How to Tie Anchor Rope to Chain

One of the most important items on your boat is your anchor line. Also known as the “rode,” your anchor line must always be secure to ensure that you and your passengers are safe when lowering the anchor. If the line is not strong and steady, it could break meaning your boat is in danger of drifting away, getting into a collision, and being unable to safely stop and dock when you make it back to shore. What’s more, you could lose your anchor and part of the rode itself and these parts aren’t cheap to replace. The best way to protect yourself and your nautical assets is to know how to tie an anchor rope to chain so that it is secure, sturdy, and effective.


What You’ll Need

For this project you’re going to need four main things: rope, anchor, chain, and patience. That’s right, this task starts off very simple, but if you don’t have patience, things can take a turn for the worst very early on. It is important to remain calm and focused when tying anchor rope to a chain because the task itself requires precision to ensure maximum safety. If you try to rush or become impatient, it could mean either putting yourself in danger when out on the water or starting over from square one. To avoid both of these outcomes, take a deep breath, gather your supplies, and get ready to go slow.

How to Tie an Anchor Rope to Chain: The Perfect Knot

The secret to tying your anchor rope to chain properly and securely all lies in the perfect knot, also known as the anchor bend. Let’s get started:

Step 1

To get started, you will need your rope and anchor chain first. Thread your rope through the last link of the anchor chain and allow enough room to complete your knot. About a foot of rope should be running through the chain, giving you enough to work with.

Step 2

Take the slack (your foot of rope) and loop the end back through the chain link again. If done properly, you should now have two loops of rope threaded through the final link of the anchor chain. Both loops should be loose, so make sure that if they are tight to adjust them.

Step 3

Now, take the slack end of your rope and pull it through both loops on the last chain link. Remember, the loops should be loose enough to allow the slack end of the rope to easily slide on through. If you are noticing any tension or having difficulty getting the slack end through, you may want to begin again!

Step 4

If all is well and going according to plan, you can now pull the rope tight. This means that you have successfully executed a basic anchor bend. As you tighten the  knot, you are locking the loops against the last link of the anchor chain. Though rather simple, this knot is strong and sturdy and should easily hold your anchor chain as you lower it, retrieve it, or lug back and forth from your vessel.


Step 5

For additional security, you can add a half hitch to the anchor rope. To create a half hitch, take the leftover slack from the anchor knot and loop it over the anchor line tightly, then pull it back around and under itself. In short, you’re adding another overhand knot and drawing it tight for an extra layer of protection. Do this to ensure that there is no chance of your initial anchor knot unraveling, providing you that extra security that is so important.

If you are more of a visual learner, we hope this video will compliment the above instructions so you can create the perfect anchor bend every time!

Things to Consider

Knowing how to complete a proper anchor bend is an important bit of knowledge for every sailor to know. Whether you sail for luxury or work, need for this knot will arise. However, there are some circumstances where the anchor bend may not be the best choice when ensuring your anchor line is secure. For example, if you know you will be anchoring in one spot for a long time (meaning more than a few hours to a full day or overnight), you should use a permanent metal grommet and a shackle instead of a knot. Though the knot is strong and safe, it can weaken the line where it is tied over time, which can be dangerous the longer you are stationary. If you already know you are going to anchor for an extended period of time and do not have a permanent grommet or shackle onboard, do the following:

  • Check the knot every few hours
  • Retie the knot in a different place along the rope to reduce damage and line chafing

For tutorials on how to tie other important nautical knots, go here. It will most definitely come in handy!

Final Thoughts

As you enjoy your time out on the water, remember that proper boat maintenance and safety practices are as important as tying the perfect anchor bend. Ropes can fray, chains can rust, and anchors can foul, meaning you always have to be aware of the condition of your supplies. If you find that your anchor rode is need of an update, check out these products at great prices. Having fresh chains, ropes, and even anchors can ensure that every time you set sail you are safe and prepared for total fun with no worries!

We wish you happy sailing and remind you to Live Life Freshly Salted!