Thursday, July 31, 2014

Adding More Chain = Better Sleep

Since upgrading to our 45lb Mantus Anchor, our ground tackle has consisted of this fabulous anchor, 6 feet of (some sort of) chain and 200 feet of line. Before leaving we had planned on putting 100 feet of chain on the anchor to give us even more holding power but at somewhere between $4 and $6 a foot that was going to be a fairly hefty - but necessary - upgrade.

As luck would have it Gayle and Jon, who also gave us the great inverter advice, who also did the same trip we're planning, happened to have some extra chain from their trip. They took off with 250ft of 5/16" BBB chain and only used anything over 100ft a time or two. They had sold the 100ft of chain they used but had 150ft left over that they'd be willing to sell us at a great price just to get it out of their garage. Win/win. For about half the price of brand new chain, we got 150ft of chain, most of which had never touched the water. Sa-weet!  Just another example of why people in the sailing community are so beyond fabulous!
We put 50ft of chain on the anchor for now. Before we leave for good we'll switch that to our other anchor (25lb Danforth) and put the 100ft on the Mantus.

In order to be able to put the chain in the anchor locker and have it latch securely, Ron used the dremel attachment on the drill to grind down the opening on the front of the locker lid. It only took about 15 minutes to do and now our chain is snug and secure.
 

It should also be noted that with this new chain (and weight in the water) yours truly is also sleeping better than ever on the boat. Yahooooo!

In case you're wondering if this will lead to us getting a windlass pronto the answer would be no. Actually, Ron thinks it's easier to weigh anchor with the chain, and I tend to agree with him. I was actually able to get the anchor and chain up on my own easier than I was just the anchor (which I couldn't do on my own if you remember). Go figure. Besides, he really enjoys pulling the anchor by hand and I kinda do too. It's an intense little workout that gets the endorphines pumping pretty good and might even burn off some of the rum and cokes we sample!

5 comments:

  1. Hubby being a diver, I would add this. The chain should be attached to the boat with a line. If you get in trouble in a anchorage and your anchor won't let go you must cut the line and let the chain go, saving the boat. Keep a stainless knife like a Mora where the line is attached to the boat. Easy to find and cut in an emergency. Now for the good tip. Anchors and chain cost a lot for a cruiser. Have 50ft of 1/4in light line tied to the chain near the end (boat end). Have a small buoy on the other end so you have a marker for where your chain is lying. He can dive to free the anchor easily. Finding the thing is a trick sometimes. This takes the guess out. Ken

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    1. Hi ken- we currently have line on the end of our 50ft of chain and will keep it that way even when we switch to the 100ft. We also have a sail knife on board (although not stored up front). Great tips, I'd hate to loose anything - as you said it's not cheap!!

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  2. Ahhh, good for you, a friend of mine almost lost his boat, his dog, and his wife, and then almost killed himself trying to free an anchor chain from a tangled windlass on lake Michigan a couple of years ago. He got to ride in a nice coast guard helicopter with nice friendly people on board who were happy to help.(they were awesome!) He got caught in some big waves (unexpectedly) and the chain got jammed up in the capstan. He now says he will never throw an anchor without a way to cut the rode. He now carries a bolt cutter on the boat. So: bolt cutters, or only a line with a chain leader (all under water) and a good sharp knife. Be safe you guys!

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    1. Yikes! Glad everyone was okay. Something you don't necessarily think about until you're in a bind, bolt cutters are a great idea...We'll look into it...we might already have some that I'm just not aware of :)

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  3. He now uses a 100 foot chain and a shackle just like the one you are showing in your pic of your anchor locker and cover. He leaves the shackle permanently tied to the rode (a big line, not sure what size though). If he anchors shallow, he just moves the shackle up closer to the anchor and throws the anchor and all the chain in; he then runs only the line through the winch and ties it off to a cleat. If problems come up, just cut the line. To hoist, just wind the line around the capstan and hoist till the shackle is in hand. Then thread the chain over the winch and hoist that as well. A bit more tedious, but he doesn't have to carry bolt cutters that way. If you have the room though, it's no problem.

    Another trick is to have a piece of line at the ready to attach to a spare fender, should you ever have to abandon your anchor and chain in an emergency. If you tie or clip a fender (attached to a piece of line so it will float) to the chain before you cut it free, it makes a nice buoy so you can find your expensive anchor much easier when things calm down and you can return. Hope this helps.

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