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How to Pick an Anchor Rope Size, Type, Length and More

How to Pick an Anchor Rope Size, Type, Length and More

Every anchor needs to be attached to the boat some how. In this article we'll discuss everything anyone ever needed to know about anchor rode.

Video: Everything You Need to Know About Anchor Rode

The video below answers many of the topics addressed here although the article goes into more detail (so there is some reward for reading!).

What is anchor rode?

Rode simply refers to the line and/or chain that connects the anchor to your boat. (Believe it or not,   rode   is not a typo!)

Ideally, the rode for any anchor setup should consist of both chain and rope. The chain should be on the end with the anchor. Why use both chain and rope? First, it keeps the nylon rode from wearing away by rubbing on the bottom of the sea-floor as the boat swings. Second, because the chain is heavy, it holds the rode to the bottom so the pull on the anchor is horizontal, which reduces the chances of your anchor unsetting.

What type of rope should I use? Nylon, Polyester, or ...?

For most boaters, the best type of rope to use when anchoring is nylon. Nylon has many advantages for anchoring including:

  • It's elastic therefore offering good shock absorption
  • Light and flexible
  • Good strength
  • The most common anchor rope found in marine stores

Nylon anchor rope is light, flexible, strong, and provides elasticity, which mitigates peak loads on your anchor and boat. Unfortunately, the very fact that nylon stretches means that it creates heat and will eventually break down and need to be replaced. However, you want a strong rope that will absorb the shock from waves and sink, not float. Nylon fits the bill of all of these things.

What's the difference between braided and twisted rope?

In our experience, for most recreational boaters, the difference between using twisted anchor rope or braided anchor rope comes down to preference and taste. Both make excellent choices for an anchor rope but there are some subtle differences between these two styles of rope.

Braided Rope

Braided

  • Less stiff and more flexible
  • Frequently stronger than twisted rope
  • Easier on the hands
  • Difficult to splice
  • Less stretch than twisted rope

Twisted Rope

Twisted

  • Fairly easy to splice
  • Generally less expensive
  • Has more stretch than braided
  • Has a tendency to kink or hockle
  • More stiff and less flexible

How much anchor rope do I need and what size?

One of the questions we get asked most often is, "How much anchor rope and/or chain do I need?" When selecting how much rope and chain you need there are a couple of rules of thumb to use.

Rules for calculating how much and how big of anchor rope to use

  • You should have 8 feet of rope for every 1 foot of water you will be anchoring in
  • Your rope should have 1/8" of rope diameter for every 9' of boat.

So this means a 28' boat would want at least a 3/8" or 1/2" diameter rope. Rope is one of those things, like anchors, where bigger normally is better.

As for a rope choice, Nylon is the clear favorite due to the fact it is elastic and relatively strong,

How much anchor chain do I need and what size?

Rules for choosing anchor chain length and size

Along with the rope, you should also have a smaller amount of chain between the rope and the anchor. This chain will keep your rope from rubbing against the seabed and also creates the optimal angle between your rode and the seabed. The general rule of thumb is that you want approximately 1' of chain for every 1' of boat. So a 30' boat would want 30' of chain. However, often certain constraints such as weight and locker room will not allow this ideal chain amount so in these situations you should have at least 10-15' of anchor chain for the reasons mentioned above. For boaters anchoring in extreme conditions and/or for extended periods of time, you will want about 1 foot of chain for every 6 feet of rope. The reason for the different requirements is that, in theory, by having 1 foot of chain for every 6 feet of rope, an optimal angle between the rode and the seabed will be achieved.

What type of chain do I need? (I   am not   using a windlass)

If you're not using an anchor windlass, your life is easy! Any chain that you can buy at a marine store that follows the size rules above should be adequate. Hardware store chain can also sometimes suffice but you should always be conscious of the breaking strength of it and ensure that it is   galvanized . If you are not using a windlass, you can simply attach your rope to your anchor using a shackle in between (ideally your rope will have an eye and/or thimble spliced into one end to make attaching a shackle easy.

What type of chain do I need? (I   am   using a windlass)

Thinking about using a shackle with your windlass? Don't do it!

If you are using an anchor windlass then your choices are limited and you must use only the type and size of chain specified by the windlass manufacturer. Normally this type of chain will be G4 or BBB chain. Don't have your windlass manual? We have an article that lists the  type and size of chain required by most popular sizes of windlass here . Windlass chain is a whole other topic and in fact, we have another article  all about windlass chain here . If you are using a windlass, remember that you must  splice   your rope to your chain as a shackle going through your windlass gypsy will be bad news. (You can also hook the shackle around your windlass as well once it gets to that point but that's a pain!) You can purchase a prespliced rope and chain package or you can  splice your own .

Published May 01, 2018

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The Ultimate Boat Rope Anchor Guides

When was the last time you stopped to think about how much you use marine rope for boating life?

When you add up all of the docking, anchoring, sailing, and towing, a strong and reliable marine rope is crucial to your water adventures.  Without one, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, which is why SGT KNOTS is here with the boat anchor rope guides you’ve been looking for to help you determine not only the best rope for anchoring a boat, but also the many different rope knots you’ll need to learn in order to get the job done right in any given situation. Throughout this article, you will learn:

  • What Makes The Best Rope for Anchoring a Boat
  • The Different Types of Marine Rope

Marine Rope Materials and Fibers

Marine rope construction.

  • How to Take Care of Marine Rope
  • BONUS: Nautical Rope How-To’s

SGT KNOTS QUICK PICK: Looking for a quick recommendation on our favorite and best rope for boat anchoring? Look no further than the Double Braid Anchor Line , a well-rounded, professional-grade anchoring line designed to not only be UV, moisture, and abrasion-resistant but strong enough to handle everything from fishing and speed boats to large yachts and large vessels.

So let’s dive in!

Characteristics of Marine Rope

When it comes to the best marine rope for anchoring a boat, you can’t just assume any old rope will work, especially around water, salt, and other rope-degrading elements. 

Whether you have a sailboat, trawler, or canal boat, choosing the best rope for harsh outdoor conditions is vital to the rope’s longevity and your boat’s safety and security.  For this reason, you’ll want to take a few minutes to learn these important characteristics to look for when choosing marine rope:

Is it Water Resistant?

  One of the most important factors to consider when choosing marine rope is that it’s hydrophobic, or water-resistant. Although each boat rope may not come in direct contact with water, the fact that it’s being used on a boat (in possible rainy conditions) makes water resistance a necessary factor to consider.

Is it Strong and Durable?

Strength and durability are important when seeking the best rope for boat anchors, but knowing how salt and water can wear down even the toughest fibers is very important.  As a boater, you need to have full confidence that your rope is the best rope for anchoring a boat, towing your kids, and keeping your sailboat sailing.

Does it Float?

For towing ( waterskiing, wakeboarding, and surfing , or tubing), you’ll want a marine rope that floats as this makes it easy for the rider to find and grab if they fall off. For a great floating rope for these applications, consider a Polypropylene Rope or a water and abrasion-resistant Polyester Rope like a Spectra Accessory Cord , which features a polyester sheathing.

Does it Sink?

While seemingly counteractive to the last characteristic, there are some boating tasks where you need the rope to sink, which makes a boating Nylon Rope a useful rope to keep handy, mostly used for anchor lines.

Does it Stretch?

Most dock lines require a stretchable rope as it allows them to sway with the boat as the water moves. If your rope is too tight, it can rip or cause your boat to slam into the side of the dock during high wind and inclement weather. We again recommend a Polypropylene Rope .

Here’s how to tie the Midshipman’s Hitch :

Understanding the Many Types of Marine Rope

Sailboats definitely use a lot of rigging and rope that’s not needed in powerboating, but having the right rope from SGT KNOTS provides both the durability and safety you’d expect from a high-quality marine rope. Here are just a few types of marine rope that sailors know well:

  • Docking Rope
  • Anchor Rope
  • Sailing Rope

Color-Coded Marine Rope

One cool and useful feature about sailing rope is that it’s often color-coded. In the sailing world, there are standard color codes used to distinguish the use and length of rope. Although you can really apply any color to any line of your personal vessel (as long as you member what the codes stand for), there are standard color-coded lines such as the following:

  • White: Mainsail sheet and halyard lines
  • Blue: Jib/genoa line
  • Red: Spinnaker
  • Green: Guys
  • Black: Vangs and travelers

Here’s how to tie a Figure 8 Stopper :

  Marine Rope Flecks and Tracers

Ever notice how some marine rope has specks of different colors? It’s called a "fleck.”  There’s an extra bit of color in the rope, like a white rope with flecks of blue.

When there’s more than one color, like a white rope with red and blue, the term “tracers” is used. The flecks are used to indicate length or depth.

Here’s how to tie a Double Dragon Loop :

You’ll find that several synthetic and natural fibers go into the construction of marine rope.  Consider your budget and what you’ll use the rope or lines for when making a decision.

  • Nylon Rope , which is moderately priced, offers shock absorption, UV, and wear resistance. It’s very strong, often used for dock and anchor rope. However, it does shrink a bit when wet.
  • Polyester Rope is strong, has low stretch, and is quite durable. It’s also moderate in price. It can also be used as an anchor rope.
  • Polypropylene Rope is lightweight, very stretchy, and almost as strong as nylon. Since it floats, it’s a good choice for tow ropes. On the negative side, it’s not UV resistant and melts at low temperatures. However it’s quite affordable, so buying a new tow rope every season isn’t too bad of a deal.
  • Kevlar Rope , also known as Technora, is incredibly strong, has low stretch and doesn’t rust. It’s used for mooring lines on ships and oil rigs, as well as in sailing rigging.  Marine rope made with Kevlar often has a polyester cover over the Kevlar/Technora core

Here’s how to tie a Cleat Hitch Dock Line :

In addition to the various types of marine rope fibers, there are a couple of ways marine rope is constructed, including braided, twisted, and with a parallel core.

Braided Marine Rope

You’ll find two types of braided marine rope: single and double-braided.

Single-braided marine rope has a flexible construction that doesn’t kink or twist. It’s used on sailboat mainsheets and large dock lines.

Double-braided rope has a braided core and a braided cover. It’s easy to handle, strong, and durable. It’s used in running rigging and dock lines.

3-Strand Twist Marine Rope

3-strand twist rope is exactly what it sounds like—a twist of three strands.  It’s flexible, durable, and long-lasting. It doesn’t harden with age, is used for anchors, running rigging, and dock, mooring, and tow lines.

Parallel Core Marine Rope

Marine rope with a parallel core means it has a unidirectional fiber core with a braided cover. It has less stretch but lots of strength. You can use it for halyards, sheets, and anywhere you need a low-stretch marine rope.

Here’s how to tie a Cleat Hitch Halyard :

How to Properly Take Care of Marine Rope

Along with using the correct rope for boating and tying the proper knots, you can keep your marine rope maintained and in top shape with help from these five expert-recommend tips: 

Marine rope is exposed to chafing all the time—anchor lines over the side of the boat, tied up at the dock, hoisting sailing lines, the list goes on. Chafing is just a fact of life when it comes to boating ropes, but there are ways to prevent it. For the best defense against chafing, we recommend using Rope Chafe Guards to defend your ropes against chafing. 

2. Fraying and Rope Ends

To prevent fraying of the rope ends, you’ll need to secure the strands before cutting and treating the ends. Here are a few tricks to try:

  • The first method is called “ Sailmaker’s Whipping .”  You secure the strands using a needle and thread. It’s the most traditional and very effective method, but it does require sewing skills.
  • The other quick and easy method is to use tape.

Once the end strands are secure (for synthetic rope), you’ll use heat to “melt” the ends into a protective end. If there are non-synthetic fibers in the rope, cut around the core to expose just the outer pieces. This way, the outer edges will form a protective cap over the core. After the end has melted, pound it down and flatten it.

If you’ve ever walked around a marina, you’ve probably noticed swirls of perfectly coiled rope alongside the cleats of docked boats.  This isn’t just an example of marine OCD—it’s a way to prevent fraying, tangling, and chafing of the rope.

It also keeps the rope within easy reach when you need it (free from dangling into the water).  Some boaters prefer to use a figure-eight shape, but it’s all up to you!

Here’s your guide to Coiling Unattached Rope :

4. Cleaning

Saltwater, dirt, and other debris (including fish gills, bird droppings, etc.) will rinse off with fresh water at least once a season. If you choose to clean your ropes for boating, avoid using soapy detergents, as they can wash away protective finishes on marine rope.

5. Inspection

Along with cleaning, marine rope should be inspected at least once a season (usually at the end of the season). You’ll want to look for chafing, frayed ends, dry rot, tears and worn spots. An important spot to check is the areas on your boat where rope touches. There could be sharp edges on cleats, winches, or areas that snag the rope.

Take Your Boat Rope Knowledge To The Next Level 

Now that you know the basics behind marine rope, use it to your advantage to choose the best type for your boating needs. Next on the list?  Mastering those fancy nautical knots like the Stevedore Stopper Knot , How to Make a Slipknot and learn even more about Anchor Lead Chains ! Here are a few knot tying videos to get you started:

  BUNGEE DOCK LINE

Slip Knot Tutorial

 Anchor Lead Chain

Stay in the Loop with SGT KNOTS

From boat rope anchor guides to teaching you about the different nautical rope knots every sailor should know, SGT KNOTS of Lake Norman, North Carolina makes it easy to find the best marine ropes and information for anchoring, docking, and towing your boat! 

With SGT KNOTS, you can enjoy your adventures on the lake, pond, or open sea with confidence, knowing you have the very best boat rope at the best possible price! Be sure to follow SGT KNOTS on Facebook , Instagram , and Pinterest to stay in the loop with our newest products . Also, don’t forget to check out the SGT KNOTS Blog for DIY inspiration.

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Choosing The Right Rope

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Like many other boating products, rope is not a static commodity, but is still evolving and improving.

Dockline

When you buy, read the latest product information. Most boaters will use either one form or another of nylon and perhaps also polypropylene.

For most docking and anchor lines, standard nylon is a good choice. It has great strength, "gives" under load to absorb energy, and is relatively inexpensive. It's also easy to handle and resists the harmful effects of sunlight better than other synthetics. It's the rope of choice for anchoring rode. Nylon comes in strands and braided. Three strand is usually used on anchor rodes because of its stretch and resistance to abrasion. Braided, more commonly seen on dock lines and in sailing rigging, will snag easier than stranded line, (a serious detriment when scraping across the bottom of the sea) although it's usually easier to handle and has great strength. Some types of stranded lines are softer than regular 3 strand and less desirable for boat use. If you see stranded nylon in a hardware store, for example, that's very inexpensive, beware. Some types of braided lines are stronger and less subject to snagging. Don't just buy rope. Read the various product descriptions each time you buy to help you make the right choice.

Normal loading should be nowhere near a rope’s breaking strength, certainly no more than 25%. This means your lines will stay on duty even when stressed well beyond the service intended, resisting big wakes, strong winds, and other challenges. Remember that breaking strength decreases with age and wear and knots and kinks in the line will weaken it.

Polypropylene

Most people know this as "that yellow rope" that's commonly used to tow skiers, wake boards and dinghies. Because polypropylene rope floats, it's handy to have around for multiple purposes such as these. Made of synthetic fibers, polypropylene is almost as strong as nylon but is considerably less resistant to the sun's UV rays and will normally not last long. You shouldn't use this type of rope for more than a year, two at the most, depending on usage and degree of exposure to UV. This line will actually begin to visibly disintegrate as it ages. But if you replace it regularly it has its uses.

Sailing Lines

Your boat's running rigging is not the place to economize. If you purchase quality rope designed for a specific use, you'll do more than improve your boat's performance: quality rope, properly cared for, can be used repeatedly for progressively less demanding jobs, giving it a long and useful life.

With today's new high-tech synthetic fibers and advanced rope construction, you can buy rope that's 10 times stronger than steel with extremely low stretch. Many racers and cruisers have switched from wire to all-rope halyards; others have also opted for high-strength, low-stretch, lightweight ropes for their running rigging.

All-rope halyards have several advantages over wire. Wire is hard on your hands and gear. Rope is easier to splice, it won't scrape paint or anodizing from your mast, and you don't have to decide whether or not to rely on a worrisome rope-to-wire splice. The primary disadvantages are that rope is thicker, so it has more windage aloft (but around half the weight), and even the ultra-lowstretch fibers elongate more than wire. Quality rope costs more than wire but is easier to install, lasts longer, and can be recycled to a less demanding capacity.

To avoid hassles out on the water, color code your lines so that they are easily identifiable to your crew.

Examples of colors to use are:

  • Mainsail sheet and halyard — White
  • Jib/genoa — Blue
  • Spinnaker — Red and green for guys
  • Vangs and travelers — Black

Color coding also helps distinguish the different lengths of dock lines.

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Anchor Selection: A Guide to Types and Sizes

sailboat rope anchor

Anchoring is a crucial aspect of boating, and the right anchor can provide stability, safety and peace of mind for any sailor. Choosing the correct type and size of anchor is essential, as it can greatly impact your overall experience on the water. This guide will outline the various types of anchors available, their ideal uses, and how to choose the right size for your boat.

Understanding the Purpose of Anchors

Anchors serve multiple purposes in boating:

  • Holding power : Anchors are designed to provide holding power by digging into the seabed and creating resistance, preventing the boat from drifting.
  • Temporary mooring : When a boat needs to be stationary for a short period, an anchor is used to secure it in place.
  • Emergencies : Anchors can serve as a safety measure in emergencies by helping to control your boat’s movements in rough weather or if the engine fails.

Types of Anchors

There are several types of anchors to cater for various boating requirements and environments. The primary ones include:

Plow Anchors

Originally designed for large ships, plow anchors resemble a plowshare and offer excellent holding power in most bottom conditions, especially sand and mud. They work by digging into the seabed and maintaining a consistent grip. Plow anchors are popular among cruisers due to their adaptability, and they can handle a variety of wind and current changes.

Danforth Anchors

Also known as fluke anchors, Danforth anchors boast superior holding power in proportion to their weight. They’re characterized by their flat, sharp flukes and long shank that allows them to dig into soft substrates like sand and mud. However, Danforth anchors may struggle with rocky bottoms and can be challenging to set in grassy or weedy seabeds.

Claw Anchors

Claw anchors, also known as Bruce anchors, have three claws that provide holding power in a variety of bottom conditions. Due to their versatile design, they re-set easily when the boat’s position changes and can function with shorter scope, which is the anchor rode (chain or rope) payed out relative to the water’s depth. These factors make claw anchors popular among boaters, though their holding power may be less than that of plow or Danforth anchors.

Mushroom Anchors

Mushroom anchors are useful for small boats in relatively calm conditions. As the name suggests, they’re shaped like a mushroom and utilize their weight to create a suction effect, embedding themselves into soft bottom substrates like silt or mud. However, they generally offer limited holding power in stronger currents or wind.

Choosing the Right Size Anchor for Your Boat

Selecting the appropriate size anchor for your vessel involves considering factors like boat weight, size, and the windage (resistance to wind). Generally, anchor manufacturers offer recommendations based on boat length, but it’s essential to factor in your specific boat’s requirements and typical anchoring conditions.

Anchor Weight

Anchors are typically sized by weight, ranging from a few pounds for small vessels to several hundred pounds for large yachts. The rule of thumb is that the heavier the boat, the heavier the anchor should be. However, it’s important to consider the type of anchor you’re using, as the holding power varies across anchor designs.

Boat Length

Boat length is another crucial aspect to consider when selecting an anchor size. Consult manufacturer guidelines on their recommendations for anchor sizing based on boat length.

Chain and Rode Size

The anchor rode, which connects your boat to the anchor, is critical for holding power. The scope, typically measured in a ratio of the rode’s length to the water’s depth, is an important factor for the anchor’s performance. A common recommendation is using a 4:1 scope for temporary mooring and a 7:1 scope for overnight anchoring. Ensure the chain (the section of the rode closest to the anchor) is of suitable size and strength to prevent it from breaking under strain.

Final Thoughts

When selecting an anchor for your boat, it’s essential to consider the type, size, and the conditions in which you’ll be anchoring. Consult manufacturer guidelines and conduct thorough research on the options available to make an informed decision. A properly sized and suited anchor will offer peace of mind, ensuring your vessel remains securely moored during your adventures on the water.

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How to Pick a Boat Anchor: The Guide to Types, Sizes & Weights

How to Pick a Boat Anchor: The Guide to Types, Sizes & Weights

October 20, 2023

Lakes can get choppy, and river currents can drag you along when you'd rather stay put. Having the right anchor on your boat is crucial, especially if you're busy staging for a wakeboard or ski ride .

But what type and size of anchor is best for your setup?

Types of Boat Anchors

Let's look at the most popular types of boat anchors, and look at some charts to figure out what size and weight anchor is right for you.

Fluke Anchors

sailboat rope anchor

Also known as a Danforth anchor, the fluke anchor is favored by lake and river boat owners for its lightweight design and excellent holding power in soft bottoms.

Fluke anchors have a rotating bar that connects the anchor to the line. Their forward-heavy profile allows the flukes to drive straight down into sand or mud. As line is laid out, the bar swivels into a horizontal position, providing good scope.

  • Boat Size: 30 feet or less
  • Best For: Lakes, rivers, mud and sand
  • Bad For: Rocks, debris, coral, strong currents

Plow Anchors

boat plow anchor

Also called a delta anchor, the plow anchor is one of the most popular anchors on the boat market. It's simple and effective, capable of providing reliable mooring in all water conditions and most beds.

Plow anchors dig into the surface below and they provide high holding power. They set quickly, which makes them an excellent choice when strong currents and winds could otherwise quickly move your boat.

But plow anchors' large, flat fins can get stuck in debris and large rocks, so it's best to stick to softer bottoms.

  • Boat Size: 70 feet or less
  • Best For: Sand, mud, grass bottoms, strong winds
  • Bad For: Rocky bottoms

Claw Anchors

boat claw anchor

Also known as a Bruce anchor, the claw anchor is similar to a plow anchor: It sets quickly and digs into soft bottoms, providing good holding power against currents and wind -- though not as well as a plow.

Because claw anchors use smaller pins, they're better suited in gravel and rock, affording a lower risk of catching and getting stuck where a plow anchor might get hung up.

Digger Anchors

boat digger anchor

The digger anchor excels at providing high holding power in gravel and rocky bottoms, even with strong currents and high wind. It uses a rod that partially rotates, while limiting the angle of the anchor line's scope.

As current and wind pull on the boat, the rod's limited angle pulls on the anchor's claws, pushing them further into the bottom. The digger's thin, long claws work great in virtually all bottom, including gravel and small rocks -- just avoid large debris, as the limited angle of the anchor rod prevents it from being pulled back out of a snag effectively.

  • Boat Size: 40 feet or less
  • Best For: Sand, mud, grass, gravel, strong winds
  • Bad For: Bottoms with large debris

Navy Anchors

boat navy anchor

The classic, heavy, big navy anchor excels at providing high holding power in all waters and conditions. Its size and shape make it suitable for rocky bottoms and debris fields, as it has little risk of getting snagged.

The only problem with a navy anchor is that its benefits can become problematic for smaller vessels: Because navy anchors are large and heavy, they can be difficult to stow, and they add plenty of weight to the hull.

  • Boat Size: 20+ feet
  • Best For: All bottoms, currents, and weather
  • Bad For: Small, light boats

Mushroom Anchors

boat mushroom anchor

The mushroom anchor is made for small vessels in relatively calm waters with soft bottoms. It relies on suction and sinking into sand, dirt, and mud to provide holding power. These anchors are typically found on light, electric motor-powered boats, kayaks, and dingy boats.

  • Boat Size: 12 feet or less
  • Best For: Soft bottoms free of rock
  • Bad For: Large boats, heavy currents, rocky bottoms

River Anchors

boat river anchor

Like the mushroom anchor, the river anchor is also intended for small vessels in lakes and rivers -- but with one exception: The river anchor works well in rocky bottoms and beds filled with debris. The wide, flat flukes work best when they can grab hold of objects on the floor. River anchors work well enough in soft bottoms, albeit with less holding power than a mushroom.

  • Best For: rocky bottoms and debris fields
  • Bad For: Large boats, heavy currents

Choosing The right Size Anchor

When selecting a boat anchor, it's important to consider the following factors:

The size and weight of your boat will determine the size and weight of the anchor you need. As a general rule, the heavier the boat, the larger and heavier the anchor should be.

Water and Weather

The type of weather and currents you encounter will influence your anchor choice. Different anchors perform better in different conditions, so it's important to choose one that suits your boating environment.

Conditions of Water Bed

The floor your anchor rests upon can vary wildly. Some lakes and rivers have rocky bottoms filled with debris, while others have soft silt or sand. Picking the wrong setup could mean you wind up drifting, or worse, cutting line because your anchor got stuck at the bottom.

Anchor Weight vs. Boat Size Chart

The chart above is a general guideline for selecting the appropriate anchor weight for your boat. Conditions on the water, and the weight of your boat -- regardless of its size -- could mean you need a heavier anchor.

9 4 2 - 6 6 - 20
14 6 7 - 11  21 - 38
22 10 12 - 16 39 - 54
35 16 17 - 21 55 - 71
44 20 22 - 26 72 - 87
55 25 27 - 31 88 - 104
70 32 32 - 36 105 - 120
88 40 37 - 41 121 - 136
110 50 42 - 46 137 - 153
140 63 47 - 51 154 - 167

Anchor Chain vs. Rope

When it comes to anchoring, you'd think chain is far superior to rope. But chain really only provides two advantages: It adds holding power, helping to keep your boat moored in one spot in rough water and strong currents, and it resists chafing -- it won't suffer damage from being dragged along debris and rocks.

Chain is heavy, though, so it adds weight to your craft when not being used. This isn't a concern on large, sea-going vessels. But you probably don't want that added weight when you're cruising around on the river or lake, especially when towing a wakeboard, tube, or skis.

Chain also rusts, even with regular maintenance, and it's expensive. Nowadays, synthetic anchor rope is tough and abrasion-resistant, and it withstands water and sunlight incredibly well. It's also lightweight relative to its strength, and it takes up much less space than chain.

The most effective setup combines a bit of chain near the anchor, with rope making up the rest of the line. Just a few feet of chain is needed to ensure your anchor is properly seated. This bit of chain also improves the scope of your line. "Scope?" You, say? Read on.

It's All About Scope

Rope alone will provide as much holding power as chain, so long as your scope is correct. Scope measures the ratio of the length of deployed rope (or chain) to the height from the ocean, lake, or riverbed to the anchor point on the boat.

The minimum effective scope you need to properly moor your vessel with any anchor and line is 5:1. That means if the depth from your boat's topside to the underwater floor is 5 feet, you need 25 feet of rope laid out below. This affords about 75% of the maximum holding power of your anchor and line.

A scope of 10:1, laid perfectly flat on the bed below, provides 100% holding power. Using the same 5 foot depth, you'd need 50 feet of anchor rope or chain laid out for max holding power.

Need a new anchor setup? Check out our boat anchors and anchor lines !

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The Best Anchor Ropes – The Complete Guide You’re Looking for

Written by J. Harvey / Fact checked by S. Numbers

best anchor rope

An anchor will only ever be as good as the rope or line that it’s attached to. That being said, each component of the rope is equally important. The best anchor warrants the best anchor rope, no more, no less.

What’s wonderful about marine rope is there’s variety in it. Almost any kind of material it comes in is reliable, whether it’s nylon, polypropylene, or polyester. It shouldn’t be much of a struggle deciding on what’s best for your purpose, considering the solid brands out there and if you know what to look for.

What are these? Look no further than the three main ones I’ve listed here:

  • Strength: Many brands refer to this as tensile strength or breaking strength. This is usually indicated as the maximum amount of pressure that the rope can handle before breaking. It and the total working load are measured in pounds, and manufacturers tend to be transparent with these parameters.
  • I like nylon for its natural strength, but it does dip a bit when wet. Polyester and polypropylene work, too, especially if the brand knows the right materials to use. One standout quality of polyester, when compared to nylon, is that it retains most of its strength even when wet.
  • Aim for at least 1,000 pounds of total strength and load if you want to be safe, but, in the end, everything should be dictated by your boat’s size requirements.
  • Durability: Durability goes well with strength, so it’s just as important. This mostly depends on the material used. Polypropylene has superb rot and mildew resistance, but I can say the same for nylon. Polyester, on the other hand, offers UV resistance, with nylon following at a close second, and it has high abrasion resistance and is generally saltwater-friendly, too.
  • Polypropylene often performs less spectacularly in UV resistance, but that’s to be expected since it’s considered the most low-end option of the three. I also like ropes that come with marine-friendly, stainless steel thimbles for obvious reasons.
  • Ease of Handling: There are certain types of ropes that fit your purposes perfectly. Aim for the ones that are smooth or easy on your hands as much as possible. They shouldn’t be too hard to tie into a knot if the need arises or too heavy to pull, although, I admit that the latter is not really much of an issue with most anchor ropes and bungees available today.

The ease of stowing and storage falls under this criterion, too. Obviously, you don’t want a rope that gets bunched or tangled up every time you raise the anchor.

boat-anchor-rope

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Designed for anchoring
  • Resistant to rot and mildew

sailboat rope anchor

  • Highly flexible
  • Great knot retention
  • Relatively lightweight

sailboat rope anchor

  • Solid strength
  • Easy on the hands
  • Tough construction

Table of Contents

1. SeaSense Hollow Braid Anchor Line

2. young marine premium anchor line, 3. attwood solid braid mfp anchor line, 4. norestar double braided nylon anchor rope, 5. attwood hollow braided anchor line, 6. maple leaf ropes nylon anchor line, 7. airhead anchor bungee, 8. better boat premium anchor rope, 9. bang4buck twisted dock line, 10. rainier supply co nylon anchor rope, 11. rainier supply co nylon anchor rope, other factors to consider when choosing anchor ropes, how thick should my anchor rope be, how long should a boat anchor rope be, how much anchor line should you use if the water is 20 feet deep, how long does marine rope last, 11 best rope for anchor reviews.

This is a favorite of mine for the sole reason that it’s perfect for average-sized fishing boats. It’s easy to grasp, in more ways than one, has outstanding support and durability.

To get the most out of this line or any boat anchor rope, for that matter, it’s best to stick to anchoring standard guidelines. The 7:1 ratio of rope length for every foot of water ensures you won’t drift with this line holding your vessel in place. Be sure you don’t go over its 90-pound load capacity, too.

I also have this on our family yacht as a substitute line. Of course, we’re using the 100-foot variety. It’s versatile in that regard, and it’s not hard to splice onto any chain you partner it with. With that said, it’s more optimal for smaller vessels, especially a pontoon. The 50-foot option alone is already generous enough to work with for any model of small-boat anchoring and tying off.

As for durability, it’s up there. It may not be UV resistant because of the polypropylene design. But it’s tough overall, and it’s a hollow braid so I’m fairly confident of its resistance to rot and mildew.

  • Plenty of lengths to choose from
  • Supports most kinds of anchors for small boats
  • Not UV-resistant

Ultimately, this rope stands out because of its durability, flexibility, noticeable lack of heft, and overall holding strength.

Multifilament polypropylene (aka MFP) ropes are all the rage nowadays because of their tensile strength and capability to withstand hefty loads. I’m fairly sure that this property is one of the main reasons this rope makes such an outstanding anchor support for solo fishing and cruising vessels.

I only partner it with my 15-foot aluminum fishing boat, along with a grapnel anchor, especially when I regularly go fishing at my local lake. I’ve been using it for close to five years already, but it hasn’t shown any sign of damage even with regular use. More importantly, it hasn’t ever snapped or frayed even when the wind and waves get a little rough and my vessel is positioned leeward.

I especially like that it doesn’t bunch up when stowing. Once you need to knot it, let’s say a mid-line loop knot can manage to keep it nice and tight. That earns you a great rope to have once you need to tie knots if that need arises.

Its most redeeming quality is its durability. I can attest that it has superior UV and rust protection. It exhibits a special kind of toughness that immediately reveals its superbly marine-friendly quality.

  • High tensile strength and load capacity
  • Solid durability
  • Only supports boats 16 feet or smaller

Polypropylene lines are almost always easy on the hands. That’s one of the best attributes of this rope, plus it’s being made more UV resistant and flexible.

I almost always prefer lines that won’t give me blisters while easy to handle. This one’s reliable in that I know it has sufficient strength to hold my 25-foot pontoon in place while fishing. The material doesn’t feel rough at all, to the point that I won’t mind handling it with my bare hands when stowing it away.

I’ve had numerous instances when I anchored during exceptionally windy days in Lake Erie. Almost every time, it has never given me any problems keeping my pontoon boat alright. Again, I just make sure I don’t depart from the anchoring guidelines and manufacturer’s recommendations.

This 3/8 anchor rope certainly works for vessels not exceeding 26 feet. In fact, it works too well, based on my experience. I won’t even try to use it on anything larger since it’s one of those highly specialized lines that works outstandingly for a specific boat size. The 250-pound tensile strength limit exceeds my expectations, considering its amazing ability to handle wind speeds slightly over 40 km/h.

  • High tensile strength limit
  • Only available in one length

sailboat rope anchor

You can’t go wrong with this double braid, nylon offering from Norestar. It accommodates most boat sizes, even slightly larger vessels. It’s sufficiently strong and defines what a heavy-duty marine anchor rope is all about.

A friend recommended this to me back when I was still testing the waters with my anchoring setups. He called it his go-to line and after trying it out, I can’t agree more.

It’s easy on the hands and provides the right kind of holding power for my 26-foot Jon fishing boat. 9,000 pounds is the exact holding strength limit, and that’s way above-average for most anchor lines and ropes for solo fishing vessels.

I’m referring mostly to strong breezes when talking about the types of wind it can handle. I’ve had numerous occasions when it handled 50km/h breezes without even any sign of struggling.

It’s got amazing flex, too, so much so that it doesn’t become tangled when I pull it up for storage every time. I can easily cut it to the needed length because of the longer 150-foot length it always comes in.

  • Sufficiently strong
  • Available in versatile length
  • Stainless steel fastener
  • Doesn’t get tangled and knotted up
  • Fibers are too fine, which can lead to fraying

sailboat rope anchor

This line exhibits the best that polypropylene and hollow braid ropes can offer. It’s marine-friendly, rot-resistant, waterproof, and provides generous support through its considerably capable holding power.

A hollow braid means it’s lightweight and rot and mildew resistant. True enough, this has been with me for more than five years already, and it has not frayed while lasting for that long. I like that it’s not a pain to clean, too, and since I want to maintain my lines well, I reckon it’s also thanks to that.

I’ve been using it on and off lately. During its earlier years, I used it relatively regularly during my fishing trips to the Florida Keys. It has always kept my fishing boat steady, and I can only recall a handful of instances when it tangled up when trying to stow it.

The most important thing is that it does its job well. It has just the right amount of thickness for me, so if you want a rope that slightly departs from the thin side, then this is a good candidate for you.

One other aspect I like that gets overlooked sometimes is that it’s not hard to see it every time I drop it down to its full length. The white color not only looks great but lends to visibility, which can be especially useful if you’re anchoring in unfamiliar waters.

  • Adequate holding power
  • Easy to clean
  • Proven durability
  • Not hard to lose sight of when fully deployed
  • May tangle and knot up sometimes
  • Subpar fastener

sailboat rope anchor

This 3-strand rope delivers good value for money. It’s got good holding strength for smaller boats (20 feet or less), is reliable for a long time, and doesn’t break the bank.

I have a 20-foot center console that I regularly take sailing and fishing in Lake St. Clair and Cape Cod. This is the rope I like to use when manually handling the anchor, but I also like to use it as an anchor rope for windlass reliant boats. The nylon’s strength and texture make it versatile and convenient to manage in that regard.

If I’m going to compare its strength to regular hand-woven rope, it’s tough to beat. I’d say it’s close to 50% stronger than the latter with the same diameter. And 500 pounds of breaking strength is still above average, considering it’s just your “average” 3-strand.

While many of the ropes featured here can handle saltwater just fine, this is the one that I’m 100% sure can handle prolonged exposure to saltwater and even the sun. I can’t praise this quality enough, especially considering the low price tag it comes with.

One other praiseworthy quality of the Maple Leaf brand is that they let you get custom rope lengths. I even requested a 25-foot version of this one time, and they actually obliged me. You just have to contact them directly. I’ve yet to enjoy this same privilege from other brands out there, especially the most recognized ones.

  • Comparatively strong
  • Durable and designed for saltwater use
  • Supports custom rope lengths
  • Ideal for small-boat applications
  • Easy to handle
  • Limited to boat sizes of 20 feet or below

sailboat rope anchor

Although made of polypropylene, this rope doesn’t disappoint with its high tensile strength. It works perfectly for complementing an actual anchor rope, though.

Make no mistake, I’ve used this bungee on its own, but I stick to its main purpose: which is to tether a tiny vessel offshore. I don’t actually use it for anchoring unless I splice it with another rope. It adds enough heft to substitute for a chain, however, you can’t use it on a windlass if you go for this setup.

It’s got enough strength on its own, enough to keep your boat from drifting. It imparts enough security, so you won’t have to beach your boat and worry that waves might carry it away. For anchoring purposes, I usually pair it with a fluke anchor , and I’ve never had any issues with it for the two years I’ve been using it.

I must say, I’m a low-key fan of the extra-bright orange color. It just screams out to you, in more ways than one. I definitely don’t have to struggle too much when trying to see it when I’m anchoring in deeper-than-normal depths.

  • Works best when paired with an actual anchor rope
  • High tensile strength
  • Highly visible color
  • Made of better-quality polypropylene
  • Notably good stretch
  • Not applicable for saltwater use

sailboat rope anchor

There are plenty of superior nylon options out there already. What makes this double-braided nylon any different? It delivers all the best aspects of nylon lines but adds more by making it smoother on the hands and more visible.

If you already know what makes nylon anchor ropes such a crowd favorite among sailors and fishing enthusiasts, then know that this rope delivers all of the qualities you want. First is exceptional strength. This is my go-to line when docking for longer days and a storm happens to be on the way.

It once had to handle winds of 50km/h when fishing at Lake Okeechobee. Although I inevitably had to call off the trip because of the uncooperative weather, I do have to say that one good thing that I got out of it is that it proved this rope’s reliability. It kept my Jon boat steady while docked all throughout.

It can handle heavier anchors (at most 25 pounds) and lighter ones, too. I’ve used it with flukes and grapnels, and it has always performed spectacularly. I consider it as one of the most versatile and reliable ropes I’ve used with all things considered.

It’s visibly made to last because of the marine-friendly materials, although, I can’t comment much about the durability yet since it’s a new acquisition. I like that it’s integrated with reflective strands so I can still see it at night. I’ve only had a few occasions to try out that feature, but it’s definitely more visible than my other ropes at night.

  • Outstanding strength
  • Feels smooth to the touch
  • Reflective strands aid visibility
  • More versatile than most ropes
  • Marine-friendly durability
  • Would be perfect if available in other lengths

sailboat rope anchor

Cheap doesn’t always mean you mean you have to compromise on quality. This product proves as much with its above-average nylon-like strength and reliability, all while keeping its price low.

If I’m a little strapped for cash or need a good, inexpensive line for my second anchor, I almost always choose this rope if it’s available. It’s got a decent quality than most polypropylene ropes I’ve used, so it’s safe to say that it’s great value for money. I can attest that it’s just as strong as most of the standard nylon ropes I’ve tried.

So strong, in fact, that it works well with my heavier alternative fluke anchors. I’ve even used it for supporting a large oak tree in my house that got toppled by a category-4 hurricane. I can’t ask for more from it if strength’s the topic.

It stretches well over time. I distinctly remember that it used to not tense as well as I liked it during the first few days and weeks of use. However, with regular use and after leaving it tensioned for longer periods of time, that issue disappeared altogether.

I appreciate the inclusion of a stainless steel thimble. For the price, that already makes this rope a bonafide steal. Unfortunately, I can’t report much yet about its longevity. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m still crossing my fingers that it will last – it’s been over a year, and it’s still functioning well.

  • Relatively stronger than most polypropylene lines
  • Stainless steel thimble
  • More budget-friendly option
  • Nice stretch
  • Not as tightly weaved as other ropes

sailboat rope anchor

This 100 ft anchor rope has the right length to meet most requirements of tiny solo fishing boats, particularly 23 feet or below. It’s got every positive feature of a double braid such as the high breaking and tensile strength, comfort when handling, and exceptional durability.

I like to use this rope because of its near-perfect length for any kind of small-boat fishing. I take my 22-foot vessel regularly on my Dog Run Lake weekly fishing trips with this product as the main line. I make good use of the entire length of it almost all the time, as I like that it holds mid-line knots extremely well.

The breaking and tensile strength are generous and are definitely what I expect from a double braid. I once anchored my boat with it on a two-day storm. Didn’t struggle that much in the entire affair, and that’s without any additional precautions on my part. That’s what ultimately made me a believer.

It may be able to handle, at most, the usual 26-footer, but I won’t hesitate to swap it for a 1/2 anchor rope if I know that I’ll be dealing with extra stormy weather. It’s not as weighty as the other anchor ropes’ 3/8 I’ve owned and the texture makes it easy on the hands when pulling the anchor. Those qualities make it a breeze to handle.

  • Perfect length for small-boat fishing
  • Outstanding breaking and tensile strength
  • Dries quickly
  • Black color may affect visibility when fully deployed

sailboat rope anchor

This is one of the most stable ropes I’ve used. Stable in the sense that it can handle the pressure of windy days and heftier anchors. It has plenty of strength and is made of durable materials.

Nylon offers more flexibility than polyester or any other material. Since it’s also a double braid, this is one of the most flexible lines I’ve used.

It has kept my pontoon steady during high wind. In fact, it’s one of my preferred lines to use when I need to anchor for an extended period of time, and I am well aware that the weather’s not going to be cooperative.

Don’t be fooled by the thinness of the rope. It’s a toughie strength-wise, and I attribute most of it to the double braid. I use a 25-pound pyramid anchor with it, and it has always kept my vessel drift-free every time.

I can’t say much yet about the durability since I’ve only used it for less than 2 years. However, I have a good feeling that it will last because of its general design. I do like that it took the time to make the snap hook more marine-friendly by using stainless steel.

  • Unrivaled strength
  • Stainless steel snap hook
  • Outstanding flexibility
  • Satisfactory durability
  • Well-designed overall
  • Limited to small boats
  • Black color makes it hard to see when deployed

best-anchor-line

  • Boat Size Recommendations

Anchors and ropes are like bread and butter among boats. To meet your vessel’s specific requirements, you’ll need to be mindful of the size of your boat relative to the thickness of the rope. I’ll discuss this in greater detail in the answer to one of the questions provided below.

It’s better to refer to an anchor rope size guide for this and you can refer to one here.

You may need to use anchor rope and chain kits if you have a larger boat and a heavier anchor. You may want to watch this video first, so you can better orient yourself with what type and size of rope to choose:

  • Type of Rope Construction

This mostly pertains to the braid of the rope. I usually like three-strand for its ease of splicing, reliability, and budget-friendliness, double braid for strength and durability, and solid braids for versatility. There are also octo plaits and anchor plaits, but they’re usually only used on bigger vessels like yachts.

  • Rope Length Options

Anchor line length plays a pivotal role in making sure that you’re anchoring properly. I follow the standard guidelines of 8 feet of rope for every foot of depth. Having knowledge of the specific depth of the lake or ocean you will be anchoring or docking in pays off.

Take note that not all brands offer variety in rope lengths. It could be hard to get a 300 ft anchor rope, for example, as most are only available in 50-foot and 100-foot options. You can try asking the manufacturer if they offer customized rope lengths, though, as some are willing to offer them to you.

If you want good shock absorption, you need a rope with plenty of stretch, at least 15% or more. This isn’t usually an issue with nylon since it’s the gold standard when it comes to stretch. Polyester often pales in comparison.

As for me, I don’t usually have to worry about this because I use an anchor bridle as a solid workaround.

  • Night Visibility

This is one overlooked perk of anchors with rope. If you’re prone to conduct nighttime fishing or sailing or just want your anchor line to be readily visible even at night, you may want to shun black ropes as much as possible. I also recommend those with bright colors or reflective strands.

What Kind of Rope Is Used for Anchors

There’s literally no kind of rope that’s specifically used for anchors. It’s just that manufacturers create ropes that are meant for anchoring, docking, and tethering a craft.

Boat anchor rope guides will point to the material used like nylon, polyester, and polypropylene when discussing the types of rope that are ideal for anchoring purposes. I’ve already discussed their qualities in the facts I’ve outlined above.

At best, these ropes can be summed up as having superior strength, capability to handle extreme nautical and weather conditions, can be easily handled, and should be compatible with windlass use. They can be tied into a knot and have adequate weight to sink without the need for a chain as much as possible.

Benefit and Drawbacks of Anchor Ropes

To me as well as any other sailor, rope will always be an essential anchor rope. It brings plenty of benefits such as uncomplicated handling compared to a chain, which tends to be heavier. It’s adequately constructed to handle the pressure added by the size and weight of a vessel as well as the ever-changing weather elements. It’s considerably economical, too.

The only major downside that it has is that it always has a chance of getting chafed, frayed, or cut. Unlike chain ropes, you’ll have the peace of mind that your boat will stay docked or anchored securely.

However, I can always make the valid counter-argument that there are no 100% chain ropes. Sailors only ever choose to splice ropes with chains if they need to increase the weight and add to stability and security. Rope will always be a fundamental part of any anchor rope precisely because it has no alternative, and that, to me, is its greatest advantage.

best-rope-for-boat-anchor

I don’t depart from the rule: ⅛ inch of rope diameter for every nine feet of the vessel’s length. This means if your boat spans 27 feet or a little lower than that, the ideal rope thickness would be ⅜ inch one. It’s hard to risk it with a thinner rope since that only raises the chances of the rope not handling the anchor’s and boat’s respective weights, leading to fraying and snapping.

I’ve already revealed my preferred anchor rope length to depth ratio above, and it’s also based on standard anchoring guidelines. You can try out this anchor rope length calculator shared in this forum discussion if you want a better reference. These are universal rules that apply in most nautical conditions, regardless of whether you’re sailing in the US, UK, or any country in the world.

Based on the top-tier anchoring guidelines, you will need exactly 160 feet of rope to accommodate that depth. There may be slight variations from that, but I’d say that’s the safest answer. It also falls under the average range of anchor line or rode length, which is between 150 to 200 feet.

Almost any anchor rope for sale nowadays can last for at least 3 years and at most 5 years. The three typical synthetic materials used can handle plenty of abuse, as long as they’re made with quality in mind. What’s good is that some manufacturers reinforce their products’ strength and durability with their braiding and weaving.

Of course, this doesn’t factor in the possibility of the rope chafing, fraying, or getting cut when the anchor snags. Always remember that a single storm may cause any rope to snap.

To sum things up, the best anchor rope should, first and foremost, be compatible with your boat’s size and the depth of the water you’ll be anchoring in. Once you achieve that, you’re guaranteed to get the most out of these nifty anchoring tools. Always take into consideration the holding strength, toughness, and convenience when using, so you’ll always be headed in the right direction.

sailboat rope anchor

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How to Select and Install the Right Anchor Rode

While you're selecting your ground tackle and picking out the perfect anchor, you'll also need to select an anchor rode which is a good fit for your a boat and your sailing plans. Fortunately, there aren't as many options for a rode as there are types of anchors!

The size of the rode depends on the length and weight of your boat, and the length depends on the water depths in your cruising grounds. Choose rope and chain combinations by where you plan to sail and what ground tackle handling gear you have on your boat.

Let me make it easy for you by walking you through it step by step. to get to the right type and size anchor rode for your particular situation.

sailboat rope anchor

On this page:

What is a rode, chain versus rope/chain, about chain, how much rode do i need, putting it all together.

The best rode for your boat depends on answers to these questions:

  • Is my cruising location better with an all-chain rode, or a rope/chain combination?
  • What is the proper size and type of chain and rope for my boat?
  • What type of line should I use for a rode?
  • How should my rode be put together?
  • How long should my rode be?

The answers to these questions will take you to right rode for your boat. So let's look at them in more depth and come up with some answers.

An anchor rode connects the anchor to the boat. You may use rope or chain, but rope rodes will always have a length of chain on the end if they're going to be effective.

Its primary job is to hold the boat at anchor. To do this well, it needs to absorb shock loads as the boat moves, and have the working strength to hold the boat.

A rode may include line, chain, one or more shackles, seizing wire, and certain accessories like anchor swivels. It needs sufficient strength in all components to hold the boat when the breeze picks up. The adage that a chain is as strong as its weakest link applies to every piece of equipment in your rode.

The first decision to be made is whether an all chain rode is suitable for your boat, or if a rope/chain combination is better for you. Both types have advantages and disadvantages, and there are some applications where one type is definitely worse than the other.

Think about where you will anchor your boat, whether you have a windlass (manual or electric), and how often you plan to anchor.

All Chain Rodes

It's impossible to chafe an all chain road on rocks or coral. They can't be cut without power tools or any forces you're likely to encounter. A chain rode is much heavier than rope, which gives better holding power for a shorter scope. Chain gypsies in a windlass don't slip, and the chain shouldn’t jam or bind. These advantages make them very popular with world cruisers and people who anchor in the tropics.

But all chain rode is really heavy - the 100 meter, 12mm rode on our boat weighs 660 pounds. I can't get it on or off the boat easily when it's in the water, and it's impossible to move around by hand. Even on a smaller boat, a chain rode will outweigh rope. If you don't have an electric windlass, hauling anchor can be a back-breaking job.

That weight also affects a boat's trim - too much weight in the bow affects your sailing and can put a boat off her lines to float bow down. And chain offers no shock absorption, so you need snubber with lines to take shock loads from waves and wind as a boat moves.

Rope/Chain Rodes

The weight advantages are clear; you can easily carry even a large rope rode and move it around. If you don't have a windlass, or only have a manual one, line rodes are easier. Hauling chain is grueling work. And rope rodes have built in stretch and shock absorption.

There are downsides. You need a hefty length of chain before the anchor to add weight and protect the chain from rubbing on bottom hazards. Without the chain, you won't get a good angle of pull on the anchor and the anchor will pull right out.

Most coastal cruisers and racers prefer rope/chain rodes for their easy of handling and lightweight . You can get by without a windlass, and you can carry more length for deeper water without excessive weight.

Chain comes in several grades and types of metal, as well as different link sizes and styles. You choose your chain based on how much load you need to hold, and if you have a windlass, by the size of your gypsy.

Types of Metal

Most anchor chain is galvanized steel. Some choose stainless because of its corrosion resistance and appearance, but it is considerably more expensive and may not have the same load capacity as some heat treated, galvanized chain.

Some grades include:

  • High-test may be marked HT, G4, or HT4.
  • Grade 70 HT is heat treated steel has about 20% higher working and breaking loads that grade 40. It is difficult to re-galvanize.
  • Proof Coil is grade 40 low carbon steel with markings of PC, PC3 or sometimes G3.
  • BBB is marked 3B or BBB and is a short link chain compared to PC or HT. It is also lower grade 30 low carbon steel.

Chain Sizing

Chain dimensions vary with link size and length and diameter of the rod used to make the link. Chain labeled as 3/8 inch is made from 3/8" diameter rod stock, but that says nothing about the size of the link. A link may be longer or shorter, and you will need to know the right size if you plan to use it with a gypsy.

For more details on chain sizing and construction, check out How to Measure Your Anchor Chain .

Picking the line for your rode and the matching chain is a function of your boat size, budget, preferences. You've got a few options, but any of them will work well.

Types of line used in rodes

You have your choice of three strand nylon , double braid , or 8-plait rope. Each has strengths and weaknesses. If you have a windlass , it is critical that you check your instruction manual, since not all types of rope are compatible with all windlasses.

The best material for anchor rodes is nylon. It's strong and stretchy, rot-resistant, and it sinks, which helps the anchor hold. Cheaper polyethylene lines aren't suitable and often float. High modulus aramid lines are overkill for the job; they are very strong, but they are also expensive and have little stretch. So keep them in your running rigging where they belong.

Three-strand nylon is popular because it is less expensive, tough, easy to splice, has good elasticity for shock absorption, and it resists chafing. On the downside, it's stiff and tougher to coil and prone to tangling and taking up space. It's also not as strong as double braid, and may catch in a windlass more often.

Double braid is the strongest option, and is more flexible, easier to handle, and sturdier than three-strand. It also will flake and coil into less space for storage. But it is more difficult to splice to the chain and has less stretch and shock absorption.

8-Plait anchor rope is soft and easy to handle, and flakes to a compact size in the bow locker. It absorbs more water than the other lines, so it comes up heavier but falls into the locker nicely. 8-Plait is similar in strength three-strand, but weaker than double-braid. And it's less stretchy than three-strand, but may not feed through a windlass as easily.

Line sizing

The standard formula for line sizing is easy - add 1/8" of line diameter (or 3mm) per nine feet (a little under three meters) of the boat. And make sure you round up, it's better to be too strong than too weak..

So a 22' boat would use 3/8" line (22/9 = 2.444, round to 3 x 1/8"), a 45' boat needs 5/8" line, and a 50 footer requires 3/4".

You can always size upwards if you can handle and store the road, or if you have a heavier displacement boat for its length. A Tartan 27 (7,400 lbs.) is going to pull harder on the anchor rode than a 3,000 lb. Santa Cruz 27, so you should think about a tougher line for the Tartan.

Chain sizing and length

If you want good holding power and chafe protection, you need to add a length of chain to your rode. It's possible to get away without a chain for something like a stern anchor or an anchor you keep on your race boat only to meet a rule requirement. But none of those would be suitable for overnight stays on the boat or anything but short term anchoring in mild conditions.

For sizing the chain, use chain about 1/2 the diameter of the selected rope, rounded up. For length, the ideal minimum length is one boat length, but if you feel you can carry and haul more, then more chain is always better. The absolute bare minimum should be 10-15' on small boats, if you don't have space for more.

A good rule of thumb for rode length is at least eight times the maximum depth you expect to anchor in. That is the depth at high tide, not low tide. To get that number, have some knowledge of where you plan to cruise.

With a relatively restricted cruising range where know the waters, this is easier to estimate. Chesapeake Bay sailors, with an average depth of about twenty-four feet, rarely need more than 200' of line, and will almost always be anchoring with a lot less. But in New England, if you need to drop in thirty-five feet of water in Block Island's New Harbor, you'll use almost all of a 300' rope rode.

In theory, you can use less chain, but when sizing your rode it's better to have a too much than not enough. Too little, and you can't anchor where you want to. And if you are at the end of your rode and bad weather comes through, you have no way to secure yourself by letting out more scope.

No matter which rode you select, you're going to put it together, and put it on the boat so it stays in place. There are a few tricks to know to get a solid setup, and a few parts you will need.

Seizing is something you will use in either assembly. It's using stainless wire to wrap shackles up so they can not come undone. All shackles used from the anchor to the boat should be seized. We're going to repeat this instruction, because it's important, as we walk you through securing your anchor to the boat with the rode.

No matter your rode style, you’ll need at least one big shackle to attach the anchor. Pay close attention to working load - not all shackles are created equal! You do not want an undersized shackle, but big, strong, galvanized shackles aren’t as expensive as you think.

Selecting the right ground tackle

The rode and shackle are both part of the anchor's ground tackle. For help on selecting your ground tackle and sizing it appropriately, I recommend reading my detailed guide here.

Your components, from boat to anchor:

Anchoring Ring in the bow locker, anchor rode strop , chain , (optional anchor swivel ), shackle , anchor .

There should be a ring or other hard point in the chain locker to connect the bitter end of your chain. The rode strop is a piece of tough line, like Spectra or other high modulus line, long enough to reach from the locker up through the hole to the deck.

Connect the chain to the boat with line rather than a shackle through the ring and the last link in the chain. If you need to release the anchor and rode in an emergency, you can pull this line up to the deck and cut it with a knife. With a shackle, you'll need a hacksaw or angle grinder.

If you plan to use an anchor swivel, attach it to the far end of the chain as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Attach the anchor to the chain (or the swivel) with the shackle. The pin of the shackle should go through the chain, and the loop should go through the anchor shank. Seize the shackle.

Don't forget your snubber! If you have an all-chain rode, you will need a snubber - a length of anchor line attached to a chain hook. Take the load of the windlass with the snubber and tie it off on a cleat. Without a snubber, you have no shock absorption for loads the chain, and may damage your windlass.

Rope/Chain Rode

A rope/chain road will need to have the rope and chain attached to each other. You can do this with an eye splice at the end of the rope and a shackle (which you will seize!), or by splicing the rope to the chain.

Most prefer direct splicing where there is a windlass, as the splice is smaller and will flow through the windlass. Just be sure to check the splice from time to time to make sure it's not unraveling. If you don't want to do the splice yourself, get the rode from a rigger and have them splice it on for you, or put in the eye splice if that is your preference.

Tie the bitter end to the boat in the anchor locker to an attachment point there, and attach the end of the chain to the with a shackle anchor and seize it.

Mark Your Rode

When you're setting your anchor, it's handy to know how much rode you've put out. Taking an hour or two to mark your rode takes out the guesswork.

You can use paint, chain markers, nylon tags, and even spinnaker cloth. Look at How to Mark and Measure Anchor Chain and Rode for a few ideas.

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sailboat rope anchor

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Ranking The 11 Best Boat Anchor Ropes for 2024

sailboat rope anchor

Rainier Supply Double Braided Nylon Anchor Rope

sailboat rope anchor

SeaSense Hollow Braid Anchor Line Polypropylene

sailboat rope anchor

Extreme Max BoatTector Anchor Line

Ian Fortey

Choosing a good anchor line shouldn’t be a hassle. It’s anchor line, you just want it to hold an anchor ! You don’t want to invest a lot of time or effort into getting the right one. But if you get the wrong one, you’ll know. Bad anchor lines can break too easily. They also knot and tangle. They can be hard to coil or they break down in just a season or two. Some will work with an anchor winch or windlass. Others will not.

Luckily, there are just a few factors you can look for to ensure you’re getting the right anchor rope for your boat. Let’s check out the best anchor rope on the market.

sailboat rope anchor

Rainier Supply’s double braided anchor rope has a lot going for it. It’s nylon, which we think is the best material for rope out there. It’s double braided, which means a lot of strength. It’s also a great price, which rounds everything out.

You can pick this up in either ¼ inch or ⅜ inch diameter. It comes in 50 foot lengths. So if you have a massive yacht, this is not the line for you. But for those of us who are heading out fishing in a jon boat , a pontoon boat, or just an aluminum fishing boat , this is great.

And what if you do have a bigger boat or want deeper waters? You can buy spools of the same line at 100 feet and 150 feet as well.

With a tensile strength of 1574 pounds, this leaves polypropylene lines in the dust. The working load of the ¼ line is 374 lbs. If you choose the 3/8 inch rope it’s up to 820 lbs.

It comes with a stainless steel thimble and snap hook. That makes connecting your anchor a breeze. It’s easy to swap out the hook and attach a chain as well. When you attach a chain to an anchor rope, the technical name is anchor rode.

Because the line is nylon, it can handle a lot of abuse. It’s resistant to abrasion, UV rays and chemicals. It also won’t bunch and tangle easily. In fact, it’s very easy to handle but it can be slippery when it’s wet, so keep that in mind.

For the quality and the price, you’re not likely to find a better marine anchor rope out there. Rainier is an American company that was founded by boaters. You can tell this line was designed by people who understand the needs of a boater.

  • Buy on Amazon   →
  • $30.99 Walmart   →

sailboat rope anchor

Not everything on your boat needs to cost a fortune. Anchor line doesn’t have to break the bank to get the job done. That’s where SeaSense comes in with their hollow braid anchor line. For the price, this may just be the best anchor line out there.

Made of polypropylene, this is lightweight and easy to use. It’s easy on the hands and fairly easy to cut as well. Just remember to wrap the end with tape and melt it if you do cut it. That will prevent it from fraying or coming apart.

The line comes in either ¼ inch or ⅜ inch diameters. You can also get it at several lengths. The break strength is around 850 lbs depending on the size you buy, and that gives you a safe working load of 90 lbs. That doesn’t seem like a lot and it isn’t. That’s one thing you need to remember about this line. It’s not designed for bigger boats.

We recommend this line for a small aluminum fishing boat or pontoon boats . Put a 5 lb anchor on it and you should be fine.

One thing to keep in mind about this line is that it’s not good at coiling. In fact, if you try to roll this line up, it will almost definitely fall apart into a mess right away. That can make storing it difficult. But for the price and convenience, it’s still a solid choice. You don’t need a big, expensive line on a small fishing boat, right?

Just remember, this line will degrade in direct sunlight. Keep it stored away when not in use. Also, be aware that it will discolor pretty quickly, but that won’t affect how it works.

  • $29.99 Walmart   →

sailboat rope anchor

The word “extreme” gets tossed around a lot in advertising. It doesn’t always mean much, but in this case it does. Extreme Max has made a seriously powerful line here. If your boat and anchor are not suited to these smaller lines, look here. If you are fearful of your anchor line breaking, Extreme Max BoatTector can handle almost any job.

Most lines are coming in at ⅜ inches in diameter. Larger offerings include ½ inch for some brands. Extreme Max can do those, plus they offer a 200 foot long ⅝ inch line. That has a working load limit of 1600 lbs. That’s not the breaking strength, just the safe load limit. The breaking strength is 8430 lbs. That’s over 4 tons. This is one serious anchor line.

The line itself is double braided nylon. That means whatever you throw at it, it can probably handle. It’s abrasion resistant and can stand up to UV radiation and chemicals. The stainless steel thimble will resist corrosion and makes hooking up to an anchor a breeze.

Durability and resilience are unmatched here. The line is easy to handle and doesn’t tangle very easily, either. Elasticity and its ability to absorb shocks are top-notch. If you want the best of the best, this line may be it.

If you don’t need a monster like the ⅝ inch line, Extreme Max also offers ½ inch and ⅜ inch as well. You can get the line in either white and gold or white and blue. There are also other colors produced, but they’re not always available. They also have a ¾ inch size available sometimes as well, with a working limit of 2100 lbs. That’s tough enough for some commercial applications.

  • $140.68 Walmart   →

Young Marine Premium Solid Braid Anchor Line

sailboat rope anchor

Young Marine’s Multifilament Polypropylene line comes in 100 feet or 150 feet sizes. It’s ⅜ inches in diameter and is a solid braid. The break strength on this is 1565 pounds. That means this is best suited for smaller boats. Young Marine recommends about 16 feet.

The stainless steel thimble can stand up to saltwater well. That’s because it is corrosion resistant. The line is also able to resist UV rays and chemicals. Remember, something that is resistant isn’t “proof.” It can still degrade over time. Store this line out of direct sunlight. And if it does get coated in oil or fuel, make sure you clean it off with fresh water.

We found this line pretty flexible. It doesn’t have much stiffness to it and it rolls and pulls easily. It’s also pretty easy on your hands. Because it’s polypropylene, it’s going to float in the water. The elasticity is good as well.

$35.99 Amazon  →

Bang4Buck Braided Line

sailboat rope anchor

Bang4Buck tries to live up to their name with variety. You can get lengths of this rope ranging from 50 feet up to 200 feet. It also comes in ½ inch and ⅜ inch sizes. That versatility allows you to make the most out of this rope. The 200 feet is probably overkill, to be honest, though. If you’re that deep, you may want something with the strength of nylon. This seems to be better suited to smaller boats.

Though it’s not anchor specific, it should be more than up to the task for most boaters. The half inch size offers a 5850 lb breaking strength. That should definitely be enough for small to medium vessels. That works out to a working strength of 1170 lbs. Remember, that’s at ½ inch. They also sell ⅜ inch which will not be as tough.

The rope is made from triple braided polypropylene line. That means it’s going to be very smooth and a little slippery. Watch your knots if you tie any and double check they’re secure. Also, make sure you keep this stowed out of the sun when not in use. UV rays will break down polypropylene. If this lays out all the time, after a couple of seasons, it may break down significantly.

The line floats, so it’s also good for other purposes like water skiing. Because it’s polypropylene, you’ll find it resists tangles easily as well.

  • Buy on Walmart   →

Sgt Knots Anchor Rope

sailboat rope anchor

Sgt Knots is a good company with a quality product. They’re also one of the few that give you multiple options when buying. You can get this rope in several sizes, which makes it a little more versatile than many others. For instance, most ropes are sold in 100 foot spools. Sgt Knots offers you the option of 100 feet, 150 feet and even 200 feet. Plus, you can try out ⅜ inch or, at the 100 foot length, up to ½ inch for extra strength. It all depends on your anchoring depth and what you need.

The line itself is made from nylon, which is top quality. Nylon rope is powerful and can stand up to the elements better than other synthetics. The rope is actually three strands of nylon twisted together. That means it’s some of the strongest rope on the market. At the same time, it’s flexible and stretchy when you need it to be.

The nylon is resistant to abrasion as well as the elements. It features a stainless steel thimble on the end as well. You should be able to adapt this to just about any anchor setup that you have. Some ropes are good for several uses, including anchors. But this was designed specifically for this task. It’s some of the best anchor rope on the market.

The founder of the company is ex-military and they are US based. Sgt Knots is known to have some of the best customer service in the business. If you have a problem they should be able to help you with it to your satisfaction

 Amazon  →

Maple Leaf Anchor Rope

sailboat rope anchor

This is another super tough nylon rope. This is ideal for medium to larger sized boats. But a small boat would certainly benefit from this tough line as well. It’s made from triple strand nylon. So that’s essentially like having three nylon ropes together. If you’re curious how that affects the strength, check out these numbers. It’s a ½ inch line at 100 feet with an incredible breaking strength of 6237 lbs. That means the working strength is 1247 lbs. As you can see, there are some ropes that are similar in size but have only a fraction of that strength. So this is one of the big guns for when you need reliability.

Because it’s nylon, this rope doesn’t float. That means it’s going to go straight down with your anchor. It’s unlikely to get stuck in your prop. It’s also resistant to things like mold and UV rays. There’s a reason nylon gets recommended so highly for these anchor ropes.

It comes with a stainless steel thimble attached. It’s easy to get attached to your anchor, and it’s smooth and easy on the hands to pull in and out of the water. This rope is good in some chop as well, because it has a great elasticity to it. Nylon offers good give without breaking. That makes it ideal for a number of tasks, but we definitely think it’s great for anchors.

$39.95 Amazon  →

Better Boat Anchor Rope

sailboat rope anchor

If you want a tough braided nylon anchor line, Better Boat has a solid option. At 100 feet in length and ⅜ inches in diameter, this is a standard size line for most boats. The double braided nylon construction is abrasion resistant and tough as anything. The stainless steel thimble included is corrosion resistant. It’s also very well secured, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it being a weak spot in the line.

By the numbers, just look at what this line boasts. You have an 820lb working load and 4035lb breaking load. That’s why double braid nylon rope is such a standout for marine uses. This is great on a small boat, but it can clearly handle larger jobs as well. This line can adapt easily from an anchor line to a docking line as well.

The line itself is black, which is aesthetically cool. But don’t worry about losing track of it. They’ve also woven in reflective threads so you can see it even in poor light. It’s designed for use with any kind of anchor, from a kayak anchor to a fluke or box anchor. The versatility and strength make this ideal.

Because it’s nylon, it’s tough against whatever you throw at it. Not only is it physically strong, but it can handle UV rays. It’s able to withstand freshwater and saltwater easily. And, even better, it’s chemical resistant. If this gets exposed to gasoline or oil, it can be cleaned off and saved. Just remember to get it out and cleaned asap.

Better Boat is a family owned, American company. If you have a problem with their products, they’re very easy to get a hold of. They also respond in a timely manner. So if customer service is as important to you as the product itself, give this one a try.

$39.99 Amazon  →

Airhead Anchor Bungee

sailboat rope anchor

Give Airhead credit, they found a way to make rope fun. Once upon a time all anchoring rope was boring, white line. And sure, it’s not a toy, but this anchor bungee is still pretty cool. It’s also bright enough that you’re not likely to lose track of it too easily.

One of the coolest features of the anchor bungee is that it allows you to tether your boat. Toss the bungee and anchor overboard as you come into shore. Then, when you reach the shallow water, you hop out. Attach a line to a beach spike on shore. That keeps your boat safely away from a rocky shoreline. It allows the line to stretch out so your boat is floating safely in waters where it won’t get damaged. But it’s not getting away from you, either. The bungee absorbs the shocks that would unmoor an anchor with a normal line.

As a regular anchor rope, this is great for shallower waters. It stretches from 14 feet all the way to 50 feet. So you’re not taking this into the deep sea by any means. Still, if you want to stop somewhere closer to shore, it’s a good choice.

The zinc-plated shackle and snap hook are tough and easy to use. The bungee rope is polypropylene with a 2500 lb tensile strength. So it can stand up to some weight with no worries .

Attwood Solid Braid Anchor Line

sailboat rope anchor

Attwood has made a strong and durable MFP anchor rope here. MFP stands for Multifilament Polypropylene. That means it’s made from a large number of very thin fibers woven together. This is what makes it stranger and more durable than similar ropes.

The rope comes in a 100 foot long spool. It’s a ⅜ inch diameter as well. The line is very flexible, but it does float. Some people prefer a line that floats, others don’t, so keep that in mind. It’s also labelled as UV resistant. Keep in mind that polypropylene is less UV resistant than other synthetic lines. There have been some complaints from previous owners that the line fell apart. Some said they “turned to dust” after a season or two. That’s UV exposure. Keep the line stored safely out of the sun when not in use and it will last a lot longer. For the price, you should still get some good value out of the rope.

Based on calculations, the safe strength of this rope should be around 189 lbs. That means you don’t want to use it on a larger boat. However, for a small boat, this is ideal. It’s light and easy to store. It’s also easy on your hands if you have to pull it in. Plus, since it floats, it’s good to use as an emergency line if need be.

  • $34.99 Walmart   →

TRAC Outdoor Anchor Line

sailboat rope anchor

TRAC Outdoor is known for making quality, reliable products. Their anchor rope is no exception. This rope is made from braided polypropylene. It comes in a 100 foot long spool. The rope diameter is .2 inches.

The bright blue color makes it easy to see in murky water and low light conditions. That’s also thanks to the reflective tracer patches woven into it. The ends also feature what they call a “rock guard’ sleeve. This helps protect against serious abrasion and wear. That will extend the lifespan of your rope considerably. Paired with a chain, you could expect this rope to last a good deal of time.

It’s polypropylene so it can easily handle saltwater and freshwater. They’ve included a loop and a shackle as well. The break strength is listed at 700 lbs. That means your safe working strength is about 140 lbs. That should make this more than strong enough for the average fishing boat .

The company that makes TRAC is located in North Carolina. They offer good customer service. If you have an issue, they are usually quick to respond. That said, you may want to inspect the shackle and splice on your line closely. Some past buyers have had issues with the line separating and losing their anchor. It’s not common, but more than one person complained about it. For that reason, you may want to tweak things if they don’t look solid to you.

  • Buy on Bass Pro   →

Choosing the Best Boat Anchor Rope

More goes into picking the best anchor rope than you might think. You need to be aware of not just length and width, but a number of other factors for the right anchor line. Can you rope hold up in saltwater? What if it gets exposed to chemicals? Is it OK to be exposed to UV rays for a long time? How can it handle rough seas? There is a lot more to consider than newcomers might suspect. Let’s look at the type of anchor rope that you need.

Types of Anchor Line Material

There are actually several kinds of materials used to make boat anchor ropes. Which you choose depends on a few factors.

Nylon Anchor Rope

The most common kinds of ropes are made from nylon. Nylon rope has a lot going for it, which is why it’s so common. For instance, for its size, nylon is very strong. It doesn’t have a lot of buoyancy, which is obviously important. The level of elasticity is ideal for anchor rope as well. Nylon rope can stretch up to 40%. Overall, it’s fairly light as well. It can stand up to salt water without problems, not to mention chemicals.

We think nylon makes for the best anchor ropes for of all of these reasons. And, the fact is, it’s everywhere. It’s the easiest to find. That makes it a smart choice as well. Every marine supply store will have nylon rope in stock.

Remember that nylon rope loses strength when it’s wet. It will reduce the strength up to 25%, in fact. Pay attention to the words “up to” here, however. Not every nylon rope is made to the same quality, and some will be stronger than others.

Polyester Anchor Rope

Polyester rope is not too different from nylon. The big differences here are strength and stretch. Nylon is superior when it comes to each. That doesn’t mean polyester is not strong, but for the same size, it’s not quite as strong. However, when wet, polyester does not lose strength like nylon does.

The stretch factor is more of an issue. Again, it’s not drastically different. But stretchiness in marine rope helps absorb shock. If you choose polyester over nylon, you may feel jolts harder. It’s also more prone to chafing than nylon rope is.

Polyester can handle the sunlight better than nylon. Nylon is OK, and as long as you care for it properly, it should be fine. But polyester is less affected.

Polypropylene Anchor Rope

This is the cheapest kind of rope in most cases. It can offer reasonable strength and elasticity. However, polypropylene is not good with sunlight. UV radiation really causes damage to this kind of rope. As a result, if this sits out in the sun too much, it will degrade. That can pose a real problem after a while.

Polypropylene line tends to be slippery. It’s not good for tying things off very well and it can cut. If you’re trying to pull this line in an emergency, you may slice your hands up. There’s a reason why nylon is a lot more popular.

We recommend not using polypropylene rope for an anchor line on larger boats. There are just too many drawbacks to it. That said, because it’s cheap and it floats, keep it around for a rescue line instead if you already have some.

For smaller boats, this can be a good choice. The strain of your anchor is not likely to cause too much trouble overall. Just remember to stow it properly out of the sun!

Manila Anchor Lines

Manila is a natural fiber robe. Unlike synthetic lines, this will shrink some when it gets wet. You’ll still see large ships using manila rope to this day. That’s because it’s remarkably strong. But compared to synthetic lines, you’re better off with nylon. Nylon can do the job better with a smaller rope overall. But if you want a natural line, then this is what you would use. It’s the best overall, and it does have that authentic, old-timey sailor appeal. Just remember, you’ll need larger manila rope to match the strength of nylon. And manila can go bad if not stored correctly.

Cutting Anchor Lines

Synthetic lines have a tendency to fray when cut. They will unspool into hundreds of tiny, hair-like fibers. Over time, these can unwind and fray the rope to pieces. Also, it’s going to cause a significant loss of strength when this happens. That’s why you need to address it as soon as you cut the line.

Because these ropes are synthetic, they melt when you heat them. This is ideal for fixing those frays. Once you cut a line, you can use a special tool to essentially cauterize the end and prevent the stray, frayed bits. It’s just as easy to use an open flame. You can even carefully use a lighter to melt just the very end of the line. That will melt the frayed bits into a solid end that’s easy to work with.

Anchor Rope Construction

When you’re picking a suitable anchor line, you’re going to have two main choices. These are braided anchor ropes and twisted or laid anchor ropes. Both of these have pros and cons that are worth considering. There isn’t really a right choice and a wrong choice. It’s a lot like comparing anchors or props . You have many options and they all can get the job done.

Twisted Rope: You’ll find twisted rope at fairly reasonable prices. This is usually cheaper than braided ropes. The trade off is that it does tend to kink a bit. It offers a good amount of stretch, though. Splicing this rope is also pretty easy. A twisted nylon anchor rope would be still be a good choice.

Braided Rope: Pound for pound, this rope is usually stronger than twisted. Same length and same anchor line diameter, braided is tougher. It’s also less harsh if you pull it in by hand. It’s flexible but not necessarily as stretchy as twisted rope. You might also have a difficult time splicing this kind of rope.

Anchor Rope Length

Having the right length of rope is essential to ensuring your anchor works properly. Too little and your anchor won’t even hit bottom. Too much and you’ll be drifting all over the place. You can get snags and tangles and cause a ton of problems. But you’re going to hear a lot of different ideas about how much rope is the right amount.

If you Google it right now, you could find 3 different sites with 3 different opinions. In fact, we did just that. One site said 7 feet for every one foot of depth. Another said 8 feet. One said 10 feet.

There are a lot of variables. If you’re in very choppy waters, you may want to have more rope. Likewise, if you’re not sure about bottom conditions. We think that 8 feet of rope per one foot in the water is the best ratio. But, again, that can change based on conditions.

Anchor Rope Width

It’s easy for a newcomer to overlook this part. Length is something you obviously want to worry about. But the rope thickness is extremely important as well. Too thin and your rope will snap like a twig. You definitely don’t want that. But how do you know if it’s thick enough?

A good rule of thumb is to add ⅛ of an inch for every 9 feet of boat.

Up to 9 feet = ⅛ inch

Up to 18 feet = ¼ inch

Up to 27 feet = ⅜ inch

Up to 36 feet = ½ inch

In general, bigger is always better. If you have a 16 foot boat, ⅜ inch is a fine idea. Even though technically it could get away with ¼ inch.

Boat Anchor Rope Strength

So you don’t want a rope that’s going to break. Just like fishing line, if it snaps it’s useless to you. But how do you determine boat anchor rope strength?

Rope strength is all based on a standard. That standard is natural manila rope. We compare other kinds of rope to manila to determine how tough it is. This will let you know the safe working load of a rope. So you’ll need to know the anchor rope size to figure this out.

You can calculate the strength factor of synthetic lines with a simple formula. The square of the circumference of the line multiplied by 900 lbs times that rope’s comparison factor.

(Circumference X 2) x 900 lbs.

Now things get a tiny bit complicated here in determining circumference. All the rope sizes we listed are diameter. Diameter is the distance across a circle if you cut it clean in half. But the circumference is the distance around the circle. That said, we can use diameter to calculate circumference.

Circumference = the diameter X pi (3.14)

Let’s do a practical example. You have a ¼ rope. So to calculate circumference, we multiply that by pi (3.14) and get 0.25 x 3.14 = 0.785. Then we multiply that by 900 lbs and get 706.5 lbs. That’s the rope’s breaking strength of a manila rope at this size.

If you have a synthetic line you need to include the comparison factor. Let’s look at those.

Nylon = 2.5

Polyester = 2

Polypropylene = 1.4

So if you had a ¼ inch nylon anchor rope you’d multiple your number by 2.5.

Your new formula would be 0.785 x 900 x 2.5 = 1766.25 lbs. That’s the breaking strength of a ¼ nylon anchor rope.

Breaking strength of a rope is a rule of thumb more than a set in stone guide. Remember, someone tested this in a lab. In the real world, things can go wonky. Maybe your rope is older or frayed. Maybe something will damage it. It’s hard to say.

Another thing to remember is that this number is for one solid piece of rope. If you have a knot or splice, it will decrease. Those weak spots are unpredictable. Just in terms of how they are going to affect the breaking strength.

Safe Working Load

This number is often given alongside break strength. Safe working load is how much weight your rope anchor can safely manage. It will be significantly less than the breaking strength. If you push your anchor rope to the breaking strength point, one thing is going to happen. The rope will break. Probably a lot sooner than you think, too. That’s because, as we mentioned, there may be mitigating factors.

Knots and splices significantly lower breaking strength. UV rays will weaken the rope. If it has endured a history of temperature changes or abrasion, that reduces strength as well. So a rope with a breaking strength of 1766 lbs on paper may actually break at 1200 lbs. Or even less.

To be safe, the rule of thumb for safe working load is ⅕ or 20%. That means if your line has a breaking strength of 1766.25 lbs then your safe working load is 353.25 lbs.

What About Anchor Chain?

You’ll often see chains and ropes being sold or even used together. Some people think chain is the better option, some think worse. But what about both? This is not uncommon at all and actually serves a good purpose.

Many anchors are attached to chains at the anchor itself. The chain extends for a short length and then the nylon rope is attached to it. So why would you choose a section of chain and then use rope? It’s all for a very practical reason.

The ocean floor is an unpredictable place. You don’t know what’s under you when you lower the anchor. There could be plain mud, sure. But there could be old trees, rocks, or trash. If your anchor hits something solid and rough, it’s no big deal. But if you have a length of rope resting on it, that could be a problem. Over time, even the toughest rope can wear down. If it keeps grating or rocks or other junk, it will start to fray.

We recommend a length of chain that is half the size of the rope you’ve chosen. That’s in terms of diameter. For the length of the chain, check your boat length. You want it to be about as long as your boat. Then you can connect the rope to the chain with a shackle unless you have a windlass.

One foot of chain for one foot of boat is ideal in most conditions. However, this can be tweaked. In rough water, you may one one foot of chain for every 6 feet of rope. This helps maintain a good angle. But it can be hard to predict if and when you’ll need this. And not every boat has the capacity to store a lot of chain.

Make sure you pick a chain that’s meant for this job. A bike chain from Home Depot is not going to work. You need a marine grade chain that’s galvanized. Not only will it preserve your rope, it will also make anchoring more efficient. Chain is a lot heavier than rope, so your anchor is going to drop straight down. That makes it less likely to suffer any kind of drift as well.

If you have a larger boat, more chain is typically a good idea. Chain will do a better job of keeping that anchor set.

Line Safety

One thing you always need to remember is to be safe around the boat anchor line. Newcomers to boating often aren’t aware of how dangerous lines can be. If you have guests on your boat, make sure they are aware of what is safe and what is not.

If you have a line under tension, no one should be within 45 degrees of that line on either side of it. Always make sure everyone on the boat knows this.

Always double check your knots. This is especially true when you use synthetic lines. All synthetic materials are slippery to one degree or another. They can easily slide out of knots if they are not done securely. So once you have a knot in place, check it again to make sure.

The Bottom Line

Safety is always your number one priority, Make sure you’re choosing adequate line for your boat. It needs to be strong enough and long enough to get the job done. Always store it safely out of the way to reduce tripping hazards. This will also go a long way to making sure it lasts for several seasons.

As always, stay safe and have fun

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My grandfather first took me fishing when I was too young to actually hold up a rod on my own. As an avid camper, hiker, and nature enthusiast I'm always looking for a new adventure.

Categories : Boats

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Kane Holland on March 26, 2022

I used a Rainier Supply Double Braided Nylon Anchor Rope 50 ft x 3/8 inch. The length and color I’m very satisfied with. Not easy to get dirty, the material is not to rust. I find it very light and comfortable to hold. Such a reasonable price.

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Elektrostal Localisation : Country Russia , Oblast Moscow Oblast . Available Information : Geographical coordinates , Population, Area, Altitude, Weather and Hotel . Nearby cities and villages : Noginsk , Pavlovsky Posad and Staraya Kupavna .

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Elektrostal Population157,409 inhabitants
Elektrostal Population Density3,179.3 /km² (8,234.4 /sq mi)

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Elektrostal Geographical coordinatesLatitude: , Longitude:
55° 48′ 0″ North, 38° 27′ 0″ East
Elektrostal Area4,951 hectares
49.51 km² (19.12 sq mi)
Elektrostal Altitude164 m (538 ft)
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8 July02:53 - 11:31 - 20:0801:56 - 21:0601:00 - 01:00 01:00 - 01:00
9 July02:55 - 11:31 - 20:0801:57 - 21:0501:00 - 01:00 01:00 - 01:00
10 July02:56 - 11:31 - 20:0701:59 - 21:0423:45 - 23:17 01:00 - 01:00
11 July02:57 - 11:31 - 20:0502:01 - 21:0223:57 - 23:06 01:00 - 01:00
12 July02:59 - 11:31 - 20:0402:02 - 21:0100:05 - 22:58 01:00 - 01:00
13 July03:00 - 11:32 - 20:0302:04 - 20:5900:12 - 22:51 01:00 - 01:00
14 July03:01 - 11:32 - 20:0202:06 - 20:5700:18 - 22:45 01:00 - 01:00

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Located next to Noginskoye Highway in Electrostal, Apelsin Hotel offers comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi. Free parking is available. The elegant rooms are air conditioned and feature a flat-screen satellite TV and fridge...
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Located in the green area Yamskiye Woods, 5 km from Elektrostal city centre, this hotel features a sauna and a restaurant. It offers rooms with a kitchen...
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Ekotel Bogorodsk Hotel is located in a picturesque park near Chernogolovsky Pond. It features an indoor swimming pool and a wellness centre. Free Wi-Fi and private parking are provided...
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Surrounded by 420,000 m² of parkland and overlooking Kovershi Lake, this hotel outside Moscow offers spa and fitness facilities, and a private beach area with volleyball court and loungers...
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Surrounded by green parklands, this hotel in the Moscow region features 2 restaurants, a bowling alley with bar, and several spa and fitness facilities. Moscow Ring Road is 17 km away...
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IMAGES

  1. How to anchor a sailing boat-Step by Step!

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  2. Seachoice 47691 Premium Anchor Rope for Boating

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  3. Black Rope on Bridge As Part of Yacht Anchor. Detail of Sailboat Stock

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  4. 5 Best Anchor Ropes For Boats 2023 [Strong Nylon Anchor Lines]

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  5. Rope and Anchor on 101 Year Old Sailboat Stock Image

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  6. What Size Anchor Rope For My Boat

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VIDEO

  1. Anchor Saver®

  2. Anchor Saver Underwater video Original Anchor Saver Model

  3. Boat Anchoring Tips 101

  4. How to setup anchor rode

  5. Pivoting Self-launching Anchor Bow Roller BY: FIVE OCEANS

  6. Master the Chain Splice: Securely Attach Three-Strand Rope to Anchor Chain!

COMMENTS

  1. How to Pick an Anchor Rope Size, Type, Length and More

    When selecting how much rope and chain you need there are a couple of rules of thumb to use. You should have 8 feet of rope for every 1 foot of water you will be anchoring in. Your rope should have 1/8" of rope diameter for every 9' of boat. So this means a 28' boat would want at least a 3/8" or 1/2" diameter rope.

  2. The Ultimate Boat Rope Anchor Guide

    When it comes to the best marine rope for anchoring a boat, you can't just assume any old rope will work, especially around water, salt, and other rope-degrading elements. Whether you have a sailboat, trawler, or canal boat, choosing the best rope for harsh outdoor conditions is vital to the rope's longevity and your boat's safety and ...

  3. Selecting an Anchor Rode

    Anchor rodes consist of a length of chain, rope or a combination of rope and chain that connects an anchor to a boat. The rope portion of anchor rodes typically consists of nylon three-strand, 12-strand or double-braid line. Nylon is the material of choice, because it is elastic and able to absorb the shock loads encountered when anchoring.Polyester or other materials should not be used for ...

  4. Choosing The Right Rope

    Nylon. For most docking and anchor lines, standard nylon is a good choice. It has great strength, "gives" under load to absorb energy, and is relatively inexpensive. It's also easy to handle and resists the harmful effects of sunlight better than other synthetics. It's the rope of choice for anchoring rode. Nylon comes in strands and braided.

  5. Anchors & Anchoring: A Basic Guide

    This means when anchoring in 10M of water 30 M of chain should be paid out. With a rope rode this ratio would be 7:1, regardless of whether a short length of chain is used on the bottom. As depth in the anchorage increases so too should the ratio of anchor rode used. At 15M using a 5:1 ratio for chain is recommended.

  6. Anchor Selection: A Guide to Types and Sizes

    Anchor Weight. Anchors are typically sized by weight, ranging from a few pounds for small vessels to several hundred pounds for large yachts. The rule of thumb is that the heavier the boat, the heavier the anchor should be. However, it's important to consider the type of anchor you're using, as the holding power varies across anchor designs.

  7. How to Pick a Boat Anchor: The Guide to Types, Sizes & Weights

    Fluke anchors have a rotating bar that connects the anchor to the line. Their forward-heavy profile allows the flukes to drive straight down into sand or mud. As line is laid out, the bar swivels into a horizontal position, providing good scope. Boat Size: 30 feet or less. Best For: Lakes, rivers, mud and sand.

  8. 11 Best Anchor Ropes

    5. attwood Hollow Braided Anchor Line. This line exhibits the best that polypropylene and hollow braid ropes can offer. It's marine-friendly, rot-resistant, waterproof, and provides generous support through its considerably capable holding power. A hollow braid means it's lightweight and rot and mildew resistant.

  9. How to Select the Right Type of Anchor

    Visit West Marine to learn tips to find out what the best type of anchor for your boat is, including anchor type, weight, holding power & more. ... Rope/Chain Anchor Rode Packages for Windlasses. $229.99 - $344.99 Add to Cart WEST MARINE Premium Prespliced Three-Strand Anchor Lines. $102.99 - $569.00

  10. Learning the "Ropes": How to Pick the Right Type for Your Boating Needs

    The general rule of thumb is to use 1/8" of rope for every 9' of boat length (minimum of 3/8"). So, for my 21' runabout, a 3/8" line should suffice. However, I stepped up to ½" to be on the safe side. Obviously, it is much better to err on the larger side. The amount of rope needed is also related to your boat size.

  11. How to Select and Install the Right Anchor Rode

    An anchor rode connects the anchor to the boat. You may use rope or chain, but rope rodes will always have a length of chain on the end if they're going to be effective. Its primary job is to hold the boat at anchor. To do this well, it needs to absorb shock loads as the boat moves, and have the working strength to hold the boat.

  12. Ranking The 11 Best Boat Anchor Ropes for 2024

    Rainier Supply's double braided anchor rope has a lot going for it. It's nylon, which we think is the best material for rope out there. It's double braided, which means a lot of strength. It's also a great price, which rounds everything out. You can pick this up in either ¼ inch or ⅜ inch diameter.

  13. Rainier Supply Co. Boat Anchor Line

    Anchor your boat safely with a high-quality, affordable anchor rope you can trust! This double-braided nylon anchor line rope works well with boats up to 36' feet long, has a breaking strength of 4,939 lbs, and a recommended maximum working load of up to 950 lbs.

  14. Rainier Supply Co. Boat Anchor Line

    TOP-QUALITY ANCHOR LINE YOU CAN TRUST: Keep your boat safe and secure with our durable, double-braided nylon boat anchor rope. Our 100' x 3/8" anchor rope works perfectly with boats up to 27 feet long. Each anchor line rope has a breaking strength of 4,035 lbs and a recommended maximum working load of up to 820 lbs.

  15. 8 Best Anchor Rope for Boats 2021

    1. Norestar Braided Anchor with Thimble. Safety, as we all know, is the first priority in any type of activities we are involved in. Keeping that in mind, choosing a durable anchor rope is vital to keep you and your boat safe. One excellent option here is brought to you by Norestar.

  16. Amazon.com: Premium Boat Anchor Rope 100 Ft Double Braided Boat Anchor

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  17. Elektrostal

    In 1938, it was granted town status. [citation needed]Administrative and municipal status. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Elektrostal Urban Okrug.

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  19. The flag of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia which I bought there

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  20. Elektrostal

    Elektrostal, city, Moscow oblast (province), western Russia.It lies 36 miles (58 km) east of Moscow city. The name, meaning "electric steel," derives from the high-quality-steel industry established there soon after the October Revolution in 1917. During World War II, parts of the heavy-machine-building industry were relocated there from Ukraine, and Elektrostal is now a centre for the ...

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  22. Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

    Elektrostal Geography. Geographic Information regarding City of Elektrostal. Elektrostal Geographical coordinates. Latitude: 55.8, Longitude: 38.45. 55° 48′ 0″ North, 38° 27′ 0″ East. Elektrostal Area. 4,951 hectares. 49.51 km² (19.12 sq mi) Elektrostal Altitude.