Offshore Sailing tip #2


    All-Chain Anchor Rodes

    Anchor chain should be secured to the boat so that you don’t lose the bitter end overboard. Some people shackle the end to a through-bolted pad eye below decks in the anchor locker, but this can be difficult to undo in an emergency.

    It is better to splice a piece of rope to the bitter end of the chain and tie the rope to a pad eye in the chain locker. The rope should be long enough to reach from the pad eye to the deck through the windlass chain pipe. If and when it is necessary to get rid of the anchor rode (generally when another vessel has dragged down on you and has fouled your chain), it is expedient to run the chain to its end and then cut the rope on deck rather crawling into the chain locker and trying to undo a shackle that could be under a lot of pressure.

    I also paint the last 20 feet or so of chain with Day-Glo orange paint so I know when Im coming to the end. To mark length on the chain rodes, paint 3-foot lengths every 25 feet or so. Shorter marking are not visible when the chain is whizzing out.

    To read more tips to keep your sailing safer and more enjoyable, purchase Offshore Sailing: 200 Essential Passagemaking Tips from Practical Sailor.

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