FAQ's- Frequently Asked Questions
Got a Question? We’ve Got Answers!
3-Strand or 8-Plait Rope- what do I need for my windlass and what’s the difference?
Most modern windlasses like Lewmar, Maxwell, and Lofrans will accept either interchangeably. Other brands like Quick, PowerWinch, and older Lewmar windlasses like Simpson Lawrence perform better with 3-strand. If you have one of the latter models and need 8-plait because you can’t get as much 3-strand as you need in your anchor locker, we recommend going up from 1/2” to 9/16” rope.
As for the difference between the two, we made a short video that will explain it quickly- watch it by clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wNwrAZmdIU&t=17s
If you still have questions, give us a call at 727-489-4533 and we’ll be happy to help!
Will your rope and chain work in my windlass?
All of our chain is short link that is made to fit in a windlass that uses American sizing. Likewise, our rope is made to go through windlasses. However, there are a few brands that work best with manufacturer produces rope and chain. Those are Powerwinch and Maxwell. We recommend purchasing anchor rodes made directly from those brands.
What size rope and chain do I need for my windlass?
Buying an anchor rode for your windlass is like being tires for your car: you can only get the size that fits your wheel. Most of the time, you can get that info from the owner’s manual, which are also available online if you’ve lost the original. If you have a Lewmar windlass though, keep reading!
If you have a Lewmar 550 or 700 series windlass:
- You need ½” rope and ¼” chain.
- You can use either 3-strand or 8-plait rope.
- It’ll take either short-link G4 chain or stainless steel windlass chain (all of our rope and chain is windlass compatible).
If you have a Lewmar 1000 series or any other Lewmar model:
- CHECK YOUR CHAINWHEEL for the number stamped between the teeth of the gypsy and then look it up on the Lewmar gypsy guide page here: https://www.lewmar.com/Windlass-Gypsy-Guides.
- Sorry, didn’t mean to yell with those all caps but we could have saved many boaters time and money exchanging anchor rodes if only the chainwheel size had been verified first by the ID number.
- A Lewmar 1000 either Pro-Fish or Pro-Series windlass new out of the box will accept 5/8” rope to 5/16” chain, either 3-strand or 8-plait.
- HOWEVER, multiple times we have had customers who bought a brand new boat that came with the windlass already installed, not knowing that the installer swapped the 5/16” chainwheel for a ¼” chainwheel to maximize the amount of anchor line they could fit on the boat. It’s much easier to find this out ahead of time.
- Bottom line- unless you know from a previous anchor rode purchase or if there is only one chainwheel compatible for your windlass, get that number and double check before ordering.
If you have an older windlass and you know the size it’s supposed to take but it’s just not grabbing, try going with either 3-strand rope or go up a size in the 8-plait.
How much rope and chain do I need?
Your anchor rode length does not depend on the size and weight of your boat- that’s taken into consideration when buying a windlass. Instead, we start off asking you a few questions.
- What is deepest depth you plan on anchoring in with this rode?
- Are the waters typically rough?
- Do you anchor overnight?
If you typically go out fishing for the day in relatively calm waters and then come home afterwards, you need a scope of 3:1. If the waters tend to be choppy, go up to a 4:1 scope. If you anchor overnight, your scope should be 7:1 to safely keep that anchor and your boat in place.
What is scope?
Your scope is the total length in feet from your bow roller to the deepest depth that you anchor in multiplied by either 3 for day fishers or 7 for overnighters. Let’s do an example:
- From your bow roller to the surface of the water is 5 feet
- The deepest depth you will anchor in is 145 feet
- You only fish during the day on nice days, no rough waters
- You will add the 5+145 to get 150'. You’ll multiply 150' times 3 to get 450'. Your total anchor rode length, meaning rope plus chain, needs to be 450 feet.
When you’re anchored, you should have enough rope and chain let out so that your anchor is set and the chain is horizontal on the bottom. Your rope should gently slope up from the chain to the boat.
If your rode is so short that it’s more of a straight line from your anchor to your bow roller, you are most likely pulling up your anchor with every bump and the boat, instead of the nylon, is taking the brunt of the waves. It’s also not safe. Safety is the first and last priority on the water.
We will continue to update this page- send your questions to our email so that we can find out what you want to know! Tight lines and stay safe, captains!