Why Anchor Chain Is Important
Using chain on any anchor is the most important part of the entire anchoring system. While some manufacturers might claim their anchor does not require chain, decades of anchoring research and testing prove otherwise. Typically these are low-grade anchors, and used by boaters in kayaks, or on smaller bodies of water, where the forces on the anchors are minimal, and using chain wont make much of a difference.
How To Measure Your Anchor Chain Size
Buying new anchor your chain for your boat can be more complex than it sounds. You can’t just walk into a marine store and order “A hundred meters of your best.” It’s got to fit your boat or things won’t work right. Don’t worry though, there are ways to figure out what that rusty mess in your bow locker used to be, or what your new boat needs.
So how do you measure your anchor chain size? Anchor chain is measured in two primary ways – thickness of the metal in the link, and the length of the link. The most precise method is to use Vernier calipers, though with care a measuring tape can get a close enough estimate.
Choosing The Correct Anchor Chain And Rope For Your Boat
One of the most commonly asked questions we hear is, What size anchor do I need for my boat? To answer that question, we need to ask you a few questions first. What kind of fishing/boating will you be doing? What size boat will you be anchoring? How much space do you have in your anchor locker? How deep do you plan on anchoring? Answering each of these questions will lead you to properly set up your boat for smooth sailing. The average angler, the recreational island hopper, and the hardcore fisherman will all have very different needs in anchor, chain, and rope. So, lets dive in and take a deeper look.
Choosing the right anchor is not a hard task at all. There is an industry standard chart we display to show you the right size anchor for your size boat. However, smaller inshore boats like skiffs and bay boats may want to get a heavier anchor to avoid having to use any chain. Using an anchor one step bigger than the recommended size can benefit the larger boats as well by ensuring youll properly anchor up the first time, every time.
With this information you should be set to purchase the right anchor, chain, and rope for your boat. If you have any more questions, stop in, call, or email and let us help steer you straight!
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Anchor Size And Rode Guide
Below are some tables to help you choose the correct sized anchor for your pontoon boat.
The first table refers to the weight of the anchor you need and is based on the weight of your boat.
Just bear in mind that knowing the type of marine environment you will regularly boat in will go a long way in helping you choose the correct anchor size and type. If you take your pontoon boat into areas with strong wind or strong current then you will obviously need an anchor with more holding power than if you boat only in still water.
As I already mentioned I always keep 2 anchors onboard any larger boat that I am in and I make sure each is a different anchor type with a different weight just in case I need to change the anchor or double anchor the boat.
Anchor size guide
Please take into consideration everything I have said in this article and do not just solely rely on the table below to make a decision. Wind and current, as well as the type of bottom you are anchoring in, are all very important factors that should influence your choice of anchor size!
What Size Anchor Chain For My Boat
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Based on the type of anchor that you use for your specific boat and preferred activities on the water, the size of anchor chain that you choose can make or break your success.
However, if you do not know what size anchor chain you should use, youre not alone.
Most people ask the question, What size anchor chain for my boat?.
There are a lot of factors that go into selecting the optimal anchor chain for your boat, and were here to help show you what to consider when purchasing an anchor chain.
Today, were here to help walk you through that process so that you can choose the best anchor chain for your boat and anchor.
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What Weight Range Fits My Boat
Choose an anchor thats the right size for your boat and the locations and weather where you anchor. Take the anchor manufacturers suggested sizes into account and consider your boating style. Do you typically anchor for two hours or for two weeks, in a lake or in the Atlantic Ocean? The recommended anchor sizes from our website will work well for most boaters, under most conditions.
Sizing an anchor for your boat reinforces, with some limits, the bigger is better idea. If your engine fails and you are drifting toward a lee shore, having a properly sized anchor ready could save your boat. But raising the anchor by hand, with no electric powered windlass, calls for light and efficient ground tackle .
Anchor Types For Expected Bottom Conditions:
Lets take a look at a few different types of anchors and the ground conditions they are commonly suited for:
|Anchor Type||Why This is Best|
|Danforth||The design of the two large triangular flukes joined to the stock enables the flukes to position themselves to the sea bottom at an angle for maximum holding power.|
|Plow||When deployed, it first lands on its side and then rights itself while it, like the name indicates, plows into the seafloor.|
|Mushroom||The silt from the bottom builds up over the anchor, resulting in extreme holding power.|
|Grapnel||Holding power comes from hooking onto another object.|
Although not the most reliable, it can create immense holding power. This can also make retrieving the anchor difficult.
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Which Style Or Category Of Anchor
Choose between the two most common anchor styles, the fluke and the plow, or if you are boating in a small boat, on protected inland waters, the inland type.
The most popular type of anchor is the fluke anchor, also called the Lightweight or Danforth, which includes the West Marine Traditional and Performance2 anchors and is often the only anchor on many smaller boats. Light and easy to weigh, it stows flat and holds well in mud or sand. Its excellent holding power-to-weight ratio means you can use a lighter anchor compared to other types, but it doesnt hold well in grassy or rocky surfaces. Its flukes and stock are more prone to foul on rocks or the anchor rode.
Plow and Scoop anchorsthe single point style represented by the Manson Supreme, Rocna, CQR, Delta and Clawhave the best all-around holding ability in varying bottom conditions. They generally reset themselves easily if the wind or current changes direction. The newest scoop designs, like the Manson and Rocna anchors, include round roll bars that self-right the anchor, automatically turning it right side up.
Plow/scoop anchors hold more effectively in grass, mud and sand. They do not have projecting flukes that foul easily, but their shape makes stowing them more awkward . Heavier powerboats and cruising sailboats often use plows as primary anchors.
Delta is a modern plow-style anchor thats popular in boats with bow rollers.
What Is The Best Type Of Anchor For My Boat
We get asked that question a lot, and the answer is often more than one anchor, of different types. The type of bottommud, grass, sand or rockwill dictate different choices of anchors, as will the size and windage of the boat, the wind conditions and the sea state.
Rocna Anchors stand out for their holding power, setting ability and ease of use.
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Picking The Correct Size Pontoon Boat Anchor
Pontoon boats are fairly versatile inland waterway vessels. They can be used for a multitude of activities from tubing to water skiing and fishing. A pontoon boat can go pretty fast and is also a joy to cruise on. But sometimes you will want to set the anchor so your boat stays in one place.
So how do you know what size of anchor you need for your boat?
I have already covered the different types of anchors you need for specific bottoms and you will need to read that article before you make a final decision on the anchor you want for your pontoon boat, However, you will also need to decide on the size of anchor you need. While the type of anchor you choice will depend on the the marine environment you are boating in, it is the holding power of the anchor that determines what size of anchor you need.
Before making a decision on a pontoon anchor you will need to consider:
- The anchors holding power.
- The anchor type.
- The anchorss weight.
- The length of rode you need for the anchor.
Lets look at these four points a little bit closer to see how they will affect your choice of anchor size.
The anchors holding power matters
It might seem counter-intuitive when you learn that the size and weight of your boat is not the main factor in determining the size of anchor your boat needs but, it is true nonetheless.
To understand why holding power is important we need to look at what holding power actually means when it comes to a boat anchor.
Anchor type is important
The anchor rode
The Rationale Behind Our Sizing
Peter, the Rocna designer, comes from a background of world cruising, and we tend to consider gear inadequate if it is not suitable for extreme environments. By this we mean the anchoring scenarios found in high latitudes northern Europe, Greenland, southern New Zealand, Patagonia, Antarctica, et cetera.
Our sizing is conservative, intended to provide an anchor adequate for use in all conditions most boaters would ever endure. We base our calculations on 50 knots wind, associated surge, and soft moderate holding bottoms into which it is assumed the anchor has set. Adequate scope is assumed. This is far in excess of most manufacturers.
Windage and resulting forces is judged based on typical vessel profiles according to LOA and displacement.
Note that tidal flow generally does not generate a hugely significant amount of force and in most areas can be all but disregarded. On a typical 10m yacht, it takes a 6 knot current to generate about as much force as a 20 knot breeze on the same boat.
Naturally there are many variables involved, and in many situations an adequately sized Rocna will easily handle far worse winds than 50 knots. There are others where even a Rocna will not hold well. However, our aim is to consider a realistic poor case scenario as the basis for our recommendations.
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Matching To Other Anchoring Equipment
On a weight-for-weight basis, a Rocna is capable of sustaining far greater forces than many other anchor types. If the anchor on a vessel is being upgraded, this implies that the other anchoring tackle onboard may also need to be upgraded, if it was matched to the old anchor.
This may be an opportunity to switch an anchoring system designed with old philosophy to a more modern and more efficient set-up, for example saving weight out of the rode by using high tensile chain.
Does The Boat Anchor Size Need Change For Stormy Conditions
When storms are kicking up, you might require a larger boat anchor than what is typically recommended. It’s wise to have a storm anchor for times when heavy weather containing 30 mph winds or higher hits the water. If you have any questions or would like some recommendations, contact us today for your boat anchor needs, and we will be happy to help.
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A Very Important Thing To Remember
If you throw an anchor off the bow, what happens? You have to buy a new one and the boat drifts away.
Throw some chain and rope off the bow and what happens? You’ll stay stopped on a calm day but drag as soon as any weather conditions come up.
So an anchor by itself is quite useless. Not far behind ‘quite useless’ is using just chain and/or rope.
Hence when picking an anchor or chain or the warp, think ‘Anchoring System’. All parts work together to hold your boat. Match these parts well and they will all work as a ‘group’ to enhance your anchoring systems performance.
The biggest thing to remember
Anchor Chain Size Rule Of Thumb
There is an old rule of thumb that dates back many years which states a requirement of 1/8″ chain diameter for every 9 or 10 feet of boat length – with approximate metric conversions:e.g. 1/4″ now available as 6mm DIN766 chain would be up to 20 or 23 feet Yacht LOA, 7mm DIN766 chain would be up to 23 or 27 feet, 5/16″ now available as 8mm DIN766 would be up to 27 or 31 feet Yacht LOA, 3/8″ now available as 10mm DIN766 and 10mm ISO would be up to 34 or 39 feet Yacht LOA.
5/16″ US Specification chain is also available from Jimmy Green Marine and the rule of thumb would be up to 29 or 34 feet LOA
This rule of thumb isn’t far removed from the Jimmy Green Anchor Chain Size Guide but it is probably based on Grade 30 chain because Grade 40 is a relatively recent advance for yachting anchor chain.Although modern yachts are generally designed and built with lighter state of the art materials, they are quite often kitted out with a lot more equipment to add the weight back on and the current trend is towards bigger anchors with much higher holding power which will inevitably lead to higher loads on the anchor rode.
Grade 40 Calibrated Anchor Chain is 25%+ stronger than Grade 30 Anchor Chain providing extra assurance when conditions worsen and your yacht is caught on a lee shore.
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What Size Anchor Should I Have
Always a great question to ask and watch the discussion fire up when you do. Anchor systems work in such a variable environment nobody can give you a direct size guide as such.
Note: The following is meant as a guide only and is a bit generic. If you are not sure ask us or someone else with more experience than yourself. Actually ask a few then average the difference as everyone has a different view than the next person.
Attachment To The Boat
It would be remiss not to mention attachment of your anchor rodes bitter end to the boat.
Should you pay out too much chain or should the windlass fail without doing so could easily result in the loss of your ground tackle.
Do not, however, shackle your chain to the boat.
If the anchor becomes fouled, or you need to let go the anchor in an emergency, you need to be able to let it go under load, and the only reliable way of doing this is by lashing the end of the chain to a dead-eye in the anchor locker, so that it can be cut in a hurry, or untied and attached to a large fender, should you need to let go the chain.
Its also worth inspecting the dead-eye itself: is it big enough fitting?
Is the bulkhead it is bolted into in good condition, and does it have something to spread the load on the other side?
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Getting The Right Chain
There are several ways to be sure you’ve gotten the proper chain for your windlass.
The Following Things Should Also Be Considered Regardless Of Boat Size:
– Is this an offshore boat? Or for lakes, rivers, inland waters, etc?- Will you anchor overnight, or just day trips – then back to shore?- If the weather takes a turn for the worse, will you be close enough to head back to shore? Or will you ride out the storm on anchor?- Are you anchoring in very deep water? If so, then perhaps using an anchor one size up would be best, and allow you to set the anchor even faster, and with less line.
When choosing the right size boat anchor, it is recommended to select it based on the 30 mph wind rating if it will be used as your primary front anchor.
The chart below can be used as a starting point based on your boat size. You can choose from several different models depending on the conditions you’ll be in, and the storage space you have.
This anchor does require chain – also available for purchase with all our products.
– 7 lb anchor – our most compact model, generally for moderate conditions, and not heavy current – i.e. day trips on small bodies of water This anchor can also be used as a stern anchor for boats up to approximately 27 feet to prevent rear swing.
– 10 lb anchor – for boats up to 19′ in winds up to 30 mph. Its a step up in size & weight, with a longer handle for penetrating hard bottoms. Generally boats in this size range have the smallest storage compartments in the bow, so storing it in a different compartment might be necessary. More info here on anchor storage.
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