What size anchor rode do I need?

What size anchor rode should I equip my 36' boat with? I'm seeing different opinions all over the place.


  • You'll want to multiply the depth you plan to anchor in by 7 or 8 and then your rode should be chain spliced to at least a 1/2' -5/8 rope.

  • Are you talking about length or width @StevieRyder. If you have a windlass on your bow, that will tell you. Otherwise @BigNauti76 pretty much hit the nail on the head.

  • @StevieRyder What kind of boat do you have and where are you located? That will help determine what size anchor you'll need.

  • The usual approach to say so and so much scope is needed is only a very rough shot at answering this question. A chain works best in deeper water when it is not hanging almost horizontally between bow and anchor. In shallow water is fails completely, and you need a very good snubber to compensate for that. Otherwise you can have enormous loads in strong waves and gusts...

    I have created a free web-based tool to play around with different anchoring scenarios, vessel types, swell, wind, quality of snubber etc. Perhaps this will help you to get a better feeling at what is needed for you.

    The vessel velocity at anchor is usually rather small... 0.1 - 0.4 kn or so. In a gale it can become much larger, of course. In Basic Mode the snubber is defined in qualitative terms, like poor or good, etc. Play around with this and see what snubber stretch fits best with what you observe for your snubber. In Expert Mode you can define the snubber more precisely. The tool needs to know the snubber stretch at 8 Beaufort (40.2 kn) wind. Western Marine always provides the elasticity of their ropes at a certain working load. Use the rule of three to work out what snubber stretch at 8 Beaufort this results in. Described in more detail in the documentation.

    Ah, and you can switch the tool to use feet and pound with the buttons at the top right... ;)

    Hope this helps. Mathias

  • @Mathias That helps a lot and is fun to see the different outcomes when you enter different variables. Thanks for sharing.

  • @StevieRyder Thank you! And you'r welcome!

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