In the roadstead, take care of your anchor windlass


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Spending the night (or day) at roadstead is one of the merits of cruising. But watch out for stresses on the windlass: don’t underestimate them if you want to avoid nasty surprises
. The length of the anchor line (i.e., the amount of chain lowered) is the best shock absorber to the shocks caused by the boat pulling on it. In fact, the weight of the chain lying on the seabed, in addition to being essential for the proper holding of the mooring, greatly reduces the stresses on the anchor because it creates some elasticity on the line. However, it may not be enough to safeguard the windlass from strain, especially if the wind blows very hard or the wave becomes troublesome; therefore, it is advisable to adopt alternative systems.

The most commonly used by boaters is to interpose an opening snap hook on a chain link (obviously between the bow snout and the water) to which a line to be tied on the bow bollard is attached. In this way you will be able to relax the chain with the advantage of not putting too much strain on the snout, not working the anchor windlass, and most importantly limiting the noise from anchor tugs.

Classic mooring dampers can be used as valuable supports. These are rubber tubes on which to wrap the line or tie it at the ends. An opening carabiner is more suitable than a knot because it is much easier to release in an emergency. If you do not have the shock absorber on board, you can use a rubber hose tied to the safety line. To decrease the noise of tugging, you can use an additional safety selvedge.



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