When to Replace Your Anchor Rode

When to Replace Your Anchor Rode

How often do you change your anchor rode? This is a question we seldom hear, but in reality, is a question that boat owners should ask themselves more often. If your anchor rode components operate smoothly and look good at a glance, this is probably a question you wouldn't even think to ask. However, failing to keep a close eye on your current anchor rode setup could lead to costly repairs down the road.

How do you know if you should replace your anchor rode?

It's hard to give an answer on how often you should replace your rode. Every boat is different. The only true way to answer this is to take a closer look. If there are zero signs of chain rust or wear, no noticeable line degradation, and shackles or swivels look and operate correctly, then chances are there's nothing to worry about. However, you can never be too safe.

Once a year we recommend that you examine your entire line and chain as well as common failure points in your rode to monitor the condition of each piece. During the inspection, pay special attention to the following areas.

  • Look for any rust spots on the anchor, chain, shackle or anchor swivel if you have one.
  • Inspect the anchor line for any cuts, knicks, fraying or chafing.
  • Check that the line to chain splice is still in good condition and free from cracking, fraying or chafing.
  • Handle the line to make sure it doesn't feel too dried out or stiff in your hands.
  • If the line has been in use for a while, check that the total length is still adequate for your needs.
  • Check the shackles, thimbles, swivels, etc. for any rust or flaking.

When to replace anchor rode

If you encounter any of these during your inspection, it may be time to replace that component. When dealing with something as important as your anchoring system, it definitely pays to be on the safe side. 

While there's no way to tell exactly how long each component should last, it's not uncommon to switch out heavily used anchor lines every 3-5 years. Chain generally lasts a little longer, but we do recommend checking the condition of the splice every year to ensure it's still holding correctly. Of course, routine line care and maintenance can greatly lengthen the life of your equipment but you will inevitably need to upgrade your gear eventually. When that time comes, never fear, we're always here to help!

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