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Thread: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

  1. #1
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    Default Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Designing a 12 foot Jon boat that will be car topped, not on a trailer.
    When emergency anchoring, is it better to attach the anchor rope to a bow eye that's positioned closer to the water line than to a cleat on the top center of the forward deck? If so, then I will beef up the bow plate for a bow eye in my design. Here's a picture of what the Jon boat might look like:

    Position of bow eye 900.jpg

    I drew a line where the bow eye might be installed on the bow plate. The eye would be a stainless steel U bolt that's installed horizontally for more strength in the horizontal directions. The sole purpose of the bow eye would be to attach the anchor rope in case the outboard doesn't start to avoid drifting. I assume that for normal fishing, attaching the anchor to a cleat mounted on the top center of the forward deck would be the recommended way.

    Do you think it's necessary to install a bow eye low down on the bow plate for emergency anchoring? Or just use the cleat on top center of the forward deck?

    (BTW, the vertical and horizontal knees that will be on the transom are not shown.)

    EDIT:
    Why is there a large "Attached Thumbnail" duplicate picture below my post? I don't know how to get rid of it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by DayTripper; 05-25-2021 at 05:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    In most situations suitable for a jon boat, the deck-mounted cleat would be fine, whether or not your outboard is in running condition. Only in conditions that threaten the boat, such as rough water or really strong current, would it become a factor. I recommend avoiding such places with a jon boat, and I don't really consider a stalled motor an emergency. I do strongly recommend carrying an alternate source of propulsion, in this case a pair of oars.
    The low position would help if you ever decide to tow the boat (behind another boat) or put it on a trailer.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Yep that's Ok my sailing boat has a U bolt through the deck (or will have when I refit it), if you're going to be anchored often I'd recommend an anchor guide to stop wear from the ropes over the gunnel.
    Just an amateur bodging away..

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Think about retrieval carefully.

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    emergency anchoring the same as regular old anchoring ?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    emergency anchoring the same as regular old anchoring ?
    Much variation in depth?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    emergency anchoring the same as regular old anchoring ?
    I would say emergency anchoring, like the river current is taking you towards the dam or the ebbing tide is carrying you out the inlet ( probably can't row your way out of those spots), means, " quick deployment." That gets my vote for a cleat on deck rather than a bow eye as a belaying point.

    Kevin

    EDIT: Also, a cleat hitch can be stressed by tide and wind and waves and still be easy to apply and release.

    Most any knot you'd use to tie on to an eye, with the boat being pushed by wind and/ or current, will require you to do so very quickly and watch your fingers. If you could even get it tied at all--where would you get the slack to tie it before the drifting boat pulls the line tight?

    However, a line can be cleated in current readily.

    K
    Last edited by Breakaway; 05-25-2021 at 07:57 AM.
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I would say emergency anchoring, like the river current is taking you towards the dam or the ebbing tide is carrying you out the inlet ( probably can't row your way out of those spots), means, " quick deployment." That gets my vote for a cleat on deck rather than a bow eye as a belaying point.

    Kevin

    EDIT: Also, a cleat hitch can be stressed by tide and wind and waves and still be easy to apply and release.

    Most any knot you'd use to tie on to an eye, with the boat being pushed by wind and/ or current, will require you to do so very quickly and watch your fingers. If you could even get it tied at all--where would you get the slack to tie it before the drifting boat pulls the line tight?

    However, a line can be cleated in current readily.

    K
    If this is the case them.
    A bow eye anywhere on the centreline if the bow transom to which the anchor line is permanently attached.
    An anchor retrieval line secured to the main line 6 or ten feet down and long enough to be cleated inboard.
    Deploy the anchor by tossing it OB from within the boat.
    Recover the anchor by hauling on the retrieval line until the main line comes inboard, then haul away.

    All done from the safety of the middle of the boar
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    It's incredibly poor seamanship to lean over the bow to attach an anchor rode to a low bow eye. Put a properly backed and through-bolted cleat near the aft end of that fore deck and proper chock up on each corner of the bow transom.

    Proper bow chocks are designed to put an angle in the line, not a straight chock.

    000400.jpg

    Or perhaps locking chocks.

    LC1.jpg

    Having the rode lead over one corner or the other will let the boat lie at an angle to the wind or current, which will be more comfortable.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    If this is the case them.
    A bow eye anywhere on the centreline if the bow transom to which the anchor line is permanently attached.
    An anchor retrieval line secured to the main line 6 or ten feet down and long enough to be cleated inboard.
    Deploy the anchor by tossing it OB from within the boat.
    Recover the anchor by hauling on the retrieval line until the main line comes inboard, then haul away.

    All done from the safety of the middle of the boar

    But, Nick....
    This forces one to stream the full length of one's rode every time. One might be in shallow water, drifting down on rocks, a rip or some other hazard...and be on it, or in it, the before the full-length of rode comes tight.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    you stated CAR TOPPING (no trailer)

    in my experience having deck mounted anythings hinder loading/unloading from the ends of the vehicle

    for car topping i try to keep my shear as smooth as i reasonably can

    even a surface mounted 1/4" plywood deck or breast hook have caused me to stumble over my politically correct vocabulary skills at one tyme or another

    as mentioned above leaning over the bow in an "emergency"(or ANY) situation is knot in your best interest

    mounting a "U" bolt horizontally could allow it to bend down in anything more than a gentle breeze

    doubling your bow transom w/ a full height vertical piece about 6"± wide should be adequate along with the use of fender washers on the inside

    for quick deployment you could consider attaching the rode prior to launching and having a retrieval line back/up n over into the cockpit for resuming your activities

    BON CHANCE

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    But, Nick....
    This forces one to stream the full length of one's rode every time. One might be in shallow water, drifting down on rocks, a rip or some other hazard...and be on it, or in it, the before the full-length of rode comes tight.

    Kevin
    That is why I asked if the depth varies in an earlier post. Answer was there none.

    You can still work the system in a similar way by putting the rode through a fairlead on the top of the transom,.and securing the retrieval line closer to the anchor, so that when it comes aboard it can be used to bring the anchor to the boats side, rather than having to climb onto the foredeck.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    That is why I asked if the depth varies in an earlier post. Answer was there none.

    You can still work the system in a similar way by putting the rode through a fairlead on the top of the transom,.and securing the retrieval line closer to the anchor, so that when it comes aboard it can be used to bring the anchor to the boats side, rather than having to climb onto the foredeck.


    Fairy Nuff



    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by swoody126 View Post
    you stated CAR TOPPING (no trailer)

    in my experience having deck mounted anythings hinder loading/unloading from the ends of the vehicle

    for car topping i try to keep my shear as smooth as i reasonably can

    even a surface mounted 1/4" plywood deck or breast hook have caused me to stumble over my politically correct vocabulary skills at one tyme

    BON CHANCE

    sw


    You bring up an eggs- zellent point reguarding the OPs need to cartop.

    Here's another deck mount solution:





    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    I have not forgotten about this thread. Since there are a lot of responses (thanks!), I am going over them and evaluating. Will post replies soon.

    Thanks folks,
    DayTripper

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Again, thanks for all of the responses folks. I'll try to clarify the various things mentioned.

    I mentioned car topping to clarify that the bow eye would not be used to attach to a winch on a trailer. .... Regarding "having deck mounted anythings hinder loading/unloading from the ends of the vehicle", I will be loading the boat similar to this youtube video. The difference will be that the angled 2x4's will have pegs on them to be able to "walk" the boat up to the cross braces. Then when the angled 2x4's are lifted to horizontal, instead of pushing the boat on to the cross braces, the boat will be "walked" on to the cross braces. Any deck mounted cleat(s) will be placed to not be a problem with walking the boat to the car top.

    "emergency anchoring the same as regular old anchoring?" ... My thought of emergency anchoring is the outboard won't start. We will normally only be 100 to 200 yards off shore so we should be able to oar or paddle the boat to shore. But just in case wind or current prevents that, then emergency anchoring will be used. There will not be a critical time element to avoid going over a dam or into rocks where we will be fishing so deploying the anchor can be done systematically without rushing. ..... When "emergency" anchoring, there will be a time delay from the time the cell phone call for help is placed to when help arrives. Just in case there is a turn in the weather, I read a somewhere (don't remember where now) that with waves it's better to have the attachment point to the boat lower than on the top of the deck. Which is why I was wondering if I should install a bow eye closer to the water line.

    "It's incredibly poor seamanship to lean over the bow to attach an anchor rode to a low bow eye. Put a properly backed and through-bolted cleat near the aft end of that fore deck and proper chock up on each corner of the bow transom." ... The poor seamanship to lean over to attach an anchor rode to a low bow eye was my primary reason for my original post. But then I wondered if it was worth doing it while things were fairly calm and then it would be in place should waves develop while waiting for help. Your suggestion of a cleat near the aft end of the deck with chock up on each corner of the bow transom sounds good, as long as having the anchor rode attached to the deck instead of to a lower bow eye is acceptable, should waves develop while waiting.

    "The low position would help if you ever decide to tow the boat" ... That sounds like a reason to install the low bow eye. Or at least beef up the bow transom during the build in case I might want to install a low bow eye later.

    "Think about retrieval carefully." ... Good point. The anchor rode would have a carabiner to hook on to the bow eye. A proper knot could be made at the proper place in the rope depending on the depth and the carabiner attached there, then attach the carabiner to the low bow eye. In thinking of retrieval, I think oaring to get sufficient slack in the rode to detach the carabiner would work.

    "mounting a "U" bolt horizontally could allow it to bend down in anything more than a gentle breeze" ... I'm thinking that for proper anchoring the rode will need to be a minimum of 5x the water depth. That would put the rode at a shallow angle for minimal up/down forces. But should the boat move to a more broadside angle, then the horizontal bow eye would be stronger. Don't know if my logic is wrong. I will only use a "nylon" rope to have more stretching cushioning of wave action on the boat.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Attaching that carabiner to the bow eye while lying on the foredeck will not be easy or safe in anything but a calm. I would not count on my ability to accomplish the task. How about installing both options? The bow eye will be useful no matter what as will an onboard, easily reached, mooring cleat.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    This is a lot like the set of problems the kayak fishing people deal with.

    https://www.kayakfishing.blog/blog/a...-fishing-kayak
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Attaching that carabiner to the bow eye while lying on the foredeck will not be easy or safe in anything but a calm. I would not count on my ability to accomplish the task. How about installing both options? The bow eye will be useful no matter what as will an onboard, easily reached, mooring cleat.
    In thinking about leaning over the bow to attach the carabiner to the low bow eye when I went to bed last night, I thought of an idea. I'll make an 8 foot length of rope with carabiners on both ends. (Call this the carabiner rope.) One end will be attached to the low bow eye before launching. (call this the boat carabiner) The other end will be stored in the boat on homemade wood cleats and hooked to an eye bolt. (call this the anchor carabiner)

    In use, I will lower the anchor and lay out the proper length of anchor rode for the depth of the water. Then I'll make a proper knot in the rope (any suggestions for a good knot to use?) and hook it to the anchor carabiner "while safely in the boat". Next let out the anchor rope until the carabiner rope is taunt. Then allowing for some slack, attach the anchor rope to a cleat on the aft portion of the bow deck, using a guide on the bow end of the deck. ..... To retrieve, I'll pull the anchor rope until the anchor carabiner is in the boat and then unhook the anchor rope from the carabiner.

    Maybe the carabiner rope can be a bungee cord to help absorb wave action, if there's approved bungee cords for anchor use. If so, then the slack in the anchor rope will need to be long enough for the bungee cord to stretch to max length. EDIT: Checking amazon, I see there are many different bungee cords for anchor/docking. There's a 10 foot one that might be a good length for my use. Costs $47.

    Instead of using a knot in the anchor rope to hook on to the anchor carabiner, maybe using a Danik hook might work, though I think it might be a hassle to slide it on the anchor rope depending on the depth of the water.

    The length of the carabiner rope will be limited to 8 or 10 feet in length to insure that it cannot be tangled in the prop should it inadvertently fall overboard.

    I think this plan will negate the concern about poor seamanship in leaning over the bow to attach the anchor rope to the low bow eye, while being able to use a low bow eye.

    Any cons?
    Last edited by DayTripper; 05-26-2021 at 03:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    This is a lot like the set of problems the kayak fishing people deal with.

    https://www.kayakfishing.blog/blog/a...-fishing-kayak
    I'll check the link out for ideas. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    I would put one of these on the deck, with a cleat behind it to make off the anchor line. Isn't anchoring on and off common when fishing? Or do you always troll or drift? (I don't know what the deal is with the chain zipped to that eye. This is a random internet pic.)

    -Dave

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I would put one of these on the deck, with a cleat behind it to make off the anchor line. Isn't anchoring on and off common when fishing? Or do you always troll or drift? (I don't know what the deal is with the chain zipped to that eye. This is a random internet pic.)
    .... snip ....
    Usually troll or drift to cover more ground just off shore. Haven't done it for many, many years so don't know of any good spot to anchor and fish. Will anchor if we decide to have lunch on the boat instead of on shore, or if we do find a fairly good spot for fishing. Will normally use a deck cleat instead of the low bow eye.

    Thanks for the picture and suggestion.
    Last edited by DayTripper; 05-27-2021 at 05:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    I've decided to go ahead and install a low bow eye to be used with a 10 foot bungee cord with carabiners on both ends. The last question is whether a stainless steel U clamp used as the bow eye should be installed horizontally or vertically? Opinions and reasoning would be helpful for my final decision. Already received one opinion that it's better to install it vertically.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Always vertical. Far less likely to bend under load.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    One of the design features I gleaned from Renn Tolman - Alaskan Skiffs, was to eliminate through bolted hardware as much as possible and use reinforced holes instead. I think this method combined with soft shackles and soft pad eyes would work for a boat that’s frequently loaded on and off a car.
    Last edited by cyclone; 05-27-2021 at 06:57 AM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    One possibility: Alpine Butterfly Loop. https://www.animatedknots.com/alpine...rfly-loop-knot

    I'd certainly test this before relying on it. Test also how easy it is to untie. I've used it for lowish load situations.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone View Post
    One of the design features I gleaned from Renn Tolman - Alaskan Skiffs, was to eliminate through bolted hardware as much as possible and use reinforced holes instead. I think this method combined with soft shackles and soft pad eyes would work for a boat that’s frequently loaded on and off a car.
    I googled "Renn Tolman - Alaskan Skiffs" but did not find info on what reinforced holes are. Any links?

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    One possibility: Alpine Butterfly Loop. https://www.animatedknots.com/alpine...rfly-loop-knot

    I'd certainly test this before relying on it. Test also how easy it is to untie. I've used it for lowish load situations.

    Jeff
    Looks like the perfect knot for my intended anchor rope plan!

    Thank you so much for helping out,
    DayTripper

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Tolman’s methods are described in his book “A Skiff for all Seasons”. For example he uses solid gunwales and places large vertical holes inboard for tie off points instead of adding cleats. For the bow he makes a “U” around the stem with copper elbows which are glassed in on the inside aNd trimmed flush on the outside. For your boat a knotted loop of dyneema brought out through a hole in the fore deck or the bow would likely be as strong as a cleat.
    Last edited by cyclone; 05-27-2021 at 08:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone View Post
    Tolman’s methods are described in his book “A Skiff for all Seasons”. For example he uses solid gunwales and places large vertical holes inboard for tie off points instead of adding cleats. For the bow he makes a “U” around the stem with copper elbows which are glassed in on the inside aNd trimmed flush on the outside. For your boat a knotted loop of dyneema brought out through a hole in the fore deck or the bow would likely be as strong as a cleat.
    Understand now. Thanks for the contribution.
    DayTripper

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by DayTripper View Post
    In thinking about leaning over the bow to attach the carabiner to the low bow eye when I went to bed last night, I thought of an idea. I'll make an 8 foot length of rope with carabiners on both ends. (Call this the carabiner rope.) One end will be attached to the low bow eye before launching. (call this the boat carabiner) The other end will be stored in the boat on homemade wood cleats and hooked to an eye bolt. (call this the anchor carabiner)

    In use, I will lower the anchor and lay out the proper length of anchor rode for the depth of the water. Then I'll make a proper knot in the rope (any suggestions for a good knot to use?) and hook it to the anchor carabiner "while safely in the boat". Next let out the anchor rope until the carabiner rope is taunt. Then allowing for some slack, attach the anchor rope to a cleat on the aft portion of the bow deck, using a guide on the bow end of the deck. ..... To retrieve, I'll pull the anchor rope until the anchor carabiner is in the boat and then unhook the anchor rope from the carabiner.

    Maybe the carabiner rope can be a bungee cord to help absorb wave action, if there's approved bungee cords for anchor use. If so, then the slack in the anchor rope will need to be long enough for the bungee cord to stretch to max length. EDIT: Checking amazon, I see there are many different bungee cords for anchor/docking. There's a 10 foot one that might be a good length for my use. Costs $47.

    Instead of using a knot in the anchor rope to hook on to the anchor carabiner, maybe using a Danik hook might work, though I think it might be a hassle to slide it on the anchor rope depending on the depth of the water.

    The length of the carabiner rope will be limited to 8 or 10 feet in length to insure that it cannot be tangled in the prop should it inadvertently fall overboard.

    I think this plan will negate the concern about poor seamanship in leaning over the bow to attach the anchor rope to the low bow eye, while being able to use a low bow eye.

    Any cons?
    Here's a simpler and faster way to do that.

    Get one of those mooring lines with an eye already spliced into one end.

    Attach the other end to the bow eye and store the eye in the cockpit.

    Drop the anchor and enough rode, which should be a size smaller than the bow line, over the side. Double the rode and pass it thru the eye, then around and back under itself. Leave a pretty long tail on each piece of line and work it down snugly. This is called a "sheet bend".

    Once the anchor has set cleat the rode with a bit of slack at the cockpit. Make sure the inboard end of the rode is tied off to something solid in case you drop it.

    Sheet bend. Your rode would be the green line, except doubled. The red line would be the bowline and the loop at the end would be an eye splice.



    You can tie it incorrectly, read this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_bend

    You can add a mooring line snubber to the bow line for shock absorption. There are several types.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=moor...Um56OfxdYVa0XM

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    Default Re: Do I need a bow eye for an anchor rope?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Here's a simpler and faster way to do that.

    Get one of those mooring lines with an eye already spliced into one end.

    Attach the other end to the bow eye and store the eye in the cockpit.

    Drop the anchor and enough rode, which should be a size smaller than the bow line, over the side. Double the rode and pass it thru the eye, then around and back under itself. Leave a pretty long tail on each piece of line and work it down snugly. This is called a "sheet bend".

    Once the anchor has set cleat the rode with a bit of slack at the cockpit. Make sure the inboard end of the rode is tied off to something solid in case you drop it.

    Sheet bend. Your rode would be the green line, except doubled. The red line would be the bowline and the loop at the end would be an eye splice.



    You can tie it incorrectly, read this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_bend

    You can add a mooring line snubber to the bow line for shock absorption. There are several types.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=moor...Um56OfxdYVa0XM
    Thanks for the alternative way to do it. Having choices of ideas can lead to better ways to do things. So far I kinda like the bungee cord method so it can absorb the wave action.

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