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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-24-2011
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docking line snubbers

I've seen several discussions on here about mooring/anchor line snubbers, but never a discussion of dock line snubbers. Or maybe the difference between them is just in my head?

I've noticed that when the wind blows from the right direction, my boat rotates in the slip then violently stops at the limit of the bow and stern lines. I've tried adjusting the lines to be tighter and looser, and if I loosen them fairly significantly I can make it a lot better, but it never goes entirely away. I'm hoping some snubbers will damp that motion, and make it less damaging. To the best of my knowledge there is no damage presently, but it can't be good for it, and it makes a bad noise.

I'm considering buying a set of 4 of these in prep for the hurricane (I wanted them for winter anyways, and I might need them now). Do these things actually work? Are they worth the money?
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Old 08-24-2011
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I use the thick black rubber snubbers that you wind your dock line around. They work very well for me but it might be due to my particular docking situation.

My boat lies parallel to the dock with the bow facing into the bay. This setup has the bow heading into the most common wind direction. When the wind blows hard in this direction small waves form and the bow bobs up and down sometimes violently. In some heavy winds I have had a cleat ripped off the dock. (now my cleats are bolted into a steel angle plate that is bolted to the side of the dock, not lag screwed onto the top plank).

No matter how well the cleats are attached to the dock in heavy wind there is constant hobby horsing. I use three strand dock lines for better stretch and the heavy rubber snubbers act as shock absorbers. They really help avoid sharp shocks to the dock line and ease the pressure of the bouncing.

Cannot comment on how well they work for anchoring or mooring.

Ron
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Old 08-24-2011
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I use em and they make quite the difference, noticably, while sitting on the boat, feeling the reduced rocking, and visibly. They're worth every penny. I use two at the bow and two at the stern.

My neighbor uses small bumpers and runs rope through the hole, wraps around the bumper a few times, and through the other hole. Never seen that before. Appears to work fine.
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Last edited by carl762; 08-24-2011 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 08-24-2011
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I use them on all my dock lines. My boat harbor is on north shore of Oahu hawaii. In winter the big winter swell comes into the harbor as a ground swell (and them my keel catches it) and really moves the boat. It will rip the cleats off your boat and snap your dock lines. I bought the black rubber snubbers like you show from west marine. They take the shock load off the boat cleats and off the dock lines- worth every penny.
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Old 08-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
I've seen several discussions on here about mooring/anchor line snubbers, but never a discussion of dock line snubbers. Or maybe the difference between them is just in my head?

I've noticed that when the wind blows from the right direction, my boat rotates in the slip then violently stops at the limit of the bow and stern lines. I've tried adjusting the lines to be tighter and looser, and if I loosen them fairly significantly I can make it a lot better, but it never goes entirely away. I'm hoping some snubbers will damp that motion, and make it less damaging. To the best of my knowledge there is no damage presently, but it can't be good for it, and it makes a bad noise.

I'm considering buying a set of 4 of these in prep for the hurricane (I wanted them for winter anyways, and I might need them now). Do these things actually work? Are they worth the money?
Our boats are about the same size (we've got a Vagabond 39), although we may weigh a little more (ok, a lot more -- we're 26,500lbs).

The snubbers seem to make a lot of people happy, so if you're going to get them anyway then you may already have your solution.

If you find that they don't solve the problem, then two things come to mind.

- Line size and type;
- Line placement and usage.

You want the lines to stretch a little before they come fully taut. If you're using Dyneema (not likely) or something like that, go back to triple strand nylon. If you're using 3/4" lines go down to 5/8" or maybe 1/2".

The longer you can run your dock lines, the more opportunity you give them to stretch before they come fully taut.

We typically use our spring lines as the "keep the boat firmly attached to the dock" device, with the bow and stern lines simply to keep us more or less oriented in the right direction. The spring lines are run snugly from a horned hawse hole midships fore and aft as far as I can get them. The bow and stern lines are then tied loosely just to stop the swinging before it goes too far.

YMMV.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
Our boats are about the same size (we've got a Vagabond 39), although we may weigh a little more (ok, a lot more -- we're 26,500lbs).

The snubbers seem to make a lot of people happy, so if you're going to get them anyway then you may already have your solution.

If you find that they don't solve the problem, then two things come to mind.

- Line size and type;
- Line placement and usage.

You want the lines to stretch a little before they come fully taut. If you're using Dyneema (not likely) or something like that, go back to triple strand nylon. If you're using 3/4" lines go down to 5/8" or maybe 1/2".

The longer you can run your dock lines, the more opportunity you give them to stretch before they come fully taut.

We typically use our spring lines as the "keep the boat firmly attached to the dock" device, with the bow and stern lines simply to keep us more or less oriented in the right direction. The spring lines are run snugly from a horned hawse hole midships fore and aft as far as I can get them. The bow and stern lines are then tied loosely just to stop the swinging before it goes too far.

YMMV.
You could be right, I use 3/4 " double braid on a 16,000 lb 34 foot boat. I considered going down in line size and using 3 strand, but I like the added thickness of the 3/4 " line incase the lines starts to chaffe. I also use tublar nylon webbing as chaffe guard, but the think line adds some more safety factor. Also, the way my dock is, my boat needs to be tied up fairly tight with lines fairly short, so the snubbers help counteract the short lines. With longer lines, snubbers might not be needed.
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I was in a particularly rough marina for a season and went through those black rubber snubbers like butter. I eventually found a snubber that looks like an auto/motorcycle shock absorber..it worked great!! and solved the problem. I looked online for a link to them to no avail.
I have to head to the boat tomorrow, I'll get the manufacturers name, and snap a photo.
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Thanks for the recommendations and insights. I placed an order for 4 of the ones I originally linked to. Hopefully they'll get here before the hurricane. I'll let you know how they work out.
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Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
Thanks for the recommendations and insights. I placed an order for 4 of the ones I originally linked to. Hopefully they'll get here before the hurricane. I'll let you know how they work out.
My advice: Use the snubbers. Use a lot of chaffe guard (you can use anything you might have on hand. I have even used an old shirt or scrap of canvas. Put the chaffe guard anywhere the line could rub. It does not have to look pretty.) I also tie a extra back up mooring line that is much looser than the line with the snubber. That way if the main snubber line breaks, the back up will hold for at least a while- hopefully. Also, the more times you wrap the line aroung the snubber, the more line stretch you will have- but you do not want to much or the boat will swing around too much- The snubbers come in line size- if sold out of the small line size, you can always stick a small line in the larger snubber, it will just be stiffer (maybe wrap an extra loop around the snubber. The snubber I use the line goes in wraps around between 1 to 3 times around the black tube then out the hole. Put all your fenders out and tie to the dock or the boat whereever the boat could hit if dock lines break. Hang some old tires or whatever you have, it does not have to look pretty- just protect the boat.

At my harbor, guys with big boats take a dock line and tie it around a tire then another line to the same tire- the tire acts as a snubber- you could get some small tires and try this if you do not get you snubbers in time.
Good luck riding out the storm- hope she is gentle on you

Last edited by casey1999; 08-24-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011
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The Taylor made snubbers are much easyer to use and have lasted longer than others i've used.
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