Amidships Chain Storage

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Ted Royer, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Ted Royer
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Ted Royer Junior Member

    Good Morning,
    I have a 70's Albin Ballad:
    BALLAD 30 (ALBIN) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1072
    that I am going to be cruising with next year. She is fairly sensitive to weight in the bow and I want to have an all chain rode. My plan is to locate the chain in a locker near the front of the keel and make the deck penetration just fwd of the port side fwd chain plate penetration. I will drop the chain down through an ABS pipe and bend the pipe slightly into the center of the locker more amidships. From there is would be only a few feet more through the salon to move the chain into the bilge if I ever do a long ocean passage and want the bow even lighter.
    Here is a plan view with the yellow spot indicating the location of the proposed deck penetration:
    upload_2018-7-20_13-49-20.png
    Where this chain will slide back and forth over the deck, I am thinking of just glassing in a hardwood board on the deck and then epoxy cover it with something like Dynel or Xynole . Thoughts?
    Thank you all for the support on this project.
     
  2. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Seems like it would be a lot of hassle, especially if you would be trying to do it in chop. And it would make your foredeck perpetually filthy.

    What I have seen others do is have a run or chute from the windlass or the bottom of the chain locker, straight aft and downward towards the bilge. Looks like you could get a fairly straight shot from the bow to under the V-berth. This would involve cutting and glassing, but no more than what you are contemplating. The only real down side is of course a hole from topsides right into the bilge...
     
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  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    What is the reason for an all chain rode?
     
  4. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Ted, will you be using the forecabin berths, or will this area just be for general storage?
    If the latter, I think I would prefer to run the chain hawse pipe down between the berths just forward of the cabin.
    OK, this is not as far aft as your proposal shown on the port side deck. With your proposal I would be a bit worried about forgetting to plug up the hawse pipe if I get knocked down on starboard tack and then water flooding in through the hawse pipe.
    It sounds like you will be hauling the chain manually, ie no windlass. If I had the chain pipe just forward of the cabin I could still have a wee manual windlass, perhaps something like a S/L Anchorman (except that they went out of production a long time ago). Or maybe one of the smaller Lewmar electric capstan type windlasses.

    I obtained a catalogue from Albin Marin for the Ballad almost 40 years ago, and I have scanned it - maybe the photos below might be useful for general reference.
    .
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. Ted Royer
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Ted Royer Junior Member

    Wow guys thank you for the feedback. Let me in order.
    James,
    Yes sir I looked at it again yesterday and I don't think I can make it work going under the forward berth in this boat unless I have someone pulling the chain into the locker from below. I need to terminate the pipe at the top of the locker so that the chain has a place to pile up. If I do that, it is a long horizontal run and to give it any fall at all I would need to replace and relocate the water tank. If I go under the tank it emerges into the bottom of the locker. I could let it just pile up on the deck and then go down and pull it in I guess. Since it will already be plumbed to both fresh and salt water, my plan for dealing with the mess is to use the booster pump from the water maker as both the saltwater and the freshwater wash down and have a hose that I can move forward and wash down after the hook is up. Not a perfect solution obviously but if I can get it to that location it resolves some of the bow weight issue and from there, I can drag it into the bilge easier if I want to for long trips.

    Gonzo,
    Yes sir all chain rode. I lost my last boat because I was stupid, so a lot of this is being driven by my paranoia. Yes I will have anchor drag alarming while I sleep, but while any anchor system can drag of course, for me to be able to enjoy going ashore for an evening or day I need to have as much confidence in my ground tackle as I can get. Also, my job can call me back anytime if there is a problem so I would like to be able to - if I had to - depend on a anchor for a few days till I can get back to it. This boat is light so I can get by with 1/4" G4 even if the snubber chafes through. My plan is to have 300 ft of chain and a 45 Lb Mantus anchor as my primary/storm anchor and a Fortress as a backup/stern on a hundred ft of chain + 200 ft of nylon that I can use either end. That will allow me enjoy my time on shore better and to be able anchor in deeper water away from other boats if I need to. The stern anchor and chain has a place aft but that is still 275 Lbs all in for the bow system.

    Bajansailor,
    Thank you for the photos - they are so clear! I had this same set but mine were an ugly black and white a copy of a copy. Yes sir we will need the forward cabin as bunk space. We have seven grown children between us and hope to have them fly out and meet us occasionally (one couple at a time of course) while we sail. You are correct on the locker location and thanks for the reminder on the hawse pipe plug.
    Yes sir whatever I do, I will have a windlass. I am healthy now, but I am 60. My wife is also 60 and she is 105 Lbs. so there is just no sense in trying to do this without mechanical help going forward. I am still trying to work out the fore deck layout and whether to go with a manual or electric windlass but I would like to end up with a solution that tails itself into the locker so we can just stand at the bow and spray and brush the chain as it comes on board.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The smell of a chain with muck on it is something that some people can live with and others not, so I won't post an opinion. However, it is a fact that it will smell. Modern fibers, like nylon, make it safer than all chain because they act as a shock absorber. Anchors have a maximum holding power. When the boat pulls, it will have a higher force with a chain or other non-elastic rode than with a stretchy line. In other words, you will need a larger anchor to get the same safety factor.
     
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  7. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Yes when weight is an issue a mixed rode is arguably the best, sure.

    But for interests sake I don't think the properties of chain get fairly reported, there is better snubbing when taught than a lot of the theoretical studies suggest. In most chosen anchoring ground once the chain is taught the anchor drags a small amount until the kinetic surge energy has dissipated. No other system can do this so effectively as it dissipates the excess energy it the system rather than returning it. It's a factor that tends to be forgotten in the articles and theoretical studies written for boaters. They all presume your anchor is hooked on a rock shelf or is sized so large that it doesn't drag at all. And of course you still use a snubber.
    When you use a lot of nylon, the energy required to stretch the rope just returns to the system and the boat surges back and forth with equal vigor.
     
  8. Ted Royer
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    Ted Royer Junior Member

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Lots to think about.
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The energy dissipated is the same. However, with an elastic rode the time it takes is longer. Therefore, there is less force applied to the anchor, which is what makes it drag.
     
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  10. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Also, there isn't much point in having heavier tackle than your boat can drag and set with full reverse thrust. I'd use a couple of 20' lengths for leaders, and a couple 90' for mains, and the rest nylon. You can manhandle 90' of 1/4 g4 in a bucket. Don't need a chute.
     
  11. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Probably a bit hypothetical but interesting enough. But it's the way the energy is dissipated. With the nylon rode it's dissipated by the boat traveling some distance and particularly surging back and forth until it's stirred up enough water to dissipate the energy. A dragging anchor can actually absorb a large amount of energy beneficially and it doesn't get returned to the system the way it does with nylon rodes. It’s a classic dynamic system. You only get energy absorption from damping.

    A downside of nylon rode to consider is that as a system it can never be sufficiently damped, and if the oscillatory frequency gets close to wave excitation or harmonics then you can actually get more force in the rode.
     
  12. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    But it is almost always "good enough" and worth it to most to carry more ground tackle per unit mass.
     
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  13. Ted Royer
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    Ted Royer Junior Member

    I really appreciate all of the input. Here are my thoughts after sleeping on it all.

    1) The comments on a dirty fore deck and trash being hauled in with chain were great, thanks. I will have to make sure I can get the chain clean before it goes down below and have a way to wash out that locker for when it gets dirty.
    2) The shock load issue with chain is something I already understood, but bringing it up again renews my determination to get the snubbing system right.
    2) The comment about not having tackle heavier than your boat can drag and set with full reverse thrust was also great, since if you can't be sure its set, you can't sleep.
    3) Taking on water through the open hawse pipe is an issue and especially in a knockdown if I end up putting it where I am thinking, thanks for that caution.
    4) The entire energy storage and dissipation of chain vs. fiber issue was also something I had not ever heard or read about. Good to think about.

    The reason I have been driven toward chain has been when you hear the comments from couples who have lived on the hook and traveled the world for decades, some common threads come through. This general list comes from couples like Hal & Margret Roth, Bob & Nancy Griffith, Lin & Larry Pardey, youtubers like Jules & Suzie Hanak who are in this camp and this camp adds up (if you include the spouses) to over two centuries of collective, all-over-the-earth experience:
    1) Have the largest anchor you can handle.
    2) All chain, properly snubbed on the main anchor.
    3) Stern anchor on a chain & rode combination. Rode so that it can be rowed out as a second anchor or used as a kedge.
    4) Multiple anchor systems available for when your over sized, all chain monster anchor system drags anyway or when it gets hopelessly stuck and you have to abandon it.
    5) Sleep with an anchor alarm, maintain an anchor watch during bad weather at anchor because even chain can break or get cut rubbing against underwater steel if it sits there long enough. And because no matter how big or well designed your anchor is, it can get fouled; the anchor tip can land in a 5 gallon bucket or in a conch shell or a cinder block or pile of debris or get tripped by someone else's anchor.

    There are certainly exceptions to this thinking about all chain rode. Don Street is an example that I can think of. But if you listen to him, he normally has a crew, he maintains round the clock anchor watch and details the chafe gear precautions that need to be monitored and adjusted continually in bad weather conditions. He keeps something like five anchors on board and he still says, have the largest anchor you can handle. There are others especially now with Youtube but most of the serious world cruisers who take you down the fiber rode path seem to have enough crew to manage chafe problems round the clock and I don't know if would they anchor off and leave the boat on a fiber rode for days as I would like to be able to do - if I have to.

    Finally, I think its instructive that the 'all chain camp' seems to be dominated by sailing crews that include their wives. I will be bringing my wife along too. I can just hear her now, after our boat is on the rocks again, quietly saying 'hey Sweetheart, how about next time we use chain, like we talked about'. I just don't want to hear that conversation start.

    Having said all of that, and having already lost a boat to a poor anchor system, I think I would like to have, and then just deal with the downsides of an all chain rode, properly snubbed and connected to the largest anchor I think I can manage. Yes I am overly paranoid, agreed. But even the overly paranoid need to be able to sleep at night.

    Thanks again for all the comments and support.
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A nylon rode is a damped system. Harmonic excitation is possible. However, an all chain rode will also have a natural frequency and can be a forced spring/mass system.
     

  15. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    All chain is self dampening. As vessel is moved latterly away from anchor, rode is lifted off of seafloor. When driving force is eased on vessel, rode sinks pulling boat forward.
     
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