Best Anchor Rode Accessories to Make Anchoring Easier
Anchoring with inadequate ground tackle is not only unsafe but can also make setting anchor a painstaking and arduous process. Luckily there are a number of solutions available to help simplify the process and to help keep you and your craft safe. The three main components of your anchor rode are the anchor line, chain, and anchor but additional accessories can be added to customize your system for your specific needs to help make dropping anchor a snap.
Anchor swivels are becoming increasingly popular with boaters looking to extend the life of their rode and reduce the amount of snags and jams that occur when retrieving or letting out anchor line. As a boat naturally turns while anchored, so too does the anchor and chain. If anchoring with a traditional anchor to shackle connection, this rotating action inherently puts a considerable amount of strain on your rode and increases the possibility of snagging upon deployment and retrieval.
With the use of a multi-directional swivel, the swivel, rather than the rode itself, rotates as the boat turns which prevents these snags and increases the life of your rode. When using a bow roller, swivels also allow for the anchor to orient itself better upon retrieval and make it much easier to stow your anchor in the correct position.
The purpose of an anchor snubber is to act as a shock absorber between the windlass and the anchor. Primarily for chain-only rodes, the snubber is a short length of cordage attached to the anchor chain and a strong point or cleat on the boat. The snubber works by removing excess strain on the windlass itself, and also provides elasticity to the rode to prevent the possibility of the anchor becoming dislodged in rough weather conditions.
Most snubbers consist of three-strand or 8-plait rope at a length of about 20 to 50 feet depending on water depth. One end of the rope should be attached to a strong point on the bow and the other should be securely attached to a link in the chain. This extra precaution will ensure your anchor stays securely in place and helps prevent any shock loads from damaging your windlass.
If you're a serious boater then you understand the headache associated with a lost anchor. Not only is losing an anchor expensive, but it can quickly ruin a day on the water and leave you and your boat at risk. However, adding an Anchor Saver retrieval system to your rode will protect your investment and make sure you never have to cut an anchor loose again.
When an anchor becomes snagged on debris, the Anchor Saver retrieval system uses indirect anchor pressure to shift the anchor attachment point from the shank to the crown of the anchor, allowing you to dislodge the anchor from the top and pull it safely on board. The system is designed to be an add-on to your existing anchoring setup and will not diminish the effectiveness of the anchor set.
Anchor Cleat / Chain Stopper
Whenever you are anchoring or mooring, it's always important to make sure you are protecting your windlass from shock loads that may damage the gypsy and cause the windlass to fail. This is why it's imperative that you attach the rode to a suitable strong point while mooring or at anchor. When using a rope/chain rode then the rope should be tied off to a cleat or suitable strong point. When using a chain-only rode, then a chain stopper should be used to grip the chain in place and prevent any harmful strain to the windlass.
While in high seas or rough weather conditions, the anchor has the tendency to bounce around on the roller. This not only causes annoying rattling and clanging, but also can cause wear and tear to the roller or even the windlass by putting unnecessary strain onto it. The anchor tensioner solves these issues by firmly holding the anchor in place on the roller when it is not in use. Simply lock the tensioner in place to keep your anchor snug, then quickly release the tensioner once you're ready to deploy the anchor.