Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchor Chain

Steve Leeds

Hi Mike,
Contact IMTRA Corp (508) 995 7000, the US distributor of the LOFRENS windlass and they will give you info for sizing chain to the anchor windlass. They can sell you a replacement gypsy in a different size if needed (not terribly expensive).

I own a Sharki, a much smaller AMEL, so I will not address the question of size for you. I use 5/16 high tensile and have 280 feet with oversize links on each end to allow reasonably sized shackles. The high tensile is used to reduce weight forward but has several negatives. It is more prone to rust than lower carbon chain and the lighter weight reduces the catenary effect of the chain. Many Australians (who tend to use lots of very heavy chain) have told us that the only reason to have an anchor is so you can find the end of the chain! (they also tend to use large anchors!)

I would suggest you not consider using any rope on your primary rode if you are going to the South Pacific as you will be anchoring around and on coral most of the time and rope rode will not survive. I also suggest you consider more rode rather than less as anchoring depths will often be 40 to 60 feet and the holding will occasionally be so poor that you will need to put out extra scope. The deepest we ever anchored (I believe it was on the east end of Tahiti) was in 100 feet of water. We had about 3/1 scope (with all of our rode out) and could not possibly back down on our anchor. We were also surrounded by reef. We had a rather nervous night!

In the Caribbean, you will generally be anchored in sand or mud but the depths will sometimes be deep. However, he issue in the Caribbean is the crowded anchorages which will often require reduced scope which makes rope rodes a problem.

I have not seen metric chain in the US. It is available in the Caribbean.

Good luck!

Steve Leeds
AMEL Sharki #121
Circumnavigator's Yacht Service
Fort Lauderdale, Fl

mike_ondra <> wrote:
Having purchased "Drifter" SM #240 in October we are having great fun
exploring and beginning to understand some of the myriad systems on
board. Recently checking the anchor chain locker for the first time
from the fore stateroom, we found a mound of rusted chain requiring a
hammer to break it up. Me-thinks it time to replace the chain.

Being in the US, metric chain seems unatainable, hence a potential
incompatibility with the windlass gypsy. Anyway, looking for
suggestions, knowing that there are probably as many opinions about
anchoring as there are skippers.

1) Recommended size/type chain. Thinking 3/8" G40 or G70, but can a
replacement gypsy for that size chain be found for this windlass.
Alternatively, is metric chain available in the US at palatable prices.

2) Recommended rode configuration. Thinking 100-150' of chain and
100'-150' of rope. Planning cruising in Caribbean and South Pacific.

Thanks for any help with this,

Mike Ondra
"Drifter" SM #240

Sailing Sailing yacht Amel Boating sailing


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