Instead of fixing the end of the sacrificial rope
to the boat inside the locker, or wherever, another approach which we use is one can just tie a stainless steel
ring on the bitter end of the rope that won't fit up the chain pipe. Of course the chain pipe and the deck
have to be strong enough to take the load should the boat's weight come onto the rope but this should be so for the deck if the chain pipe is close to the windlass
and the chain pipe metal.
A side benefit is that any twists that get into the chain through removing and replacing the chain on the chain wheel
will "spill" off the loose end of the rope by periodically running all the chain out. Regular running out of the chain for its full length will also remove any local "twists" in the chain (those "twists" caused by the chain falling one way then the other but which unravel naturally if the chain is pulled straight even if the bitter end is not free to rotate) and also keep the chain free of white corrosion
products which otherwise stop the chain running freely.
Note that the only way twists (as opposed to local "twists") can get into the chain locker is if one takes the chain off the chain wheel
for whatever reason then replaces it with a twist - nothing on the anchor side of the chain wheel, including the bow roller, is implicated as twists on that side obviously cannot flow through the chain wheel.
If the chain pipe rises close to the windlass
(as is common) it is useful to paint
the last couple of meters of chain before the rope white with epoxy
primer so one gets a warning that one is just about at the rope. That avoids the embarassment of running the rope out onto the chainwheel (easy to do at night
) and having to recover chain to get it back onto the chainwheel which can be a bit of a mission with heavy chain in deep water
(it is a struggle for me to recover 10mm chain by hand if in 20m or more of water). If epoxy
primer is used it will last the regalvanising life of the chain.