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Thread: rope/chain rode

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    rope/chain rode

    8 strand nylon rope is interesting stuff.
    It doesn't bird's nest in the locker, it flakes and falls in like chain and takes less space.
    It doesn't twist and knot up. It's less prone to getting stiff in salt water.
    It's more absorbent than 3-strand or braid, more water weight in the rope will help anchoring so it is said.
    It has less stretch than 3-strand, and the longer it is used the better the hand gets.

    If anchored in heavy weather repeated cycling under load becomes a big problem, especially with nylon. The working load on nylon rode should not exceed 20% of its breaking strength.
    I can't think anything less than 5/8s Diameter which is rated 11,000 lb breaking. (20% or 2200lbs seem like hardly enough What exactly is the Working Load of a 5500# Ariel on the end of the rode in a storm with a name?)
    It's $.99 a foot off the spool.

    1/4" G4 chain is of no use since there is no shackle that matches its WLL.
    30' of 5/16 G4 seems about right. I believe Craig has something like that on his Supreme.
    Defender has prespliced rope/chain with 30' of 5/16" G4 spliced to 270' of 5/8" 8-strand for $350 (220' $310). The shipping from the East Coast to California is $63 UPS for the 80lb shipping weight. Interesting that 50' less rope adds up to 57lb. (source: Defender catalog and an order taker on the phone.) I didn't buy it. Was hardly willing to part with the $350.

    Just looking at this.
    Getting short custom lengths of G4 is a problem and buying a ready spliced rode seemed like a good idea. Except for the extraordinary shipping cost. The prices for 3-strand, braided and 8-strand plait are more or less the same: between $.85 and 1.30 for 1/2" and 5/8". 8-strand seems generally hard to find.

    Imagining the Ariel anchored in a storm on the end of a single line, 5/8" seems about where I'd be doubting my trust,
    especially if the load skinnies the braid's 5/8" diameter down to 3/8"!!!

    The maker of Defender's 8-strand is Buccaneer Ropes. Who they?
    Samson doesn't make Maypole laided rope (that's what a Brit source calls it).
    Yale is new at it.

    Any thoughts on this?
    Any West Coast sources?
    Last edited by ebb; 10-01-2009 at 01:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Scarborough, Maine
    I ran across this "how-to" and it made me think of Ebb's thread here...

    Rope-to-chain splices
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    getting the ultimate anchor rode together

    Thanks Mike!
    That is good stuff to know!
    and thanks to John Danicic.

    The 'elongated splice' (we have to come up with a better descriptive term!*) with 8 plait has my attention.
    I know I'd feel safer with strands intertwining a number of links. It just looks right with the 8 plait. [Ebb's wrong here - see below.]

    When you buy the made up 30/270 it's a single link back splice.
    Aren't we loosing a big percentage of rope strength making a splice like that?
    Long splicing 8-plait onto a number of links has to be the best soft connection you can make between nylon and iron.

    All fiber rope makers seem to have their plants on the Eastern Seaboard. So shipping costs are a real impediment for us over here. Haven't found a chandlery here either that stocks 8 plait anchor line, nor shorter lengths of 5/16 G4 galv chain.
    [I don't bother to bring up Lost Marine on the net anymore. Their pages are often not specific to a search, in fact they seem to be illiterate or just don't care. Their prices are often OUTRAGEOUIS, higher than any other cataloger. You'd think the largest retailer would be a discounter.]

    Defender sells 5/16 G4 Acco BY THE FOOT ($3.49) - but ships it UPS it at 2# per foot!
    They have Buccaneer 8 strand nylon plait (5/8" $.99ft) - 11# per 100' shipping.

    Really impressed with that long rope-to-chain splice and have to try it myself.
    If I ordered 30' chain and 300' of 5/8" Buccaneer that's 100 Defender pounds by UPS!!!
    Actual weight is probably half that.
    No warm fuzzy loyalty feelings here.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    * How about 'the eight to eight splice'?
    8 TO 8 PLAIT
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    SO, what would you have at the other end of your rode?
    A soft or hard EYE?
    Last edited by ebb; 10-01-2009 at 01:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    Hold On Here


    described in the article.
    Assume is the mother of all screw-ups.

    It ought to be,
    Don't know how you take 8 strands of 5/8" nylon thru a single link of 5/16 G4.
    No wonder it didn't compute for me. I think the splice is ugly as shown. I mean it is not conceptually correct.

    OK. so where is that 8 strand to 8 link long splice?
    Somebody has to have done it!!!
    Mr. Danicic.....?
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________
    Just spoke with a nice gentleman in Alabama at Buccaneer.
    When you order from them they do the regular back splice that T.R.Rigging does for Defender. They do not do an elongated splice for 8 Strand OR 3 strand. He suggested going to a rigger. Or a sail loft. He did understand the reason behind a long splice. They've never had a complaint about the 8 strand, except for skippers getting the size wrong for their windlass.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________________
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________________

    ************************************ HERE IT IS - THE 8 STRAND LONG SPLICE *******************************************

    google> Anchor splicing

    (this probably won't work - but if some computer-age cognoscenti can bring it over to here that would be excellent! hint hint)

    Sail Magazine article:
    8-Strand splice
    By Peter Nielsen Posted April 30, 2009
    11 photos, one diagram.

    Could think this multilink splice UGLY,
    BUT imco it is conceptually correct!
    Mr Nielsen certainly believes so....
    and many European sailors who have used it for 'many years'.
    Last edited by ebb; 10-24-2009 at 10:59 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Scarborough, Maine

    Before and after....
    Attached Images    
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA
    Mike, FANTASTIC!

    I guess that makes this thread a loop.

    We have pretty clear idea of a modern cruiser's anchor rode.
    Even if I wasn't cruising, I'd have something like this for the boat,
    just in case.

    For the moment it appears that this 8 strand rope-to-chain LONG splice is a
    FOLK SPLICE (if that is how to call it).
    It seems to have appeared spontaneously in Europe with the appearance of 8 strand plait, the Brits not credited with the invention. We're probably only 3 people away from knowing the guy who first did it.
    NO manufacturer has a diagram in their how-to's - which is really quite strange.

    Anybody got a deal on a pail of 5/16 G4 and a half a spool of 5/8 Buccaneer square rope?
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Wow! Thanks again for the following post (#7) from MIKE
    on Yale Cordage. Have to go back and actually read it later.
    Yale takes credit for inventing the stuff - sounds that way. It's now 10 years old.
    But Buccaneer's Brait is probably not an outright copy as it weighs a little bit more and has a bit more breaking (tensile) strength.
    Yale at Defender is also $.20 more a foot (for the 5/8s.)
    Yale also makes the argument FOR the heavier line and its water absorbing ability. But there is a chart that recommends much lighter rope for our size boat. Given our size boat and anchor, wouldn't you think a heavier rope preferable?
    Here's where we have to find out about whose yarns have the best UV protection and other physical attributes.

    Most interesting on the Yale site are two urethane rope paints, which I have never heard of.......
    Last edited by ebb; 10-01-2009 at 05:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Scarborough, Maine
    Here's some more links that may be of interest from Yale Cordage, including lots of info about the nylon brait rope:

    Ropes: Anchoring / Mooring / Specialty

    Brait to Chain Splice

    Anchoring Technology (including a Nylon Brait breaking strength table on pg 10)

    COOL SEARCH TIP: Google allows you to search specific web sites. Someone on another forum mentioned this a while ago and I rediscovered it trying to search Tim Lackey's site for anchoring. To do it, go to Google and prefix your key word with "site:website.com keyword" - no space after "site:". (i.e. paste this "site:triton381.com anchor" into a Google search)

    This really makes sites like Tim's that much MORE useful!
    Last edited by mbd; 10-01-2009 at 01:57 PM.
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA
    Taking a look at Yale's 'white paper' on Anchoring Technology, it is an unabashed advert for their 8-strand nylon anchor rope.
    Would have liked more on abrasion, stretch, UV endurance, elongation under load and melting. Why it's better than the other guy's.
    Tests, charts, something.
    3 strand and 8 strand have the same breaking load spec. But it takes 8 strand 75% longer to get there, something like that.* But 8 strand has all those other things going for it.
    On forums, the guys who actually have the stuff love it. The rest are opinionators, who don't know the difference between braided, plaited and hard laid.

    Guess that 8 strand nylon is NOT a 'high modulous' line. Too stretchy.
    Don't know if those urethane coatings Yale has are appropriate for 8 strand nylon anchor line.
    Wouldn't it be nice to paint or dip on extra abrasion resistance and UV protection?
    Don't you get the feeling that most of our cleats and chocks are left over from the age of manila rope?

    Can't trust a bowline in plastic rope. You hear of splices sliding apart under load. Can't hardly squeeze the stuff in a cam cleat - sometimes it breaks where it turns on a sheave. And it can get hot and melt for crying out loud!

    google> Cruising World - Getting a Line on Cordage

    is a brief intro into the high modulous plastic ropes.
    Has nothing to do with our anchoring inquiry here, but plain ole rope sure is getting complicated.
    __________________________________________________ _________________________________________
    *It's a dark and stormy night - I'm at the bow pulpit, hanging on with hands, arms, knees and feet - checking out the 8-strand's chafing gear. in a modest 45mph blow:

    "....That's 25%.....no, that's more like 30%.......
    wow!...wasn't so bad... maybe only 10%......
    O H MAN.... that was huge... had to be 45%!!!!"
    Last edited by ebb; 09-20-2015 at 12:26 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Pensacola, FL



    The good old days....

    1200' for less then $35.... Should be good for those deep water Pacific anchorages.

    s/v 'Faith'

    1964 Ariel #226
    Link to our travels on Sailfar.net

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    the good ole future, Craig

    manila, jute, cotton, sisal, and coir.
    But hemp* rope may have been around the longest, and it's probably the strongest.
    Loved the smell of manila (Probably the preservative!) Made from banana leaves.
    All that vegetable rope and cord had better aroma than the sickly sweet plastic lot.
    Wasn't too shabby, was it,
    in the great age of sail?

    They'll find some natural juice to soak it in (or landfill oil-of-plastic-bag), and it'll become as strong as Spectra.
    They'll call it Green Line.
    They'll have an 8 strand plait made out of hemp fiber and cellulose.
    Dodgers of the next generation will be made from UV resistant linen.

    And the sails of our indestructible Ariels and Commanders will be creamy feel good Egyptian cotton again!
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    Remember a PBS documentary. Has to be a classic.
    The folks had to get across a steep gorge with raging waters in Peru. The women went out and harvested local grass for several days. Then the whole village had a party. Each person who was going to work on the project had to bring six others. Before long the grass had become twisted and plaited into rope and the gorge had a graceful suspension bridge crossing it.
    Just reminded by Pedro here on the ranch, who also saw the film - that the main suspension members were gathered into threes and sewn together.

    Trying to point out that natural technology exists or comes into being out of necessity. No archeological record for grass bridges, but don't you think they've been around for tens of thousands of years. Man. the innovator, was never dumb. Stupid probably.
    Those Peruvians have been making three strand for millenia! The only thing new with cordage is the application.
    __________________________________________________ _________________________________
    *(had to look it up....)Hemp is a non-tropical fiber, grows everywhere. It's been around for at least 10,000 years. It's cut the widest swath in political history of any fiber. It was the rigging and the sails and the shirt on the jacktar's back on every ship since ships began sailing. Hemp was more versatile than cotton and wool. It's largest production was around the turn of the century. Then came drip dry nylon.
    Have you noticed hemp as a fiber is making a commercial comeback?
    Maybe a super hemp can be grown that will rival plastic, or perhaps a synergistic composite of old and petroleum will be our next anchor rode.
    google> Ecofibre Industries Limited - Origin and History of Hemp
    Last edited by ebb; 09-20-2015 at 12:28 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Scarborough, Maine
    Looks like there's a 6 strand anchor rode out by Sampson called Deep Six. They say it "was engineered to bring together the best of two worlds; the firmness of a 3-strand nylon and the flakability of an 8-strand rope".

    They've got lots of splicing instructions on their website too.

    Curiously, the Rope to Chain splice for the 8 strand anchor rode is missing...
    Last edited by mbd; 10-21-2009 at 06:39 PM.
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Orinda, California

    Post Anchor Saver

    Here's a product that appears associated with this thread:

    "The Anchor Saver is an anchor release system for stuck anchors, which varies slightly but significantly from old-style anchor retrieval systems. It utilises a unique Release Bar and Shackle mid-link connection, and is designed to separate the Release Bar from the Shackle, when the sheer pin breaks at a predetermined load. During the release, the attachment point shifts from the anchor Shank-Eye to the Crown-Eye, allowing the Anchor to be freed from the obstruction." See more at:


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    San Rafael, CA

    gizmo vs bob the buoy

    When I go to the aussie site the first featured picture shows an anchor shank eye shackled to a stranger fitting attached to a CABLE....?

    Further into the site you find that the breakaway pins are actually for the anchor bow shackle.
    An unexplained gizmo is connected to a link in the anchor chain. What is it the breaks away under a predetermined load?
    Everything is left to the imagnation, nothing is explained, really made clear.
    Not to me.
    How about an ubertube video?

    But suppose your anchor was buried deep in sand.
    Suppose your baby was swinging away on the end of her tether and a wave or two came along.
    Would you be persuaded that the sudden action won't break the shackle pin
    and now with the chain pulling on the 'crown'
    meaning puilling on the lower part of the shank near the fluke(s)
    the boat would now be dragging her anchor around backwards in a determined way.

    Would I leave the boat unattended with this jig on?
    Would I nod off as I often do?

    What is the 'predetermined' breaking load on that breakaway pin?
    We need a bag of these special breakaway pins $$$
    and do we also, evidently, have to wire the shackle to the chain ??? (Unexplained wire in photo)

    The Manson Supreme has this easy-out option in the long slide in its shank you can screw a regular anchor shackle into. Idea being that if you are anchored in rock or coral you can slide the shackle down to the crown and back the anchor out.
    I guess you should rig these conveniences only while onboard and keeping watch.

    Haven't read any cruiser wanting to use this Supreme shank-slider. Everyone thinks its patently unsafe!

    (Interesting that in the list of anchors the Anchor Saver is recommended for, the aussie Manson Supreme is not mentioned, didn't see it.)

    Anyway what's the matter, when setting your anchor, you have the tripping line to the anchor crown attached to a small buoy? Let's everybody know where your anchor is - you too
    - whether holding or loose..
    Last edited by ebb; 08-18-2010 at 05:33 PM.

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