Windlass Anchoring

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

  1. mayday

    mayday Active Member

    LOL, that is roughly the equivalent to "which motor oil is best" on a car site - EVERYONE will have an opinion, and usually opposite to the last!

    2 schools of thought - one is all chain - that gives you the most strength, the most weight on the bottom, the most long lasting - but there are some downsides - weight on the boat, noise on the bottom, overall handling.
    The other is the 1/2 and 1/2 that you mentioned - or most likely - 1/4, 3/4 - at the bare minimum it's usually at least the boat length of chain, and then the rest rode. Whichever method you go with, for general anchoring conditions around here, 150' is the standard, and as per usual, more is better - guaranteed that whatever length you pick, one day it's be ugly conditions, deep and you'll want 20' more than you have. On our larger sailboat I've got 150' of chain, spliced to 150 of braid - and about 90% of the time I only use the chain portion.
    If you go with mixed chain and rode you will need a splice that will go through the windlass gypsy - several will work but the standard backplice (if 3 strand) is the most common and easiest to do. And it goes without saying that the splice condition should be checked often and re-done if showing any wear.
  2. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    I’m going 30’ of chain. I’m in Victoria. And “most” of my anchoring will be in the gulf and San Juan Islands. Maybe a couple trips per year to the west coast with buddies
  3. Foxsea

    Foxsea Well-Known Member

    Reading back through this thread I think your "why" question has been answered thoroughly. As a rule of thumb for a small boat I would choose a length of chain spliced to nylon rode totalling about 7 times the maximum depth you intend to anchor in.
  4. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

    Good choice on the anchor. If you want to play it safe while over-nighting, get 25’ of 1/4” chain and splice it to 5/8” brait. Brait is definitely the way to go with those Lewmars—-stacks nice and purty in your anchor locker. I have a 24 foot boat and I use 30’ 1/4” chain and the same diameter brait. I read lots of posts about 5:1, 7:1 scope——Where I drop my hook, I’d be on the beach on the first tide change using that kind of scope. I go bigger on the anchor then recommended (10 kg Rocna), and the chain/brait combo mentioned above... 3:1 is fine unless it blows, then I might go 4:1 and throw in some bridle line on the snubber
  5. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    I’ve got 30’ of 1/4 “ chain. So “extra safe”! I’ll look into the Brait. My locker is tight so the braits characteristics seam to fit the bill nicely. Time for some research! And thanks again Sharphooks!
  6. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

  7. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    I’d go 30’ minimum on chain but 50’ would be better. Much more than that and weight may be an issue for you. If you are overnighting then 5 to 1 rode with that Rocna should be good. So if you want to anchor in 40’ of water you need 200 feet of rode. 50’ of chain and 150’ of rope. Another 50’ of rope would not hurt. You will need a chain to rope splice so that it goes through your winch. It’s not hard to do and lots of videos on how to do it. Or have a marine store do it for you. Don’t forget to tie the end of your rope to something in your anchor locker other wise you might only drop your anchor once!
    agentaqua likes this.
  8. charlie415

    charlie415 Well-Known Member

    30' of 1/4" chain and 200' 1/2"rode. Why? Because it's enough.
  9. dmurph

    dmurph Well-Known Member

    Hi, do you use the 10kg on your boat, thinking I will get a Rocna as I’ve been using a Danforth and was planning to upgrade to a better anchor. I have a 2359 trophy 5200 lbs dry, just not sure on pulpits space for the 10 kg. The 6 kg looked like a good fit in the pulpit. Big difference in e weight range between the 6 kg and 10kg, 4000 lbs to 15 ooo lbs. I have lots of chain. Thoughts if the 6 would do the job?
  10. hi dmurph my commander is still about 7000 lbs since I podded it over 10 years ago. as I said in my earlier post I have never dragged or popped my anchor by using a kellet system. a 15 lb cannonball is a hell of a lot cheaper than a rocna and from what I gather most of us have cannonballs on board in this forum. there is a lot of info on the internet about setting them up. not saying anything bad of a rocna, just can't justify the cost of them. I have a 5 kg bruce and 30 feet of chain if you did not see earlier post. on a side note when wife and I go on a extended trip like 5 or 6 weeks we always bring another complete anchor chain and rode set up, hey you never know. and still cheaper than a rocna.
  11. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

    You say you have “lots” of chain....if you have chain at least the length of your boat, based on the Rocna chart a 6 kg anchor is well within specification.

    My approach to the anchor/chain / rode combo is: one size does not fit all. How long is the boat? How heavy is the boat? How does it ride? Are you anchoring on mud, sand or kelp?

    Yes, Rocnas are expensive but for the type of boat camping I do, I look at it as an insurance policy on me and my boat. Also, I have a boat that has a very “tender” ride (squirrelly).....I can’t stack a pile of chain in the anchor locker because it would make the boat ride even more squirelly. (Promote bow-steer)

    So I use a modest length of chain, then over-size a bit on the anchor. I also keep in the back of my mind .....if my electric windlass craps out....can I haul my anchor package by hand? Hauling 100 feet of chain is low on my list, especially with multiple herniated discs in my back

    Getting back to anchors: Over the last two decades, I have been through 3 boats, each of which I actively used for boat-camping. The first two I bought pre-owned and they both came with Bruce anchors. The third I bought pre-owned with a Lewmar anchor. (Basically a Bruce design). Meanwhile, I had multiple occasions with the Bruce anchors when both my boats almost ended up on the beach. When I bought my third boat with the Lewmar, I stripped it off the day I bought the boat and stuck a Rocna on the pulpit.

    Dragging Bruce anchors....Same story....big wind, tight anchorages, and last but not least.....anchoring around kelp. This is just my opinion so take it for what it’s worth but....Bruce anchors don’t seem to stick in kelp like the Rocna anchors do. For me and the type of places I boat-camp, that warrants the cost of admission by going Rocna

    But again, I don’t use piles of chain. Guys that do might tell you that Bruce or Deltas anchors are great anchors. And they’re probably also using 5:1 or more scope with way more chain then I use. I don’t use that approach because often times, I can’t based on the size and depth of the anchorage and needing to stay put in that hidey-hole to keep out of the weather

    And I’m always alone. I’ve spent my entire fishing career social distancing...ha ha....And when it’s blowing in the morning and you’re up on the bow trying to bust a quick move before the boat ends up on the rocks, i want to get the anchor stowed quick. Just dealing with the snubber and the bridle to start hauling the anchor takes up valuable time. (If you go electric windlass you HAVE to use a snubber and a bridle) .

    Yes, I know sticking an extra weight on the rode like a cannonball works wonders on keeping the chain and anchor in place but do you want to deal with clipping one on and off the chain when it’s blowing and you have to deal with the ball once it’s back up on the deck? I shiver thinking about the simple act of just getting from the bow of my boat back to the wheelhouse carrying a big chunk of lead once it’s unclipped

    So it comes down to: rig up your anchor kit so you can sleep at night with complete confidence, knowing that you’ll wake up in the same spot you started out the night before, and knowing you can get out of that spot the next morning with a minimum amount of fuss, and if necessary, be able to do it safely, even while solo
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  12. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    Where do you typically anchor? I’m new to this. Boat camped a little with dad when I was a kid but have no recent experience. My 20’ Grady is my first boat. It’ll be a bit cramped but I still want to do it.
  13. trophywife

    trophywife Crew Member

    if we do meet up in bam, I can run you through the Hali anchor set up while eating chicken.
    we could even go anchor in imperial eagle channel and fish Hali for a bit . while eating chicken.
    then I can show how to retrieve it to.. you know, while-------- chicken.
    Rain City likes this.
  14. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

    Here’s three spots where a 5:1 scope would put you on the rocks on the first tide change. When I’m using 3:1, it’s to get out of the weather and they’re usually tight spots

    That’s the argument for using more chain then you think you’ll need, or, a top-quality anchor, or both

    The last picture: 5:1 scope = no problem but as the anchorage is completely protected, 3:1 is quick and efficient

    A 20 foot boat is plenty big for camping. That ARima with the Yamahas was 19 feet...I boat camped on that boat for 10 years, a few of those years with wife and 2 daughters in Desolation. Of course they made me promise a hotel in Lund every other day..ha ha

    15E3B17C-B913-489A-8545-9F4BE9545FFF.jpeg 4F4EE5AD-0620-4A0A-B50E-E123328D9BD6.jpeg 5893773F-9A52-4D51-9290-2F439C009C7D.jpeg 2E43E474-324D-4F13-97CB-5037F90B799D.jpeg
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  15. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

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  16. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    That’s a killer spot.
    Oly1, RiverBoy, ab1752 and 1 other person like this.
  17. mayday

    mayday Active Member

    The thing with anchors is - bigger is always better - the common phrase with the cruiser crowd - "how do you know when the anchor is big enough? when people walk down the dock and point and laugh".

    Keep in mind there are several "new generation" type anchors out there with different configurations - the Manson Ultra, Spade - Rocna even makes a powerboat specific design called the Vulcan. As well, the traditional Rocna with the hoop also has some drawbacks -potential fouling of the hoop in weed, roller configuration conflicts etc - so don't feel you have to only go with the one brand. It's been proven that most anchor holding power don't size proportionately - so the smaller the anchor, the less repeatable the holding - there is a really good utube series by a guy just south of the border, who put all the various anchors through real world testing - search for SV Panope anchor tests - some good info.

    Whenever these discussions come up, there are always some who say "you only need X pounds" or "you only need x amount of scope" - I like to use the analogy of motor size - yes, technically you only need 50hp to get up on the plane - but what is the common answer whenever that question is asked - well, in case the weather comes up you want more power, in case you want to get there quicker one day, you want more power yada yada yada. Same applies - sure 90% of the time you can get away with "just enough" -be it anchor size or scope - but part of being a prepared and competent boater is knowing "just enough" isn't always the long term solution.
    agentaqua, ab1752 and tonythefishman like this.
  18. dmurph

    dmurph Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the response, I must be reading the Rocna chart wrong, I saw it as the 6kg was rated for 23 ft boats up to 4 thousand and something pounds. I saw a 6kg in person and it looks to be the right size anchor for my boat. The 10 kg said 23 up to 15 thousand but I didn’t see one it person but guessing that’s gonna be big for my pulpit. You run the 6 on yours? My boats just around 7000lbs I bet loaded up
  19. ab1752

    ab1752 Well-Known Member

    Theres a full sizing page on Rocna's site to properly fit for dimensions.
  20. 32Knots

    32Knots Active Member

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