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Old 10-08-2014, 15:03   #16
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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Once again, the snubber has nothing to do with protecting the windlass -- it's for shock absorption.
In that case I have never ( ok very rarely) used a snubber... but then I don't anchor where I get snatch loads on the chain or capstan.
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Old 10-08-2014, 15:38   #17
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

I've sometimes considered not bothering; benign precition, plenty of 3/8" chain out... But then I remember all the nights when forecast and reality veered (or backed) dramatically. So I always put on the dual snubbers. Dual helps limit sailing around on the anchor too.

As Jim says, it takes so little time to put them on (a couple of rolling hitches, let them go down the roller, cleat and your done), it's hard not to use them.
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Old 10-08-2014, 15:58   #18
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

I use one. All the time overnight, sometimes not if stopping for lunch.

A good nylon snubber can easily be as strong or stronger than the chain, still with elasticity. Also, if sleeping fwd, it reduces the noise of the chain dragging over the bottom during normal movement.
IMO, many snubbers are to short. 2m is not enough....
If you sail in the higher lats, and some other areas, the weather is not predictable enought to go to sleep without a snubber, IMO. Of course you are all free to do as you choose
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Old 10-08-2014, 16:29   #19
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

I was in San Pedro Belize one time and the frontal systems just kept rolling through. Heavy chain, good scope but man did it jolt that boat until I suggested to the owner we use a snubber, which was hanging in the stern locker. Took all the pain out of riding at anchor. I suppose if you have an in with the weather gods you could do without, but it could damage your boat.
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Old 10-08-2014, 17:11   #20
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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Someone on here - I think it was Andrew Troup - questioned whether we even need snubbers at all, if we have a heavy chain. I have been cruising continuously since the end of April, and I decided to try leaving off the snubber. I have 100 meters of 12mm chain.

I would never leave off the snubber if I ever thought that the wind would get up enough to take all the catenary out of my chain, but in the benign Baltic, this was not a problem (not a single gale in 3 months here). Guess what - it was fine! Never missed the snubber. Made no difference at all. The reduction of effort was welcome, too.
Yes, I'm with Dockhead here.

Snubbers are essential at times, non-essential at times and good insurance at other times. It isn't a case of one size fits all. A prudent skipper should be able to predicate the various instances of when and where to deploy a snubber. Also the size and length of same.

I used to have three snubbers ready to go - 2 ten metre "working snubbers" and a 2 metre "semi-snubber". The short one was really just a quick way of taking the load off the winch and transferring it to the samson post for short overnight stops in begin weather. It didn't perform a true snubber function. It wasn't used for daytime or lunch stop in similar begin weather. A "working snubber" was always used in significant weather, in exposed anchorages and so on. The other "working snubber" was a ready to go should the first fail. Like a cold standby radio .

However in my new (to me) untried cruising grounds with new (to me) weather systems and as yet unknown holding, the snubber will always be deployed until these is good reason not to!
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Old 10-08-2014, 19:23   #21
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

I think a snubber may add to some additional and peaceful sleep on anchor in the Carib.
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Old 11-08-2014, 00:15   #22
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

Dockhead - you'll be seeing some winds this week. Copenhagen (and southern sweden) weather says gusts up to 30 knots (it will be more at sea).

I always use a snubber, even if there is no wind and none forecast. We find if we don't have a snubber, the chain across the roller is very noisy at even the slightest movement. Witht he snubber on - most of the movement is taken up in the snubber slack and we can have peace and quiet while sleeping.

Our snubber is easily rigged, we use a soft shackle and bridle. takes maybe 30 seconds.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:29   #23
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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. . .
A good nylon snubber can easily be as strong or stronger than the chain, still with elasticity. . . .
The breaking load of 12mm G40 chain is 8.5 metric tons. To get close to that strength in nylon three-strand, you would have to go with a 20mm snubber (nearly 7/8"), except that wet nylon loses around 20% of its strength, so you'd better make that 24mm (nearly 1"). To get any appreciable stretch in a 24mm nylon snubber, it would have to be longer than any possible scope.

If we did a poll on people's snubbers, I am pretty sure that we would find that 0.0% of cruisers on here have snubbers as strong as their chains.

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IMO, many snubbers are to short. 2m is not enough....
Absolutely right. The only thing a 2m snubber is any good for is to stop chain rumble.


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If you sail in the higher lats, and some other areas, the weather is not predictable enought to go to sleep without a snubber, IMO. Of course you are all free to do as you choose
I agree. Actually, I think everyone should use a snubber probably all the time, which is something I have argued (this whole thread started because I had an argument with someone, I think Andrew Troup, about this -- someone argued that you can do without it, and I decided to test the hypothesis). Interestingly, the Rocna Knowledge Base (which I consider one of the best resources on anchoring even if the author is somewhat disgraced) does imply that only small boats need snubbers all the time. Snubbers (Rocna Knowledge Base) But as I said, I will go back to putting mine on religiously as soon as I'm back in the Atlantic.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:40   #24
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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Dockhead - you'll be seeing some winds this week. Copenhagen (and southern sweden) weather says gusts up to 30 knots (it will be more at sea).
Wow, a whole 30 knots! Will make me feel a bit more at home

Actually, joking aside, I sailed once before in such conditions here (crossing from Vastervik to Visby on Gotland, uphill, in May), and they were tougher than the wind strength implies, because of the very steep nature of the seas. Very hard to make any miles upwind in such conditions. I am in Kalmar trying to get Southwest around the "Little Biscay" of Sweden, and the weather forecast just sucks -- F6 from Southwest. The weather gods are not smiling on me today.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:51   #25
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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Wow, a whole 30 knots! Will make me feel a bit more at home

Actually, joking aside, I sailed once before in such conditions here (crossing from Vastervik to Visby on Gotland, uphill, in May), and they were tougher than the wind strength implies, because of the very steep nature of the seas. Very hard to make any miles upwind in such conditions. I am in Kalmar trying to get Southwest around the "Little Biscay" of Sweden, and the weather forecast just sucks -- F6 from Southwest. The weather gods are not smiling on me today.
Yeah - that's going to be a tough ride. We did the Visby to Vastervik run in early July, although it was downhill with 25-30 knots and sprinkling with a little rain - what a crappy trip. Wind was directly in our butt and we had to gybe all the way. Those same short waves can really make the boat jump around.

If it is any consolation to you - We spent 2 1/2 days Copenhagen-Visby in just those conditions - the last 18 hours with double reefed genua and double reefed main.

You should get some relief from the waves as you get closer to Simrishamn, although you'll take a full hit when you turn the corner and head for Ystad.

The burgers are good at the restaurant on the pier next to the harbour office. There is a fishmonger right behind the harbor office. If you've got some time, there is a marine supplies store on the other side of the harbour that is worth a visit simply because he has so much unusual "****" that you simply can't believe it. If you ever wanted it - he's got it.

The winds will be from the southwest the next couple of days. No real rain forecast until the weekend
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:53   #26
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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Absolutely right. The only thing a 2m snubber is any good for is to stop chain rumble.
and taking the load orf the capstan/windlass....
As I said before one of the few times I have deployed my full 7 or 8 metres of 14mm nylon snubber ( with 8mm chain) in the Falklands in a fresh westerly it seemed to work and didn't bust.... my LVM wind gen was putting in a steady 20 amps at the time and was working OK but my Tasmanian 7 metre aluminium whip ant mounted on the taffrail snapped at top rail level ( about 2 foot from its base) but the snubber seemed to work OK and is still in use......

If you are that stressed about shock loading etc why not just use a bit of heavy chain and lots of nylon?

Did that at Walkerville, Vic about 15 years ago... NW offshore gale ... Swarbrick and about 20 metres heavy ( for me... about 12mm) chain and a bucket load of nylon.
She would hang back until everything was bar taut... then the little bit of SE swell working into the anchorage would lift her and off she would go... think bow and arrow... fun for a little while but after 3 days not so much so....
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:59   #27
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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and taking the load orf the capstan/windlass....
As I said before one of the few times I have deployed my full 7 or 8 metres of 14mm nylon snubber ( with 8mm chain) in the Falklands in a fresh westerly it seemed to work and didn't bust.... my LVM wind gen was putting in a steady 20 amps at the time and was working OK but my Tasmanian 7 metre aluminium whip ant mounted on the taffrail snapped at top rail level ( about 2 foot from its base) but the snubber seemed to work OK and is still in use......
My rule doesn't actually apply to a largish snubber like that used with very small chain like that. The safe working loads and breaking strength are about the same. So you may ignore everything I've written, for your particular case!


I do still, however, advocate not mixing up these functions. You should have some way of making off the chain! Are you going to deploy and retrieve your snubber every time you back down on your anchor? Are you happy to have no backup in case your snubber chafes through? Why wouldn't you want to have some kind of chain stopper? Even a strop will do, if you don't feel like drilling into your deck.
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Old 11-08-2014, 04:57   #28
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

we have bumpy anchorages on west coast. i used snubber and was ok,, i didnt use snubber and i hurt my sprit... i will use a snubber now as i watched the action of the chain as it was bullwhipping as we faced swells we were not protected from. i will not screw up my sprit again.. took a lot of work to untwist it from the whipping of my chain (the sprit, not the chain was twisted). i use a bridle on mine.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:25   #29
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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Absolutely right. The only thing a 2m snubber is any good for is to stop chain rumble.
I am not so sure, I've broken chain twice, both times without a snubber (It was before the days when they where common) there is no doubt in my mind that a 2 meter snubber would have saved the chain in those two instances. In both cases the danforth anchor held fine. It was pretty crappy long link 12mm chain but the shudder through the whole boat was extreme. Even 300 mm of stretch would have made a huge difference.

Too long a snubber has it's own issues, It should be shorter than the distance from bow to propeller, and bow to bottom in most cases.

I use snubbers where appropriate, not all the time. I use a short strong snubber a lot, and long stretchy ones occasionally. But I am quite happy on a settled night in a sheltered spot with good holding to not use one at all (no windlass to worry about). If it's going to blow or I am going ashore for a while I go all out with decent snubbers.

High lats are probably more predictable than low lats weather wise. Not the same chance of thunderstorms and squalls.

I saw an interesting snubber system bring used for moorings. It has a big shock absorber system using seawater as the fluid. Something like this would be ideal, because unlike a long snubber it doesn't catapult you back to windward.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:35   #30
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Re: Snubbers - Or the Lack of Them

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In that case I have never ( ok very rarely) used a snubber... but then I don't anchor where I get snatch loads on the chain or capstan.
What? You mean only in gentle places like the beagle channel, falklands etc... Interested in your 8mm chain, what grade and type? Obviously it's very well tested and suitable for your 39 footer. Got to get some chain for my new 40 footer, so thats why I ask. Cheers

By the way are you headed back to Aussie from Unzed?
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