Let’s not do the twist!
While we’re off the boat, I thought I’d post about a minor boat issue and see if any of our bright readers have some solutions. We have noticed that both our anchor chain and our main sheet develop a twist in them over time. Let’s deal with the anchor chain/rode first.
Regardless of how many times we remove the anchor and undo the twist in our anchor chain, it returns in short order. People may assume that the chain develops a twist in it due to the boat swinging at anchor. This is not the case as it is very rare that we swing a full 360 degrees. They may also think that a swivel attached in between the anchor and the rode would solve the problem. Although I’ve never had one installed, this, I don’t believe to be true either. A friend of ours in Grenada, who experienced the same issue, hypothesized that because we are anchoring with a length of chain spliced onto 3-strand line, it is the twist built into the line which, when it is run through the windlass, causes the chain to rotate. Our experience with our main sheet almost leads me to believe that this is true.
You can see the twist that has developed in our main sheet.
Our main sheet, even though it runs through a block which can swivel, will also develop a twist in it. This is not simply a twist which can be removed by turning the block though. To fix the issue, we actually have to unfasten the end of the line from where it terminates on the boom and by hand, rotate it multiple times until it is straight as it was meant to be. This line, by the way, is braided Dyneema, not 3-strand as the anchor rode is. A different friend, Kirk, told me that he believes this twist is caused by the line being run around a winch. He based this on the fact that on his boat, he has two lines on his davits to raise his dinghy and only the one which is run around a winch develops a twist while the one which is trimmed by hand does not.
Thoughts? Solutions? Let’s have em!