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Stede 09-23-2003 10:29 AM

At anchor in heavy weather
I''ve read where some evidence exists that a mixture of rope and chain will provide better holding than with all chain in gale conditions. Supposedly the reason is that the elasticity of rope prevents snatch loads being supplied to the the anchor. I''m curious as to how many of you cruisers out there would agree with this analogy?

Silmaril 09-23-2003 11:09 AM

At anchor in heavy weather
You are correct about having the elasticity help the anchor, but it also helps lessen the shock loading on the vessel as well.

You should make up a length of line, stout enough for your vessel, that is about 1.5 times your boat length. Use about half as a snubber, and attach to your chain with either a claw or a shackle. Then tie that off to your boat. The reserve length will be good if you have to adjust your scope and not have to re-attach the snubber.

My ground tackle is not as sophisticated. I have a 35# CQR with about 25'' of proof coil chain, attached with a shackle to 200'' of 5/8" 3-strand nylon rode. The secondary anchor is a 10# Fortress with 10'' of chain and 200'' of 1/2" 3-strand nylon. All that for a 37'' boat with low windage and weighing about 11,000#.

While I have not anchored in a huricane yet, I have been able to sleep through just about everything else.

paulk 09-23-2003 04:36 PM

At anchor in heavy weather
The problem with all chain is that when it goes bar-tight in a real blow, the next wave under your bow is supposed to unbury your anchor, and then it starts to get interesting. Adding a nylon "snubber" section of line is supposed to supplement the chain''s catenary cushioning effect. Making sure you get nylon heavy enough to hold up but stretchy enough to leave the anchor set is what separates the guys who keep sailing from the ones who don''t.

Stede 09-23-2003 05:09 PM

At anchor in heavy weather
Silmaril & paulk,

On my 26 footer, I carry a combination chain/rope rode on both of my anchors.I''m familiar with using a snubber, but have never used one on my boat. Last Spring, I got caught in a pretty nasty storm close to the Marquesas.I put out one Delta anchor (chain/rope)and set it with about a 7:1 scope.Then I put out my second anchor (a Danforth) but really wasn''t sure how well it set because the waves were bouncing me around quite a bit by then. Long story short, the boat drug both anchors and I ended up aground on a shoal.I was single-handling,so then things really did get interesting. Anyway, when I read the information about a combination chain/rope supposedly being better to anchor with in a real blow, I had to wonder back to the Marquesas scenario and question whether an all chain rode with a snubber would have made any difference.I think the biggest problem (which I observed later) was that the seabed in that area is covered with a lot of seagrass.In my mind,the Delta dug in, or at least appeared to,but the Danforth never did.When the big waves started hitting me,the Delta broke out under a "snatch load",and then both anchors "skipped" across the seabed until I ultimately ended up aground on a shoal.After reading your comments about using chain with a snubber,I wonder if that would have helped me with the nature of the big waves and all? Food for thought I guess? Thanks for your input.

NJW3 09-24-2003 02:32 AM

At anchor in heavy weather
Hey guys,

What''s a snubber and where can I find diagrams/pictures?


DuaneIsing 09-24-2003 02:57 AM

At anchor in heavy weather

There is a diagram at this web page:

It shows 2 lines, but I think most sailors use one line of a longer length than shown to allow for more stretch.

BTW, I simply typed the words "snubber" and "diagram" into my web search engine.


Stede 09-24-2003 04:57 AM

At anchor in heavy weather

A snubber is the guy at a fancy French restaurant whom you have to slip some cash to in order to get a good table ;^) I know...bad joke! Sorry! The link Duane supplied you has a good illustration of an anchor rode snubber.Have a great day!

NJW3 09-24-2003 09:12 AM

At anchor in heavy weather
Thanks. I had tried the SailNet dictionary, but not the web.

If you only use one line, how is the thimble shown in the diagram attached?

DuaneIsing 09-24-2003 10:01 AM

At anchor in heavy weather

You asked: "If you only use one line, how is the thimble shown in the diagram attached?"

Assuming you mean the thimble as shown in the lower illustration, it would be attached the same way. To make the snubber from one line only, you would simply skip the step of splicing in the other line that makes up the bridle (not labeled).


NJW3 09-24-2003 02:21 PM

At anchor in heavy weather

OK - thanks again. As you can tell, I''m new to this but I''m getting an education from this board.


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