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Old 16-07-2008, 17:22   #1
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Anchor Bridle

When I learned to sail Cats I had an instructor who claimed to have sailed Cats hundreds of times. On the first night that we attached to a mooring ball, he had us run a single line from bow cleat through the pendant and then to the other bow cleat. The folks in the front of the cat heard the mooring line drag along this line back and forth all night. So on our next mooring we, the students, ran two lines. One from each hull through the pendant and back to the same hull. Sure enough, this worked great, the pendant was trapped and centered. But like the previous method, the lines had the potential to chafe against the area of the bow hull near the cleat. As these cleats are for dock usage.

On my last trip we dumped the dual line approach and just attached the bridle to the pendant. Since then I have been wondering why our so called experienced instructor did not use the anchor bridle for mooring balls.

The downsides I saw to the bridle approach was:
1. when disconnecting, as we had to use the engines to take the tension off the bridle and pendant in order to grab it and unhook it. With the two bow line approach, we just untied the lines and pulled them through the pendant, tension or not.
2. If the bridle line broke, we would be adrift. The two line approach had redundancy. Of course if the mooring's ball's line broke, we would be adrift also.

So, the bottom line question is, why not use the bridle for both anchoring and mooring?
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Old 16-07-2008, 18:00   #2
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Seems to me your instructor did it wrong. Not only would the ball bang into the hulls, but also the rope will chafe quickly and, as you say, there is no redundancy if it broke.

Much better to do as you did and use two completely separate lines. A bit more bother I agree, but I assume you have moored for the night and want a good night's stress and worry free sleep!

I have found that on a small cat, say under 30ft, you can anchor from one bow and take a bridle to the other bow. If the cat is bigger than that you need to anchor from the middle and use two bridles, one to each bow.

The reason is that if you anchor off a bow then when you pull up to the anchor the boat moves diagonally and on bigger boats I, for one, am not strong enough to overcome the extra windage and hull drag.

I don't like the anchoring system which goes over the front of the bridgedeck and under the forward net, rather than over the bow netting beam. Not only does it mean you cannot easily deploy a second anchor, but it is hard to clear the main anchor of, eg, weed or to get it on board. Furthermore you always need to use bridles or the warp (or worse, chain) chafes on the hulls.

However an under deck system does mean the foredeck is clear of chain. Which I guess is why it is used on charter boats which aren't normally sailed exclusively by sailors.

Hope this helps you sail your catamaran with more confidence

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Old 16-07-2008, 18:15   #3
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Richard,

I'm referring to larger Cats, those bigger than 40'. The primary question is, why not use the Bridle, that all these cats have, for mooring as well as its typical use for keeping the anchor chain safely away from the hulls while anchoring?
:cubalibre
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Old 16-07-2008, 18:29   #4
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For short term or overnight anchoring in normal conditions I have had good luck dropping the hook on one line and using a rolling hitch to attach another line to the main anchor rode forming the bridle. Then taking them to each bow keeping the knot at or slightly below the surface.
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Old 16-07-2008, 23:56   #5
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The Rolling hitch is ok; but I much prefer the Triple-Sliding hitch (Prusik Knot);
The Prusik Knot or Triple Sliding Hitch
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Old 17-07-2008, 09:53   #6
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Sorry, I thought I had worded my second paragraph to say that I agreed with you. I added some more about anchoring because it seemed vaguely relevant.

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Old 17-07-2008, 22:34   #7
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Using the bridle on a mooring ball does mean that your boat will 'take up' much more space. This can be a problem in a crowded mooring field. Remember, properly speaking a bridle should have fairly long 'legs' to avoid putting excessive strain on the bridle itself. For moorings I've tried, attaching in on centerline (boat was very flighty, i.e. sailed around a lot), from the inboard side of one hull via single pendant (most stable position), and two doubled mooring lines one each from each bow as you have described (easy and quiet). For me, calm PNW park buoys benefit from the 2 mooring line/pendant approach where chafe is not an issue due to generally quiet conditions (this also means that the single bow approach can be noisy since the boat may ride up and bump the ball at night).

So, pick your poison. Ease, quiet, chafe resistance, sailing on the mooring.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:38   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limpet View Post
Richard,

I'm referring to larger Cats, those bigger than 40'. The primary question is, why not use the Bridle, that all these cats have, for mooring as well as its typical use for keeping the anchor chain safely away from the hulls while anchoring?
:cubalibre
Limpet,
I've done it both ways on my 42' Leopard JAMU. Using separate lines from the bow cleats to the mooring eye makes for easier connection and release. Using the below-trampoline anchoring bridle provides great strength and no chafe but a somewhat more involved connection and release. I more often go for the two lines from the bow cleats. I've seldom had a sailing on the mooring or mooring ball hitting the hulls problem, as my cruising area has been the Western Caribbean with fairly reliable breezes.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:43   #9
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Limpet,
I've done it both ways on my 42' Leopard JAMU. Using separate lines from the bow cleats to the mooring eye makes for easier connection and release. Using the below-trampoline anchoring bridle provides great strength and no chafe but a somewhat more involved connection and release. I more often go for the two lines from the bow cleats. I've seldom had a sailing on the mooring or mooring ball hitting the hulls problem, as my cruising area has been the Western Caribbean with fairly reliable breezes.
PS: I always dive my moorings, just as I do my anchor. On questionable moorings, I have attached a third line from below the mooring ball as a backup. Once in The Seychelles, I had a mooring ball detach from the seafloor anchor! When making my 'last round' before turning in I found us still attached to the ball but drifting toward shore.
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