OK, I admit I have a problem, I'm obsessed with anchor
snubbers. My wife and I love the freedom of living on the hook, and we also enjoy sleeping soundly at night, which means I need extraordinary confidence in my anchoring
I have a kick butt anchor
(75 lb Rocna
Vulcan) that has held our 20 ton high windage (hardtop, enclosure, 2 masts, 4 sails
, etc) Nauticat 43 Cutter/Ketch through many gales up to 60 knots. I recently replaced our old generic chain inherited with the boat
with 500 feet of G43 HT to be able to access the deeper anchorages
here in PNW. In gales I keep our secondary/storm anchor, a Fortress
FX37 on the bow ready to toss overboard
at a moments notice.
I've been using a bridle
as a snubber with a Mantus
chain hook on 3/4" nylon 3 strand, which has worked well but always bugged me as being super strong but not having enough stretch, even when extended it's full length of 25 feet.
So being obsessed with finding the ideal snubber solution I hit up my friend, mentor, and Nauticat guru Bill Wakefield for ideas and he sends me this link from his amazing blog-
After a few months of much back and forth with Bill and experimenting with different arrangements I think I've come up with my preferred system, which I hope might be helpful to my fellow anchoring
fans and I welcome your comments, suggestions, and criticism.
200' of 5/8 nylon 3-strand formed into a bridle
with a Mantus
chain hook cow hitched in the center (requires an oversized shackle to do this). Each tail goes through the bow chocks and is led aft through the jib
sheet turning blocks to the cockpit
winches, which allows me to adjust from the cockpit
and the length provides lots of stretch. It's @55 feet from the bow to the cockpit winch
using the aft turning block. In a blow this arrangement allows me to let out 40' more rode
to increase scope
if needed. I have a handy remote
for my windlass
that allows me to control it from the cockpit as well.
We're at the dock
for the next few weeks before we venture out again and I haven't used it yet, so I don't know how the boat
will behave with 65 feet or so of stretchy 5/8 line. Practical Sailor recommends 1/3 boat length for snubbers and mentions that too much creates a bungi/rubber band effect. Bill uses this method, described in his blog post above, with a combo that includes dyneema
on this line. If you have experience with long snubbers I'd love to hear from you.
5/8 nylon 3 strand routed through a friction ring attached to the bobstay connection at the waterline, goes over the second bow roller to be cleated at the bow, adjustable up to 20 feet. This is handy for crowded anchorages
or any situation needing less rode
and/or shorter scope
- used as a backup in case the snubber in use breaks. In calm conditions and for initial setting of the anchor I use a Davis Shockles
with a claw
hook that is attached via soft shackle to the horn cleat on my Lofrans
, otherwise the safety
snubber is one tail of my previous 3/4" bridle attached to the chain and cleated on the bow to take over if needed. The Waterline snubber mentioned above can also be used as a safety
snubber, but my thinking is that any condition that would break my primary snubber would need a more robust backup.
Your comments and feedback are welcome!