A rope-to-chain splice is a very common way to make sure your anchor is holding strong and knowing how to do one will help you maintain your boat properly. As you drop or retrieve the anchor, this provides for a seamless transition from rope to chain to wind through the gypsy of a windlass. The rope-to-chain splice can be easily done by using a three-strand rope. 

Durability Of Rope To Chain Splice

A splice between a rope and a chain may be susceptible to high tension and chafing which is why the rope should be inspected on a regular basis if it is used often. When you inspect the rope, any worn splices (typically a few inches up the rope) should be cut off and rebuilt. 


Splicing using a 3-strand line is one of the easiest splices to learn, so it’s a great place to start if you’re a rookie. It’s critical to ensure that your technique is somewhat good in order to maintain the splice’s strength. If the strands are knotted or placed incorrectly, the rope will lose strength so make sure all of your threads are smooth and tight as you go and that the folds lay nicely. Gather all of the items you’ll need, such as scissors, a sharpie marker, a lighter, the rope, the chain, and some blue tape, just in case. Here are the following steps you need to know to form a rope-to-chain splice.

Step 1

Wrap a strip of half-inch wide masking or electrical tape firmly around the rope, starting 10-12 inches in length if you are using a half-inch line. It should be near the bitter end and you should work your way back from there.

Step 2

Fold the three strands in half and unfurl them until they are all the way back to the whip. To ensure that the finer filaments do not unravel, place a piece of tape on the end of each thread to prevent it from unraveling. The end of the tape should be twisted into a cone shape in order to guarantee that the weaving process runs more smoothly from start to finish.

Step 3

The loop is completed by weaving the third thread through the top link of the anchor chain in an opposite direction to the previous two threads. Slide two of the threads through the top link of the anchor chain one way. Keep the top 12 to 18 inches of the chain at a comfortable working height by adjusting the height of the chain as needed. If you fail to do this, it will become too difficult to hold up the majority of the heavy chain while making the splice.

Step 4

Using a needle and thread, weave the strands together, tucking each one between the strands that are creating the standing portion of the line. In between each pair of tucks, the threads should come out of the standing line in the same direction they were tucked in. A marlinspike can be used because it is a helpful instrument for dividing the strands of the standing line into parts that are broad enough to accommodate the fish.

Step 5

Pull everything as tight as possible after completing 5 to 6 weave cycles. Once everything is tightened together, trim the 3 strands within a half-inch of the body of the splice using scissors. Make use of the lighter you prepared earlier to melt the end of each strand. This will enable it to fuze with the body of the splice and prevent premature unraveling.

How to Properly Maintain The Rope to Chain Splice

This splice is intended to prevent chafing between the rope and chain, however when you’re at anchor it’s absorbing a significant amount of stress and it’s susceptible to chafing anyway, particularly in severe weather conditions. Because the quality of this splice is so important to the safety of your boat at anchor, we strongly advise you to inspect it on a frequent basis to ensure it’s in excellent working order, and to replace it if there’s any sign of chafing, wear, or unraveling. 

Make sure you check your rope-to-chain connection often to see if it’s still tight and holds on so your boat doesn’t float out on it’s own. When you notice that it’s worn off, you can just replace them by creating a new rope-to-chain splice. It’s a fairly simple task to get the rope-to-chain splice done. The steps we provided above are straightforward and very easy to follow so you won’t have any trouble making sure your anchor is properly tied up and your boat is as secure as it can be when anchored.

Related: Boat Trailer Jack