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Old 02-12-2022, 02:23   #1
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Your best bridle recipe?

blazing through things at lightning speed here with a deadline.

I have to be to the Rigger in about 9 days.

not a lot of time to just hang out and do design work.

so for this reason, I’m just going to copy what is standard and works well for the bridle.

how do you have yours set up and what do you like about it?

how long is it? How do you like to join it to the anchor rode?

to save weight, I have 100 feet of chain which is spliced to 200 feet of nylon rope as my anchor tackle.

my bridal would be made out of the same 3/4" 3 strand nylon. I guess.

any tips on the sizing of the bridle rope?

And finally, how about attaching it to the anchor rode?

using a snubber on the monohull that I bought and flipped, I was enjoying using that rolling hitch type of knot. I think it’s called the Prussik knot. But that was going from a rope snbber to a chain.

in this case I need to be able to attach to both. Chain and rope.

also, do I even need a bridle when I have the rope rode out in deep waters?

PS:. My boat sails like it's in the Americas Cup at anchor so minimizing this is desirable.
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Old 02-12-2022, 04:26   #2
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

Wow, first response on an anchoring thread! I guess the early bird gets the worm.
I've been playing with a high-strength loop with technora or dyneema covers (technora is grippier than dyneema, but dyneema is tougher) that prussiks to the chain or rode, and then attaches to the bridle.
I would use two legs of 5/8" braided nylon (Megabraid II from NER if you can get it), with the end of each leg spliced to a ring. You can then attach the prussik loop to the ring with any sort of means that pleases you: a carabiner, a loop-and-toggle (my favorite), a soft shackle.
This system means that the business end, that gets most beat up coming in contact with the chain, is easily and affordably replaceable. I'll see if I can post a picture later of what I'm suggesting.
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Old 02-12-2022, 04:39   #3
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

Bridle length should be as long as possible but no so long that the bridle drags across the sea bed at low tide. Rolling/prussick hitches are fine if you can be bothered, a chain hook with pin or some other form of lock is just easy to use for most anchoring situations. We sized our nylon 3 strand bridle to be around same breaking strain as the chain along with the shackles. The bridle hook however may give way first.
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:00   #4
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

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Originally Posted by Tin Tin View Post
Bridle length should be as long as possible but no so long that the bridle drags across the sea bed at low tide. Rolling/prussick hitches are fine if you can be bothered, a chain hook with pin or some other form of lock is just easy to use for most anchoring situations. We sized our nylon 3 strand bridle to be around same breaking strain as the chain along with the shackles. The bridle hook however may give way first.

that is a pretty short length. Right?

iím thinking my bows are approximately 8ft off the water.

I can anchor in 4 feet of water.

So a 12ft bridle will drag at low tide/slack water.

however, I can just cleat the ends of my bridle to the bow cleats. That way I can adjust it. How long should I make it in the case that it is adjustable?

also, I only have 100 feet of chain. So sometimes I will need to attach this bridle to the rope rode portion. is there a little gadget that is a chain hook and something that grabs onto rope?
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:02   #5
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
Wow, first response on an anchoring thread! I guess the early bird gets the worm.
I've been playing with a high-strength loop with technora or dyneema covers (technora is grippier than dyneema, but dyneema is tougher) that prussiks to the chain or rode, and then attaches to the bridle.
I would use two legs of 5/8" braided nylon (Megabraid II from NER if you can get it), with the end of each leg spliced to a ring. You can then attach the prussik loop to the ring with any sort of means that pleases you: a carabiner, a loop-and-toggle (my favorite), a soft shackle.
This system means that the business end, that gets most beat up coming in contact with the chain, is easily and affordably replaceable. I'll see if I can post a picture later of what I'm suggesting.
Definitely assimilating this into the idea. I definitely like the idea of the ring. That seems to make things a lot easier. 5/8" braided sounds good. I have 3/4" 3 strand for dock lines and the anchor rode. I have enough of the 3/4" to make the bridal too. Should I? All New England ropes of course!

Also, can you show me some quality stainless rings that would be up to the task?

they should be sized to handle the load from 3/4 inch three strand nylon and some harsh, jerky motion. Shock loads.

I have been known to anchor in hurricane force winds and big, awful chop/swell.

The boat stays at anchor. It’s not a dock boat.

So this is equally important if not more important than the rigging itself to the safety of the boat.
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:06   #6
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

I bought my bridle at Mantus. It's easy to match bridle length to boat length. Simple!
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:13   #7
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

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I bought my bridle at Mantus. It's easy to match bridle length to boat length. Simple!
I appreciate this post. Thank you.

I wasn’t aware that they were off the shelf bridals. I thought it was all homebrew.

Certainly worth taking a look at as a contender because time is short here. And the faster I move with everything the more the boat gets done.

Certainly worth considering.

I noticed they call for 3/4" inch line up to 50ft LOA. It jumps to 1 inch line over 50ft.

I don’t think my cleats can even handle the 1 inch.

I like to size up usually, but in this case I can’t do it.
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:29   #8
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
that is a pretty short length. Right?

iím thinking my bows are approximately 8ft off the water.

I can anchor in 4 feet of water.

So a 12ft bridle will drag at low tide/slack water.

however, I can just cleat the ends of my bridle to the bow cleats. That way I can adjust it. How long should I make it in the case that it is adjustable?

also, I only have 100 feet of chain. So sometimes I will need to attach this bridle to the rope rode portion. is there a little gadget that is a chain hook and something that grabs onto rope?

Well as it is a triangle it is bit longer than 12 ft but I get your point. If you can adjust for deeper water great, let out 20 ft it won't make much difference just a better stretch effect from the nylon. I don't know of a manufactured chain hook that accepts rope, but then you could probably fashion a dyneema hitch to attach to the hook when you anchor in more than 12ft of water.



Personally I would get 300ft of chain if you are considering circumnavigating and visiting deep coral or rocky anchorages, in the Bahamas/Caribbean you will unlikely need more than 100ft especially with a 4ft draft.
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:36   #9
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

5/8” is too small for a 50 ft cat. You should use 3/4” or even 1”. It doesn’t need to be brait. Brait looks nicer and lays into a locker more compactly, but it’s a bigger issue with rode than with a shorter bridle.
The length should be determined by your boat beam and how you will use it. This is something that only you should decide.
If you plan to shackle it to a strong eye on each bow in a fixed length, then use thimbles to eliminate chafe and make it no longer than beam width so it can be stowed and secured easily while attached when underway.
If you plan to adjust it at your bow cleats, then 3/4” will handle easier and wrap on the cleat better than 1” and assuming your cleats are ~25 ft apart I suggest a minimum 35 ft length for each leg, plus another 5 or 6 feet for the cleat and tail. The longer the bridle, the better it will stop “hunting” or sailing at anchor. “Too long” just means it’s a hassle to handle and store, and you don’t want it sitting on the bottom in calms.
As for attachment- use a rolling hitch if you’re comfortable with that. If you’re more comfortable using steel then I’d suggest using the larger size Mantus Mooring Snap Shackle in combination with a Dyneema snubber pendant using a prussic knot. You can splice your own or buy from them https://www.mantusmarine.com/snubber-pendant/
Both attachment alternatives are proven, and will work with rope and chain. To reduce slippage on rope, add more wraps to the prussic knot or rolling hitch and don’t go with too big (diameter) snubbber.
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:38   #10
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

Make each leg as long as you can, but short enough that the chain hook won't hit the opposite hull. It banging on the hill is really annoying in reversing current
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:46   #11
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
5/8” is too small for a 50 ft cat. You should use 3/4” or even 1”. It doesn’t need to be brait. Brait looks nicer and lays into a locker more compactly, but it’s a bigger issue with rode than with a shorter bridle.
The length should be determined by your boat beam and how you will use it. This is something that only you should decide.
If you plan to shackle it to a strong eye on each bow in a fixed length, then use thimbles to eliminate chafe and make it no longer than beam width so it can be stowed and secured easily while attached when underway.
If you plan to adjust it at your bow cleats, then 3/4” will handle easier and wrap on the cleat better than 1” and assuming your cleats are ~25 ft apart I suggest a minimum 35 ft length for each leg, plus another 5 or 6 feet for the cleat and tail. The longer the bridle, the better it will stop “hunting” or sailing at anchor. “Too long” just means it’s a hassle to handle and store, and you don’t want it sitting on the bottom in calms.
As for attachment- use a rolling hitch if you’re comfortable with that. If you’re more comfortable using steel then I’d suggest using the larger size Mantus Mooring Snap Shackle in combination with a Dyneema snubber pendant using a prussic knot. You can splice your own or buy from them https://www.mantusmarine.com/snubber-pendant/
Both attachment alternatives are proven, and will work with rope and chain. To reduce slippage on rope, add more wraps to the prussic knot or rolling hitch and don’t go with too big (diameter) snubbber.


Wow. That’s how you write the book on bridles. Thank you.

I think this has everything I need almost. I would prefer to use my three-quarter inch line because it’s the same thing I calculated for the rest of the boat. It seemed kind of weird to have a weaker bridle than everything else.

I am a 25ft beam over all. The bow cleats are about 20ish feet apart.

I really like the idea of just being able to adjust it, so I will use the bow cleats.

Time to dig out the fid kit and whipping twine... And bone up on the marlinspike seamanship again.

seems like you use this stuff once every 6 to 10 years. And then you forget it in between. Ha ha.
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:04   #12
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

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Make each leg as long as you can, but short enough that the chain hook won't hit the opposite hull. It banging on the hill is really annoying in reversing current
Good point. Wind-against-current had us sideways and spinning one night in Ft Pierce - every other boat in the anchorage was also spinning. The anchor chain would run along the bottom of one hull or the other and make a loud grinding sound (I could imagine paint and fiberglass flakes in the water) but a follow up dive inspection showed no damage.
My bridle is fixed to the hulls with shackles, but a long enough adjustable bridle might have allowed me to have rope rubbing the keels instead of chain. (However, that might have increased risk of wrapping a rudder or sail drive.) I tried using a bucket as drogue but it wasnít enough.
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:44   #13
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
Good point. Wind-against-current had us sideways and spinning one night in Ft Pierce - every other boat in the anchorage was also spinning. The anchor chain would run along the bottom of one hull or the other and make a loud grinding sound (I could imagine paint and fiberglass flakes in the water) but a follow up dive inspection showed no damage.
My bridle is fixed to the hulls with shackles, but a long enough adjustable bridle might have allowed me to have rope rubbing the keels instead of chain. (However, that might have increased risk of wrapping a rudder or sail drive.) I tried using a bucket as drogue but it wasnít enough.

OK. So I will definitely do this and I can lengthen mine at will. or shorten because it will be on the cleats.

And certainly I canít get wrapped on anything. Everything retracts on my boat. So at least thatís not an issue.
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:44   #14
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

A rolling hitch or prusik will work on rope or chain. The quick and dirty option is to just buy a couple of cheap dock lines and use the eye to make a prusik. It's mildly annoying because you have to pull the whole length of the line through the eye twice, but it's the simple "no special purchases, no time to make anything" option. And it lets you set the length of the bridle based on where you cleat the ends of the lines.
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:50   #15
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Re: Your best bridle recipe?

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A rolling hitch or prusik will work on rope or chain. The quick and dirty option is to just buy a couple of cheap dock lines and use the eye to make a prusik. It's mildly annoying because you have to pull the whole length of the line through the eye twice, but it's the simple "no special purchases, no time to make anything" option. And it lets you set the length of the bridle based on where you cleat the ends of the lines.


Now is different.

really interesting.

Can you describe briefly how to take the looped end and make a prussik? it’s always a bit of a struggle to tie those to be honest. I’m always having to remember how to do it. Knots fade fast in my memory.

i’m imagining you take the loop and pressed it up against the rode, then pull a bitter end through.... Oh... Wait a minute.

this can’t work with a bridle.

there is no bitter end because it’s already cleated off to the bow cleats and integrated with a ring at the point the lines from each bow meet each other.

I was really liking that idea though. Simple.
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