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RickW

Anchor Rode

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If using a chain to rope rode, you would want to use enough chain to keep the chain on the bottom which will aid in setting the anchor and keeping the anchor horizontal.  The biggest benefit to chain is chafe protection. The length depends on the size boat, size of the anchor and typical depth of the water.  Old school thinking was to use as much heavy chain as you can.  But this adds weight and is difficult to haul.  The biggest factor in keeping an anchor set is the length of the rode to the boat based on water depth and conditions.  In very light wind an seas as little as 3 to 1 may work, but as wind current and seas kick up more rode is needed.  Typical ratio is 7 to 1.  While setting an anchor you would set out at 3 to 1 and back down to set the anchor, then pay more out to achieve a length based on conditions.  More chain would allow less scope at the expense of weight.  New thinking suggests that as little as 3 to 6 feet would provide chafe protection and some weight to help set the anchor and keep it horizontal.  

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Generally, anchor rode should have at least the length of the boat in chain, me thinks that 3-6' of chain on a 30' boat might find its place on the beach.

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If you are using an ancheor to your boat than along with the rope, you should also have a smaller amount of chain between the rope and the anchor. For most boaters, 10 to 30 feet of chain will suffice. For boaters anchoring in extreme conditions for extended periods of time, you will want about 1 foot of chain for every 6 feet of rope. The reason for the difference requirements is that in theory, by having 1 foot of chain for every 6 feet of rope it will create the optimal angle between the rode and the seabed.For most boaters, 10 to 30 feet of chain will be more than adequate.

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