What should one do when their anchor is fouled (can’t be retrieved) and they need to “get out of dodge” quickly, perhaps due to bad weather? Well, the anchor line could be cut of course, but as both anchors and the attached rode are expensive, no one is going to be too happy with that solution.
What about cutting the rode and attaching it to a float for later retrieval? That sounds like a much better solution. But let’s assume that you are using all chain for your anchor rode, or a big, beefy anchor line. Neither of those two would be too easy to cut, especially if time is of the essence. An alternative I have read about is to have the bitter end of your anchor rode (line or chain) attached to the boat by a smaller sacrificial piece of line that could be more easily cut (the bitter end is attached to the boat, right?). I can’t see any reason to ever (intentionally) pay out every inch of our rode, so that piece of line shouldn’t have to be able to bear much force.
I recently read about what I think is an even more elegant solution though. On our boat we now have that short piece of line connected to a snap shackle which is then attached to the boat. Now, in the event that we need to disengage from our anchor, we can reach into the anchor locker, release the snap shackle and reattach that small line to a float which we have at the ready. The float only needs to suspend some line so I would “think” that it wouldn’t need to be huge (I have yet to test this though). Like our Epirb, this is hopefully one of those things that we don’t ever have to really use.