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Stopping anchor chain 'crunch and grind' in the bow roller

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What is the issue?
In a stiff breeze or chop a yacht tends to press astern lifting up the weight of chain between the vessel and the anchor. Once the chain is pulled taught the links in the chocks snap tight grinding and crunching.

Why address this?
The grinding and crunching noise reverberates through the vessel and can be very annoying, particularly so for crew trying to rest or sleep in the forcsle cabin. Equally, the hard snapping on the chain may cause the anchor to dislodge.

How to address this?
Place a damping ‘snubber’ line on the anchor chain - see Figure 1.

A ‘snubber’ line is a short length of nylon warp with a hook set into one end. The warp thickness varies depending upon the weight of the vessel but a gauge that would be appropriate for the vessels mooring lines would be broadly applicable.

In action you hook into the links of a deployed anchor and belay the line on deck. Then let out a few additional feet of anchor chain to allow the yacht to lay and ride upon the snubber line hook into the chain. Critically, you must then again belay the extended anchor chain so it can take the load should the snubber extend the few feet or fail.

The boat then lays to the combined snubber line and chain length beyond the hook in point. This adds a soft damping bounce to the snatching yacht. Hence the anchor is not snatched so hard and there is no anchor chain coming taught and grinding in the chocks. It also removes the anchor chain rumble upon a hard bottom from coming up the chain and keep you awake at night.

It is recommended that a protective hose pipe is added around the snubber line in the position where it lays upon the chocks in order to prevent chafe.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

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