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Anchor Bridle     Anchor Trip Line    Sea Anchor   
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Anchor Trip Line

In everyday anchoring we rarely use a trip line, however there does come a time when we feel a trip line is a good idea.  In anchorages that are known to be foul or very rocky or full of debris a trip line can be a great asset. Some foreign ports near big cities may have been in use for hundreds of years and before any environmental consciousness developed it was common practice to toss old cars, refrigerators, industrial parts, etc into the harbor.  These are usually the harbors you are least interested in swimming in to retrieve a fouled anchor. 

In the past it was common practice to tie a line to the crown of the anchor and bouy the line with a small float.  If the anchor would not come up normally the trip line which was tied to the crown would usually pull the anchor out backwards releasing it from the bottom.  The problem is that this often results in a harbor full of small floats that are hazardous to navigation or worse are cut off by an errant high speed dinghy at night. 

We find a better method is to tie a long line to the crown but instead of putting it to a bouy simply run it back along the anchor chain and tie it off to the chain.   The line of course needs to be longer than the water is deep. If  the water is 20' deep you would have a 30' line.  Your scope may be 150' but when you pull it up until you only have 30' out you would come upon your retrieval line. Next keep bringing in the chain and line until taut.  If anchor does not come out normally just cleat the chain and begin pulling on the line until the fouled anchor comes to the surface. 


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Webmaster- Rob Dubin                             copyright 2003 Rob  Dubin               Page Last updated 10/27/2003