Anchor rope hangs up

Discussion in 'Modifications/Customizations' started by BSenzina, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. BSenzina

    BSenzina New Member

    May 30, 2006
    West Palm Beach
    When i am using my windlass to retrieve the anchor, frequently the rope will hang up on its way into the locker. Soemone then has to go below to pull it into the locker....Could it be the rope is just old and getting a little too stiff ? :smt038 It doesnt seem to be overly stiff but this is my first experience with a windlass. It sure makes retrival a major league PITA ! ! :smt021
  2. PMvdb395DA

    PMvdb395DA New Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Netherlands Europe
    360DA '03 6,5 kw kohler generator, AC, etc.
    Yanmar 315Hp diesels
    Hello Bob,

    I had the same problem on my 330DA '90.
    What I did is that I installed a 4 inch guide pipe that guided the chain/rope to the bottom of the locker.

  3. MarkD

    MarkD Member

    Oct 5, 2006
    Hudson River
    1990 35' Sundancer
    twin 454 inboards

    When you say hang up, do you mean it is binding or kinking on the inside of the locker and cant be forced down any further? Or do you mean on the outside of the windlass, before going in to the unit. I assume you have an older Good rope only unit...correct?

    In the past I have had issues paying *out* anchor line, not retrieving it. It has kinked inside the locker. Regardless, you could try unhooking the anchor/chain etc from the line. Then pay/let out all the line into the water and let it relax ( I used my dink to unwind the whole line into a calm stretch of waterway 300' total, so the rope is fully out). Then, you can retrieve the line using the windlass allowing it to naturally spin around as it wants...
    When you're done, just reattach ground tackle and you should be good to go...

    Incidentally, I had my windlass serviced because it wasnt bringing in the line too well (slipping alot when retrieving). This was a good time (pun intended) to replace my line. So I popped for the new 300' of 3 strand. Works every time now btw.

    Hope this helps!
  4. BSenzina

    BSenzina New Member

    May 30, 2006
    West Palm Beach
    After reading the 2 replies, I looked at the opening the rope goes thru and i see where the hole is has no pipe, no collar or anything like that.....So i guess i will try the pipe 1st and if that doesnt work i will jut replace the rope.....Thanks for the suggestionsmy friends ! !
  5. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Wait......let's try something free and easy first.

    Your problem could easily be a kinked line as someone earlier suggested. The problem with taking up a kinked line is that the windlass is good at pulling in a line but not worth a damn at pushing it. If your line has been kinked, it will tend to make a higher pile of line as it feeds into the rope locker. Kinking is very normal and happens as the line coils itself below the deck. For a windlass to work, there has to be some free space below the hole in the deck for the line to drop and create a little pull on the end in the boat. If the drop isn't there, the windlass tries to push the line and when it can't, the windlass will throw a little slack in the part of the line going around the spool and it will slip, skip and chatter.

    Follow the suggestion above for removing the anchor and paying out the line except for one out all the line, then reverse the boat and back the line through the water for a couple of hundred yards....or until the line stops rotating and just drags along with you. The twist in the line will cause it to "unscrew" the kinks. Then take up the line and re-attach the anchor and re-safety wire it.

    All this takes is about 15 minutes and it is a lot easier than re-engineering the deck mount for the windlass....which may not fix the problem anyway if your line is kinked and is piling up under the deck.
  6. BSenzina

    BSenzina New Member

    May 30, 2006
    West Palm Beach
    I am alll for easy and especially inexpensive, but how do i take the chain of the rope??? Mine is spliced into the line so it goes thru the windlass. The only way to get it off is to cut it off. I and a novice to this windlass thing. :smt021 I sincerely appreciate the help form all.
  7. MLauman

    MLauman Active Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    Madison, MS
    1997 270 Sundancer
    7.4 Bravo II
    You don't have to remove the chain - just the anchor.

    However, it might be a good time to give your splice a good visual inspection and if it shows any signs of wear or fray then go ahead and redo it. Some people like to swap ends of the rope at this point to expose the 'newer' end to the water.

    The splice is easier to do than it might appear if you wanna take a crack at it.
    Tate Asbridge likes this.
  8. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    It sounds like you have a factory line kit. It is possible to cut the line off and re-splice it back to the chain, but unless you are practiced at splicing the line may not pass thru the windlass, so I wouldn't do it.

    You can try to just remove the anchor and do the backing up thing, but you'll have to back fast enough to lift the chain off the bottom. If that won't work, I would leave the anchor in place in the pulpit secured with a line and the safety cable then let all the line out on the deck. Untie the line from the eye in the rope locker and let the "boat" end of the line out and do the backing up thing. When you are done, just run the line in the windlass as you are taking up the anchor, re-tie the end to the eye and take up the line while you occasionally push the accumulation to the rear of the locker.
  9. BSenzina

    BSenzina New Member

    May 30, 2006
    West Palm Beach
    Alrighty then.....looks like i have some things to try... :smt100 .Sounds like good tips and I want to sincerely say Thank You to those who replied. :grin: Our teamwork is what makes this a GREAT site. :smt038
  10. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
  11. Whitenights

    Whitenights New Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Lake Cumberland, Ky
    1990 350DA Sundancer SOLD
    330hp V-drives
    I have the same problem, even after having the windlass rebuilt and new line. I think much of the problem in my boat is the fact the anchor locker is not deep enough to let the rope 'spread' out more, instead of just piling up on itself.

    Anyways, playing the line out without the anchor works for a while, but I am planning on adding a swivel to end of the line to see if that helps a bit in letting it unwind when coming in.

    Another thing I tried that also works, is to soften the anchor line with fabric softner, plus it makes it smell nice :grin: :grin:

    I just pulled it all out, put it in a tub of luke warm water with softner, and let it sit over night. The really helps it lay better in the locker.

  12. Asureyez

    Asureyez New Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.
    Sea Ray 460 Sundancer Hardtop 2001 - SOLD
    Cummins 450 Diesels
    Unruely Rode

    Been there.

    Frank is on the right track and work it his way unless you can't for reasons like botton snags in shallow water, etc.. But you have to unkink that rode and then when you winch it in, have a crewman flake the first 100' feet awthartship in the locker and pack it down to make room for the last section of rode and chain to pile and self stack. Most of the time the last 40-60% of anchor rode never sees waterso its best to just get it neatly out of the way in the wide bottom of the locker.

    One a personal note, I've always carried a lot of chain vs. rope and when I bought my SR used it had 200" of 5/8 twist with a back splice onto 50' of 3/8 chain. The splice and the first 70 feet or so was quick to start to chafe and shred from the gypsy. After a few anchorings the rode was near useless in the winch for the very reason you're experiencing, plus the shredding had seriously reduced the strength of the rode. The bad news is that twist doesn't splice well one used and stiff and I was having to consider scrapping the entire rode, for this use at least.

    After a cost benefit analysis, I threw in the towel on the rope and went to an all chain rode. I shopped on line and got 300' Hi Tensil galv. chain 3/8" (incredible stength) for less than the cost of a new 5/8" - 250 foot nylon rode!

    I have a 3/4" 20' nylon chain snubber to take the shock load in high winds and buddy I sleep a lot easier on chain and it don't kink, rot, or talk back to the windlass.


    Funny story about chain rode:

    I was off the coast of Mexico at a island called Los lobos, to do some secluded diving. The anchorage is well protected from swell from N thru SE but exposed to any wind and lies in 30-50 feet of crystal clear water with a sand bottom that runs up to a sheer wall reef that is plateued and awash at low tide. This wall is within 100 yards of the beach.

    It was just sunset when we arrived and I dropped the hook at 30' depth and I'd instructed my mate to let out 100' feet of chain and we'd dive on it. That gave me a good swing room as I was in the anchorage alone. I backed down on the anchor and the boat pulled up short with a tug and I knew I was hooked and hooked good. We broke out the grog and swam ashore in the waneing daylight to visit with the lighthouse keeper and his wife, trade Tequlia for Lobsters and his wife would cooked them on the beach for us on an open fire. When we'd lost the evening to grog and storoes our mexican host rowed us back to my boat in his dingy that night.

    The next morning I dove on the anchor to check it out as the wind was freshing and I saw it laying on its side ... not so much as a grain of sand disturbed by a fluke ... and there was 100' feet of 3/8" chain in a neat pile on the sand below and the rest runnning back to the bow. The weight of chain and its friction was keeping the 42" ft - 32,000 # boat right in the very spot I'd killed the engine after setting the anchor. Boats are just like wimmen, just when you think you gottem figgered out they give you a reason to rethink life and your place in it!

    As I was going to be staying in Lobos for another day in worsening weather reset the anchor with a crew watching in the water. We got the anchor buried along with 10-15 feet of chain on the first try. That night we were joined in the anchorage by a Mexican Man of War seeking to get out of the high winds for the evening. We called the Lighthouse keeper to invite he and the wife and the Captain to our deck for grog which all accepted and we had a party in a blowing stink and my hook never let as much a shudder go, and we had the Cap'ts 25' launch trailing off our stern to boot.

    Our Mexican Captain friend was screaming at his crew on the radio several times that night as they anchored some distance off still in the lee of the island but in 90'ft and kept breaking free ...

    He kept asking me what was holding me in position ... I kept telling him a big pile of chain, but it was an inside joke and lost on him! :thumbsup:
  13. RonF

    RonF New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    N. Palm Beach, FL
    310 Sundancer 1999
    Mercruiser Mag 350 MPI, V-drives

    Would you tell us more about the 4" pipe, and how you attached it?
  14. PMvdb395DA

    PMvdb395DA New Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Netherlands Europe
    360DA '03 6,5 kw kohler generator, AC, etc.
    Yanmar 315Hp diesels
    Sorry for my drawing quality... :smt101

    I attached a pipe under the hole where the rope went in.

    Sorry I don't have the 330 anymore, otherwise I had made a photo for you.


    Attached Files:

  15. RonF

    RonF New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    N. Palm Beach, FL
    310 Sundancer 1999
    Mercruiser Mag 350 MPI, V-drives

    Thank you for the artistic rendering. I think I can take it from here. One thing I might do first is to smooth out (chamfer?) the hole on the underside of the deck, using a grinding tool. Right now the splice gets hung up when making the turn down into the locker.
  16. Cap10Pat

    Cap10Pat New Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    Let's confirm first, When someone goes below to fix things in the rope locker, do they find the rope piled up to the windlasss? Have you confirmed that this is the problem that needs fixing?

    Some rope lockers are just plain too small. The rope should have about two feet to fall from the windlass. You can't do much about the size of your rope locker.

    You might just have too much rope! Do you really need 300 ft of anchor rope for your boating? Sometimes you can just get some of that rope out of there and everything will work just fine.

    Make sure your anchor rope is the proper type. You say it is not hard and aging. Good. Is it the twisted 3-strand type of rope? Make sure it's not the braided kind like they use on sailboats.

    You can usually get almost all of your anchor line out while at the dock. You'll be able to check it for any imperfections that could be snagging things, and untwist it if necessary. You will see a twisted line trying to kink when you lay it on the dock or on the deck.

    This is a good time to put some markers on your line so you know how much you have out. I prefer some paint or magic-marker on the line.
  17. timinfla2

    timinfla2 New Member

    Sep 22, 2008
    FYI, I just had this issue on my new 330 - it turns out there were some metal burrs on the sides of the entry into the Anchor Locker after the windlass. The rope would snag on the burrs on the way down and foul.

    Some quick work with a file seems to have fixed that - but the chafing on the existing line from the burrs is cause enough to get my line replaced under warranty.

  18. Hampton

    Hampton Air Defense Dept TECHNICAL Contributor

    Nov 26, 2006
    Panama City, Fl
    2008 44 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSC-500's
    Straight Drives
    That's really interesting. It seems to have worked out well. Another trick I have heard is to keep the line washed with soapy water so it remains pliable.
  19. Blkbird

    Blkbird Active Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1997 Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
    Twin 3126 CATS
    Old thread but useful information. I find I have to open the access hatch and manually keep pulling on the anchor line to keep it from piling up and then jumping the windlass. I'm definitely going to follow the suggestion of swapping the rope end-for-end and then backing the boat to un-kink the line.
  20. dwna1a

    dwna1a Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    Did this get resolved?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016

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