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Max length of anchor chain

Category: Technical Help
Forum Name: Engine, Gearbox, Stern Gear, etc
Forum Discription: Problems or questions about your Engine, Gearbox, etc
Printed Date: 18 Feb 2019 at 3:24pm

Topic: Max length of anchor chain
Posted By: Resolute635
Subject: Max length of anchor chain
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 11:27am
I'm wondering what the total length of chain members find can be got into the anchor locker? For a trip to the Hebrides I want as long a piece of 8mm galvanised chain (I have no windlass) as possible - the Clyde Cruising Club guide mentions 60m! I've got a 10kg Delta. What's the longest chain members have found they can use given the size of the Contessa anchor locker?

Thanks for any advice.

Posted By: Brigitte
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 2:04pm
Our boat was extensively cruised in Scotland by a previous owner. We inhererited 55m of 9mm chain in the anchor locker and IIRC, a 16lb Delta anchor which we believe will not fit in the locker although we've never actually tried. In addition we have 30m of nylon rode although we've yet to use it. We could get more chain in if we wanted but we think we've got quite enough weight up there already.

It sounds like a lot, but when you've got a 7m tidal range and a windswept anchorage, suddenly it starts to make sense.

We have yet to drag our anchor though :-D

Posted By: Resolute635
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 2:44pm
Thanks very much.  Is there room enough for a smaller anchor once you've got all that chain and warp in the locker?

Posted By: Brigitte
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 4:29pm
I wouldn't like to say. There's the volume, the problem is the shape of the anchor. A Danforth maybe but not a Delta.

But our 9mm-ish chain(it might even be 3/8") requires more space than a similar length of 8mm chain would (back of fag packet calculation suggests it represents in increase of cross sectional area of nearly 1/3). It really is noticeably chunkier than 8mm.

We'll be going to the boat next weekend, I could take a photo for you.

Posted By: Colin Pritchard
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 6:24pm
We sail on the west coast of Scotland. We have 40m of 8mm chain and 30m of nylon warp. We also separately carry  a 20m extra length of chain which after many years have only used a couple of times to piggyback an extra anchor. We also carry 2 lengths of nylon warp, each 30m, but have only used that once in very deep water in Norway. At the start of last season we changed our ancient 25lb CQR for a shiny new 12kg Rocna Vulcan. The Vulcan is a wierd shape but it goes into the locker ok with the chain. The chain needs to be carefully laid in the locker to do it, and by the end of last season we were getting used to it. We anchor nearly all the time when cruising and the Vulcan has been remarkable. It has set solidly every time, as soon as we've pulled back on the chain, and it never dragged at all. The old CQR usually took 2 to 3 goes to get it to set and frequently dragged.

Hope this gives you food for thought.

Colin Pritchard

Posted By: Resolute635
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 6:36pm
Very helpful.  I'll have a look at the Vulcan.

Posted By: doug
Date Posted: 23 Feb 2017 at 6:57pm
I have 45m of 8mm chain which fits easily with my 10kg Bruce, I am sure I could fit in 60m with a bit of care. I do have extra warp but stow it in the cockpit locker, as it doubles as long mooring line. 45m has been fine most of the time but I have used extra stuff, esp in the Channel Isles.

George Isted posted a photo showing his boat with 18m chain, 30m rope and a 10kg Rocna, here:

Posted By: Resolute635
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2017 at 4:49pm
I've become very interested in the Vulcan -  how did you arrive at that choice given the options out there?

Thanks. Peter Jarrett

Posted By: Colin Pritchard
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2017 at 6:05pm
Choice of the Vulcan wasn't very scientific. We wanted a more up to date anchor than the CQR and one which would fit into the locker. A Delta seemed the most likely, based on other member's experience, but the test results for other modern anchors looked better, if we could find one which would fit. We keep the boat at Ardfern who are dealers for Rocna, they suggested the Vulcan and they tried fitting different sized anchors into the locker for us. The 12kg one went in ok, we convinced ourselves that the test results were reliable, and Ardfern offered us an attractive deal. We've had no regrets.

Colin Pritchard

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