How to Maintain an Anchor and Rode

Our original anchor was crusted with barnacles and moderately rusted. The chain was rusted nearly into a solid mass. And the rode, besides its metal thimble being equally rusted, had soaked up rusty water and acted as a sponge that badly stained the bilge.

BEFORE - A smelly mess!
BEFORE – A smelly mess!

A clean anchor means clean sails

I started on the anchor with an abrasive wheel attached to a drill to remove most of the build-up. I followed that up with several applications of Muriatic acid that I already had on hand from past masonry projects. The acid cleaned off most of the remaining calcification and prepared the surfaces for several coats of galvanized spray paint.

The anchor chain was rusted to the point of being unserviceable. I replaced it with an inexpensive one from WalMart.

The rode is 200′ of Nylon three-strand rope that I wanted to salvage. I soaked it all day in a 5 gallon bucket filled with a mild bleach solution and rinsed it several times well. Bleach is normally not recommended for use with Nylon, so I’ll keep an eye on it for fraying and replace it, if necessary. I also cut off the damaged thimble and spliced on a new rust-proof Nylon one.

The restored assembly should work well for many years to come if I take proper care to rinse it and let it dry thoroughly before stowing it back in its bilge locker. Now, I store it in a 3 gallon bucket with drainage holes in the bottom and a smaller plastic container riveted in the center. The bucket makes it easier to store, move, deploy, and dry. The coils play out without tangling when I drop the anchor and the center container separates the chain from the rode while they dry to prevent staining.

A bucket makes using and storing the anchor rode and chain easy
A bucket makes using and storing the anchor rode and chain easy

Restoring the badly stained bilge compartment is described in a separate post.

The Bottom Line

Suggested price: $189.99
$tingy Sailor cost: $26.83
Savings: $163.16

How do you decide whether to restore or replace?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Scott Brown says:

    Hi There! thanks for being the best blog of DIY projects for C-22 owners on the web!

    I was hoping you had a follow-up to this post that would speak to how you stow your bucket/anchor setup for easy retrieval. we keep two anchors (bow and stern) in the port-side lazarette locker in sheet-rock buckets, and they’re always a huge pain to retrieve when we’re approaching an anchorage (especially since the pilot needs to sit on that locker-lid to man the outboard as we put towards our parking spot.

    Any recommendations?

    1984 C-22 “Stiff Winds”

    1. Hi, Scott

      Stowing ground tackle is indeed a problem for C-22s without a bow anchor locker. I too carry two anchors when cruising. I stow the smaller one that’s for normal use with its rode reel in the starboard (shallow) lazarette where it’s easier to reach. I lay the anchor on a large sponge to keep it from sliding around in the lazarette.

      When I’m ready to use the anchor, I just open the lazarette, lift out the anchor and lay it in the cockpit followed by the rode reel. I typically do this as the first step when approaching an anchorage. Then I pay out the rode from the reel outside the lifelines and forward around the bow cleat while leaving the anchor in the cockpit. When I’m ready to drop anchor, I just lower it over the starboard side from the cockpit, it swings forward toward the bow, and I mind the rode as it pays off the reel on the way down and I reach the amount of scope that I want. I set the anchor normally by backing against it until it digs in.

      The larger anchor I carry when cruising is for backup, rough conditions, or when I want an anchor on both ends the boat. I typically stow it below the starboard lazarette. It’s difficult to get out but anywhere else and it’s just in the way. The weight of both anchors on the starboard side helps to offset the weight of the outboard on the port side where I normally sit also. When I’m not expecting to anchor out, I leave the larger anchor on shore.

      If I were to anchor out a lot, I’d consider hanging the anchor from brackets on the stern pulpit where it’s always ready to go but still stow the reel in the lazarette.

      Hope that gives you some ideas,

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