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Old 17-10-2011, 21:09   #1
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Dockline Snubbers

before i shell out the money for these things i just wanted to know are they worth it or is there a better snubber than the ones sold at west marine? I have been researching it for about an hour now and have read some bad stuff about the rubber ones but cant find a better alternative. Im docking in very unprotected waters.
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Old 17-10-2011, 21:35   #2
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Re: dockline snubbers

Page down this URL to the stainless steel snubber, popular in Europe and South Pacific:

ULTRA Chain Grab | Chain Grab Bridle Snubbers | Quickline USA

Michael
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Old 17-10-2011, 21:57   #3
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Re: dockline snubbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by svcambria View Post
Page down this URL to the stainless steel snubber, popular in Europe and South Pacific:

ULTRA Chain Grab | Chain Grab Bridle Snubbers | Quickline USA

Michael
I am surprised with the horrible, horrible quality of the video... in fact, I tried listening to it, but the wind noise was so annoying, I could not get past 1:30 minutes.

Don't companies realize that if they are going to promote a product, that at least they could invest in noise cancelling mikes and at least attempt to have a professional video presentation?

In this case, they won't be seeing me again... I was too annoyed by it.
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Old 17-10-2011, 23:14   #4
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Re: dockline snubbers

You should think twice about buying snubbers - personally I sold mine after a few bad experiences.

Snubbers, rubber or steel, are fundamentally energy storage devices (springs). When a boat surges back the boat is slowed and stopped by storing the kinetic energy in the spring. When the surge reverses the boat will be moved forward by the surge, augmented by the spring energy being released. This can result in much more dramatic movement of the boat than otherwise. Think of pushing someone on a swing...

This isn't just theoretical: I had a terrible problem in Gibraltar until I got rid of the (rubber) snubbers. At least they rarely fail, and if they do the rope should hold. The steel springs are often undersized, and self-destruct spectacularly when they reach their limits (not uncommon) so if you go that way get beefy ones and rig some chain or line in parallel for when they part.

FWIW I think nylon is stretchy enough for the job, and it absorbs energy in the process. Nylon is known to heat (melt?) from that absorbed energy so of course use an ample size.

Greg
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Old 18-10-2011, 08:04   #5
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Re: dockline snubbers

We've been using "Shockles" for a number of years and use them for all kinds of work; like a third arm on the wheel, anchor bridle, rigging damper and dock line snubbers. They take the harshness out of a rough anchorage and the jarring swells dockside without the slingshot effect of twisted rubber snubbers.
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Old 18-10-2011, 09:25   #6
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

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Originally Posted by albergsailor View Post
before i shell out the money for these things i just wanted to know are they worth it or is there a better snubber than the ones sold at west marine? I have been researching it for about an hour now and have read some bad stuff about the rubber ones but cant find a better alternative. Im docking in very unprotected waters.
I'm a fan, but ours were European bought not West Marine. We used two types, Forsheda and Gondolastic over the years and both were fine. On our marina berth we had two, one in each of the two bow lines, sized to match the line at 22mm dia, we had no snubbers in the other lines. This allowed some limited (and damped) movement aft, but the after spring line from the stern would prevent any additional movement towards the main pontoon, moored bows in.

We also carried two mooring lines ready prepared with similar snubbers in for when moored in exposed visitor places, these were sometimes used in addition to normal lines if conditions changed, taking the strain whilst allowing some movement. The difference is remarkable, no snatching and much much quieter sleeping below.

Finally we had them in our anchor snubber llines, nylon lines fitted to a chain hook to take the load off the windlass to a foredeck cleat/post, but with the chain left in a slack loop as a failsafe. We had two lines, one with a standard stretchy snubber that we nearly always used and a second with a heavier stiffer rubber snubber if really bad conditions were expected. Mostly if conditions were expected to be that bad however it would be time to be somewhere else!

I was lucky enough to buy several, brand new, at a boat jumble for half the usual price.

I don't like the steel ones at all, I have seen these chafe hulls when used in spring lines.

This is the Forsheda one, the Gondolastic one is slightly simpler in way of the moulded eyes each end.

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Old 18-10-2011, 09:28   #7
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

I have no doubt that a couple of the above post are accurate. The OP does not really say much about the intended application. Yes, they can be counter productive in worst case scenarios. However, if the OP has no experience with them, he may be sitting in a slip where snubbers are a real plus.

I've been in a slip when storms with 90 mph winds came through. Very glad for my snubbers. Some boats without them very often just had parted docklines. That can become a problem to other boats in the marina. And if some of the docklines do manage to contain the boat in the slip, it is going to get beat up.

There I am going radical. Back to basics,... yes, snubbers can make life much more comfortable.
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Old 18-10-2011, 09:56   #8
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

I use a snubber for anchoring not for dock lines since I don't keep my boat in a dock or tied along side for any length of time.

I anchor with all chain which has no stretch can can only straighten out the catenary when the wind pushes.. with the chain weight then pulling the boat back toward the anchor as the catenary reforms. But when it blows very hard and the chain is straight there is no stretch or give and the puts enormous stress on the chain fixings.

Most will use a nylon line - snubber - to provide stretch and to be able to relieve the anchor strain from the windlass.

What I have found is the use of the rubber snubber does two useful things in anchoring.

1. It provides MORE stretch since the mooring bridle is relatively short
2. It acts as a tell tale indicating that the anchor has dug in and is holding. When you see the snubber unravel a bit it is because the anchor is NOT dragging but IS HOLDING

So when I anchor I lay out the required length of chain... affix the snubber line with a chain hook and run more chain out and then tie off the snubber line.. and then run out another 5 or 6 feet of chain. It drops down between the chain hook and the bow roller and the snubber line goes taut. As the wind pushed the boat back the catenary will lift and then the rubber snubber begins to unwind a bit.. DONE anchor set. You can do the same with backing using the engine.. watching for the snubber to stretch and unwind a bit. This method assures me the anchor is set. It doesn't assume me that it won't drag etc. if conditions change... but if the snubber stretches it means the anchor has set. I can sleep better.
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Old 18-10-2011, 10:12   #9
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

The rubber ones seemed to work fine through several NW winters with wind gusts to 70. Not sure how they due with a lot UV/sun exposure. They can prevent a lot of chafing off your dock lines in bad weather. Still, as was said..... It's the type of thing I might leave at the dock in a permanent morrage situation rather than take along....
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Old 18-10-2011, 10:24   #10
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The rubber ones seemed to work fine through several NW winters with wind gusts to 70. Not sure how they due with a lot UV/sun exposure. They can prevent a lot of chafing off your dock lines in bad weather. Still, as was said..... It's the type of thing I might leave at the dock in a permanent morrage situation rather than take along....
Yes, I didn't make it clear in my earlier reply but we had permanent tailored berth lines, with snubbers in the two bow lines. These lines were all left in place whenever we were away, but we had others made up (two) that we took with us, plus two more fitted into ready to use anchor line snubbers with chain hooks and anti-chafe tubes.

Our future cruising will be moving from Europe to the USA and we will then be living on board our new (to us) boat. We will be shipping quite a bit of boat gear over, including the two anchor line snubbers and the two mooring lines with snubbers in I mentioned as well. That shows the value I put on them, as we will be leaving a lot of stuff behind as not being worth the effort.
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Old 18-10-2011, 10:30   #11
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Re: dockline snubbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
You should think twice about buying snubbers - personally I sold mine after a few bad experiences.

Snubbers, rubber or steel, are fundamentally energy storage devices (springs). When a boat surges back the boat is slowed and stopped by storing the kinetic energy in the spring. When the surge reverses the boat will be moved forward by the surge, augmented by the spring energy being released. This can result in much more dramatic movement of the boat than otherwise. Think of pushing someone on a swing...

This isn't just theoretical: I had a terrible problem in Gibraltar until I got rid of the (rubber) snubbers. At least they rarely fail, and if they do the rope should hold. The steel springs are often undersized, and self-destruct spectacularly when they reach their limits (not uncommon) so if you go that way get beefy ones and rig some chain or line in parallel for when they part.

FWIW I think nylon is stretchy enough for the job, and it absorbs energy in the process. Nylon is known to heat (melt?) from that absorbed energy so of course use an ample size.

Greg

Yes. After insurance companies researched why apparently good lines failed during a hurricane, causing catastrophic damage to the boats involved, they discovered that nylon lines need to be exposed to the rain during the extended stretching and flexing that happens in a hurricane. They found that the rain and water from a hurricane would cool the lines and they would not overheat to the point of failure, but that lines protected from chafing by such things as garden hose would fail from melting instead of chafind. The failures happened inside the sections of garden hose.

The suggestion I heard at the end of this talk was to use toweling as a chafing guard, but it seems to me that towling would degrade pretty quickly, then leaving the line exposed to chafing.

The type of cleat on the boat as well as its position makes a big difference. I haven't swapped mine out and moved them yet, but I intend to -- even though a hurricane hasn't directly hit this area in 78 years we've had significant "side swiping." My marina is well protected in a storm but the ride you get from a sideswipe can last for hours.

I have no first hand knowledge of all of this. The source is a highly respected marine architect but it's just something to think about, not take as Gospel.
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Old 18-10-2011, 14:33   #12
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

The marina where I have my berth is exposed to the wake of passing freighters, that cause some pitching and surging to boats. Then, snubbers are recommended, at least on the shortest docklines (bow & stern). I have been using these for one year, with full satisfaction:
Unimer Mooring

My lines are 14 and 16mm, so I selected the biggest suitable size.

Alain
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Old 18-10-2011, 14:57   #13
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

I've had them on my boat for 14 years and I really like the dampening effect they have when some fool in a powerboat rolls huge wakes at my slip. We've been dusted with several tropical storms and nearby hurricanes and have never had one fail. I do keep a second line with no snubber on each cleat to limit how far they can stretch and as a backup to the primary dockline. A light boat like mine can really jump around in a slip and I think this helps keep it settled.
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Old 18-10-2011, 16:34   #14
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

I've been using snubbers for all the docking lines, including spring lines, and I am extremely satisfied. The dampening is noticeable, as the dock is exposed to considerable wake action. The change in motion and jerking has been dramatic. After over 6 or 7 years I had to replace one spring and one bow snubber due to UV damage. Based on my experience, I highly recommend them.
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Old 18-10-2011, 17:06   #15
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Re: Dockline Snubbers

shockles used on a sprit on a formosa for keeping the ball off the boat dont work-- they break in 60 kt winds.....with a helluva noise.....i dont use snubbers on dock lines-- i use spring lines and have no problem with jerking or tugging motion, even in high wind situations. my boat is 28000 pounds.
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