"How do I snub thee?" or "There must be 50 ways to lose your snubber
22 April 2010 | La Cruz anchorage
A while back an acquaintance of mine lost his boat when both of his snubbers failed, the chain backwound from the windlass, and the boat went on a reef. Although this occurred in the middle of a tropical cyclone it can also happen in milder conditions. Recently one boat in our anchorage had a mooring cleat fail and drug some distance during a 20-25 knot blow with 2-3 foot wind waves. So I thought I'd take a moment to share our strategy for keeping the boat attached to the anchor rode.
Our primary snubber is a slotted triangular plate that the chain fits into and a bridle consisting of two lengths of yacht braid, spliced with thimbles, and wrapped around a rubber snubber before being attached to mooring cleats on either side of the bow. It's a chafe free device. The only possibility of chafe would be at the chocks which have not caused any chafe thus far.
Our secondary snubber is a heavy piece of line with a G-70 chain hook attached. I also use this to hold the chain while setting the anchor. I simply cleat it to the large cleat in the center of the foredeck. As a precaution I stay clear in case the assembly somehow failed. I think the line is at least 3/4 so it's unlikely.
The last link is the chainstopper. This device is pretty substantial and my guess is the chain would break before the chainstopper failed.
So far this setup has worked well except for the one time that the pawl for the chainstopper went swimming. The replacement is tethered so that cannot happen again.
For anyone interested in our ground tackle the primary is a 55lb Delta, secondary a 16kilo French made anchor that is a superb anchor. I just don't know what it's called. One or our Ha-Ha crew dated a French lady who used one just like it as a primary anchor for decades. The third anchor is an FX-37. I want to get something like a Rocna or Manson for next season. Additionally I'd like a pretty small Danforth to use as a stern hook. The Fortress works great but it's bigger than needed for stern anchor duty in places like Chacala. The Delta is a great anchor but I'd prefer a somewhat larger anchor like the Rocna or Manson that has better resetting capability.