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Thread: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

  1. #1
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    Default Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Has anyone used Nov-Eight plaited line as a rode, such that they have an opinion about it?

    https://rwrope.com/boat-rope/docking...t-anchor-rope/

    I'm looking at a new, longer rode for Bucephalus, probably 9/16". After a couple weeks cruise here in Puget Sound, where deeper anchorages seem to be the norm, I'd like to go up to ~40-50f of rode. My chain locker is already pretty tight with 25f of 5/8" 3-strand, so the claim that Nov-Eight stows tighter (without hockling) has a lot of appeal. As does its SWL strength. However, I don't use a chain leader on my rode, and I'm worried how well a plaited rode takes abrasion. I've had one opinion that the stuff is too soft a lay to use without chain, and more subject to pulls and tears, but I'd like to get other opinions.

    I've never used plaited line, and don't know a thing about it, so any opinions / tutorial would be welcome.

    Informationally, I'd be using a 25# or 35# fisherman, with the rode bent (not shackled) to the anchor; the boat is 19' and 3000#.

    Thanks,
    Alex

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    I don't use a chain leader on my rode, and I'm worried how well a plaited rode takes abrasion. I've had one opinion that the stuff is too soft a lay to use without chain, and more subject to pulls and tears, but I'd like to get other opinions.
    That's been my experience with plaited line used as a jib sheets. It snags easily and pulls. W thout chain I'd think it would abrade on rocks or whatever, weaken and become worrisome.
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    I have used a similar "brait" made by Yale. It does stow nicely. It does not hockle. Easy to handle.
    I think you are wise to be concerned re abrasion etc.
    I may be missing something in my calculations here. Please check me.
    The 9/16" brait from R&W has a strength of 9800#.
    Why not go with a piece of chain the length of your boat and a much longer, smaller brait?
    You get abrasion resistance, and a longer scope.
    The Yale 3/8" brait is listed at 3700#, sounds pretty strong to me.
    On my Jewell, I carry 150 ft of rode plus 15 or 20 feet of chain (can't recall which)
    She is about 20 ft and 1500 #

    Hope that is helpful

    Frank K.

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    I prefer a three strand nylon rode with a length of chain for chafe on the bottom. The nylon does not fetch up and yank me out of my bunk a night! It gives a bit of spring and is easy to haul and handle.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    It snags easily and pulls. W thout chain I'd think it would abrade on rocks or whatever, weaken and become worrisome.
    That's the info I'm looking for. And what I'm afraid of.

    Why not go with a piece of chain the length of your boat and a much longer, smaller brait?
    The boat isn't set up for chain at all: she has oak riding chocks and a small spurling pipe, so bringing the chain up or down would be destructive and getting it below decks would be impossible. After no trouble at all with entirely fiber rode for over 30 years, I don't see any compelling reason to modify the boat to change my rode. If I were using a modern stockless anchor --Danforth, CQR, etc.-- where a chain leader is much more important, it would be different.

    The nylon does not fetch up and yank me out of my bunk a night! It gives a bit of spring and is easy to haul and handle.
    No joke! All-chain rode is not a nice experience. The only good reasons I've ever heard for using all chain are when anchoring in tight quarters where you can't put out enough scope, or when anchoring anywhere near coral.

    I've actually contacted R&W with the theoretical idea of splicing a leader of heavy (5/8"+) abrasion-resistant 3-strand onto a rode of strong, stowable 8-plait. They're making interested noises. Of course if I'm doing that, so long as I keep the SWL all the same, or at least don't create a weak link with the leader or the splice, what --theoretically speaking-- would be the ideal abrasion-resistant fiber leader to splice to an 8-plait rode? Spectra? Dyneema? This raises all sorts of interesting possibilities.

    Thanks for the replies, folks. Please keep the info coming.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I prefer a three strand nylon rode with a length of chain for chafe on the bottom. The nylon does not fetch up and yank me out of my bunk a night! It gives a bit of spring and is easy to haul and handle.
    Jay
    Our threads crossed in the ether. I wasn't aware you were using a "fisherman" style anchor, or in any event, not a plow type. To each his own, but I prefer chain for any anchor I'm going to sleep over. It's easier to handle (with a chain roller,) easier to wash off (if necessary, which is much less than with fiber rode,) and easier to stow (with a chain pipe.) This would be for anything around 20' and up. Just a preference, I suppose.

    What Jay said. I would never recommend anyone attach a rope rode to an anchor directly. A length of properly sized chain, perhaps half the length of the boat, should be attached to the rope rode and then the anchor. This not only is impervious to bottom chafe, but also the weight of the chain's catenary will absorb shock loads on the line rode (which should always be of nylon because it is somewhat elastic.) The chain will also greatly reduce the length of rode that is required and save a lot of anchoring space. The chain's weight will also tend to lower the angle of the rode tension, make setting an anchor much easier, particularly the "Danforth" and "CQR" plow type anchors.

    If you are doubtful about this, take your anchor, rope rode, and a length of chain and do some experiments on shore, at the beach or other soft dirt. The lower the angle at which you can keep the anchor's shank when pulling, the better it will set. The weight of the chain will make a huge difference.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 08-01-2017 at 04:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Better yet, call RW Rope and ask for Bob Dollar. Tell him Vince asked you to call, hit him with your question and he'll have an answer for you. Bob is their expert on rigging and there are few more knowledgeable about usage and suitability of lines than he.

    (800) 260-8599
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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Our threads crossed in the ether.
    Oh boy, do I know how that goes! Thank you for your insight just the same. If I ever shift over to a modern stockless anchor, you can be sure I'll have three or four fathoms of chain leader on it.

    Better yet, call RW Rope and ask for Bob Dollar.
    Corroboration is reassuring: R&W gave me Bob Dollar's name, too, but I wasn't sure if he was just their in-house wonk, or someone who really knew his stuff. I'll definitely give him a ring and use your name, Vince. Thanks.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    I'm a fan of the all chain rode at least on my heavy anchor and I generally accept the European standard of a boatlength's leader chain before going to a fiber rode but a few notes:

    The chain's catenary is of limited quieting value. As the wind pipes up, even heavy chain gets pretty straight. In fact, if you're anchored in shallow water with lots of scope, the chain lies on the bottom long before full catenary can form. So on each gust or wave there is enormous shock loading on the anchor that can pull you out faster than even short scope. This is why people who actually use all chain also use a snubber.

    Even with leader chain and greatly with all chain the damage that the chain dragging around on the bottom is significant. Popular anchorages have had all manner of bottom life - shell fish, crabs, bottom fish, plant growth, corals, everything - stripped and destroyed, leaving a benthic desert. Some places have moorings where there is a float arrangement to hold the chain off the bottom. Some cruisers are experimenting with all fiber rodes to anchors designed for short scope and chafe guarded for a fathom or two by the hook. Others go with a short chain leader with a small float at the fiber join - just enough to hold most of the chain up. Floating rodes are also becoming more common.

    A word about the Herreshoff ("fisherman") anchor: The good ones really work in many bottoms and truly come ahead piercing hard grass and finding a pick hold on boulder bottoms. In the latter, of course, you'll want a trip line to the crown so you can back the anchor out. But these anchors can also all too easily pull out if you have a reversing wind or current. All you have to do is wrap the rode around the upward fluke. Once, have forgotten to put down a trip line, I used this deliberately, powering around the anchor to make my fluke wrap, and then hauling in on the rode.

    Nothing works everywhere. The well-equipped cruiser will have several different anchor types. Dragging is like running aground. If you say you haven't, you're either lying or you never went anywhere.

    G'luck

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Better yet, call RW Rope and ask for Bob Dollar.
    I did so, and had a productive conversation.

    From what he says, Nov-Eight is a bit softer than he'd advise for my purpose, I'm guessing specifically because I don't use a chain leader, but Yale apparently makes a product that should have equivalent abrasion resistance to basic 3-strand and will stow a lot easier and more compactly than the current 5/8" 3-strand.

    He also solved the mystery of why I've been having such a miserable time with a new jib sheet hockling and herniating: apparently New England Ropes is no longer manufacturing their basic spun-dac as they used to. So it looks like I'll be changing over to Posh. (Darn it.)

    Alex

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Thanks for the update. What is the Yale product with good abrasion resistance and easy stowage?

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    I've used Yale Brait on Mimi Rose's bower (a 42# Wilcox & Crittenden pattern yachtsman) for about 6000 nm of coastal cruising and anchoring probably 200+ times from Maine to Georgia in the last 6 years or so. She's 32', 16000# and our brait is 5/8" with a 9' chain leader. She has sailed extensively since '91 from the Canadian Maritimes to the Bahamas on an identical 3-strand arrangement. Brait is spliced directly and snug onto a shackle served with friction tape and tarred seine twine. The serving is to protect the nylon a bit longer from the inevitable rust on the shackle. The brait does get a few pulls when fresh, but after some salt water and sun settles down nicely. For our use, I got an overlong rode planning to both end-for-end it and shorten it as the years went on given that chafe is generally more at the ends and shackles rust and weaken nylon. So far, I've done neither but have a bit of light chafe on the first 50' or so that's making me think it may be time to end-for-end it. Love our anchoring setup as it is super easy to deploy and retrieve without even using the capstan in most cases. We have a trip line and needed it once, but couldn't free the anchor and hired a diver. Turns out we hooked an abandoned mooring in Charleston, SC. We even sat to our 15# Northill with 1/2" brait for a couple of days in a near gale once (it was the 2nd anchor in a moor used to avoid fouling and we ended up very surprised that it held.) I don't think you need a leader, but one would hardly hurt if done right. You could consider all manner of chafe reducing rode leaders or even just some bunched up tubular polyester webbing lightly stitched at each end over your nylon rode for a length. Given the size of your boat, the rode seems quite oversize and you could probably afford to go down in diameter a good bit, if so inclined, e.g. 3/8". Everything they say about the stowage of such rodes is true. It piles in any locker or bag neatly and without complaint. We can probably store at least twice as much in the same volume. Another solution is a rode roller like the one which stores our storm rode, 330' of 3/4" 3-strand compactly too. Many folks will sing you the benefits of all-chain or boat length plus chain, but nylon works the vast majority of the time. If you've got a fisherman you're more likely to put down a second anchor as well (to avoid fouling) which offers insurance not offered by a single all-chain anchor. Light rodes make kedging off when aground quick and relatively easy. The time savings can be very important on a falling tide. The built in shock absorption reduces dynamic loading and helps anchors dig and is less likely to yank them out. Love our setup and can see why you're fond of yours.

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    Default

    How about a length of dyneema down near the anchor? Much more abrasion resistant than nylon, though not where near as good as chain.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    I've used Yale Brait on Mimi Rose's bower...
    That is a *fantastic* report! Thank you! You do a lot more cruising than I can manage in my little sloop, so I'll be taking your experience to heart. As you suggest, I'm thinking seriously of dropping down a size for the 35# bower, to 9/16", but if they make a 3/8" brait, I may well consider that as a working rode for the 16# kedge.

    We even sat to our 15# Northill with 1/2" brait for a couple of days in a near gale once...
    I know exactly what you mean. When I was crewing the 50' Alden schooner Voyager we rode out a gale in the Cape Verdes on a 35# Danforth that was supposed to be a directional for our 85# fisherman. After the wind changed in the first couple hours the fisherman just lay there on a slack rode and twiddled its thumbs for two days as we hunted back and forth on that Danforth. I think it was only a 5/8" 3-strand nylon rode, too, though it may have had a chain leader. I might be a dyed in the wool fisherman anchor guy, but I've never again sneered at a Danforth.

    How about a length of dyneema down near the anchor? Much more abrasion resistant than nylon, though not where near as good as chain.
    I was thinking about exactly that when I spoke with Bob Dollar. Dyneema or Spectra or some other new wonder-cordage. Use that and an 8-plait and get the best of all worlds. I dropped the idea when, right in the first minute or two of our discussion, Dollar said that while he could certainly come up with an 8-plait-to-something-else long splice, it wouldn't be anything the manufacturers would stand behind in any way, shape or form. That custom splice would be all about him, R&W's break-strength machine, and my trust. In some ways I'm okay with that --he knows his stuff, and the splice would likely hold-- but two things (aside from what the R&D would likely cost!) made me drop the idea:

    1) I have the principle that I don't allow on my boat any knot I haven't done or can't do myself. This is not only so that I can tie it again if needed, but so that I know how it works and I can inspect the existing knots (including splices) for any sign of impending failure. Much as I like the idea of a snazzy hybrid rode, Dollar sounded extremely reluctant to try and and talk me to proficiency on a splice he'd be inventing from scratch. Given that the *vast* majority of my experience has been with laid line, I think that's a reasonable reluctance.

    2) I already lose enough sleep on the absolute simplest system possible: 3-strand-straight-to-anchor; the rode bent to the anchor with an anchor hitch and the tail seized back to the standing part. It works. It works consistently. It has worked consistently for the entire 40+ years I've been sailing --not to mention the centuries of its use prior to my learning to sail. And I'm still enough of a Nervous Nellie that I don't sleep well on an anchor. Much as I like the idea in theory, going to an experimental hybrid system would *not* make me sleep better. In the waters I'm likely to be sailing, I'll take my chances with the chafe. If I go somewhere there's coral, I'll buy some chain.

    What is the Yale product with good abrasion resistance and easy stowage?
    Dollar and I didn't talk specifics ("Nov-Eight is too soft for you, but Yale has a good product"), and he needed to run off and do other things, but looking at the Yale website I'm guessing it's the "brait" --a fairly un-radical hybrid, part braid, part plait-- that Marujo.Sortudo reviews. I didn't find it on R&W's website, but I may not have been looking in the right place, and I get the sense that the website is there to tell you that they can get you anything you want, you just need to ask for it. So when I actually have the cash in the bank to buy this new rode for Bucephalus, I'll ask Dollar about it then.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Alex, please excuse my novice question, but why can't you simply do simple interlocking eye splices into each section of rode? Then each section of rode is spliced in the manner that species of line is supposed to be worked.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    The interlocking eyesplices would work until I tried to get them to feed through either the chocks or the spurling pipe, at which point they would jam. The tolerances on those chokepoints, such as they are, are too tight for that much line to try and get through at once. Otherwise, yes, that might work nicely. That's a clever idea. If yours is a novice question, you are asking about an idea I hadn't even come up with!

    The spurling pipe is just a piece of 1" bronze pipe, so I don't even use an eyesplice on the end of the rode, or else I can't feed it down to stow below when I'm not cruising. Or it would be rather a nuisance, anyway. Much easier just to anchor hitch the rode and then seize the end. Which is also a good excuse/reminder for me to inspect everything.

    Alex
    Last edited by Pitsligo; 08-08-2017 at 04:46 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    The 1" pipe should not be the governing factor in your anchoring system. My 2-cents would be to make a bigger hole.

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    Alex, do you carry a backup anchor? I'd suggest that its good practice to do so, and that the second anchor should be of a different type to the primary anchor. Both should have chain if at all possible, and if not, you might consider a weight such as or similar to an "anchor buddy" to get the pull on the anchor at a more favourable angle.
    On my 18ft sloop I have a 15lb plough with 30 ft of 1/4in chain and about 100 ft of 3/8 nylon, the second anchor is a 12 lb Danforth with a similar rode.
    The two anchors suit different types of bottom so I can choose the most effective for where I choose to stop, and both are capable of holding the 3500 lb full keeled sloop in any kind of blow short of a full blown hurricane. I can sleep well with either one down and dont in any way resent the space they take up.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: Nov-Eight Eight-Plait Rode

    The 1" pipe should not be the governing factor in your anchoring system. My 2-cents would be to make a bigger hole.
    That's a fair statement, and if my current anchoring system were inadequate, I'd be bringing out the bigger drill bits. However, my current system works fine, has worked fine for decades, and I see no reason to change it. The only change I'm interested in making is a longer rode. That requires either more space for more of my existing choice of 3-strand --it's there, but it'd be a nuisance to free up-- or a plaited rode capable of meeting the same demands as the current rode, but that stows tighter --which the Yale "brait" would seem to be.

    Given the anchor I prefer, and the waters I sail, I see no point in adding a chain leader or adding splices (weak points, btw) to the rode. Thus there is no point in changing my boat's fairleads and spurling pipe.

    Alex, do you carry a backup anchor?
    I do: a 15" folding, broad-fluke grapnel. (No, not one of those horrid umbrella jobs; a good one.) I've had it hold well in rocky ground and soft, but only as a "lunch hook", and I'd rather something a bit more tenacious, so I'm designing / patterning a ~20# HMCo-style fisherman to supplant it. The thread is here: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-Reality-Check

    Ordinarily I'd agree with you 100% about carrying different types of anchor. The only exception I'll make is for the system I've got: given how general purpose a (good) fisherman anchor is, and how well it will hold in virtually any bottom (some bottoms will styme *any* anchor), I feel comfortable carrying a pair of them. That said, I've recently been impressed by the Mantus, and as light and compact as they are I might consider adding one to Bucephalus's ground tackle. I need to take a hard look at my current cruising ground and see whether the bottom suits it.

    Both should have chain if at all possible, and if not, you might consider a weight such as or similar to an "anchor buddy" to get the pull on the anchor at a more favourable angle.
    With great respect to your own experience, I disagree with your absolute assessment of chain. On a modern anchor, of course; the stockless style does much better with a chain leader. Arguably, it's the only way they work at all. (Though I was impressed with the video I recently watched of a Mantus setting well with no chain and short scope.) And in waters with coral the game changes entirely. But on the fisherman-style I have not found chain necessary, even on rocky ground such as my homewaters of Maine. It doesn't hurt to have a chain leader, of course, but with proper scope (7:1) and the right anchor, I haven't found it to be the imperative so many people deem it.

    As for an "angel" / "anchor buddy", I've heard enough mixed reviews of those that while I'm intrigued by them, I haven't yet experimented with them myself. I may cast something up out of some lead scrap and see what I think of it.

    On my 18ft sloop I have a 15lb plough with 30 ft of 1/4in chain and about 100 ft of 3/8 nylon, the second anchor is a 12 lb Danforth with a similar rode.
    And here's why they have horse races! While I have enormous respect for Danforths in sand bottom, I wouldn't trust my boat to a plough in much more than F2 --even on perfect bottom and with all chain rode. And I wouldn't trust either in rocky ground even for so long as it took me to row ashore and buy a better anchor. I've experienced and watched too many failures of both to have either as my primary anchor. *BUT* they work for you, which is just as undeniable an empirical endorsement of the anchors as is my skepticism. That's what's important. If your system works, keep it. If it doesn't, change it. But know what you've got, know how to use it, know its limitations. And know that *any* system can and will fail.

    The phrase "YMMV" might have been invented for discussions about anchors and anchoring systems.

    We both have good systems we know, understand, and trust, and that's what matters.

    I can sleep well with either one down and dont in any way resent the space they take up.
    I just generally don't sleep well on any anchor that weighs less than the boat I'm aboard. I'm twitchy; so it goes. But like you, I don't resent the space my system takes up --currently. I'd rather a better system for catting up the bower while I'm under way, just because the current system is inelegant, but what I have works. The trick will be making sure a longer rode works in the future, which it sounds like the Yale "brait" will facilitate.

    Alex

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