleep well.

These are just my thoughts on this topic, amoung many out there.

John

User avatar
AMCarter3
admiral
admiral
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:32 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby AMCarter3 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:21 pm

John,

Thanks for that. Really helpful. It's reassuring to hear that you choose the same total length of chain along with nearly the same length of 5/16" line as we currently have.

So, what kind of split link did you finally choose? Most of the dialogue I've seen (as I'm sure you did too) leans pretty heavily toward NOT trusting a split link.
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA

John&Ria
skipper
skipper
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:07 am
Location: Vancouver BC (PDQ 34 hull 111)
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby John&Ria » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:34 pm

Mac,

I went with the Crosby G335 (http://www.thecrosbygroup.com/products/ ... ent-links/).

Although a split link will not be as strong as a complete forged link (this is the focus of most of the 'con' opinions out there), what convinced me was the logical - at least to me - arguments that indicated it would still be plenty strong enough for the stress conditions I would encounter at anchor, even in severe conditions. So, it will not be as strong as the regular chain we use, but it will be strong enough not to compromise the effectiveness of our ground tackle.

My research also indicated not to go cheap, such as with products manufactured in China, because of the lack of quality steel and/or manufacturing processes. The Crosby product is manufactured in North America (Canada I think), was highly rated/recommended, and was not that expensive (about $10). I expect there are other manufacturers in North America that also make a good product.

I recommend further research if you're not sure, and in the end go with a solution your absolutely comfortable with.

Cheers,

John

User avatar
AMCarter3
admiral
admiral
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:32 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby AMCarter3 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:49 am

Thanks very much, John. I will check it out. One more question on the split link... I assume you are running your anchor rode through a windlass, right? Do you have the Lewmar Pro Series 1000 (which is on my boat)? Does the split link run through the gypsy OK?
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA

John&Ria
skipper
skipper
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:07 am
Location: Vancouver BC (PDQ 34 hull 111)
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby John&Ria » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:10 am

Yes, we use the same windlass you do Mac, and the split link has worked just fine - never a problem running through the gypsy.

John

User avatar
AMCarter3
admiral
admiral
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:32 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby AMCarter3 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:15 am

I found a Crosby store in Seattle and plan to call them tomorrow. Did you have to buy a box of 10 or did you find some place that would sell you just one?
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA

John&Ria
skipper
skipper
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:07 am
Location: Vancouver BC (PDQ 34 hull 111)
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby John&Ria » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:39 pm

Most marine outlets in Vancouver have them available as singles. I bought a couple so I would have a spare just in case.

User avatar
AMCarter3
admiral
admiral
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:32 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby AMCarter3 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:14 pm

Do you live in Vancouver? Just up the road from Bellingham? I was wondering how you took your boat to Alaska. Seems like most of the folks on this forum live on the East coast. I live in Bellingham. We should get together some time -- it would be fun to meet someone else with a PDQ out here. (There is one other PDQ here in B'ham.)
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA

User avatar
thinwater
admiral
admiral
Posts: 1022
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:08 am
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby thinwater » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:21 pm

You said the line would sometimes slip in the gypsy.

a. I assume that means you were using the windlass to pull the boat up to the anchor (since you were not in 150' of water). Try using the engine to motor up.
b. Is the rope the correct sized for the gypsy? Is it a vertical or horizontal (vertical windlasses have more wrap and handle rope better).
c. If the problem relates to the splice passing around the gypsy, use an irony splice instead (Brian Toss's book or Practical Sailor). Much smoother.

You really should replace the splice and first few feet of line every few years. This is regular maintenance. Additionally, the last link will generally be corroded by contact with the wet rope and should be clipped off each time.

Image

Image

The irony splice is best.
Image
Writing full time since 2014.

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2017/ ... store.html
"Keeping a Cruising Boat for Peanuts"
"Singlehanded Sailing for the Coastal Sailor"
"Faster Cruising for the Coastal Sailor"

User avatar
AMCarter3
admiral
admiral
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:32 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby AMCarter3 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:37 pm

Thinwater, Thanks for the input. I especially enjoyed your choice of beer as a helper when splicing.

a. My windlass is a horizontal Lewmar Pro Series 1000. The line slippage only seems to occur on the roughly 25' of frayed 5/16" line closest to where is is spliced onto the chain. The rest of the line feeds through the gypsy reasonably well.
b. I'm pretty sure the line is correct for this windlass. The specs say 5/8" and that is my estimate of the line size.
c. The splice itself is not an issue. The slipping occurs in the 20' after the splice.

Regarding the Irony Splice... I'm not at all confident (yet) that I can do a Irony Splice. Never tried one. Do you have a website or YouTube link that shows how to do it? Good point about replacing the end link.

Brion Toss says... "The only splice we have destruction-tested to anything like 100% strength is the one I call the "Traditional Irony" splice in the "Apprentice". It's also by far the most compact and chafe-resistant. And, unfortunately, very difficult to do well. So if you want to use it, hire it done by someone who can show you test results, or practice a lot and test your work. The next best is simply to crown the ends through and backsplice. Unfortunately your HT chain simply won't take the rope needed, or at least all three strands, through the end link. Score another one for the "Irony" splice, which only puts two strands through that link. " <http://bit.ly/2ya1W1K>
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA

User avatar
thinwater
admiral
admiral
Posts: 1022
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:08 am
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby thinwater » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:02 pm

The funny thing is that a single beer actually improves the quality of work with certain tasks, because I slow down and enjoy the process.

Yes, I think part of the problem is the horizontal windlass. The rope or chain only wraps 1/4 around the drum, not nearly enough for a good grip. The distance of the drop into the well also matters, more being better. And yes, you are probably right about the fraying contributing by making the line a little slipperier to the gypsy teeth.

The irony splice is described in Practical Sailor (I wrote the article), "The Rigger's Apprentice" (the Amazon preview may show what you need), and several books on knots, including Ashley's. It does take some practice, and I threw my first two away. If the splice is not giving trouble, use a standard backsplice. It helps it you leave it just a little on loose side so that it is more flexible. Personally, I think he exaggerates the difficulty a little, but you should try to do it neatly and with even tension.
Writing full time since 2014.

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2017/ ... store.html
"Keeping a Cruising Boat for Peanuts"
"Singlehanded Sailing for the Coastal Sailor"
"Faster Cruising for the Coastal Sailor"

User avatar
AMCarter3
admiral
admiral
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:32 am
Location: Bellingham, WA
Contact:

Re: Anchor Rode Options

Postby AMCarter3 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:53 am

- I prefer a combination of chain and rode as it provides both weight and bottom protection against chafing, plus more flex in rough conditions.
- I did much internet research on using a split link before choosing that option; although there were many pro and con comments to be found, I concluded that it would be fine as long as we purchased a high quality product for the job.
- I think 200' of chain is the maximum I would go on a catamaran, with additional rode for whatever maximum LOA is desired to feel secure.
- Most important is picking a design that lets you sleep well.


John,

I would appreciate it if you would expand a bit on WHY you prefer a combination of chain and rode AND why you think 200' is the max for a catamaran. I am leaning toward adding 150-200' to my current 150' of chain for an ALL CHAIN rode. I believe the PDQ can handle the weight (actually, I think it rides better with more weight up front). But, I am really interested in your perspective.
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98
Bellingham WA


Return to “PDQ Powercat Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests