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Old 26-01-2020, 16:12   #1
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Obsessed with anchor snubbers

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 set up.

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-
svdenalirosenc43.blogspot.com/p/everyone-and-every-boat-has-their.html

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.

Primary snubber- 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.

Waterline snubber- 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.

Safety snubber- 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 Tigris windlass, 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!
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:29   #2
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Re: Obsessed with anchor snubbers

If you're worried about too much stretch with a long snubber, just use thicker line. A longer, thicker snubber can give similar stretch to a thinner, shorter one. But the line won't be worked as hard, so it'll last longer and be less prone to chafe and failure.
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:32   #3
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Re: Obsessed with anchor snubbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
If you're worried about too much stretch with a long snubber, just use thicker line. A longer, thicker snubber can give similar stretch to a thinner, shorter one. But the line won't be worked as hard, so it'll last longer and be less prone to chafe and failure.
Good point, thanks! We'll see if it's needed...
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:42   #4
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Re: Obsessed with anchor snubbers

second thing to think about - where that long snubber goes thru your bow chocks, there is going to be a lot of movement (stretching back and forth) and that is going to create both heat and chafe. That's most likely where it will fail.

The industry recommendation for 'storm snubbers' is to use Dyneema (or another high modulus) for where it leads off the boat to eliminate that movement/chafe. There is meaningful statistical data from mooring buoy pendants that this approach significantly reduces failures.

But bringing the snubber back to the cockpit winches is one way to get extra length/elasticity. It works fine so long as you have the heat/chafe issue sorted out. (note: rubber/plastic/fire hose chafe protectors over nylon are frowned upon by the industry because they trap heat which reduces the nylon strength and again creates increased failure rates.
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Old 26-01-2020, 17:05   #5
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Re: Obsessed with anchor snubbers

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Originally Posted by Breaking Waves View Post
second thing to think about - where that long snubber goes thru your bow chocks, there is going to be a lot of movement (stretching back and forth) and that is going to create both heat and chafe. That's most likely where it will fail.

The industry recommendation for 'storm snubbers' is to use Dyneema (or another high modulus) for where it leads off the boat to eliminate that movement/chafe. There is meaningful statistical data from mooring buoy pendants that this approach significantly reduces failures.

But bringing the snubber back to the cockpit winches is one way to get extra length/elasticity. It works fine so long as you have the heat/chafe issue sorted out. (note: rubber/plastic/fire hose chafe protectors over nylon are frowned upon by the industry because they trap heat which reduces the nylon strength and again creates increased failure rates.
Ah, that's why my friend Bill uses dyeema on his version. I've been using fire hose for chafe protection on dock lines and my snubbers for the past 5 years and haven't had a problem but I am aware it's not optimal. Splicing a length of dyneema on each tail does seem ideal, just gotta figure out how!
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Old 27-01-2020, 10:09   #6
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Re: Obsessed with anchor snubbers

I also use a bridle with a Mantus Chain Hook on a Mason Supreme Anchor. On down the chain I drop a 30 pound Kettle weight. I've never had a problem with this set up, I sleep well. Does anyone else use Kettle Weights ?
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Old 27-01-2020, 10:31   #7
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Re: Obsessed with anchor snubbers

Yep, I use a length of chain balled up and secured with a carabiner as a kellet and deploy it in storm conditions or in a crowded shallow anchorage when I worry about some dufus motoring too close and catching the rode. In a storm I know the benefit is minimal as the force easily overcomes the weight of the kellet, but it's part of a multi-pronged approach and helps me sleep at night. I would not use a kellet in place of a snubber though.
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Old 27-01-2020, 10:33   #8
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Re: Obsessed with anchor snubbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV__Grace View Post
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 set up.

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-
svdenalirosenc43.blogspot.com/p/everyone-and-every-boat-has-their.html

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.

Primary snubber- 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.

Waterline snubber- 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.

Safety snubber- 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 Tigris windlass, 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!
Something you may consider.

My boat weighs in during a haul at about 32,000 lbs. When anchoring I use my 44 lb. Delta on 5/16ths HT chain, then a 1/2" nylon snubber. If I'm concerned because of forecasted winds I add an old 5/8" nylon dock line with a 5/16" chain hook plus shackle and backup the snubber by fixing to the chain inboard of the anchor roller and tying off to both cleats. I sleep like a baby.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 27-01-2020, 11:32   #9
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Re: Obsessed with anchor snubbers

It’s nice to see that you have not fallen into the common trap of a snubber that is too short with not enough stretch. However, a snubber can also have too much stretch. This springs the boat forward at the end of the swing increasing the snatch force.

Some experimentation is needed to find the best length, but I have a feeling yours will have too much stretch. For the same reason it is also not ideal to simply let out more stretchy nylon if you want to let out more chain and extend the scope. The amount of stretch will increase significantly. It is better to keep the stretchy nylon length relatively constant as you extend the scope.

My only other comment is that octoplait is nicer than three strand, especially in long lengths. We also use short HMWPE (like Dyneema) over the high chafe areas, but this will only work if the length is fixed.
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