Anchor experts: How much chain to add?

DZDZ Posts: 40Member ✭✭
Our 246 BR came with a Danforth anchor that's about as big as will fit in the anchor locker, but it's attached to braided nylon line only, no chain rode. It holds ok in dead calm, but sometimes has trouble in current or high wind, so I want to add some chain and get new line while I'm at it.

We anchor in a silty bottom river, generally in just 6- to 12-feet of water. How much chain should we add? Would 6- to 8-feet of 1/4" chain, and about 80' of 3/8" braided nylon be enough? To me, 1/4" sounded on the small side, though I read somewhere that would be about right, but there's a lot of conflicting information out there. Then again, it is chain, not line, so maybe 1/4" is pretty strong.

Thanks for any help!

Comments

  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,673Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2013
    Rinker cruisers come from the factory with 130 feet of rode of which 30 feet is chain - that gives you an idea of their specs. As you probably know, the chain performs several functions - one major one is to help the anchor set and to keep it lying in a dug-in attitude on the bottom. Of course, the anti-chafe aspect is also important. I think I'd use 15 feet of chain. The general rules for anchoring are - you should use as a minimum length of rode a 5:1 ratio (including the height from the bow roller/bow cleat to the water). A 6:1 ratio is better and a 7:1 ratio is recommended if bigger water/currents.are anchored in. My guess is that you can quite safely get by with less rode as your boat is quite a bit less heavy than the cruisers are and is much less affected by wind. I'm ocd so I followed the recommendations for cruisers when we had our 226 XL and never had a problem with the boat being jerked on a short rode or getting stress cracks from a "tight leash" effect of a too short rode. I have seen bowriders get a real jerk if they are on a short rode and something goes by that makes a big wake. My 2 cents. MT 
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
    What size/weight is the anchor? My 276 came with what was "rated" for my boat, but would only hold on a dead calm day if I set it by literally standing on it in the water. This was with 4' of chain and plenty of scope.

    My boat is about 1k lbs more than yours, and I changed to a 15lb galvanized Danforth that BARELY fit into the anchor locker, but it sets and HOLDS immediately and it hasnt drug once even in a storm. The old anchor is relegated to stern anchor, and even then its pretty useless.

    Old anchor: http://www.tohatsu.us/index.php?main_page=product_marine_info&products_id=211934

    New anchor: http://www.reddenmarine.com/danforth-94013-s920-standard-anchor-14-lb.html
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • DZDZ Posts: 40Member ✭✭
    Thanks for the replies. 

    Jtkz13 - my anchor is much closer to your old one than the new one.

    MT - I think 15' seems reasonable. Thought it sounded like a lot of chain, but we're talking fairly small chain, and it should fall down into the anchor locker pretty well.

  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,289Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2013
    Totally agree with MT on the chain being a key function of setting/keeping the anchor shank on the bottom. Here's a perfect excuse to hit the nearest boat show and see what the wide world of anchor systems has to offer. It's an innovative place where a terrible old school anchor just looks silly. As others have said, my old Danforth is a beachside lunch hook that I'd rarely/never depend on.

     A lot of guys who anchor out swear by an old school aluminum Fortress Danforth because it's light and stows easily(and it's a fine anchor). My take is that it can't just be about how easy it is to handle but almost 100% about whether it'll hold when you're in a tight spot.. like bad weather or a crowed anchorage.

    Here's a roll bar anchor that should set as well/better than a Rocna, can be broken down and stowed and is FAR less expensive and actually available at Frikkin Wally World?? Go figure.
     
    (HERE'S THE WW MANTUS ANCHOR LINK)


    (AMAZON FEEDBACK FOR MANTUS)

    High quality shackles that are safety wired and 15' of med heavy chain to keep the shank on the bottom and you'll have something that might save your life some day. At least it'd be one less thing to worry about.
    Good luck and safe anchoring, Mike
    Post edited by TikiHut2 on
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • BabyboomerBabyboomer Louisville KyPosts: 864Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    I have about 6 foot and holds very well with 3 or 4 boats rafted 
    image
    Slip 391 Sunset Marina Byrdstown Tn
  • NotamemberNotamember Posts: 1,153Member ✭✭✭✭
    just a quick entry about the importance of having an anchor on board:

    a dude who pulls up to the same sand bar my group of friends uses decided a 'B' double 'E' double 'R' U.N. was in order last summer... he didn't want to lose his anchorage on the bar, and figured leaving his anchor planted on the beach was a good way to keep it.. off he goes.. he loses power near the (Bogue) inlet, and the tide is pulling hard toward the washing machine.... he ended up in the washer before he could be snatched up by a helping hand.. that helping hand was SeaTow (who was happening by).. He didn't have an agreement/contract in place with them before hand.. that beer run cost him about $900... an anchor costs about $50.. a parking spot on the beach is free..

    if you lose power in a tidal shoot, anchors are your friend.. so is a cell phone or a radio, with friends nearby.. all of which cost less than nine benji's, even when combined...and.. are a whole lot less dramatic.. that washing machine has eaten several boats over the years..  
  • RinkerYanRinkerYan Solomons, MDPosts: 2,366Member ✭✭✭✭
    I had a similar experience with a 16 foot boat which had one - 2 cylinder outboard. We were trying to make it back to the launching ramp as a storm was brewing. About 300 yards from the ramp we kept losing 1 cylinder and the wind was blowing us away from the ramp. The only way we got in was tossing the anchor (best friend) out and puling us towards land. I always carry a spare.
  • Glassguy54Glassguy54 Cedar Rapids, IaPosts: 137Member ✭✭✭

    We also have a 246BR and the Danforth type anchor is ok for mud & sand bottoms, but completely worthless on rocky bottoms. I will probably add a claw type anchor to the on board gear. West Marine has an excellent section on anchor selection, etc. Bottom type is more of a factor in determining anchor style/size, and as others have indicated, having more than one anchor aboard is sensible. 

  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 1,110Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭

    My very first time out on our just purchased 24'er, engine stalled and we started drifting.  Pretty dumb, we didn't know what to do.  That was 14 years ago and since then we always carry at least 2 anchors.  On our current boat we have three anchors, the delta plow and two danforths.  I've held more than a dozen boats (half same size as mine) for daytime raftups on my single anchor.  Of course it's a bear to pul out when leaving.

    You never know when a quick storm may sneek up on you.  Most people that have rafted with me know that I am very particular about setting my anchor and having a good amount of rhode set.

    ok, to the topic, I'd go with 15 feet of chain & at least 100' feet of line added.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • nhsdnhsd Posts: 71Member ✭✭
    jtkz13 said:
    What size/weight is the anchor? My 276 came with what was "rated" for my boat, but would only hold on a dead calm day if I set it by literally standing on it in the water. This was with 4' of chain and plenty of scope.

    My boat is about 1k lbs more than yours, and I changed to a 15lb galvanized Danforth that BARELY fit into the anchor locker, but it sets and HOLDS immediately and it hasnt drug once even in a storm. The old anchor is relegated to stern anchor, and even then its pretty useless.

    Old anchor: http://www.tohatsu.us/index.php?main_page=product_marine_info&products_id=211934

    New anchor: http://www.reddenmarine.com/danforth-94013-s920-standard-anchor-14-lb.html
    My 212 apparantly came with the same anchor as your original, but I had a similar one to your new anchor from a prior boat. It had to have a trim to take about 1/2" off of the crown and the stock to make it fit in the anchor locker. I have 6' of 1/4" chain on it. It holds very well in the Ohio River with reasonable currents (obviously I have never tried during a high flood). The small one is kept for a stern anchor when I need to double anchor.

    Dave

    2002 Captiva 212, 5.0 220 hp, Alpha 1, 1.62 gears

    Moon Township, PA - boating in the Ohio River

  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
    Yeah, I am going to cut off maybe a 1/2" from the end of each stock, and I have to angle the shank towards the stern as I put it in so the hatch will close.

    Another interesting anchor I might try this year is the Mantus. Looks like a nice option for a storm//overnight anchor, and it is able to be disassembled for storage, which for me is nice because I wont need it every time I anchor.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • DZDZ Posts: 40Member ✭✭
    Who knew there were so many ways to keep a boat stuck to the bottom? Stupid question: Is there a best way to attach the chain to the anchor?
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 2,204Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    A shackle is used to attach the chain to the anchor, that's easy. The harder part is splicing the line to the chain.

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
    Or be lazy like me and buy the anchor line with a thimble already attached.....
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,673Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2013
    Another quick tip to add to all of the excellent advice given above (btw don't you just love this site - man, something great on it every time I tune in!) Anyway, this tip is for cruisers who have their anchors tethered to their bow roller assembly. I asked a seasoned cruiser captain last summer why he had a short (12") piece of cable with two s hooks on it attached to the shaft of his anchor and then to his locker cleat. I said "don't you have an on switch and another actuator switch for your windlass?" He replied, "yes I do but a few years back I must have bumped the on switch with my knee (guess where some of them are installed - that would be on a side coaming beside that captains seat! ) and someone must have given the windlass switch on the dash a short touch. For about 15 minutes on a choppy lake my anchor, on 3 feet of rode smacked the front of my boat. $2,000.00 later in repairs I made a short cable that will hold my anchor in place if it is accidentally released." I made one later that day for about $1.50! :-) MT
    Post edited by Michael T on
  • Capt RonCapt Ron Georgian Bay, Ontario Posts: 170Member ✭✭✭
    The normal rule of thumb is to use the length of your hull for the amount of chain. I dumped all my rope and went completely chain. No more problems with the windless when all chain is used. Danforths are only useful in sandy bottom or mud... The Delta Fast Set that came with my boat works great.. The biggest problem with anchoring is most boaters don't know how to anchor in the first place. After you have launched your anchor you must back up on it until the boat cannot move back any further even under power. If it continues to move you haven't set the hook. I watch boaters come into the anchorage and just throw their anchors out and expect it to hold in rough seas, or they use their dingy to throw their anchors out and then they try to set the hook by hand... this wouldn't hold up in a sudden storm and I have watched many boaters ending up losing their anchor in a major weather events which make it even more dangerous for them and everyone else in the anchorage... I lost count how many times someone lost their hook and starting banging into other boats. Please set your anchors... if you can't set your anchor...move on.
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 444Member ✭✭✭
    All chain is definitely nice for you guys with a windlass, but when I am the windlass I wouldnt want to lug all of that around! Plus, isnt it a little stressful on the windlass/cleats with big wave action and all chain? I know the rope has some elasticity to it, so I would think it doesnt beat up the mounting points as much.

    I think in general the rule of thumb for chain is to have your boat's length, and then enough rope for a 10:1 scope for the deepest spot you will anchor.

    One of the few advantages of being on shallow Lake St Clair is I only need to carry 200' total, since the lakes deepest spot is only about 20' and averages maybe 7' deep.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 1,673Member ✭✭✭✭
    jtkz13- I learned how to make a Prusik Knot on this forum. It  would prevent damage to your boat's cleats in anything but a tsunami! MT
  • BabyboomerBabyboomer Louisville KyPosts: 864Member, Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2013
    A lot of this depends on where you boat I boat inland water not a lot of current wind is the big thing on lakes. I had a dock partner who had a 29 SR Amber Jack and he had all chain. He never knew when he hit bottom with the anchor and then the weight of 200' of chain.
    Post edited by Babyboomer on
    image
    Slip 391 Sunset Marina Byrdstown Tn
  • Capt RonCapt Ron Georgian Bay, Ontario Posts: 170Member ✭✭✭
    The chain is no problem for the windless at all. I always power towards my anchor when bringing up the chain which makes for a quicker retrieval. The rope on my boat kept slipping making it difficult to retrieve. The only negative about all chain is anchoring out in wave conditions. There is a bracket you can slide down the chain that helps preventing the noise of wave action which can get noisy...most of the time it isn't a problem...
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