Anchor, Chain Locker, and Anchor Roller, Part 12, Anchor and Rode, Installation

The installation of the nylon and chain rode
Having completed my installation of the chain locker platform I could now focus on the installation of the nylon and chain rode. This was the simplest and most pleasing part of this entire project. The steps I took to accomplish this on Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25, are the subject of this posting.
I had earlier purchased a 33 pound Lewmar claw anchor. I explained my rationale in an earlier posting for my purchase of this anchor designed for boats in the 36-40 foot range:
I also had earlier purchased 30 feet of chain for the rode.
This was Acco brand 5/16 inch, G4, High Test chain. I had purchased it from Defender, the well-known chandlery in Connecticut. According to my research, the suggested minimum by ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) for a 25 foot sailboat with a 9 foot beam in 30 knots of wind was as follows: 1/4 inch chain with 150 feet of 3/8 inch nylon rode. The ABYC suggested-minimum for a 30 foot sailboat with a 10 foot beam was 5/16 inch chain with 200 feet of 7/16 inch nylon rode. Just as I had done with the anchor, I up-sized for the sake of safety. In other words, I followed the ABYC suggestions for a 30 foot boat with a 10 foot beam, even though I had a 25 foot boat with an 8 foot beam.
This Acco brand 5/16 inch, G4 High Test chain that I purchased was made in the U.S.A., and it had a working load of 3900 pounds. I opted for 30 feet of this chain on the recommendation of Don Casey and Lew Hackler, Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach, a Philosophic and Practical Approach to Cruising (1986). These gentlemen confirmed what my research had revealed - that no one would want less than 5/16 inch chain, even on a small pocket cruiser such as the Ericson 25. It's all about the catenary effect. These gentleman also recommended a minimum chain rode of 3 fathoms (18 feet), but urged their readers to consider 30 feet instead. Again, it's all about the catenary effect. The heavier the chain and the longer the chain the more likely the pull on the anchor is horizontal (which keeps it set in the seafloor) rather than vertical (which frees it).
The G4 chain had arrived at my house in a plastic bucket. Yes, that's how Defender ships chain by UPS, in case you're wondering. Surprisingly, the shipping was not that much more than it usually is from Defender. I guess that if it weren't, then no one would ever buy it online from Defender. I should mention that I bought this chain from Defender rather than from a local West Marine because Defender sold Acco brand G4 High Test. The highest grade that West Marine sold was Acco brand G3 Proof Coil. The G4, as I said, is rated to 3900 pounds. The G3, on the other hand, is 1900 pounds. There is not that big a difference in price between the two, and it actually cost me less to buy the G4 and have it shipped to me in South Carolina than it would have cost me to buy the G3 locally from West Marine.
In terms of the shackles, I again did my homework. According to my research on various online sailing forums, Crosby brand shackles were preferable to all others. Hamilton Marine in Maine was the only chandlery I could find that sold the High Test versions - recognizable by their galvanized pins. The lower test versions, I should note, have red pins. I purchased two, 3/8 inch, High Test shackles. Each shackle was rated at 2 tons, in other words, 4,000 pounds. This meant that the shackle closely corresponded to the 3,900 pound rating of the 5/16 inch G4, High Test chain. If I had not purchased this 3/8 inch High Test shackle, then the shackle would have been the weakest link in my entire anchoring system.
One of these shackles was for the joining of the chain to the anchor. The other was for the joining of the chain to the eye splice in the nylon rode. In terms of the chain itself, it's worth pointing out that if you click on the picture below, you can see that Acco has stamped "G4" into the side of each link.
As far as the nylon rode was concerned, I had earlier purchased a box full of it from West Marine during one of their one-day sales. That saved me about thirty dollars.
This wasn't the bottom of the barrel stuff. It was manufactured for West Marine by New England Ropes. It included a pre-spliced eye.
I opted for 1/2 inch x 200 feet of nylon rode for several reasons. First, it exceeded ABYC standards for 30 foot boats in 30 knot winds. I had a 25 foot boat. Secondly, it had a tensile strength, i.e., a breaking strength, of 7,500 pounds and a working strength of 2,800 pounds. Finally, I knew an Ericson 25 owner in Alaska who used 1/2 inch x 200 feet of nylon rode. He said that he preferred the 1/2 inch size rode because it was easier for him to handle when the time came for him to weigh anchor. I should note that this is the same E25 owner from Alaska whose anchor roller set-up I used as a model of sorts for my own:
I began my installation of these components by mounting the anchor on the anchor roller.
Then I applied marine grease to the pin of the shackle. This would help me in my installation of the pin, and it would help me down the road whenever I needed to remove it.
After I had installed the pin in the shackle, I secured the pin in place by installing a plastic wire tie. This would prevent the pin from gradually working itself free. I also locked the chain in place by means of the chain stop. This would prevent the anchor from slipping off the roller.
Back in the cockpit I removed the nylon rode from the box and carefully uncoiled it.
With the bitter end in hand, I walked forward to the anchor roller. It was early April in the Carolina Lowcountry, and for several weeks pollen had been blowing around all over the place. The deck and the companionway hatch were covered with it, despite the fact that the boat was well tented.
Down inside the chain locker, I tied off the bitter end to the stainless steel eye with a bowline. This end of the rode would not bear a load. The knot was simply a way of ensuring that I did not loose the rode whenever I was paying it out by hand.
Here's how it looked from the V-berth. All 200 feet of the nylon rode had to fit in the locker with enough room left over for the 30 feet of chain. I was confident that the nylon rode would fit, because the Ericson 25 owner in Alaska had told me that he could fit this same amount in his own chain locker.
After I had fed almost all of the 200 feet of nylon rode into the chain locker, I joined the eye splice to the chain with the second Crosby brand High Test shackle. Just as I had done with the other shackle, I greased the pin, and I secured it in place with a plastic wire tie.
After I had completed these tasks, I fed most of the 30 feet of chain into the locker.
Inside the boat, I had temporarily installed the chain locker panel to ensure that the nylon rode and the chain would not spill out of the locker into the V-berth. Fortunately, everything fit together well. Now I needed to install this panel permanently. That is the subject of my next posting.
This ends this posting on how I installed the anchor and the rode on Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

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