Securing the Rode
I'm not quite sure what not you all tie in your rode, or if you tie one at all. But not having a working end makes your knot selection quite limited, so I've devised what seems to me to work very well and I thought I would share it in case anyone was interested (and in case it was a bad idea, too I suppose). What I tie in my rode is what I call a half hitch slip knot, although I'm not certain that's the right name. The knot goes like this:
1. Make a loop (similar to a bowline) going counter clockwise, with the anchor end on top, and the rode end on bottom.
2. Pull the anchor end under the loop, making another loop.
3. Place the second loop over the samson post.
What I end up with, is a knot that only gets tighter, but once it's pulled off the samson post it will literally untie itself. If your samson post has crummy norman pin then you might need a different approach.
The end of the rode should be tied to a hardpoint on the boat. If you have an all-chain rode, you should use a long enough piece of rope to connect it to the boat that you can cut the rope without having to reach into the chain locker... reaching into a chain locker with a chain rode under tension is a good way to lose fingers.
I would recommend using a towboat hitch. These can be tied with out a bitter end and are fairly easy to release, even under a heavy load. With a chain rode, you might look at investing in a chain stopper as an option.
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