Thursday, December 24, 2009

To the Bitter End

Some cruisers mark the anchor rode with whippings. One system I have seen uses the following:

30 feet:   One blue mark

60 feet:   Two blue marks

90 feet:   Three blue marks

120 feet:  Four  blue marks

150 feet:  One red mark

180 feet:  One red mark and one blue mark

210 feet:  One red mark and two blue marks

240 feet:  One red mark and three blue marks

270 feet:  One red mark and four blue marks

300 feet:  Two red marks.

(Credit to

I use those little strips you can buy in marine stores. Some people say these don't last; I hope someday I can do enough cruising to see if that is true.

Lynn and Larry Pardey use a variation of the whipping method. Their rodes are identical in length and the system, for each rode, is symmetrical around the mid point of the rode, so the rode can be switched end for end (to even wear) without changing the system!

We carry two rodes, each 300 feet with 30 feet of anchor chain. One rode is shackled to the ready anchor and lives in the chain locker, and the other lives in the starboard sail locker, with the chain in a stout canvas bag, the second anchor on top of the coiled and stopped rode.

On the main rode we used to have a rope to chain splice, but I changed that for a shackle. I was a little worried about chafe at the splice. The shackle is seized with soft Monel seizing wire, nice stuff, I recommend it. Ideally, the shackle might not be stainless, which some say is more prone to fracturing.

The shackle sometimes hangs up in the roller and the chain pipe but it's no big deal.

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