Originally Posted by elkscout
If a boat has some sort of windlass (particularly motorized), is a bow roller still necessary, or at least the retention pin? It seems counter-productive for those with windlass controls in the cockpit.
A bow roller is kind of a necessity if you have a windlass. The anchor and the rode have to be stowed somehow when sailing around the harbor. The easiest way is to have a bow roller... Don't generally recommend pinning the anchor to the bow roller. If the anchor gets hit by a large wave, the pin could get bent and prevent you from being able to deploy the anchor. The anchor, especially if it is a rollbar design like the Rocna, should be lashed into position. In an emergency, the lashing can be quickly cut to free the anchor.
Remember, that the anchor is an important piece of safety gear. If you run into trouble with the boat, you can often anchor to give yourself some time to sort things out.
And as for windlasses, does the chain portion between the rode and anchor wrap up around it as well? Surely not. It sounds typical to have anywhere from 50 to 100' or more of chain, plus another 100 to 200' of rode. Seems like one would need a windlass with a huge drum to reel all that up.
The chain is part of the rode. The anchor rode consists of everything between the anchor and the boat....the anchor shackle, the chain, and the nylon rope. The windlass doesn't store the rode around a spool or drum.
You're thinking of the winch off of a jeep or something like that... which isn't the case here. The windlass is used to retrieve the anchor and pulls the rode in, but the rode itself is actually stowed in the anchor or chain locker, usually through a chainpipe of some sort. See the following image:
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