Monday, March 28, 2011

All chain: bad.

Lotte of s/v Lunde tells why your anchor rode should not be chain all the way to the bitter end...
Oh yes, really. Everything has an end.

Also an anchor chain.  Actually, it has two - on one end the anchor is mounted while the other is attached to the chain locker under the windlass, so it cannot be lost overboard by accident.

But the chain is not directly connected to the ship - as an intermediary between the chain box and chain sits a piece of rope.  The famous 'bitter end' which has given rise to talk about ways to keep up / fight / lock / hang in until the bitter end - in the sense to keep going, until all possibilities are exhausted and there is no more to do.

Our bitter end with stainless steel shackles
The bitter end attached to the chain locker (before loading the chain)
The advantage of a bitter end is that it is a lot easier to cut / chop than the chain if we were to get a situation where we have to let go the anchor in a hurry.  The end is made long enough that it will reach the deck, so we do not need to first open down to the chain locker.  We obviously hope that we never get there, where we must cut the bitter end. But it is good to know that it is there.

Apologies for my "improvements" to the Google translation from Danish


  1. lol... hear hear.. on my current boat one of the prior owners used stainless cable to attach the chain in the chain locker. The only access was from below decks and would have required a contortionist to get to. I just about had a conniption fit when I saw it.

    We replaced that with enough double braid line to extend just above deck out of the chain locker so it could be cut with a knife at the winch if needed.

  2. ...and I wonder how heavy the rope connecting link should be... On Eolian I used 1" line. But wouldn't 1/4" line be a better answer? It would keep the chain from disappearing overboard by accident, but would not withstand the heavy pull that is the reason for having the easily cut segment in the first place. That is, it might make running to the bow unnecessary...

    What do people think?



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