How to Attach an Anchor Shackle

Written by chris stevenson
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How to Attach an Anchor Shackle
Attaching a shackle to an anchor requires only a few hand tools. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Most watercraft, ranging from small sport models up to trawlers, yachts and seagoing vessels have some form of anchoring device to hold their boat stationary in the water. The anchor "rode" consists of the total length of anchor line, plus any chain attached to it that connects to the anchor block. Anchor shackles consist of stainless steel or galvanised U-shaped connectors that have securing pins. Shackles connect the anchor line eye splice to the rode chain, and provide an easy assembly and disassembly for changing out anchors or removing the anchor for inspection or repair.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Anchor shackle
  • Lock-Tite adhesive
  • Pliers
  • Channel locks
  • Galvanised wire
  • Wire cutters

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  1. 1

    Choose an anchor shackle made of galvanised or stainless steel in a U-shape design. These shackles resist rust and corrosion, particularly in salt water. Measure the size of the chain link on your chain rode. Obtain an anchor shackle that measures one size larger than the chain link on your rode.

  2. 2

    Find the eye splice on your anchor line. It looks like a looped eye connection with a metal guide inside it. Find the last link in your anchor chain and bring it together with the eye splice. Unscrew the anchor shackle pin bolt with your hands, or use a pair of pliers to twist the top of the pin bolt flange while you hold the anchor chain link steady with channel locks. Dab some Lock-tite adhesive on the end of the pin bolt threads.

  3. 3

    Place the two open ends of the shackle over the chain link opening. Thread the pin bolt through one shackle hole and into the second shackle hole. The pin goes through the opening in the anchor chain link. Hold the chain link with channel locks and screw the pin bolt into the shackle with pliers. Notice the hole in the top of the pin bolt flange.

  4. 4

    Cut a small length of galvanised wire (approximately 4 inches) with wire cutters. Thread the wire through the pin bolt flange hole, and then wrap the wire around one of the shackle shafts. Use needle nose pliers to twist the wire tight around the shackle rod with a simple braid. Pull it tight with the pliers. Cut off any excess with wire cutters then tuck the twist against the shackle.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase or use a "swivel" anchor shackle, if you wish. This feature allows the anchor block to turn or swivel on the shackle joint, which offers some turning flexibility.

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