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"To understand how springing the rode works, it will be helpful to visualize the conditions that call for it. Suppose you're anchored in a harbor where the wind is blowing from the east. Lying to her anchor, your boat will point east into the wind. Now, suppose there's a surge rolling into the harbor from the north. It could be a ground swell generated by some distant storm, or just a remnant of seas outside the harbor bending around the headland. Whatever the source, waves from the north will strike your boat on the port beam and she'll rock-n-roll. But if the vessel were turned 90 to port, pointed into the waves rather than into the wind, the effect would be a much reduced, fore-and-aft motion, i.e., pitching instead of rolling."

 (Submitted by Noel Sat Jul 3, 2004 )
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