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Old 29-03-2008, 08:39   #1
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What about the snubber?

Hi all,
I have been using a Bruce for 8 years and have been reading a lot lately.
Untill the next gen anchors came out (spade rocna manson etc) the bruce was the best setting and most stable anchor out there. The new anchors seem to combine the best features of the bruce with several times the holding power. I am ready to make a change to the spade or rocna.
How did we get by with the limited holding of the bruce?
My rode is all ht chain and as we all know chain works great untill it straightens out. The commonly available snubbers are just pretty poor.
I tryed nylon line. The rubber ones that you wrap the line around look like they wouldnt last one storm. I am NOT looking for a solution that has worked poorly for decades.
Hazelett Marine has been making an elastic mooring system that is basicly a huge polyurethane rubber band that will support the entire load and has a 20 year life or more.
They do not even advertise a snubber. I had to ask about it! They use the same diameter as the moorings but only 3 feet long.
After 2 years of use I am very happy. The motion of the boat is slow and smooth.
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Old 29-03-2008, 09:07   #2
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I use a rubber mooring compensator and it works great and has been without failure for more than 15 years.

I have it rigged over 3/4" braid on braid nylon. The line is about 35 feet long and the very stout compensator is "wound in" about 4 feet from the chain hook which is actually a SS reefing hook with a rather deep U in it. This is much more secure than many chain hooks. It's easy to engage and about the same strenght as the chain itself.

The mooring snubber has a nylong float at the end so if I could get the anchor up I could use it as float and retrieve it when conditions allowed.

The main feature about my system is that the nylon line and the mooring compensator itself are a "tell tale" that the hook has set is in holding.

What happens is as the tension on the chain rode builds, meaning that the hook is "fixed" to the bottom and the forces are pushing the boat to leeward (or current), the catanary will begin to straighten then the snubber will begin to untwist. I have not seen it completely untwist and I don't know how much force would take to achieve this. But more twists in the set up means more force to untwist it.

When setting the anchor, or when I am concerned that we might be dragging because the wind has piped up I observe the snubber which is just above the water. If it untwisting and then perhaps retwisting back it means that the anchor is setting (or set) and the snubber system is absorbing the increased loading.

A slowly dragging anchor would be hard to observe from the rode alone or one with a standard snubber system. And if the forces were so great that the snubber would snap, the line would have has to have stretched an enormous amount. I am sure the chain or the chain hook would give before that.

Give it a try!
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Old 29-03-2008, 10:00   #3
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I have a 45# Manson Supreme and 3/8 BBB chain. I use a 5/8 three strand nylon snubber 30 ft. long with 1" hose for chafing and a stainless chain hook. In "normal" conditions my snubber is only about ten feet long but in over 30 knots with bouncing seas I extend it to the full length, out about twenty feet. Has worked fine so far. Most problems with a snubber arise from it being too short or the bight of chain aft of the chain hook chafing against it. Most folks check for chafing at the chock or roller but forget that often the free bight of chain flops over the snubber and chafes rapidly.
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Old 29-03-2008, 11:08   #4
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Have you guys used an eye mounted down by the waterline to attach the snubber?

Increases the effective scope for the same length rode, and no chafe issues.

I'm pondering adding one, but haven't seen it done on boats without a bowsprit.
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Old 29-03-2008, 11:38   #5
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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
I use a 5/8 three strand nylon snubber 30 ft. long with 1" hose for chafing and a stainless chain hook.
No rubber at all? Just the 3 strand rode? That would make it economical.
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Old 29-03-2008, 11:47   #6
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Mark J,

No need for rubber. There's enough stretch in the 5/8 nylon. 5/8 is better than 3/4 for a boat my size. Zach, as far as an eye at the waterline goes you're right that it's only on boats with a bowsprit. That's because the bobstay would chafe the snubber if it were taken on deck. Too much trouble to put one on a boat without a bobstay. Who wants another hole through the hull and it would make it difficult to vary the length of the snubber.
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Old 29-03-2008, 12:37   #7
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I have installed a 1/2" bow eye on Shiva, but it is used to attach to a special Wichard snap hook on my mooring painter. There is a second loose one which is attached to a deck cleat if the bow eye parts for any reason. But chafe will not be the reason.

I can connect a anchor snubber there as well but not conveniently. My snubber is led over the anchor roller and around the windlass drum at a very obtuse angle and tied off on a deck cleat. If the boat shears the snubber can ride up and chafe against the cheeks of the anchor roller, but this is very rare and defeatable with chafe gear.

Chafe is a problem for boats on mooring and anchors if there is not a fair lead and chafe can cause the line to part. And leaving an unattended boat which has a line that can chafe is never a wise move.

When a boat breaks free from a big blow it is usually the result of the line parting from chafe in my experience, rather than chain breaking. Anchor dragging is a whole other issue.
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Old 29-03-2008, 12:49   #8
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Chafe on a mooring is much more critical than at anchor. Once that line goes, in about two minutes the boat will be ashore. I was at anchor in Cape May once during a tropical depression. There were about ten boats on moorings in front of the yacht club. One by one they chafed through and ended up aground. It was the first time I'd seen something like this and it really amazed me how fast those boats went once the mooring line parted.
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Old 29-03-2008, 17:32   #9
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Wow what a great community

This forum is hopping !
I am glad so many people responded.
I am curious about the people using snubbers that are rubber wound with line. My evaluation of those devices was that the rubber material (usually neoprene or bunna-n or some mix) was not suitable to the marine enviroment. Those compounds are sensative to uv as well as any oil contamination, including suntan lotion. After years of use, do they show cracks or a lighter skin color or abrasion?
The second problem was the friction and wear associated with line rubbing and twisting around the rubber core. While this may work well in settled conditions, my concern was for a device that will survive extreem weather unscathed.
Looking at another angle- the swinging of the boat is the main culprit. As the boat sails back and forth, the anchor rode goes slack and then gets slammed. The boat gets sideways to the wind- not good.
I love to try things so I rigged a huge kite to the stern. In a good wind you would not be able to hold the line. This worked well, less swing and the rode did not go slack-- untill the wind dropped.
The next experiment was to deploy a conical drogue about 3 feet across . The line was tied to the corner of the swim platform and very closely tied. In tidal-current areas this works super, the boat swings very little. Without current to fill the drouge the boat swings but slower and to a smaller angle-measured with the compass. This system worked well in Block island on a night when the town moorings were dragging.

The problem in picking a rode is, that an all nylon rode has the best stretch while an all chain rode stays down best.
Using a nylon snubber is a compromise. Not enough give.
The polyurethane material that I am currently using has been used during hurricanes as a mooring line as well as a pendant or snubber. The boats stayed put while all others were lost. This is what sold me. The thing cost 500 bucks and is worth every penny.
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Old 30-03-2008, 04:04   #10
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Mooring Compensators, or Rubber Snubbers are usually made of Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPDM) which is fairly resistant to sun, salt, water, and ozone.
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Old 30-03-2008, 06:04   #11
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If you are concerned about the boat sailing about at anchor you can attempt a few fixes. This is usually the result of high freeboard and the center of effort of the hull being forward.

A simple approach is to use a small riding sail rigged off the backstay to make the boat act like a weather vane. When the boat move out of alignment with the eye of the wind the pressure on the sail pushes it back to align with the wind. This may not stop the shearing completely but it will settle it down considerable.

You could also deploy some sort of drogue off the stern which resists the stern moving by offering resistance.

As far as chafe from mooring compensators and degradation from UV. Mine shows none and has been in use since 91. And even if it were to change and part the snubber the chain is still there and you could rig another snubber without upping the anchor. If you couldn't get some chain in, just hook the new one on and let out more chain. Spares are a good idea. I don't think you will chafe thru a compensator.
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Old 30-03-2008, 07:23   #12
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See also "Anchor Spring Lines": cruisersforum.com/forums/f74/anchor-spring-lines-653.html

Anchor Spring Lines
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Old 30-03-2008, 07:56   #13
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Snubber

Check out SHOCKLES® - Simpy Brilliant products for Boats, Sailboats, Boating, Sailing, Home and Outdoors. They make two different stength snubbers for boats.
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Old 30-03-2008, 09:25   #14
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A picture is worth something

Hi guys
I have attached a couple of photos.
This device is apparently unknown to most people.
The difference between EDPM and polyurethane is-"resistant compared to imune"
This snubber has no wear or rubbing during use and can extend to 3x normal length with no ill effects. I have seen it move about 12".
any way this is my first attempt at posting photos. they are at the lowest res that the camera had an then downsized.
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Old 30-03-2008, 10:17   #15
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I think your over-stating the properties of Polyurethane Rubber, which ARE EXCELLENT.
Do your photos picture the manufacturer's intended method of using the PU snubber?
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