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What is the correct size of bridle snubber for 35 foot sailboat?

jhguth

.
Aug 21, 2021
12
Beneteau Oceanis 35 Sausalito
My Beneteau Oceanis 35 (wt 12,000 lbs) has 3/8" G43 anchor chain (breaking weight 16,200 lbs) and windlass/gypsy for that size. Which Mantus bridle snubber is best for this boat and chain? I am not sure how to balance the tradeoff between line strength and stretching ability.

Small (for 30-40ft boat): Bridle length 23 ft; two 20 ft legs of 5/8" 3-strand nylon (swl 1525 lbs; UBS 12,200 lbs).
Medium (for 40-50ft boat): Bridle length 26 ft: two 22 ft legs of 3/4" 3-strand nylon (swl 2087 lbs; UBS 16,700 lbs).

Leaving aside the Mantus recommendations, I purchased the Medium size thinking I wanted the strength of the bridle to equal that of my chain, and not become the weakest link (like the small bridle would be). But perhaps that additional strength is not needed for my boat and the smaller bridle with more stretch would be better, even if it is weaker than the chain? Or are both essentially ok?

(I know many boats the size of mine have smaller chain -- like 5/16" -- so the smaller bridle would be suitable in that case. But my chain was in the boat when I bought it and the windlass is suitable for it.)

Thanks so much for your advice and experience.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,735
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
The purpose of a bridle or snubber is to absorb shock with stretchy nylon. The thicker the line, the more force is needed to cause it to stretch, so over sized snubber are not capable of doing their job. More stretch is better than less.
 
Jul 1, 2010
861
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
Here's a link to a Practical Sailor article on the subject:


Because of those recommendations, I made my own for our Catalina 350. I do have a Mantus hook and like it a lot, but their bridles were heavier line than I wanted. I used 1/2" 8 plait nylon and spliced 2 lines on my Mantus hook.

You may want to go with a single line snubber instead of a bridle, though. I've found that the bridle sometimes is pretty noisy as the loose loop of the chain runs up and down it with boat movement. It kind of acts like a guitar string and transfers the clunk clunk clunk of the chain links against it into the boat. The angle between the 2 legs of the bridle isn't enough with a monohull so when the boat sails at anchor, the anchor chain rubs up and down one leg, then the other.
 
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jhguth

.
Aug 21, 2021
12
Beneteau Oceanis 35 Sausalito
Here's a link to a Practical Sailor article on the subject:


Because of those recommendations, I made my own for our Catalina 350. I do have a Mantus hook and like it a lot, but their bridles were heavier line than I wanted. I used 1/2" 8 plait nylon and spliced 2 lines on my Mantus hook.

You may want to go with a single line snubber instead of a bridle, though. I've found that the bridle sometimes is pretty noisy as the loose loop of the chain runs up and down it with boat movement. It kind of acts like a guitar string and transfers the clunk clunk clunk of the chain links against it into the boat. The angle between the 2 legs of the bridle isn't enough with a monohull so when the boat sails at anchor, the anchor chain rubs up and down one leg, then the other.
Super interesting and helpful article. Thank you so much for alerting me to it.
According to this article, you're right, even the small Mantus bridle line is too short and too thick for my boat as well as yours, at least from the point of view of reducing load. So I can see why you went with 1/2". And is it around 50 ft (1.5 boat lengths) long?

One idea I saw in "Happy Hooking -- The Art of Anchoring" is to add a mooring compensator to a snubber. If using a bridle, one could add one or two to each arm. This article shows a few, like the Unimer U-cleat, that absorb loads like those shown as relevant in the article you flagged -- and would provide 350mm or more stretch for each (750mm for two). This actually seems significant compared to the stretch one might expect for 23 feet of 5/8" 3 strand nylon (maybe only 2-4% (less than a foot) at lower loads).

Did you consider this or have you tried it?
 
Jul 1, 2010
861
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
The one I made is 40', though I rarely put more than 20' of it out. No, haven't considered anything else
 

T Dunn

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May 23, 2018
16
Allied Princess Southwest Harbor
My snubber on my Allied 36 is 1/2" three strand nylon. It is sized so that the chain hook is just at the water when the chain is straight down (about 10' total length for the snubber). The only time I would want a longer larger line size would be if I was anchoring in winds over 20 knots which I do not do. My snubber is mostly to take the load off my windlass.
 

jhguth

.
Aug 21, 2021
12
Beneteau Oceanis 35 Sausalito
My snubber on my Allied 36 is 1/2" three strand nylon. It is sized so that the chain hook is just at the water when the chain is straight down (about 10' total length for the snubber). The only time I would want a longer larger line size would be if I was anchoring in winds over 20 knots which I do not do. My snubber is mostly to take the load off my windlass.
Thanks for this input. Just a note, the article up above suggests that for boats the size of yours and mine, a 1/2" snubber should be like 40-50 feet, which seems like a lot. This is to get enough stretch so that the load is substantially reduced -- 12% stretch at safe working load on 50 feet of 1/2" three strand is 6 feet of stretch. With 10 foot snubber that is 1.2 feet and at 20 feet is 2.4 feet.
 

jhguth

.
Aug 21, 2021
12
Beneteau Oceanis 35 Sausalito
Has anyone tried adding a mooring compensator to a snubber? This article talks about various devices:


Some of them look like they would add a foot or more of stretch to a snubber.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,807
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I look at the “snubber” as the fuse in the anchor system. The small unit fits that purpose.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
There’s no rule that a boat must carry only one snubber. In quiet, sheltered spots with no incoming seas a 20 to 25-ft one to protect the windlass from strain is good enough. If in an “active” anchoring area, or along the beach for some reason with seas arriving, then you might wish to switch to a much longer, more stretchable one to protect against snatch loads on the windlass, etc. I carry two chain hooks and plenty of spare line if I have to make one up, etc.;)
 
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Oct 22, 2014
15,807
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I carry two chain hooks and plenty of spare line if I had to make one up, etc.;)
KG. If I understand this correctly, the typical anchoring arrangement where you select a sheltered harbor to settle for the night, the 20-30 snubber is the "Usual" system employed.

If you are faced with the unusual, such as a storm winds and sea conditions that would disrupt the normal anchor set, you carry other gear that can be employed as needed. You pull that from storage and add to your snubber system to address these unusual conditions.

Similar to carrying more than one anchor or one length of chain.

This is a technique I have observed for cruisers that passage to distant shores. They have a go to standard rig, but carry equipment to improvise based on the conditions.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
KG. If I understand this correctly, the typical anchoring arrangement where you select a sheltered harbor to settle for the night, the 20-30 snubber is the "Usual" system employed.

If you are faced with the unusual, such as a storm winds and sea conditions that would disrupt the normal anchor set, you carry other gear that can be employed as needed. You pull that from storage and add to your snubber system to address these unusual conditions.

Similar to carrying more than one anchor or one length of chain.

This is a technique I have observed for cruisers that passage to distant shores. They have a go to standard rig, but carry equipment to improvise based on the conditions.
Yes. Basically the point is that it does not have to be “one size” for all situations. One reason I prefer having the “raw materials” to assemble what is needed over buying a “dedicated-use” item, etc. When not being used as a dock line, that 50 or 75 ft of rope could be made up into a snubber (with or without the chain hook). Might combine two lengths of different diameters using a double sheet bend. Say a “short” 3 to 5-ft piece of 1/2” or 9/16” three-strand to “grab” the chain with a hitch bent to a long snubber of 9/16” or 5/8”, respectively, for stretch.
 
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Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,961
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
My anchoring bridle/snubber has evolved considerably over the years. I have used 1/2" three strand nylon from the beginning with great success. Ten foot lengths on each leg give sufficient stretch, and keep the hardware out of the water. I have tried several types of hooks, but they all at one time or another became detached from the chain, so I use a normal shackle to attach the bridle to the chain. For years, I attached each leg of the bridle to a bow cleat directly from the chain, allowing a foot or so of chain to hang loose from the bridle. I wasn't happy about the way my boat would wander from side to side while at anchor, so I tried something different. I ran both bridle legs through the bow roller and then to the bow cleats, which seems to cut down on the wandering quite a bit.
So, my anchoring procedure now is to set the hook, let out the scope I need, then secure the shackle to the chain on the deck, and secure the bridle to the bow cleats. Then I let out the chain through the bow roller, shackle and all, until there is about a foot of chain hanging loose from the shackle, and secure the chain. This arrangement has worked very well. No noise and no tangling, and when I weigh anchor, I just pull the chain and bridle up through the bow roller and disconnect the shackle on deck.
 
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