The Long And Winding Rode

Our new anchor rode is here. It’s 275 feet of 5/16ths G4 hi test chain with another 125 feet of 5/8ths three strand line spliced to it. Yes, you get pretty excited about things like this when you live on a boat!

At a little over 300 pounds, it was a bit heavy for the mailman to handle, so we had it delivered to Troendle Marine at Pensacola Shipyard, where they were able to use their forklift to unload it from the truck.


Why a new rode? Our existing one is only 100 feet of chain and another hundred feet of line. While that’s been plenty for anchoring in the thin waters of the Pensacola area, It’s just not long enough for cruising in the islands, where the depths can easily be 40 or 50 feet just a few boat lengths off the beach. With 400 feet in the anchor locker now, we can set the hook in depths up to 80 or 90 feet if we have to (you only need a scope of 4 or 5 to one in water that deep). More importantly, we’ll be able to anchor with all chain in water up to 50 feet deep. Now I know they say that a properly made chain to rope splice is just as strong as the rope itself, but I just don’t like trusting our home’s safety to a glorified knot. All chain makes for a better night’s sleep.

Before we brought the new rode onboard, I first wanted to mark it every ten feet so we can tell how much we’ve let out when we drop anchor.


It’s long. It’s winding. It’s our rode.

Once it was laid out, it was a quick and easy job to mark it.


We wanted to keep the existing rode as a spare in case we ever need to set a second anchor. But I didn’t want the weight of 100 feet of chain that we might seldom if ever use sitting in the bow of the boat. Fortunately, our recent success at achieving a dry bilge had created the perfect storage spot. We transferred the existing rode from the chain locker to the bilge.



The one problem we were left with was how exactly to get 300 pounds of chain and line down to the dock and onto the boat. But I had an idea, one that was just crazy enough to work. A dock cart wagon train!


By splitting the load between two carts, we were able to pushme pullyou our way down the marina ramp and onto the dock, parking them on the finger pier alongside our bow. Then while Rhonda lay in the V-berth and pulled from below, I was able to stand on the bow and pull the rode from the carts on the dock and feed it through the windlass and into the chain locker.


And with that, we’re another step closer to being ready to go. Next will be the oversized anchor we’ll soon be ordering. While our current 35 lb Manson Supreme is the “right” size for our boat, we know that before we leave, we want one that’s at least two sizes too big. Again, it’s all about getting a good night’s sleep when the winds start howling!

Care To Share Your Thoughts?