The mighty bull rope

This tip is offered to all gaffers and boats fortunate enough to have a bowsprit. If you’re anchored with wind against tide, rig a block or bullseye to the bowsprit end and run a line through it with both ends led back on board. Bring one part in through the anchor fairlead or roller and secure it to the cable on deck. Now let a fathom or two more go so that the knot is under water. Heave on the other part and pull the bight of the chain up towards the bowsprit. As the boat surges forward under the windage of her rig, she will lie to this ‘bull rope’ instead of having the chain graunch all the way around the stem, mashing the topsides into the grisly bargain. Give the helm a gentle sheer (see above) and she’ll sit quieter too.