• Anchor Rope to Chain Splice

    There are many different ways to connect anchor chain to your rode. The method you chose will be determined by the equipment you have. When using a windlass the most common method it the Rope to Chain Splice and more specifically the Backsplice.

    This article will help guide you through the process with both photos and videos.


    The following tools or appropriate substitutes will make splicing the anchor rode an easier task: - scissors- hot knife or soldering iron- pen or marker- colored markers- electrical tape or whipping twine
    To begin the process measure approximately 12 inches from the end of the rode and either whip the rode or bind it with electrical tape (whipping the rode with twine presents a more professional finish). This will prevent the rode from unraveling past this point as you weave the rode. Next separate the 3 strand rode into the 3 individual strands and using a heat source melt the ends to prevent fray as you weave the splice.

    Next bind the ends of the strands with a mark-able tape and label them one, two and three accordingly. You may also want to use color pens to color each strand. This will make it easier to identify the different strands as you weave the rode.

    Now we are set to begin the splicing process. Begin the splice with the strand that you have layed out in the middle, the number on the strand is not important at this point. In the example above the middle strand happens to be labeled #2, the middle strand should be passed through the end link of the chain.
    Now pass the other two remaining strands #1 and #3 through the link in the chain from the opposite direction.

    Now you should have strand #2 extending from one side of the link while strands #1 and #3 extend through the other side of the link. At this point it helps to turn the assembly around where the rode leads away from you making it easier to weave the splice. Pull the strands up snug against the link.

    If you have a vertical windlass you don't want the splice itself to be too tight. The rode must make a 180 degree turn around the windlass and if it is too tight it may jam the windlass. However pull the strands until the whipping or tape sits snug against the link in the chain.

    Now to begin the weaving process select one strand, again it does not matter which one but once you start weaving you need to follow the sequence until completion.

    Notice with the rode laid out in this manner that it spirals in a clockwise pattern away from you. You will actually weave in a counterclockwise pattern. Take strand #2 and pass it over the adjacent strand to the left then under the next strand to the left.
    Now select the next strand to the left which in this case happens to be strand #3 and use the same process, it will pass over the strand in the rode adjacent to the left and under the next. It will help to rotate the rode clockwise as you weave the splice.
    Next accomplish the same process for strand #1 and you will have completed the first TUCK. In this example you tucked the strands in this sequence, strand #2, strand #3 then strand #1. You will tuck the strands in this sequence throughout the procedure. After the first set of tucks you should have 3 strands sticking out evenly spaced around the rode as shown in the picture below.
    Now accomplish another set of tucks using the previous procedure beginning with strand #2, then strand #3 and finally strand #1. After two full sets of tucks trim down the strands by removing 1/3 of the fiber from each strand. This begins the taper of the splice.
    After you cut out 1/3 of the fibers use a heat source to melt the ends together to prevent fraying. From the picture below you can see the original strands are now 1/3 smaller and the ends of cut portion have been melted.
    Now perform two more tucks beginning with strand #2 and keeping the same pattern (2, 3, 1). When you finish with those two tucks, once again remove 1/3 of the fibers from the strands further tapering the splice.

    Now perform two more tucks and the splice is complete and ready to be cleaned up.
    Using a heat source trim and melt the taper ends leaving appx 1/4 inch protruding from the rode and you are done.

    • Bind 12 inches from the end of the rode
    • Bind and label the individual strands
    • Insert middle strand through loop in chain, insert two remaining strands through loop in opposite direction
    • 2 tucks
    • taper
    • 2 tucks
    • taper
    • 2 tucks


    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Cap'n Ray's Avatar
      Cap'n Ray -
      I'm testing a home-made three-strand splice on my dogs tie-out. She's rough on ropes and such, thought it'd be a good way to test my ability.

      Not the best looking splice, but it's my first. Dog has been yanking on it for about a month and a half. Didn't have the twine so I used tape. The process is fairly simple and seems to work really well!
    1. TimG's Avatar
      TimG -
      Now that is a good test for your skills, I think it actually looks like you did good job on that. That splice is easier every time you tie it.
    1. Cap'n Ray's Avatar
      Cap'n Ray -
      Thanks Tim, the Admiral agrees with you that they look pretty good, I'm hypercritical of my work I guess. I figured she was a good quality control tester, no damage or loosening yet. I plan to do four custom short 'dock lines' once we are settled in the slip, I'll be doing three braid line in a blue/ off white to match the boat- will post pix of those when they are done too... Wow- I have a lot of projects brewing that I need to post photos of!
    1. TimG's Avatar
      TimG -
      If you end up out here on the Tennessee River you will have to do a few of those with 36" loops for use on the locks, we call them lock loops.
    1. Cap'n Ray's Avatar
      Cap'n Ray -
      Good to know!! I'm sure my learning curve will be nearly vertical if/ when we get off the lake and onto the rivers. We will be counting on you and all our friends at BH2 to help keep it manageable!!
    1. SunnyFL's Avatar
      SunnyFL -
      I have watched this and other videos. I can get the first tuck fine. The second one so-so. I have no idea what to do with #3. I wonder if you could do this again with close ups and go very slow with the the first three tucks?
    1. Hartley's Avatar
      Hartley -
      Dead link - this is the VERY FIRST post in this series, and it looks like the section got reorganized New link is: Anchor Rope to Chain Splice - BoatingHowTo.com

      Hartley S/V Atsa
    1. TimG's Avatar
      TimG -
      Thanks Hartley, good catch
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