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Discussion Starter #1
A few month's ago my number on the waiting list finally came up at the community marina so in I went. Not the best slip as it is somewhat exposed to the south during a blow (15 to 20 K +). Chop can approach 10 to 12" at worst. My boat is an oday 34.

I decided that snubbers from Custom Rubber Corp where in order to smooth out the surge during any weather so they were installed on bow and stern lines. I used some 1/2" braided line that although not new was in decent shape. At the time, I was not concerned that this line is not the stretchy
type but is more appropriate for halyards etc. I figured that the snubber stretch was enough.

Well, one morning a couple of months later to my horror (after a blow overnight from the south) the starboard bow and stern lines had chafed thru and failed! My saving grace was that I listened to my gut instinct and had put backup lines on in case of a primary (snubbed) line failure. Otherwise my boat could have sustained severe damage.

The lines had chafed thru the snubber end where it takes a couple of sharp bends (see pic). I contacted custom rubber and they where responsive. I sent two snubbers and parted line back to them. Since then they have cited that the snubbers where used "improperly "

Custom Rubber Corp said:"After reviewing the circumstances of where and how your boat was docked, we found that our snubbers did not fail due to a part defect. We found that the appropriate dock lines for the environment were not being used.Our snubbers stand up to diverse weather and sea conditions, but only when used with an appropriate dock line"

Another engineer at CRC suggested that the snubbers where not made for such conditions. Huh?

So I remain in a quandry. Would three strand dockline have made a difference? My feeling is that chafe would have occurred with any line. There is no disclaimer and info about dockline type to be used with them anywhere in the instructions or website. Input please!

PS: I have since moved the boat to a better slip and have three strand 5/8" docline with NO snubbers!
Thanks
Fred
 

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Always use nylon for mooring lines.

Yep. Wrong line for the application. These snubbers have been around for many years. I'm pretty sure that if they had a propensity for chafing through docklines, they would not still be in production.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When you say wrong line for the application are you referring to braid vs three strand? Vasco: this is nylon line in pic? Thanks all!
 

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I agree. Wrong type of line. I have used these snubbers for years with three strand nylon dock lines and have had no wear or abrasion at all where the lines contact the snubber.
 

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That photo

That photo looks a lot more like a shock loading failure ,due to a low stretch line, then it does chafe. Chafe failures tend to unwind a double braid line much worse than that. That line looks like Samson's a low stretch halyards from a few years ago.
 

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Have been using three strand nylon lines with similar snubbers for more than 10 years without any problems.

My guess is in line with earlier reactions: you have used the wrong line (looking at the pictures the lines you used are intended to be used as sheets and are low stretch).
 

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So could the same failure be expected of braided nylon line? That's what we have for our boat, and that's what most people around our sail club seem to be using. I don't often see three-strand in use. I also rarely see snubbers in use.

Jim
 

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It's not a matter of 3-strand vs Braided. It's a matter of using dock lines vs running rigging. Lines appropriate for halyards and sheets should never be used for dock lines. Dock lines need to stretch, running rigging doesn't.
 

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Fred, I'd also expect thta using halyard for dock lines would be problematic--with or without snubbers.

HOWEVER. If those guys really just sold the snubbers without even bothering to put in a note that says "For use with 3-strand manila dockline or braided nylon dockline only!"

I would still gently remind them that in this quaint corner of the world, even a hot dog manufacturer is responsible for expecting any reasonable use of his product. A frozen hot dog makes a lousy hammer...but if the package doesn't say "Don't do this!" you just know that someone IS going to do it.

Product will fail if the un-taught un-experienced user simply buys it and uses it in a likely manner? Yeah, they should be nice enough to replace your snubbers, and take the gentle hint about molding in a warning message on the new ones.

Before the next guy sues 'em for the loss of a Bertram, and wins it.
 

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Fred, I'd also expect thta using halyard for dock lines would be problematic--with or without snubbers.

HOWEVER. If those guys really just sold the snubbers without even bothering to put in a note that says "For use with 3-strand manila dockline or braided nylon dockline only!"

I would still gently remind them that in this quaint corner of the world, even a hot dog manufacturer is responsible for expecting any reasonable use of his product. A frozen hot dog makes a lousy hammer...but if the package doesn't say "Don't do this!" you just know that someone IS going to do it.

Product will fail if the un-taught un-experienced user simply buys it and uses it in a likely manner? Yeah, they should be nice enough to replace your snubbers, and take the gentle hint about molding in a warning message on the new ones.

Before the next guy sues 'em for the loss of a Bertram, and wins it.
Sure, why not let hammer manufacturers put a warning on their products stating not to insert fingers between the nail and the hammer.

What happened to good old common sence? Dont alsways blame (this seems to be a culture) someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks all for your input. Seems that I am learning a hard lesson here about different types of line and their proper use. I was under the naive impression that most boat line was nylon but now know that polyproplene is used ( I assume for the low stretch apps). And I thought poly was just used on my ski boat tow lines! Doesn't poly degrade rather fast in sunlight? So the concensus is that my mistake was using poly vs nylon and not braid vs 3 strand? Is nylon line made for low stretch applications? Best, fred

PS: I still think the manufacturer should put a note in the literature to only use nylon dockline!
 

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argofred...

There's lot more to lines than just nylon and polyproplene. Get a copy of West Marine's catalog and look at what they offer and the advice that they give. Polyproplene (in general except where you want a floating line such as a ski rope) is a horrible line for boats...little shock absorbing stretch and deteriorates extremely fast (i.e. looses its strength) when exposed to sunlight. There are two basic lines for boating today .. first is nylon for dock lines and anchor rodes...strong, elastic to absorb shock. Comes in several make ups with three strand or double braided mosty common. Both stretch, but double braid stetches less but stays more flexible so it's easier to handle. Either one works for dock lines. If you are in a rough spot, be sure to have extra lines of a suitable size. Working load of lines is normally about 15% of breaking strength. Chafe, not line strength is going to be your worry, so protect the line anywhere the line will rub on something or take a sharp turn around an object. Polyester has comparable strength to nylon but less stretch...there are lots of variations by manufacturers to get less stretch for halyards, so don't use these for dock lines (except in severe storm conditions as backups to nylon lines when you have no other lines ...and then use them slacker than the nylon lines. There are a whole range of new exotic new special application line types that have been developed for halyards and other applications where very high strength and very low stretch is desired....these lines are extremely expensive and usually of little concern for the average, non racing sailor. None are suitable for dock lines. Stay away from the cheap "poly" lines that are also sometimes labeled nylon that are sold in some non boating stores...most short cut the manufacturing steps needed for good line and often use significant amount of polyproplene....which looses strength in sunlight.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My mistake ............I meant polyester. I keep getting polypro and polyester terms mixed up. What a way to get a lesson in lines! Thanks all!
 

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Sure, why not let hammer manufacturers put a warning on their products stating not to insert fingers between the nail and the hammer.
I agree, but this is an apples and oranges comparison. IMO.

What happened to good old common sence? Dont alsways blame (this seems to be a culture) someone else.
They're snubbers. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the purpose of snubbers to give elasticity to dock lines? If so: Is it really all that unreasonable for somebody to use them in just the way argofred did?

And would it really be all that much trouble for the manufacturer to put a little note in about recommended use?

Jim
 

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As long as we are talking about lines, Argofred should also check his anchor line. It should be nylon also, or he may be in for a very unpleasant surprise.
 
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