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estarzinger

using soft shackles on chain snubbers

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I have been playing around with using soft shackles to replace either the chain hook or rolling hitch that are typically used.

 

Poorly written (but decent photos) article here

 

Thru a chain link:

post-8534-0-06593100-1369595564_thumb.jpg

 

Around the chain with a klemheist hitch

post-8534-0-48209900-1369595529_thumb.jpg

post-8534-0-44317800-1369595562_thumb.jpg

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I don't anchor with chain (as you well know:-), but I'm starting to use soft shackles more and more. I'm always concerned about chafe and worry about the smoothness of whatever I'm using them on. Have you had any experience with using these, given that I'd expect chain links to be fairly rough?

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Very cool.

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for a snubber I still like a metal hook that fits the chain instead of a soft shackle. not that you're going to lose the boat if the snubber breaks, but I think you're going to see a lot more chafe with a soft shackle than with the more traditional snubber methods.

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I would think the course chain would chafe the soft shackle, but perhaps I underestimate the shackle / spectra.

 

How many hours have you spent with the soft connection and how is the wear?

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for a snubber I still like a metal hook that fits the chain instead of a soft shackle. not that you're going to lose the boat if the snubber breaks, but I think you're going to see a lot more chafe with a soft shackle than with the more traditional snubber methods.

 

My thoughts as well.

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11 years at anchor behind a metal chain hook connecting the snubber line to the chain. It has never come off, not once!

 

Two or three times we have had to reanchor at night in a major squall with boats dragging everywhere and the hook can be removed and reattached instantly. No knots are involved.

 

It ain't broke so .........................................

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It ain't broke so .........................................

That is definitely one school of thought. It's not mine. Mine is "if it can be improve, do so".

 

As to chafe . . . We have used bare spectra as our mainsail reef lines for a decade and seen essentially nil chafe. Last summer I experimented with a "Dacron line thru a link" snubber and saw essentially nil chafe (because it was designed in a way not to "saw"), and spectra is sure more chafe resistant than Dacron. So I have reason to believe that chafe will not be an issue here, but not enough experience yet to "prove it". We shall see.

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For the snubber line itself, the objective is to get maximum stretch with minimum chafe. I have copied an idea from New England Ropes and created a line with very chafe resistant dyneema from the deck cleat to just beyond the bow roller, and then with stretchy dynamic rock climbing line from the bow roller to the soft shackle. Below is a picture of version #1. I am not sure how to put splices in the climbing line, so I have used knots for now (a figure 8 and a double sheet bend).

 

With this sort of solution, if I ever want more snubber length or more elasticity I could attach a piece of nylon from to the inboard end of the dyneema and take that nylon to a mid-ships cleat, and let our extra (about 20’ is available) until the dyneema is just still over the bow roller. I doubt that will be necessary but it is an available option.

 

post-8534-0-79514000-1369689258_thumb.jpg

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We live on a catamaran so our snubber is a two legged bridle to each bow with each leg about 20'. We use 10mm climbing rope with a seized and sewn thimble in the middle. Works great but because it is so long a chain hook WILL fall off in shallow water.

 

Rode is 160' chain spliced to rope. When we're onto the rope portion I use a prussick hitch with a short strop and hook the chain hook to it. Can't wait to try the soft shackle approach.

 

Any snubber has to be quick to release when the anchorage turns into a lee shore at 3am and you know the holding is dicey.

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Interesting, Evans, I will try a soft hitch. Though unsure how it is an improvement over a rolling hitch, which I have always used and never had one fail. I use dock line which I discard when it shows wear. Admit I have never anchored in a tropical storm. I once added a second snubber in a lesser storm, but it was not needed.

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