Welcome to Anchors Rope and Chain.co.uk - your one-stop shop for your anchoring and mooring needs!

 plough 3 strand Nylon  galv chain  Shackles  bb buoys 

Anchoring, and the selection of equipment, is considered by many cruising sailors as one of the "dark arts". Many cruising sailors with 1,000's of miles under their keels rarely anchor anywhere - prefering to pick up a buoy with completely unknown tackle below the water, rather than use their own, regularly maintained anchor and chain!

To help you make the right decision on what tackle you require, click on an option below, but feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.

Anchors

Weight - starting point.

What weight of anchor do I require? 1.5kg per metre LOA is a starting point and not too bad a one, but only a guide. From there you need to adjust for varying factors:
Increase the size if:

  • You have a heavier boat than the average
  • If you have lots of windage i.e. a big solid fly bridge, a ketch and etc
  • You are a big wide boat
  • You have a big blunt bow on your boat
  • You are a nervous sleeper or are 'out to lunch' when you are asleep
  • You have a lightweight rode behind the anchor
  • You are planning extended coastal or offshore trips
  • You boat is an area the weather changes fast

 

Anchors fall into 4 main categories: Fishermen's, plough, flat and claw.

Fishermen's anchors:

fisherman

The Fisherman holds well on rock and weed, but its tiny flukes are likely to drag on any other bottom, ruling it out in most anchorages. Fishermen anchor where the fish are, over reefs and rocky outcrops. It isn’t the end of the world if their anchor drags. They simply re-anchor, or pack up and go home. These anchors are difficult to handle and need to be extremely heavy to provide adequate holding. Most of us don’t anchor overnight on rocks or weed, so there is really no advantage in carrying one.


Plough anchors:

plough

Like an agricultural plough, CQR, Delta and Kobra II anchors drag when pulled hard enough, digging a furrow on the sea bed. Delta anchors are more effective, as they have a tip loading weight of around 28% of the anchor's weight, while a CQR has a tip loading of around 14% - the higher the tip loading, the more effective the anchor is at ploughing into the seabed. The CQR (Clyde Quick Release, not "secure") has the advantage over the Delta of being hinged, thereby allowing more movement when the tide turns, before pulling out and re-setting.


Flat anchors (Danforth):

Galv cruising anchor

Flat anchors performance is excellent in mud and sand, potentially the best of any anchor style. The downside is that outside of these bottoms, it does not perform at well. Therefore it is a mud/sand only anchor, which fortunately is what most seabeds are comprised of.


Claw / trefoil anchors:

Galv Bruce Pattern Anchor

This is basically the Bruce anchor. It sets and holds well in soft-to-medium bottoms, is said to hold on rock, but its long leading edge struggles to cut through weed. The flukes wings angle up which makes them differ from the Plough anchor where the fluke wings angle down. Claw types have difficulty penetrating weedy bottoms and grass. They offer a fairly low holding power to weight ratio and generally have to be over-sized to compete with other types. On the other hand they perform relatively well with low rode scopes and set fairly reliably.

Chain + rope (rode)

To start with, you need to decide what size of chain / rope you require: There is an historic rule of thumb of 1/8" (3mm) chain diameter for every 9 feet (3m) of boat length - with appropriate metric conversions, 6mm chain would be required for up to 20 or 23 feet Yacht LOA, 7mm chain would be required for up to 23 or 27 feet, 8mm would be up to 27 or 31 feet Yacht LOA, 10mm would be up to 34 or 39 feet Yacht LOA.

That gives you a guide for what chain you require: Having a mixed rode of chain + rope is a good idea: a chain section attached to the anchor helps to ensure the anchor is at the correct angle to the riverbed (the anchor on the riverbed must be pulled horizontally - if the anchor raises by only 15 - 20 degrees, it will pull itself out of the ground) and a length of stretchy rope helps to stop snubbing (and the whole lot is easier to pull up by hand!). The combination required can vary, as in a long term anchorage, that has to deal with bad weather, 17% of the rode should be chain, and of course the length of the rode is dependant on the depth of water, so not necessarily "one size fits all". For a general guide however, 4 - 5m of chain is often considered sufficient.

The minimum recommended rode to deploy is 4:1, all chain, 6:1 chain + rope, 8:1 rope only 

The primary factor in deciding the length of rode to deploy is the depth of water you're about to anchor in. And of course, if you're in tidal waters, the tidal range has to be taken into account, not just the amount of water when you arrive... Under normal conditions, chain + rope, a ratio of 6:1 is deployed - so for every 1m depth of water at HW, 6m of rode should be deployed. 

So how much rode do I need to buy? A precise answer is difficult, as the amount you deploy depends on how deep the water is at High Water, and that of course varies: in the channel Islands, with a tidal range of 13m, you will require more than if mud hopping on the East coast with a range of 4m springs and 2.5m on a neap, so the answer is to look at your likely cruising area, and what depth of water at LW you want to float in. If you are comfortable to sit in 3-4m at LW, and have a springs tidal range of 4m, you are looking at a combined rode to cover 8m, and at 6:1, you need to deploy 48m, and if you have 5m of chain, 40 - 50m of rope should do the trick. Of course, you can always buy some more rope if you decided to change your cruising ground!


It is advised to use nylon multiplat or nylon 3 strand, as it is nice and stretchy, combined as follows:

  • 6mm chain + 10mm rope
  • 7mm chain + 12mm rope
  • 8mm chain + 14mm rope
  • 10mm chain + 18mm rope

These combinations have roughly similar Maximum Breaking Loads (MBL) for G40 chain - for G30, the rope will have better MBL than the chain. If you go for larger rope sizes, it may not be physically possible to splice it to the chain, or the splice may be too tight, and therefore have too much friction (i.e. the splice will wear too quickly).


 

Suggested combinations

The following tables show suggested configurations for different sized boats:

BOAT SIZE Anchor weight
Feet Metres kg
16 5 7.5
20 6 9
23 7 10.5
26 8 12
30 9 13.5
32 10 15
36 11 16.5
40 12 18

 

BOAT SIZE Chain / rope size
Feet Metres Chain (mm) Rope (mm)
16 5 6 10
20 6 6 10
23 7 7 12
26 8 8 14
30 9 8 14
32 10 10 18
36 11 10 18
40 12 10 18

 

Anticipated max anchoring depth
Depth @
HW (m)
Chain only (m)
4:1
Chain & Rope
6:1
Rope only (m)
8:1
Chain (m) Rope (m)
3 12 5 13 24
4 16 5 19 32
5 20 5 25 40
6 24 5 31 48
7 28 5 37 56
8 32 5 43 64
9 36 5 49 72
10 40 5 55 80
11 44 5 61 88
12 48 5 67 96
13 52 5 73 104
14 56 5 79 112
15 60 5 85 120

 

BOAT SIZE Anchor weight Chain / rope size Anticipated max anchoring depth in metres – Chain only
Feet Metres kg Chain (mm) Rope (mm) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
16 5 7.5 6 10 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48
20 6 9 6 10 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48
23 7 10.5 7 12 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48
26 8 12 8 14 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48
30 9 13.5 8 14 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48
32 10 15 10 18 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48
36 11 16.5 10 18 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48
40 12 18 10 18 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48

 

BOAT SIZE Anchor weight Chain / rope size Anticipated max anchoring depth in metres – Rope only
Feet Metres kg Chain (mm) Rope (mm) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
16 5 7.5 6 10 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 40 88 96
20 6 9 6 10 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 40 88 96
23 7 10.5 7 12 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 40 88 96
26 8 12 8 14 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 40 88 96
30 9 13.5 8 14 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 40 88 96
32 10 15 10 18 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 40 88 96
36 11 16.5 10 18 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 40 88 96
40 12 18 10 18 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 40 88 96

 

  Anticipated max anchoring depth in metres – Chain + Rope
BOAT SIZE Anchor weight Chain / rope size 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Feet Metres kg Chain (mm) Rope (mm) Chain Rope Chain Rope Chain Rope Chain Rope Chain Rope Chain Rope Chain Rope Chain Rope Chain Rope Chain Rope
16 5 7.5 6 10 5 13 5 19 5 25 5 31 5 37 5 43 5 49 5 55 5 61 5 67
20 6 9 6 10 5 13 5 19 5 25 5 31 5 37 5 43 5 49 5 55 5 61 5 67
23 7 10.5 7 12 5 13 5 19 5 25 5 31 5 37 5 43 5 49 5 55 5 61 5 67
26 8 12 8 14 5 13 5 19 5 25 5 31 5 37 5 43 5 49 5 55 5 61 5 67
30 9 13.5 8 14 5 13 5 19 5 25 5 31 5 37 5 43 5 49 5 55 5 61 5 67
32 10 15 10 18 5 13 5 19 5 25 5 31 5 37 5 43 5 49 5 55 5 61 5 67
36 11 16.5 10 18 5 13 5 19 5 25 5 31 5 37 5 43 5 49 5 55 5 61 5 67
40 12 18 10 18 5 13 5 19 5 25 5 31 5 37 5 43 5 49 5 55 5 61 5 67