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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-05-2011
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Splice, replace or use as is

In a recent bout with an (un)named storm (Goodnight ...) I lost an anchor, but saved the boat. I was anchored fore and aft, up a creek (with a Yanmar, so no paddle necessary), to anchors and trees. The aft anchor line chafed thru, (if you have seen the clip on the boat loosing its mooring you will understand why) during the backside of the storm, but the tree lines held. I had about 100' of line and 35' of chain out on a line that was originally 240' long. I was able to recover the anchor, after exploring the bottom with an extended garden rake. The question is should I splice the two sections of anchor rode back together using a short splice and if I do what level of confidence should I have in that 'new' rode? Have you done this and is it 'good as new?' The line looks very serviceable, it chafed at the fair lead and it was my fault for not having chafe protection, I did not appreciate the fury of the backside of the storm.

Has the line been stressed in that region? Should I remove some it (a foot or so) around the break before splicing? My alternatives are to buy new line (several hundred $) its 9/16" three ply anchor line likely less than 10 years old (just by its look and feel, I have only had the boat 3 years). Or I can move the chain to the longer remaining section and have a short scope backup anchor.

My gut says to buy new as I will never really trust this line, but the sailor in me says "waste not, want not." I have spliced the eye on my primary anchor line and it has held fine.

Its a minor dilemma compared to what some people are dealing with.
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Old 09-05-2011
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I'd splice it.... but then again I know my anchoring needs very well... plus I'm unscrupulously frugal

From the sounds of your situation, I'd splice it for now and view it as spare dock lines in the very near future.
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Old 09-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulfromNWOnt View Post
I'd splice it.... but then again I know my anchoring needs very well... plus I'm unscrupulously frugal

From the sounds of your situation, I'd splice it for now and view it as spare dock lines in the very near future.
+1 While I may not be able to splice double braid, I'm very comfortable with splicing 3-strand. If the line is in good shape, then it will handle a splice well.

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Old 09-06-2011
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A properly done splice retains something like up in the 90th percentile of the line's original strength. That's one reason why they're preferred over knots. If you trust your splicing skills, then you can trust the anchor rode.
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Old 09-06-2011
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I'd chop the worn ends off; thoroughly clean the line, and back-splice a thimble in each end. While one could join the thimbles with a shackle, a better connection can be made--if/when necessary--with multiple loops of 1/4" spectra passed back-and-forth through each thimble and secured with a rolling hitch between the two. Been there, done that...

As to whether the line is too worn for the foregoing, that can only be judged by the failure mode. If it was chafe, the line is probably okay. If it was rupture, then the line reached its elastic limit, at least at that location tho' other portions of the line were equally strained, in which case I'd replace the line with Brait and be done with it. A couple of hundred bucks is cheap insurance, no?

FWIW...
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Old 09-06-2011
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After pondering Ron’s question for awhile I have another thought.

On most yachts one finds chain anchor rhode, frequently something on the order of 100’ or so (limited because of weight considerations), followed by rope rhode, commonly on the order of 100-150’. When the required scope is within the length of the chain, one or more rope snubbers are commonly used to absorb and dissipate the energy of the yacht surging to wind and/or sea. When the required scope extends to the rope rhode, snubbers may not be needed but it is not uncommon that a kellet is used to increase (preserve) catenary and hold the rope rhode below the keel/rudder should the yacht swing.

An effective alternative might be to alternate lengths of chain with lengths of rope so that the advantages of each—weight for the catenary and energy dissipation—are always available regardless of scope. For example, on our yacht we might alternate 50’ of chain (3/8” BBB) with 50’ of ¾” 3-strand (or ¾” plait given we carry both). While this arrangement will obviously require chain/rope splices, these are really a no brainer and, properly done, preserve 90%+ of the capacity of the rope alone (per Practical Sailor).

Rather than splicing the stranded line back together one way or another, adding a length of chain equal to the weight of a kellet--16-30 lbs--between the ends might be preferable.

FWIW...
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Old 09-06-2011
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I would make some "new" dock lines out of the 9/16 line and get a new rode. You are right when you say "My gut says to buy new as I will never really trust this line". If I was in your shoes I would worry every time the wind whistled through the rigging while I was on a spliced rode.
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Old 09-06-2011
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Gut feel

I am going with the gut feel and will find other good use for the 2 sections of broken anchor line. I don't have calipers handy, but the tape measure says this is 5/8" line. I have 2 pieces, one is 80' and the other is 170 feet, unfortunately it is the short length that is attached to the anchor chain (that could be easily remedied).

Here is what the two 'broken ends' look like;



This is a close up of what looks like a chafed region, but it is not right at the break.



Can anyone tell from these pictures how the line broke, chafed or burst?

thanks,
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Old 09-06-2011
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Another consideration might be whether the added bulk of an in-line splice is a problem with your windlass. You might also save the spliced rode for a second anchor that you would deploy manually.

I have a sister ship to CapnRon47's that was on a fore-aft mooring during the aforementioned storm. It was oriented to face the bow into the predicted strongest winds with slack stern lines to allow a small amount of swing around the bow mooring. Being in shallow water, my rudder was partially retracted, which resulted in the stern lines fetching up under the rudder and pulling it up (I deliberately left the haul-down pennant loose) as the boat swung to the wind. The leading edge of the rudder is rounded, but I still got some minor chafe. Lesson learned for future reference: attach floats to the stern lines in this situation to keep them above the rudder.
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Old 09-06-2011
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Ronnie--

That looks life chafe rather than rupture to me, particularly the middle strand bundle in the lower frame where you can see a chafe pattern on the bundle just to the aft of the break. Interestingly, the chafe pattern is about with width of the bundle itself which may indicate internal rather than external chafing--likely from sand imbeded in the strands--kind of like the wet sand/rope "saws" used by ancient Greek and Egyptian stone masons to slice plates of marble facings for their monuments. Line left laying in the bottom of a chain locker until needed is routinely showered with sand, mud and debris from the rode that is used and then laid on top of it. There is no way to effectively remove this debris unless the entire rhode is laid out and thoroughly soaked and cleaned.

Never the less, if you only have 80' left attached to the anchor and 170' free, I'd chop off the 80' and convert it to dock-line and then clean and re-splice the 170.

FWIW...
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