Taking The Strain

One of our new snubbing lines and hook, with a standard hook for comparison

During our time in the Rias of Galicia we’ve enjoyed many comfortable nights at anchor. But as is the case in any area surrounded by hills we’ve had plenty of wind at times, rolling down off those same hills, or funnelling down the valleys. We had one memorable night where despite the fact that we had some shelter, the gusts were blasting ferociously around a small promontory to windward, obviously due to a curious land effect. And although we were well sheltered from any sea, some of the gusts were fierce enough to send Pelerin swinging around her anchor.

Not conducive to sound sleep, but made easier by the fact that we had a really long nylon snubber attached to the chain, soaking up the strain in the gusts, and stopping any shock loadings on the anchor.

Looking around some of the anchorages here, it’s evident that not everyone shares that enthusiasm. If snubbers are attached at all, many of them are fastened to the cable just a couple of feet down, which will be just enough to take the load off the windlass. Not that that is a bad thing in itself, as it can avoid damage to the mainshaft of the windlass, but it’s far from enough to allow the snubber to stretch sufficiently to absorb shock loadings from strong winds or swell. And as Alain Fraysse has shown in his extensive dissertation on anchor cables stopping shock loadings can be essential in difficult conditions if the anchor is to stay well set.

At all times we carry at least two snubber lines of 16mm 3 strand nylon. These are 20m (66ft) each and we’ve always used simple stainless agricultural chain hooks to attach the snubber to the chain, and these have never let us down. However, we have heard of the odd occasion when one has dropped off the chain, defeating the object of the snubber, so when we came to replace one of them this time we went for a Wichard hook which has an integral spring loaded pin that is designed to ensure that the hook cannot fall off. These aren’t as hefty as the standard hooks, but should be more than adequate for the job, although I’d have to say that the locking pin looks a little small to my eyes.

In the gusts the other night we had around 40 ft of snubber out and allowed a good bight of slack in the chain. We then watched the snubbing line stretch out amazingly as the real blasts came through, taking up almost all of the slack in the chain, but at no time did the chain come up taut.

A second snubber would probably have been a good idea and I think that might be where the Wichard hook with its locking clip could prove useful. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep the same tension on with two snubbers, and that might allow one fitted with a normal hook to fall off – we’ll see, but if anyone has any experience of this or opinion on these new hooks it would be good to hear them.

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Meet the Author

Colin

Colin, European Correspondent here at AAC, is a deeply experienced offshore sailor who holds a Yachtmaster licence, and a gifted photographer and talented writer who has added a whole new dimension to Attainable Adventure Cruising. In addition, since Colin and Louise are from England and had their OVNI 435, Pèlerin built in France, they bring a European perspective to our site. You can read more about Colin and Louise and their business at their website.

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  • Paul Mills Jul 22, 2010, 10:13 am

    Hi Colin,

    We also anchor a lot – in fact 9 of the last 14 nights. I too use a snubber, ours is 12mm and appropriately stretchy. Unfortunately there are two issues with it. Firstly I made it too short at 15 metres, which means in strong gusts it can ‘run out of stretch’. Secondly we have the same hook as you have just replaced – and ours too ‘drops off’ at times – which is a real pain. Whilst the Ovni roller system is very strong – being all aluminium and welded it is also noisy in the forecabin! So, I am looking for a replacement hook and will keep an eye out for the Wichard one; when I find it, some longer rope will also join our selection.

    Enjoying the best summer weather for years in the Solent 🙂

  • John Jul 22, 2010, 10:15 am

    Hi Colin,

    Great post. On chain hooks, we used to use one, but found that from time to time it would drop off. For the last 10 years we have just attached the snubber with a double rolling hitch and never had a problem.

  • Victor Raymond Jul 22, 2010, 12:00 pm

    Colin,
    I recently made an anchor bridle out of 40 ft. of 3/4 inch 3 strand. In the middle I placed my hook and made it permanent with whipping line. I placed a bowline at both ends large enough to fit through and around my bow cleats which are about 8 ft. from the anchor roller. I pass the bridle around and under the chain through fairleads on either side of the bow roller assembly and then to the cleats on port and starboard. After all is assembled I let out the chain sufficient to put all the load on the bridle and then some. In addition I put a short snubber on the chain just past the windlass just in case.

    I, too, have had the hook fall off the chain and was interested in the Wichard hook. I also think Steve Dashew recommends using knitting twine that would hold the hook in place but would fail if you needed it stowed quickly.

    I used now about a half dozen times and it works quite nicely. Eventually I plan to replace the bowlines with properly spliced loops at the two ends.

    I am intrigued by John’s even simpler solution and the length of line that you use. I have not experienced such conditions as you describe so I am not sure if I have enough or too little line.

  • Colin Speedie Jul 24, 2010, 10:28 am

    Hi Paul; I’d agree that a longer line might be better, especially if you ever use it from (say) a spring cleat to shear the boat. It might also be the case that a heavier (14mm 0r even 16mm) might stretch less – we reckon ours is about right for the 435.

    The standard bow rollers are too narrow for the cheek plates, and so ‘knock’ when the boat swings and the load comes onto the snubber. We had a new, larger diameter roller made for the port channel, the same radius as the inside of our Rocna anchor, and had it made wider to fit the cheek plates better. We have sacrificial elastic line between the sides of the starboard roller and the cheek plates, and so there’s no noise from it now. Hardly engineering, but it’ll do fine until we are stopped for long enough to have another roller machined!

    Victor, sounds like a good set-up, but as Paul notes it’s amazing how these lines can stretch, so longer might be good. We don’t put eyes in our lines, simply so that we can adjust them to suit. In normal conditions we probably would put 10ft or so out, but as the wind gets up we progressively let out more.

    John’s solution is simple and elegant, but I take note of his point of double rolling hitches – singles can come undone when not under constant load. But I still like hooks!

    Best wishes

    Colin

  • Norris Jul 26, 2010, 12:28 pm

    Hi Colin,

    Interesting ideas on snubbers. We always use a snubber (aprox 40 ft), usually with 10 ft let out in light to normal winds. If it starts to blow hard, we put out more. The double rolling hitch is our choice – it never falls off, plus any reasonable line will do the job in a pinch. Years ago we had a hook fall off (again) while anchored in a blow at Shelburne while on our way home to Newfoundland. It was not nice. 🙂 I’ve never trusted the chain hook since.

  • Bob Tetrault May 18, 2011, 9:14 pm

    Hello to all, I have used snubbers for years and will now lengthen my storm snubber based on what I have read here. Regarding the attachment; we used rolling hitches for years but often needed to cut the line due to severe drying of the hitch. The cut adds to the time needed to clear the snubber always when the weather is at its worst. We have gone back to a 1/2″ galvanized chain hook. To prevent it from falling off we use heavy elastic bands, the ones you use around the leg of your oil pants to keep out the green water on a bad day. I load them on the hook doubled over and then once deployed over the tip of the hook and down the backside a ways until snug still doubled. I keep several loaded on the hook as spares. When retrieving the hook I bring the hook to the roller and either cut or slip the band back off the tip of the hook. I’ve used this method for a couple of years now with 100% success. The breaking strength of the other hooks on the market is quite scary compared with the simple chain hook. For those who do not know, Sea Return is a Pearson 530 at approx 52,000 lbs. Our primary anchor is a Rocna 55, our chain is Acco 7/16″ G4. The other tactic I use in a blow is a deeply reefed mizzen fully battened and very flat. The boat will sit head to wind and quiet in a big breeze. I had my sailmaker custom build the mizzen with this use in mind, the thing is bulletproof. Minimizing the shock loads is key to successfully hunkering down. Bob Tetrault S/V Sea Return

  • jeff Dec 15, 2012, 4:41 pm

    Sorry for the late response to this thread but I just came across it…

    A question: my snubbing hook has repeatedly slipped off the chain so it got me to wondering why a locking caribiner (with an eyelet) isn’t used for this purpose. They’re available in the Wichard catalog. Thoughts?

    Jeff

    • John Dec 16, 2012, 10:40 am

      Hi Jeff,

      I had not thought of using a caribiner. You would need to check that such a fitting, that would fit through the chain links, was as strong as the chain, I’m guessing not.

      But there is a much easier way: Simply attach the snubber to the chain with two rolling hitches, one behind the other. We have been doing this for 15 years and have never had a problem, even in hurricane force winds.

      • Jonah Jun 12, 2013, 3:49 am

        Hi John,
        Do you ever have issues untieing the rolling hitches? It seems like they would get pretty snug in a blow.
        Do you usually use a single line or set up a bridle?
        Thanks for the information!
        Jonah

        • John Jun 12, 2013, 7:48 am

          Hi Jonah,

          No, we don’t have any problems untying the rolling hitches, even after they have been subjected to several hours of the loads imposed by storm force winds. That’s one of the great things about the rolling hitch.

          We use a single line that runs out over the bow roller next to the chain. We have tried a bridle, but never found any advantage to the added level of complication.

          • Jonah Jun 20, 2013, 7:40 pm

            Hi John,
            Thanks for the information. I’m going to give the double rolling hitch a try. Our boat is 24,500 lbs.. From what I read 60′ of 3/8″ 3-strand nylon will work well for us.
            Is there a general ratio for how much chain to let out per foot or meter of snubbing line?
            Thanks again,
            Jonah

      • Drew Frye Feb 7, 2016, 4:45 pm

        I’ve been testing chain hitches (upcoming article I think) and the most obvious lesson seems to be that rolling hitches can slip. Certainly it depends on the rope and the chain, and mostly it depends on exactly how the rope fits into the links, but with some combinations they slip 75% of the time. You wouldn’t notice right off; the slipage doesn’t begin until about 20% breaking strength, what would be about 45 knots for most rigs. Most cruisers might not ever have this happen, if the chain and rope were rough (lower slip frequency) and they sought sheltered anchorages.

        I notice you set 2 rolling hitches. Is this because you had a single hitch slip?

        • John Feb 7, 2016, 6:11 pm

          Hi Drew,

          Yes, absolutely, I would never trust a single rolling hitch. On the other hand, I have never had a double rolling hitch fail me, and that includes in hurricane force winds with the boat being thrown back and forth across an anchorage.

          The key seems to be that two rolling hitches are way better than the sum of the parts. The first hitch tends to slip back a bit as it’s loaded but then the loading from the second hitch pulls the first tight, result, a very tight constriction that never slips, even on smooth small diameter chain with a large snubber.

          • Drew Frye Feb 9, 2016, 3:04 am

            Exactly.

            Ever try a variation, like a camel hitch? Seems like a big difference in security.

            What I used, before switching to metal plates and hooks, was a prusik hitch. I still use it to attach a second rode. I like it because I can do it with one hand in the dark.

          • John Feb 9, 2016, 8:41 am

            No, the rolling hitch works so well for me for so many things that I have never felt the need to mess with alternatives. My thinking is knowing a few knots well is better than a lot of knots not so well. That way at 3:00 am when things are coming unglued one does not have to think about knots, they just happen.

            More here: https://www.morganscloud.com/2015/03/05/the-only-five-knots-you-need-to-know/

  • Jim Apr 6, 2013, 3:27 pm

    Hello John,
    Just a brief background from a first time participant.
    We have a 2000 Hunter 410, weighing about 12 tons, that is our third boat. We purchased her in 2010 and have been preparing for departure from Lake Michigan, where we have sailed for the last 15 yrs, thru the St Lawrence to the Keys and Caribbean this winter. We usually anchor but in the Great Lakes we seldom see chain rode. I am in the process of putting together a chain rode and snubber system. I just bought a 66lb Sarca Excel that I plan on using with a 150 ft of 5/16″G4 chain and 150 ft of 5/8 3-strand rode.

    My questions are mostly about the snubber.
    Is double braid suitable snubber line? It doen’t seem like it would have the shock absorbing ability but I was told it is used.
    Since the rode for our boat is 5/8″ 3 strand would you use that size snubber also? Other than whipping the ends is there anything you do to make it eaiser to tie a rolling hitch with that size line?
    I have a Mantus chain hook to use on either a single or double 3/4″ x 25′ 3 strand snubber for those bad times with lots of scope. Would 3/4″ not have enough stretch for our displacement?
    I also have a Victory chain hook to use ahead of the windlass to protect it if something goes wrong with the snubber. Would using the same size line as the snubber be a good idea?

    How is your leg healing? It sure sounded like a gut wrenching ordeal!

    Thanks for the help.

    • John Apr 7, 2013, 7:27 am

      Hi Jim,

      To answer your questions:

      • I prefer three strand rope for a snubber, it’s cheaper and generally has more stretch. Having said that, I don’t think there is a lot in it.
      • Whipping the ends is fine.
      • You would not use a snubber when you were anchored on rope, only when anchored on chain. And in that case 5/8″ and 3/4″ for the snubber would be way too heavy for your boat size. I would start with 3/8″ and see how that works out.
      • On using a second chain hook to protect the windlass, in that case 5/8″ will be plenty. However, it is better to use a chain stopper for that purpose, not a chain hook.
      • Thanks for your concern about the leg. Yes, it’s healing, but it’s SLOW. Looks like another six months before I’m fit again.
  • Colin Speedie Apr 7, 2013, 9:13 am

    Hi John (and all others)

    A brief update on the Wichard chain hook, which we’ve now used hundreds of times.

    My first impression (as above) that the spring loaded pin is too small has proved correct, as we’ve bent it on two occasions now. It’s then a real pain getting it off the chain, which you wouldn’t want to happen if you were trying to clear out in a hurry. As such we’re going back to our old farmers versions for our No 1 snubber, i.e.the first of two that takes most of the punishment in really windy conditions. As the second snubber is less likely to be under tension most of the time, and so is more likely to fall off, we’ll use the Wichard for that snubber.

    I think there are other applications where the Wichard hook has merit, though – please look out for a future post where I hope to demonstrate one of them.

    Best wishes

    Colin

  • Gunther Apr 23, 2013, 2:51 am

    Hi All,
    Re the problem of having the hook come off. We’ve just simply attache a little rubber band on the standard chain hook. This ensures the hook to stay in place and still can be detached at a moments notice in an emergency.
    Best regards,
    Gunther
    http://www.mysailtalk.com

  • Bill Robinson Jul 23, 2013, 3:50 am

    I drill a small hole through the tip of my chain hook. I put about 12” of thin 3/16″ line through this hole, centred with overhand knots each side of the hook. Once the hook is on the anchor chain, I simply tie the line around the main body of the hook using a reef knot, and it never falls off. This is much more reliable than rubber bands, and is easy to undo. With any hook arrangement using a pin, there is always a chance that the pin can get bent, making it very difficult to remove. Dangerous if you have to get out in a hurry.

  • Bill Robinson Aug 8, 2013, 9:39 am

    I use a simple methot to ensure that the “standard” chain hook cannot fall off. I drill a small hole in the very tip of the hook, and put about 300mm of light line through the hole with two knots to keep it centralised. This is tied back over the main part of the hook with a reef knot to keep the hook from falling off the chain. The chain hook’s strength is not compromised at all. My snubber line is 20m long, and I veer it out according to the conditions.

    • Colin Speedie Aug 8, 2013, 4:25 pm

      Hi Gunther and Bill

      Both of your ideas seem to me to have merit – the one thing that can go wrong with the standard chain hook is that it can fall off in certain circumstances – not many, just on the odd occasion. Anything that can simply hold it in place, therefore, should surely work well.

      Wichard attempted this with their sprung loaded pin, but as we found, it has its limitations in practice.

      Best wishes

      Colin

  • Jon valen-Sendstad Nov 1, 2013, 4:23 am

    Interesting to read all the snubber comments. My self I have used a snubber that hooks into the chain with a double (in parallell) hook. That is really dangerous, because the chain must be unloaded and bent to attach and release the hook. In a situation when dragging there might be little time to do that. So I bought the Wichard 12-13 med mer hook, BUT it appears to be the weakest point of my mooring! The working load it takes is 960 kg (2112 lbs). That makes no sense as I believe my 50 ft boat in a 40 m/sec storm will induce some 5000 lbs force on the chain.
    With a factor of 4 to calculate the breaking load it may be ok, but in severe conditions the hook seems to weak to me. Am I right?

    • John Nov 2, 2013, 9:35 am

      Hi Jon,

      That’s a really good point about double hooks that I had not thought of, thank you.

      Yes, I agree that the Wichard is a bit light for your boat. My advice would be to dispense with the hook completely and use a double rolling hitch, as we have done for some 15 years without problems.

  • Jim Trefethen Feb 25, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Another excellent article!
    As for the tendency for a chain hook to fall off the chain, there are two simple cures: the first is to forgo the hook in favor of a simple rolling hitch, as suggested above. We have used this simple hitch for years with never a failure (as long as the hitch is tied properly and snugged up tight as the anchor is deployed). The second is to secure the hook to the chain with one or two zip ties. The old timers seldom used a hook on an anchor chain without seizing it to the chain with small-stuff. The zip ties do the same thing but are easier to use and quicker. You can also make doubly sure of your rolling hitch won’t shake loose by securing the bitter end of your snubber to the working part with two or three zip ties.

  • Bill Attwood Feb 25, 2015, 3:02 pm

    I use a 8 mm single braid Dyneema soft shackle to attach the snubber. Read about it on Evans Starzinger´s website. It works really well and is stronger than the chain. Making a soft shackle out of single braid is also really easy.
    Regards
    Bill

    • Marc Dacey Feb 26, 2015, 12:12 pm

      Bill, I would be interested to learn (if you did this job) how long the splices are on your 8 mm snubber. I have yet to splice Dyneema but I’ve heard it requires quite long splices because of its natural slipperiness. I have considered using a lot more Dyneema and Amsteel aboard for these sort of jobs as the price of the two has gone down of late, as I like the weight savings and it’s not difficult to preserve from chafe.

  • Bill Attwood Feb 27, 2015, 3:35 pm

    Hi Marc.
    I used a system I found on the internet which has an interactive table allowing you to put in the rope diameter and length of shackle required, and then gives you all the measurements. The site is . Splicing single braid Dyneema must be the easiest splicing of all, but the stopper knot did cause me some headscratching. The strongest knot is the button knot, but that proved beyond me, and I used the diamond knot. Nonetheless, the shackle achieves about 160% of the breaking strain of the Dyneema you are using. With the button knot you apparently get about 230%. The reason for the over 100% strength is that the load is carried by 4 strands, but the knot and eye reduce this.
    I am very happy with these soft shackles and use them on my foresail sheets, and for attaching preventer blocks to the toerail. Easy to make, kinder on the boat and crew, and cheaper than the stainless equivalent.
    Yours aye,
    Bill

  • Bill Attwood Feb 28, 2015, 2:16 pm

    Hi Marc.
    Not sure what happened with my last comment. The site is “L-36.com”.
    Hope this displays.
    Yours aye,
    Bill

  • Nick Howes Apr 5, 2015, 7:21 pm

    I have a 32 foot, 9500 pounds displacement Contessa 32 on 8mm chain, could anyone offer some advice on what size nylon snubbed I should use, length and thickness? Thanks, very informative site,

    Nick

    • John Apr 6, 2015, 8:36 am

      Hi Nick,

      My latest thinking is that the snubber size should be dependant on the chain strength and they should be roughly equal. So you need to know the grade of chain you are using and then from that you can determine the Minimum Break Load (MBL) of said chain.

      Once you have that number in hand, simply select a rope for the snubber that has about the same break load as the chain.

      This post will help with the chain issues.

      This method will yield a thicker rope than many use but you can get the same stretch and shock absorption simply by lengthening the snubber.

      • Drew Frye Feb 7, 2016, 4:59 pm

        I’ve got an article in Practical Sailor this month with a bunch of data on load vs. snubber diameter and length. You may find it interesting. I spent a lot of time taking strain readings. It was interesting to see that I could duplicate the AYBC load table with no-snubber in shallow water, but that the actual wind load was nearly 4x less than that; waves are a bugger! The right answer almost certainly depends on where you are. Since much of my time is spent on poor holding bottoms, I put a high premium on low forces. Even so, I think there is a strong argument that a long snubber can be somewhat weaker than the chain because it will snub the forces and never see that peak load. My snubbers are boat-length (catamaran with bridle), and taken together, are about chain strength. But many cruisers are using far less in some pretty rough places.

        • John Feb 7, 2016, 6:28 pm

          Hi Drew,

          I will look forward to reading the article.

          Having an interesting time at the moment playing with bits of dynamic climbing rope based on the excellent articles on your site…more to follow.

          • Drew Frye Feb 9, 2016, 3:06 am

            Amazing stuff. The only caution is that in some applications (snubbers) you need to be careful with chafe. Because more of the rope is in the core, the cover can be a little thin. It is also a bugger to splice, but it takes knots very, very well (all climbing rope drop testing is done with knotted lines).

          • John Feb 9, 2016, 8:35 am

            Not even trying to splice it…wouldn’t know where to start! Leaning toward a buntline hitch to make tethers, what do you think?

            Tried the follow through figure 8, but ended up with a lot of bulk.

            Oh, and I wouldn’t use it for a snubber. My current thinking is that too much stretch in a snubber is counter productive. The 3/4″ double braid nylon we went to this summer seems to be pretty much perfect.

  • Drew Frye Feb 9, 2016, 8:50 pm

    I actually use sewn splices, but I broke a lot of samples against a load cell getting the method right. As for a buntline hitch, that should work well Even more common is a noose made with e double overhand. Tests very strong (as good as figure-8) and is very compact. There is nothing magic about the figure-8; the main reason climbers like it is that they can untie it after a big fall. In fact, we use even bulkier versions when we know there will be a lot of falls. The buntline hitch and double overhand noose will be fixed, never to be untied!

    My old ribs really like the dynamic tethers. Just a few inches of give makes all the difference when getting knocked around.

    On a boat your size it would be a rubber band. I only weight 9T and I use 8mm as a bridle. I’ve got an article coming out in Practical Sailor next month regarding sizing snubbers. Unsurprisingly, if you plug in MCs specifics, 3/4″ double braid is about what the calculation gives. I combined theory and a lot of cruiser interviews, and fortunately, they agreed!

    • John Feb 10, 2016, 9:17 am

      Hi Drew,

      Thanks, on the knot. I messed with this a bit more yesterday and ended up with an “e-star” (Evans Starzinger’s modification of the buntline). More coming in a post.

      Also good to hear that theory and practice align on the snubber.

    • Drew Frye Feb 10, 2016, 10:23 pm

      Actually, I weight 9000 pounds. Oops.

      • John Feb 11, 2016, 6:42 pm

        Hi Drew,

        Really? Might be time to cut back on the doughnuts.

  • Laurel Jul 28, 2016, 10:19 pm

    Hello! My husband and I have been debating a question which we hope can be answered here: once a snubber is in use (particularly a longer snubber), how is the slack chain between the snubber and the boat functioning? My husband argues that it would not be actively holding the boat, and therefore, we may just as well use chain and rode. I don’t know if the weight of the slack chain is actually aiding in keeping the boat more securely anchored. Obviously, we aren’t scientists. Can someone explain this to us? Thanks!

    • John Jul 29, 2016, 7:47 am

      Hi Laurel,

      Your husband is right that once the snubber is in place, the chain is not doing much of anything, other than providing a backup if the snubber breaks. Although, of course, the chain weight is imparting some catenary (curve) to the chain that would be more than a rope rode with chain leader.

      Here’s where it gets interesting though: Contrary to common thought, said catenary does not add any appreciable ultimate holding benefit. The reason is that if it’s blowing hard enough for ultimate holding power to be an issue, the chain weight normally carried by a yacht will be pulled out pretty much straight.

      Having said all of that, I still feel that a chain rode is a better bet for several reasons. I need to write a post on that. But in the mean time, here’s one important point: I am pretty sure that it’s possible, or in fact quite easy, to have too much stretch in an anchor rode or snubber, resulting in the boat surging around more and actually imparting larger loads on the gear than with chain and a reasonable length snubber, say 30′. Again, this is contrary to the popular view that more stretch is better, with no limit, but after some 50 years of anchoring, both on rope and chain, I’m pretty comfortable with this position.

      And here’s another reason that hybrid rodes are not a good idea: https://www.morganscloud.com/2010/09/07/rope-chain-anchor-rodes/

    • Eric Klem Jul 29, 2016, 5:22 pm

      Hi Laurel,

      To answer the question of what affect the bit of chain between the snubber attachment point and the bow has on catenary, of course the answer is it depends. I think it is easiest to look at it from 2 extreme cases and then understand that the real answer is in between.

      The first extreme case is a bar tight perfectly horizontal rode with a small lazy loop that does not touch the bottom. If you do a free body diagram, you will find that half the weight of the lazy loop will be applied vertically down at the snubber attachment point so it is basically the same catenary contribution as if the snubber was not there.

      The other extreme case is a snubber attachment point close to the bottom with a large lazy loop. The chain weight in this case does very little because most of the weight is either on the bow of the boat or on the bottom.

      I think that John presents a good way of thinking about it. In truth, the weight of the chain is not a big deal. We currently have an all chain rode which I am very happy about but I have also anchored through tropical storms and nor’easters on a mixed rode with only 30′ of chain. During these storms, my concern was not the anchor pulling out, it was chafe. The problem with trying to have a mixed rode such that the snubber attaches to the end of the chain and the line portion serves as your backup to the snubber is that water depths and required scope vary so the chain length would need to change. My risk tolerance would allow boats in places with good bottoms that don’t anchor out in extended storms to use a mixed rode but once the potential of extended chafing situation exists, I believe that all chain is the best option.

      Eric

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