Catamaran basics

Catamaran basics : A chain/rope splice for the anchor rode

Published on 01 april 2016 at 0h00

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Although the big multihulls favor ‘all chain’ to make life easier for the windlass, this means a lot of additional weight, more often than not forward of the mast, in the chain locker – which it’s true is less of an issue than at the bow of a monohull. Think about it: 50 meters of 8mm chain means 70kg forward of the coachroof! For a small boat, a mixed, chain/rope rode is obviously preferable, as it provides better elasticity than chain alone, especially if you don’t have a bridle...not to mention the price of rope per meter, compared with that for chain: less than 3 euros for 14mm, against 4.70 euros for 8mm chain. But you must take care with the joint. Using a simple knot is out of the question: it can come undone, it is prone to chafe and reduces the strength of the rope. An eye splice round a thimble combined with a shackle is very reliable, and preferable, but has one drawback: the thimble and shackle readily jam when passing through a narrow bow roller, which is often the case on small boats. And as for the rare windlasses which can work with rope, they don’t like swallowing shackles... This is where the chain/rope splice comes into its own. It ensures perfect continuity between the two elements. It rolls easily over the bow roller, slides over stainless wire, and doesn’t come undone! And what’s more, with the price of A4 stainless nowadays, it’s certainly the cheapest of all the joints.

Chain/rope splice for the anchor rode

Thanks to this splicing method, you will ...

This article appeared in issue 147. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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