View Full Version : anchor rope question

05-29-2013, 07:05 AM
I anchored out from Friday through Monday evening this last weekend in somewhat heavy winds. I was very surprised my anchor held the entire time without dragging. I bought a good strong ¾” rope a couple of years ago that has a metal loop where the anchor chain ties into the rope. When I pulled up the anchor, I noticed the metal loop bent pretty badly and wouldn’t hold the rope end in the loop any longer. When I loaded the anchor aboard, the metal loop holder actually fell off and into the water. The rope itself still has the spliced loop intact and unharmed. Can I continue to use the anchor rope without the metal loop holder or will this cause the rope to get eaten up by the chain and I’ll lose my anchor next time out? Can I just buy another one of those loop retainers?

See attached photo for an illustration of the loop I'm referring to.

05-29-2013, 08:12 AM
The anchor chain will eat through your rope pretty quickly. You could make a big improvement by adding a shackle at the end of your anchor chain:


I use an anchor swivel at the anchor end of my rope:


But a swivel works best for me since I just tie a bowline at the anchor end of my anchor line.

Denver rope makes custom anchor lines. I'm confident they can sell you a new eye for your existing loop. http://denverrope.com/

05-29-2013, 08:15 AM
The thimble (metal part) on the loop prevents chafing and is needed.. Either put a thimble back on (you can order through Amazon) or use a swivel.

05-30-2013, 06:17 AM
Endurance, I have the shackle already, but don't have the swivel. I think that's an excellent idea. That's likely why my thimble got bent - we were swinging all around the anchor in 15MPH winds all day.

I bought a new 3/4 thimble on e-bay yesterday. I looked at several of them and am wondering how to prevent them from just falling out of the rope's spliced loop again. It only holds on to the inside of the loop. There's nothing wrapping around the outside diameter of the loop to hold the thimble onto the loop.

05-30-2013, 10:29 AM
If the splice is TIGHT the thimble shouldn't fall out. If you're not into making a new splice you can wrap the splice with sail twine just below the thimble to tighten it.

I have to splice my rode directly to the chain (no shackle, no thimble). As long as the splice is TIGHT it won't move and chafe.

Tony B
05-31-2013, 06:47 AM
If the splice is TIGHT the thimble shouldn't fall out. If you're not into making a new splice you can wrap the splice with sail twine just below the thimble to tighten it.

I have to splice my rode directly to the chain (no shackle, no thimble). As long as the splice is TIGHT it won't move and chafe.

+1 on all of the above.
If I remember correctly, When a rope is properly sized, it becomes the strongest part of the rode. (the rode is the entire system which is the rope, chain and any components connection them.) That is because most people automatically think that the steel shackles and chain are stronger than the rope. Generally, not so. Usually when a boat has its anchor system fail, the first think to go is usually the chain to anchor shackle, the next most common failure is the chain to rope shackle. Usually, again if the rope is properly sized for your boat, the rope has the least amount of breaking failures unless of course, the rope was ratty and worn to begin with. So, given this, a rope to chain splice is usually stronger than the shackle.
Most people never look up the breaking strength of the 'steel' components in an anchor rode system.
BTW, thimbles come in Stainless Steel as well as galvanized.

05-31-2013, 11:10 AM
Thanks for info guys. I bought the 3/4" thimble I need and will probably attach it to the rope this weekend. I thinkm the old thimble bent, which allowed it to fall out of the rope's spliced loop.

06-23-2013, 08:10 PM
How you put a thimble in an eyesplice depends on whether it is double braided line or stranded line. For stranded line look here http://www.fishsa.com/boatngan6.php
For double braided line it's more difficult. The easiest way is to buy line that already has an eyesplice and a thimble in it. Unfortunately these usually come in standard lengths that never seem to match what you need. http://thecoastalpassage.com/eye_splice.html This is the ancient art of marlinspike seamanship. However, the ancients didn't have to contend with double braided line.

If you have a line with an existing eyesplice you can put in a thimble fairly simply. Try to buy a thimble that is large enough you have to force it into the eye. It will still be loose. Then whip the line below the thimble to tighten it so the thimble will not work loose. This shows how to put a whipping on double braided line. http://www.ropeinc.com/db_tips.htm Here's another more detailed illustration. http://sailing.about.com/od/boatmaintenancerepair/ss/howtowhipaline.htm

07-08-2013, 10:44 AM
what do you all attach to to anchor? I have attached to my front cleat but then the boat swings in crazy ways because it's never just facing the wind. Maybe I need to attach to the eye on the front middle? But, need to figure out how to attach to that and adjust the length of the anchor rope based on the depth of water.

07-08-2013, 11:22 AM
I just use the starboard bow cleat. I've wondered about your concern before as well, but it really doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it. I suppose you could rig up something to your eye that would route the rope from your cleat down to the eye and then the directional forces would be exerted on the eye instead of the cleat......

07-08-2013, 11:36 AM
I use a bridle made fast to the two corner cleats. It cuts the swinging down about 75%.

07-09-2013, 07:38 PM
Ok, both interesting thoughts. Tie to cleat but have it run to the center first. Just need to figure out what it goes around so it doesn't wear the rope out? Or, I see what you mean with the bridle. Like a big V but again, how to control how much line is out? I don't anchor often but our lake does not have many large enough coves to get completely out of thte wind. Our lake and marina in general are very windy. So, that is why I swing wildly. We had one day people were swimming off the back and all of a sudden would be 60 to 100 feet away from teh boat because it swung the opposite direction.

Even our marina. Has a wave wall at the entrance but the other night (july 5th) I was coming in and had to dock that thing in about 12 to 15mph crosswinds. At night! Ugh!!!! It's not a huge boat at 58 feet but my slip is only about 17 or 18 wide and the boat is 15. Not a lot of room for error.

I will tinker with some things. I bought some chain and some other fastners the other day at the farm supply store.

07-10-2013, 10:18 AM
My bridle is two pieces of line about 30' long spliced together with about a 2' "tag line" at the connection. Each of the long legs has a small eye splice that just goes on a corner cleat. I leave it rigged to the cleats all the time, and stow it coiled on deck. When anchoring I set the anchor and pay out the rode to about 30' less than I need, then make the "tag" fast to the rode with a rolling hitch. Then pay out more rode till the bridle takes the load, and secure the rode with a little slack. I can put out as much or as little rode as I like, but once the bridle is set I can't pay out any more without first heaving up to the hitch and releasing it.

If the hitch slips (it won't if done right), the rode is there, made fast, to take the strain.

Weighing anchor, I simply heave up till I get to the hitch and release it, then heave up the rest of the rode in the usual way.

I use my anchor a LOT, sometimes even when docking or turning the boat in my narrow canal. It has saved my skin more than once. It has to be ready to go and one needs to plan ahead, but it works. Needless to say I don't use the bridle in those instances.