Registered users don't see ads

311/331/323 all chain rode size/length?

Discussion in 'Ask A Beneteau Owner' started by stevemitchell, Jul 8, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. stevemitchell

    stevemitchell

    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    133 posts, 6 likes
    Beneteau 311
    US Seattle, WA
    I am considering switching to an all-chain rode on my 311 and am wondering if other owners of similar sized boats have done this? In particular, I'm curious what size chain you went for, and if you added a windlass, or already had one.

    I know chain/rode/anchor stuff is very personal and sometimes controversial, but mostly interested in similar boats and what they have chosen and had the best results with.

    I'm considering adding a Lewmar v700 windlass and 300' of 1/4" chain. By my calculations that is about 220 pounds of additional weight in the bow that I don't have now. I'm not worried about the power usage or wiring, as I am very versed in that area and have plenty of capacity.

    Any opinions on similar sized boats appreciated!
     


  2. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    972 posts, 149 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    You have quite a tidal range there in Seattle. I'd consider a nylon, three-strand that is whipped onto the chain. I might have at least 50' added as a tail.

    In my opinion, the 1/4" if it's REAL High Strength (like the original ACCO G4, made in the US and not a "knock-off") should be fine.

    You really need a windlass. The V700 would be okay, except it can't take a nylon rode. You understand that you can't retrieve without running the engine up to maintain voltage? Also, you need to be cautious about picking up to much anchor without letting the windlass motor "cool-off". The motor really isn't rated for continuous duty under any real load.
     


  3. stevemitchell

    stevemitchell

    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    133 posts, 6 likes
    Beneteau 311
    US Seattle, WA
    Sorry, I thought I had included this, but realized I had not...

    I already have 30' of chain connected to 250' of 3 strand for my current rode. I have no complaints other than I have to haul it back on board by hand, but with a mostly rope rode, it's not that bad.

    Yes, I was considering the V700 for an all-chain rode. For a combo chain/rope rode, I would likely just continue to raise it by hand.

    I definitely can retrieve it without running the engine, as I have a LiFePO4 house bank that routinely sees 100-250 amps going out of it for an inverter and much more. The V700 is less than half of that, and having replaced many, many electrical systems on boats, I would make sure things are wired appropriately. Having the engine on would of course help recharge the battery bank, but it isn't required in this particular case.

    However, I am aware of the latter part of your note - I had a 48' sailboat years ago and had to do the same thing with its windlass or risk burning it out.
     


  4. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,384 posts, 308 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    If you do not have any problems with your current setup I would not change a thing and bring another set of factors into the mix. A windlass does not stay shiny for long and will require additional maintenance plus installation costs. All chain can be hard on the deck fixtures, do use a snubber if you switch.
     


    stevemitchell likes this.
  5. stevemitchell

    stevemitchell

    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    133 posts, 6 likes
    Beneteau 311
    US Seattle, WA
    I am definitely keeping that in mind. I would be doing the installation myself, as I do for just about everything else, so I'm not worried about the cost there. I am more worried about maintenance and issues, as everyone I have ever known on a boat has had issues with them.

    I am more interested in similar sized boat owners and what their setup is, and if it is worth it. I'm finding more and more that it seems like it is not worth it, and that updating my rode might be a better investment.

    I'm also doing more solo or single-handed sailing lately, and anchoring manually that way is more challenging. A windlass might help a bit with that.
     


  6. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,066 posts, 957 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Some other considerations:
    • Horizontal windlasses have few problems - the motor is not hanging under the gypsy and getting a seawater bath down the drive axle as in vertical windlasses.
    • Every windlass I have had was set up to transition from rope to chain, it is a feature related to the gypsy type.
    • Too many windlasses are underpowered, built to a price point, not a performance standard. I can imagine that by the time you engineer, buy the materials, wire and install a proper sized windlass you could spend more than you think this is worth. I wouldn't be without my Lewmar H3 and 66# Manson - with all chain rode and big enough anchor you need a powered windlass. ...and a washdown system. B-O-A-T x3
     


    stevemitchell likes this.
  7. helmfam

    helmfam

    Joined Aug 27, 2014
    66 posts, 5 likes
    Beneteau 373
    US San Diego
    I thought all chain might be a good idea too. Until I read
    [​IMG]
    The Complete Anchoring Handbook: Stay Put on Any Bottom in Any Weather

    by Poiraud, Alain.
    All chain, when things get rough, finally straightens out, losing the catenary effect of the chain and tends to lift the anchor shaft up and out, then you are at risk of the anchor not staying set. The rode helps prevent this since there is more stretch in it and, in theory, your chain stays more horizontal on the bottom. I highly recommend this book.
     


  8. stevemitchell

    stevemitchell

    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    133 posts, 6 likes
    Beneteau 311
    US Seattle, WA
    Yeah this has bothered me with vertical ones. Vertical is likely the way I would have to go given the layout of the deck and chain locker. There's simply no room for a horizontal one. Keeping it clean and salt-free appears to be a top priority and one of the main ways they fail when not maintained.

    Yes, I have found this as well - I didn't realize that was common as my previous boat was much larger and all chain. They seem to be able to handle this quite well if you choose a good design. I personally have found more positive info on the Maxwell line of windlasses that support this.

    I am staying away from a number of brands after further investigation. The Maxwell RC6 and RC8 models seem far better engineered and more powerful that similar other manufacturers, with good support and options like a wireless remote which would make it useful in a singlehanded situation.
     


  9. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,066 posts, 957 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    Any anchor is at risk of losing set, many more so back in 2007. A lot of things have changed since then - better setting anchors, faster setting anchors, and the ability of an anchor to quickly reset. But you still need to deploy the proper scope when conditions require, and have a nice big anchor to do it with.
     


    Will Gilmore and stevemitchell like this.
  10. thinwater

    thinwater

    Joined Mar 26, 2011
    1,885 posts, 320 likes
    Corsair F-24 MK I
    US Deale, MD
    Many PDQ 32 catamarans (a lot more windage than the OP), including my last boat, use 1/4-inch G4 with V700 windlasses. This is what I know:
    • Running the engine. First, you generally have it on ANYWAY when you are raising anchor, because you are going to motor off. Same anchoring. Second, you should NOT be using the windlass to pull the boat to the anchor in a breeze. That is what the engine is for. But if the engine has failed, no, it is not important so log as the wire is properly sized.
    • Durability of the V700. You'll get at least 10 years, but probably more like 15-20.
    • Vert vs. horz. Vert is more compact than above deck. Less chance of slipping (180 vs 90 degree wrap). Less fall into the well required. Personally, I would only go horizontal if there was no possible way to fit a vertical windlass. The 180 degree wrap is the reason.
    • Mixed rode. It will handle it fine if you use an irony splice. But it won't pull as securely, so motor up.
    • Snubber. Mandatory in water less than 15 feet deep. After than, it depends. But that's a whole new thread.
    [​IMG]
    Irony splice

    I'll have anchoring book coming out in the fall; the publisher is still tweaking. The emphasis is primarily on soft mud, rodes, rigging, soil interactions, and forces, based on lots and lots of load cell testing. It's based in part on many, many magazine articles, with additional material that didn't make the space cut. It's less about choosing windlasses and anchors, not because I don't know the topic, but because it's a hornets' nest and is constantly changing. Rigging and forces don't change.
     


    Will Gilmore and stevemitchell like this.
  11. Cat 310 #1 in GA

    Cat 310 #1 in GA

    Joined Jan 17, 2013
    241 posts, 28 likes
    Catalina 310
    US St. Simons
    On my Catalina 310 I recently switched from combo to all chain. Only 100' also have 35 ft of rode but do not use it. Have a maxwell windlass only designed for rode but i use it to assist with the chain anyway. Figure I will do that until i tear it up and have to replace it. The chain size i have is 5/16 but if i had a chain gypsy would have to go to 1/4 inch. Could pull up the chain by hand if needed but prefer the help from the windlass. Anyway, this was a big improvement and anchoring is so much nicer now. Sleep much better. Helps to have a bridle rigged up with a mantus chain hook too. Never noticed the extra weight in the bow but then i only have 100'
    bob
     


    stevemitchell likes this.
  12. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,581 posts, 252 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    That is not true. From the V700 manual:
    "Gypsies fitted to the V700 range of windlasses are ideally suited to handling our factory made Rope/Chain combination rodes, which consist of rope spliced to a chain tail."
     


  13. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,581 posts, 252 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    That's a lot of chain. Why so much? I used to carry 125' which was good to 20' water depth with a 33 lb. Bruce on a 6 ton, 36' sloop, in New England.
     


    Cat 310 #1 in GA likes this.
  14. Ron20324

    Ron20324

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,099 posts, 537 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    Not familiar with your cruising area but that is alot of chain. IIRC, 5/16 G4 is 1.1 pounds per foot? On my new B323 I looked at windlasses quite a bit- and a comperable anchor. My boat is 13,000 pounds on the travel lift. I could have gone with a 700 windlass and 1/4 chain, but being an all-new install and going top-drawer I got the Lewmar 1000, 5/16 G4 and a 35 CQR. All are over-rated for my boat, but on the other hand it is insurance and peace of mind is good.. I got the ACCO chain on a close-out sale, 144 feet the salesman said, but when I got it home and laid it out, it was 177. I carried that in my anchor locker a couple years in the Chesapreake, but it was not ever totally used. I sold off 32 feet, and my 145 feet is more to my needs. My sailing club does raftups- circles if 12 or more boats, but linear or pods if fewer than 12. I often am an anchor boat and one on each side for the night and have never drug.
     


  15. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,565 posts, 1,050 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Stevemitchell,
    You should recalculate your additional weight. I think you can cut that in half. Typically, all chain rode means a scope, under normal/typical conditions of 4:1 or 3:1 vs 7:1. Your post indicates you are actually adding length to your current setup.
    My suggestion is to go with 150' of chain (half the weight) and put another 150' of rope rode when conditions dictate a full 7:1 scope. The problem Helmfam mentioned would be true on 3:1 scope in big waves, but chain or rope, 7:1 is not going to be any different in big seas and 60+ winds. Chain may actually be easier on the boat in such conditions because it will have that weight to soften the sudden surges of large steep waves.
    It will change the performance and balance of your boat a little.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


    stevemitchell likes this.
  16. stevemitchell

    stevemitchell

    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    133 posts, 6 likes
    Beneteau 311
    US Seattle, WA
    Ah yes, I have been looking at so many numbers/options/versions I got that wrong - I would not use 300' of chain, more likely only 150'. I actually have a similar weight anchor - 33lb Rocna - which would be paired to it.
     


  17. stevemitchell

    stevemitchell

    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    133 posts, 6 likes
    Beneteau 311
    US Seattle, WA
    Hi Ron,

    Thanks for the reply - I was hoping a 323 or other similar sized boat owner would reply with some details on their setup. My 311 says ~8000 pounds in the specs, but it is closer to 10,000 pounds in the lift.

    I definitely mis-calculated when it comes to 300' for an all chain rode. Too many times going back and forth between all chain and chain+rope. I would be fine with 150' of all chain. I have a 33 pound Rocna anchor.

    I sail mostly in Puget Sound / Seattle / San Juan Islands / Southern British Columbia. I think going with 150' of chain and then adding 150' of rope if needed as Will Gilmore mentioned would be a good alternative if I need 7:1 scope.
     


  18. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,581 posts, 252 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    That's a great anchor. That's what came with my new boat. I really wish they had gone up a size, but you can't "order" a used boat. According to Rocna's chart I'm undersized on the anchor and should have the next size up, which is 44 lb.

    (My boat displaces 16,000 lb. I assume in Rocna's chart that ""t" for ton, means metric tons, which are 1000 kg, or 2,200 lb.)
     


    stevemitchell likes this.
  19. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,581 posts, 252 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    BTW, I would carry 125' of 5/16" chain and just 25' of light line with a float on the end. I'm not a fan of rigidly attaching the rode to the boat, in case you have to let it go and get off in a hurry. Also, when I anchor up somewhere and want to day sail I just throw the chain, line and float overboard and pick it up when I return. It kinda saves my spot, and saves a lot of work weighing anchor and stowing it, etc.

    If you get new chain, before you put it on the boat I suggest you get four spray cans of Krylon: Red, White, Blue, and Yellow; and paint about 1' foot of the chain at 20' intervals, red, white, blue, then red-red (1' - space - 1'), white-white, blue-blue, and so on, with yellow as a warning for the last 20 feet. This is much easier to do at home before you bring the chain to the boat.

    To get it onto the boat, tie one end to the boat and dump the rest into the water at the dock, and haul it up with the new windlass. :) (That's what I did!)
     


    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018 at 8:51 PM
    Will Gilmore and stevemitchell like this.
  20. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    862 posts, 238 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    +1
     


    stevemitchell likes this.

Sunbrella lifesling covers
Any color, fits over existing bag to match your existing canvas.
Turn any toilet into a Raritan for a fraction of the cost
The Raritan LBA matches your existing bowl with the pump/plumbing of a PHII or PHC. save!
Too hot? INSTANT BIMINI ESTIMATES
Low prices, custom fit, no-wait estimates
NEW, updated Get Rid of Boat Odors
The bible of marine toilets and plumbing, expanded and updated for 2016!