Follow these maintenance tips to extend the life of your anchor rode.
Clean your anchor, chain and rode before bringing them aboard. Keep a bucket handy for pouring seawater over the chain and anchor, or install a pressurized raw water washdown fitting at the bow and attach a short piece of hose. Use a long-handled brush with stiff bristles to dislodge stubborn clumps of mud or clay.
Swap the ends of your rodes. Lines fray and chain loses its galvanized coating, so you’ll want to swap the ends of your rodes often if they’re heavily used. Don’t forget to change the length markings.
Rinse your rope, chain and anchors with freshwater whenever possible. Freshwater helps prevent rust on your chain and anchors. Plus, a salt-free line dries faster and more thoroughly.
Inspect your ground tackle. Remove your ground tackle from the boat, and lay it out where you can inspect it from end to end. Make sure the shackles and thimbles are in good condition. Ensure that the shackle pins are securely immobilized and their threads well-greased. Scrub the empty storage locker with an industrial-strength cleaner to eliminate noxious odors, and make sure the drains aren’t clogged.
–Samuel S. Sanford