Chain 'snubber' line Back to Projects See 19 Feb 14 revision below
This is the chain snubber line used on VALHALLA.
The snubber line is 3/4" nylon, 14 feet long. It is led through a deck chock with chafe guard of reinforced plastic hose to a deck cleat.
This arrangement keeps the load of the chain away from the bowsprit, a lever that accentuates the rocking motion in waves. It provides some give under load and also keeps the strain away from the rigging (head stay, whisker stays, and bobstay).
The chain is led to another sturdy deck cleat and removed from the windlass gypsy. In the event the snubber line become separated from the chain (which can happen while bobbing up and down in short waves), the strain does not harm the windlass or its fasteners.
Barely visible at the bow roller is a stainless steel stowage hook on which the snubber line shackle is fastened while underway ... this keeps it handy to use while anchoring.
After trying the commercially available galvanized chain hooks, which tend to rust quickly, I fabricated my own hook as shown.
I used 1/4" stainless steel (304) plate and made the cuts with a fiberglass blade on a rotary grinder.
The width of the slot for the chain, in my case 5/16" HT, is 3/8".
This has served me well since 1998.
17 Feb 2014 The situation highlighted above (becoming unfastened) caused me to redesign the chain hook. The new, improved chain hook is:
On the engineering drawing below, the reduction in width of the interior edges has been simplified over that shown in the photo. This reduction was necessary since the available stock material was 10mm in thickness and the spacing between links of my chain is 8mm. I made this change too late for the fabricator. The cost for the one shown above, here in the Philippines was $33. With less machining work as shown below it should be less expensive. I will post an update when/if available..
Using the chain hook (added as a reader's suggestion)
Pay out chain until the strain is taken on the snubber line. Continue to pay out chain forming a catenary below the hook, and lead back to a secure point on deck. It isn't a good idea to lead the chain directly back to the windlass gypsy. In the event the snubber line or hook come free, it would put an undue strain on the windlass as a sharp and strong pull would result from the chain suddenly becoming free.