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Old 13-08-2014, 11:53   #1
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Location: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
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Bitter end

What do you use on the bitter end of your anchor chain, if you have one? I have about 6' of 1/4 Spectra. During an emergency cock up recently, everything ran out and I was actually trying to haul the boat fwd by hand in 45knot winds (at 2am no less,) with a 1/4" line so I could get the chain started on the windlass again..
I have since put a long bolt through the chain below deck so it can't all come out but now I can't get rid of the rode with a quick slash of a knife. I am thinking it is time to splice a good length (50-75') heavy line on the end of the chain. Does everyone use 3 strand Nylon or would smaller polyester double braid actually work better? Room below deck is an issue but I would want to use this extra line as part of our rode. Another 75' would give us 275' total and sometimes I think we could use it all. 12 strand nylon is not available where we are.

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Old 13-08-2014, 12:33   #2
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Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
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Re: Bitter end

Use a length of 8 strand in 5/8" or whatever the chain/rope gypsy calls for. 8 strand piles in a much more compact space, is easy to splice, as wear resistant as three strand and stronger than the chain. Make it as long you want but have chafing gear available just in case you need to use it in nasty conditions. Chafe, not strength, is the achilles of rope rodes.

Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
'Ms American Pie', Sabre 28 Mark II
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Old 13-08-2014, 12:37   #3
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Re: Bitter end

I figure the only time that the boat will actually be anchored with all the rode deployed will be in some sort of emergency where I simply let the anchor(s) fly and then either leave the boat or tend to other pressing issues. In light of this, I think it a good idea to have chain for the segment that passes through the chain pipe and bow roller as chain will not chafe.

I went to the extreme of adding a 20 foot segment of chain to the end of my 400 foot mixed rode. The bitter end of this chain segment is lashed to a strong point in the chain locker with a short line (cutable) that will not be subject to chafe.

Taking this worry of chafe (while being unable to actively guard against) even further, I fitted a length of chain to the bitter end of a large diameter "storm"snubber. Imagine spending a long night on your foredeck (that is plunging continuously into the seas) inching your snubber out to mitigate chafe.

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Old 13-08-2014, 13:37   #4
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Re: Bitter end

We have about 16 foot of 12mm rope threaded through the last but one link of the chain, The rope is secured to the boat inside the chain locker

The rope is long enough to go from the bottom of the chain locker into the deck to allow us to either

Buoy and cut the rope if we need to ditch the chain or

Attach some thing longer to the end of the chain,

This is why the rope is attached to the last but one link so that we can attach something as big as possible to the end of the chain.

20 feet before the end of the chain we have very many zip ties to warn the operator of the end of the chain
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