Windlass Anchoring

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by Rain City, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    I would go with a 10KG. It is good for 26' and up to 12,000 pounds. Had a 10KG on my 27 Seasport and was awesome.
    There are 2 types of Rocna. The original with the roll bar and the Vulcan which does not have a roll bar but will fit better in some pulpits
  2. Foxsea

    Foxsea Well-Known Member

    Ideally, the rode for any good, recreational boat anchor setup should consist of both chain and rope. The chain should be shackled to the anchor shank. The chain and rope are often spliced together, especially when used with a windlass. Many experts suggest 1/4" to 3/8" BBB galvanized chain, depending on the length of the boat. As a rule of thumb, the chain length should at least equal the length of the boat.

    Why use both chain and rope? First, chain keeps the nylon rode from wearing by rubbing on the bottom of the sea-floor as the boat swings. Second, because the chain is heavy, it holds the rode to the bottom so the pull on the anchor is closer to horizontal. That catenary reduces strain and the chances of your anchor breaking out. Third, the right rope is easily handled, durable and elastic.

    For most recreational boaters, the best type of rope to use when anchoring is 1/2" nylon (strong and easy on the hands), either stranded or braid. Nylon has many advantages for anchoring including: it's elastic therefore offers good shock absorption (eliminating the need for an additional snubber), it's light and flexible, has high strength and it sinks.

    Because nylon rope provides a lot of elasticity, in poor weather it softens peak surge loading on your anchor and boat hardware, as well as reducing strain on the boat itself. Nylon has a long life and in normal use will never need to be replaced.
    agentaqua and Rain City like this.
  3. eriks

    eriks Active Member

    I have a 10kg for my 26’ boat, and so does my marina neighbor on his Commander 26. He said his boat has never dragged an anchor since.
    It was already oversized for a 26’ powerboat, that’ll be all you need.
    Check Rocna’s website, they have sizing charts for you. It’ll be a very nice upgrade to your boat.
    Rain City likes this.
  4. eriks

    eriks Active Member

    Excellent post
    agentaqua and Foxsea like this.
  5. ab1752

    ab1752 Well-Known Member

    Thanks all over it...hey this stainless 10kg looks bling, what its only $1600 on sale lol...anyway did you go with the standard original rocna? I just gotta take a few roller measurements but I'm sure that original 10kg is the one.
  6. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    Length of the boat is a minimum recommendation and is good for a day anchor. I would go a least 50' and more if possible. The more you have the better the angle to the anchor. Most times when I anchor I don't even lift the chain off the bottom. 1/4" chain is .75 pounds per foot so RC has 112.5 pounds of chain. I have 150 pounds. If you have all your chain out you need to lift that off the bottom before it even puts a load on the anchor. Plus it takes way more force to get that chain tight and straight.
    If you have time take the free course I posted. They do demonstrations with scales to show you the force needed to lift the chain off the bottom.
    eriks and agentaqua like this.
  7. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    Another tip is keep your old anchor as a spare or a stern anchor. I kept the 15 pound Bruce that came with the boat and put on 30 feet of chain and a 100 feet of rope.
    That way I can throw out a stern anchor to keep me from swinging.
    agentaqua likes this.
  8. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Everything Foxsea says and suggests are correct - esp. the nylon line. In addition - there are narrow shackles made specifically for joining line and chain that have to pass through a windlass/capstain.
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  9. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    Try Martin Marine. They are open but you have to phone in your orders and pick up on the sidewalk.
    eriks likes this.
  10. eriks

    eriks Active Member

    Yeah, original fit perfectly. Bling one was a little tempting, lol, but had many other upgrades to do.
    ab1752 likes this.
  11. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Oh yeah I like that place. So nice to have a marine shop with normal SS hardware prices. Unlike Steveston that tried to charge me $2 each for 1/4" fender washers. C*** S***ers.
  12. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    I just recently got a 16 x 1/4” bolts with washers and lock nuts for $11 incl tax. Sometimes he just looks at my handful and says $5. Great Local Guys who really know there stuff
    Rain City likes this.
  13. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Not all that local for me unfortunately. Tough to justify the trip over the bridge. I went there when I was on blocks at LGM
  14. mayday

    mayday Active Member

    Ah, a subject near and dear to my heart – coming from a cruising background, it’s something integral to our activity – while you can always be leery of someone claiming to be an expert, I can tell you we have spent the last 25yrs, several weeks a year, winter included on the hook – last summer was our second go around the island – 8wks, and only on a dock twice.

    A few things to consider (and yes, entire books have been written on the subject);

    - “where” is probably the most important factor – what is the wind forecast to do – that will tell you what side of the bay, how much scope, how paranoid to be, how close to others etc. Is the wind going to shift (SE to NW, inflow to outflow) – that tells you what direction to set in. Where are the other boats facing, how crowded is it, depth profile etc.

    - Once you determine where, you then think about the how – what is the tide doing – more importantly, what will it be at 0 dark 30, what’s the bottom profile like- all that tells you roughly how much scope to put out. Drop the anchor to the bottom, then slow reverse in the direction you want to face, slowly paying out the required amount. Once you reach that, increase the revs (how much depends on the power available – with our sailboat, we go to 75%) – the idea is you want to find out if the holding is acceptable and you are trying to simulate a 25kt wind – better to find out now that the holding is poor, than in the middle of the night.

    - Scope – ballpark is 5:1 – but keeping in mind that is just a starting point – wind forecast to blow hard? Let out more. Calm forecast, crowded, you can bring some in – the idea with scope is that all anchors achieve max power when the chain is parallel to the bottom – and as the wind blows, a certain amount gets lifted off, until finally in a real blow the line is bar tight and a 45deg angle – so more gives you a better margin of error.

    - Stern tie – used quite often up in Desolation – i.e areas with lots of boats and if everyone needed their own “circle”, not enough room – having the ass end tied to a tree reduces the space needed. Or, most commonly since we have steep rugged shorelines, you don’t as often find the nice flat bottom that allows you to swing – with a steep shore profile, with a certain scope, if the wind shifts around and you are pulling into deeper water, now all of a sudden your 5:1 scope becomes a 1:1 at best – being tied to the shore ensures you are at the correct scope – there are MANY more tips/tricks to this, so I can add later if anyone wants.

    - Conflicts with other boats – happens in 2 scenarios – wind blows up (ALWAYS in the middle of the night when you have just fallen asleep) and someone drags – back to scope/setting. But most common ironically is when just around dusk the wind dies – now everyone starts drifting around on their lines – and boats on all chain move differently than all rope – and now you find that guy who came in later is drifting into you – back to choosing the location. Which leads to one last point – common courtesy (and naval law actually) states that whoever was there first, has the right of way in a conflict – so last in has to move.

    Oh, and to the OP and the cleat location – you 2 bow cleats are fine – the idea with the snubber is to reduce shock loading as wind gusts yank on the anchor – so again more is better than less – in your case make up a min. 25’ piece of 3 strand, put eyes in both ends, a chain hook in the middle – once set you hook onto the chain, put the ends on the cleats, then let out anchor chain until all the weight in on the snubber – now the lines should be hanging down at an angle – no issue. If you try and go straight off the anchor roller – as soon as the wind picks up and you yaw around a bit (as ALL boats do to some degree) you run the risk of it jumping out of the track and then chaffing against something.

    The main thing is this is one of those subjects were you can read as much as you like, take tests, courses etc, but the only true way to learn is to get out and do it – and make mistakes, that is the real classroom.
    Oly1, Thunderjet 23, eriks and 4 others like this.
  15. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    One other thing is don't use a swivel at the anchor. They can bind and cause significant side loads and either break or bend the shaft of the anchor. I use 2 shackles at the anchor end to give me full range and no binding.
    Use high quality, high strength, shackles like Titan or Crosby. They are very cheap and have colored pins. They are the only thing holding your anchor to your chain!
    Rain City, RiverBoy and Foxsea like this.
  16. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

    Almost lost my boat last summer using a (brand new) high-quality stainless swivel.

    Never again.

    Shackles only.

    Picture is not mine, but it gives you an idea of what can happen during wind-shifts when you're using an anchor that pretty much sticks where you leave it (Rocna)..... so, when the boat yaws back and forth in the wind or tide, the swivel attached to an immovable shaft (your anchor) gets the full effect of side-leverage and eventually can self-destruct

    I've heard some peeps put a shackle between the swivel and the anchor which probably will address side-load---- I couldn't do that because of limited space between my pulpit and my windlass gypsy

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
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  17. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    Thanks for learning that lesson and sharing. Lesson learnt for me!! Shackles only.
  18. bryce

    bryce Active Member

  19. hi I have a 26 commander with a 5 kg bruce anchor and 30 feet of 3/8 chain 250 feet of nylon rode. I agree with foxsea and mayday's comments. I have never ever dragged or popped this anchor and I have anchored in winds of 30 knots, got caught a couple of times at cabbage island. bad forecasting. what I have done is use my 15 lb cannonball as a kellet. clipped it to my stern tie line and let it slide down the rope, when done just pull the line in unclip the stern line then winch the anchor in. its old school but works well for me. just wondering if I could pull 150 lbs of chain and anchor if windlass crapped out.
    Sir Reel and Foxsea like this.
  20. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    So. I have a 20’ Grady Overnighter. I’m installing a Lewmar Pro 700. 6kg Rocna anchor. I’m looking at an all new rode set up. I’m looking for recommendations on chain length (1/4”) and rope length (1/2”) and why?

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