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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear folks,

In floating around various anchorages up and down the US East Coast and the Bahamas I have noticed that people using all-chain or even mostly-chain rodes usually use a large diameter rope on their snubber. For boats in the 35' to 40' range that diameter is usually 5/8" and often as large as 3/4" and often up to 1".

I thought the idea of the snubber was to provide a "shock absorbing" link between the boat and the anchor. If that is the purpose then would not a smaller diameter and therefore "stretchier" line be better? Also, most snubbers appear to be about 10' in length. If nylon stretches X" per foot, would not a longer line provide more stretch?

For the past three years I have used a 30 foot long, 3/8" diameter 3-strand nylon line as my snubber for our Crealock 37'. I rarely use more than about 15' of its length but have, when it was blowing 30 Knots or so, used the entire length. In winds to 40knots that 3/8" nylon sure looks skinny but it has not broken nor shown any signs of fatigue. But boy does it stretch nicely to avoid shock loading the anchor.

My question for the group: Am I utterly nuts on this one?

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving, Jay

PSC 37, Kenlanu
Buck's Harbor, Maine
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone for contributing to a very thoughtful discussion of snubbers. Further reading and especially Morgan's Cloud Attainable Adventure Crusing site confirms what many here are saying -- that you should have a LONG length of 3 strand (at least equal to the length of your boat) for your snubber, using 10 feet or so in normal circumstances and all of it when the winds are howling. The Chain manufacturers REALLY stress the importance of not shock loading chain -- never mind attachments points on BOTH ends -- boat and anchor. All the "safe working load" figures for chain are for gradually imposed loads on the chain, not shock loads which can be a LOT higher.

And as many here have said, conventional wisdom often contains lots of convention and little wisdom. Thank you everyone for helping me sort through which is which.

Jay
SV Kenlanu
Buck's Harbor, Maine
 
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