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Old 04-26-2016, 12:31 PM   #1
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CHAIN STOPPER vs. ANCHORING BRIDLE

I presume from what what I have read that an anchoring bridle is preferred over a chain stopper as the bridle can stretch and absorb "shock" whereas a chain stopper cannot. I doubt that I am alone in saying that my anchor chain is impossible to reach without the use of a boat hook which in itself poses difficulty. I have rigged an on-deck bridle, however the 3 strand lines extend only 2 feet from chain hook to the bollards. I expect this is better than using a chain stopper, whereas it does relieve the windlass of any tension, it provides little in the way of shock absorbtion. I also use it with the anchor up to avoid windlass tension. Any ideas on how this setup could be improved. The ingeniousness of this forum is amazing.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:45 PM   #2
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I have and use both.
I thought everyone did that.
If my bridle gives way, then the chain lock takes over.

Also, I make a loop in the chain and using a simple HD chain hook it never comes off until I am hauling the chain.

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Old 04-26-2016, 12:47 PM   #3
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You will get all sorts of advice on this. My 2 centavos worth--

Nothing fancy is needed to do what you want. Attach a standard galvanized chain grabber on a 50 foot or so line (1/2") to your chain before it goes past the roller/wheel. Lower it another few feet, say 10 and affix it to a secure post or cleat in the chain's line of travel. Then let out another few feet of chain to make a loop as the snubber takes the weight.

You don't necessarily need a fancy bridle arrangement. One line is OK. Just a nice simple arrangement to get the forces off the windlass. Some windlasses are hell for stout and don't need snubber line protection.

Most chain stoppers I've seen are pretty flimsy and mounted too lightly. Do this tie in to the foredeck structure area right if not already done so.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petdoc4u View Post
I presume from what what I have read that an anchoring bridle is preferred over a chain stopper as the bridle can stretch and absorb "shock" whereas a chain stopper cannot.

IMO, it's not an either/or, it's both. The chain stopper (or Samson post, or bitt, or whatever) takes the load off the windlass... but it doesn't do squat for shock loads. The bridle helps manage shock loads on the working end of the chain.

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Old 04-26-2016, 01:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
You will get all sorts of advice on this. My 2 centavos worth--

Nothing fancy is needed to do what you want. Attach a standard galvanized chain grabber on a 50 foot or so line (1/2") to your chain before it goes past the roller/wheel. Lower it another few feet, say 10 and affix it to a secure post or cleat in the chain's line of travel. Then let out another few feet of chain to make a loop as the snubber takes the weight.

You don't necessarily need a fancy bridle arrangement. One line is OK. Just a nice simple arrangement to get the forces off the windlass. Some windlasses are hell for stout and don't need snubber line protection.

Most chain stoppers I've seen are pretty flimsy and mounted too lightly. Do this tie in to the foredeck structure area right if not already done so.
Agree....

But I am a fair weather anchoring guy so far....a bridle might be prefered in other circumstances...but in up to 25 knots....single 20 foot, 1/2 nylon or snubber tied on with rolling hitch works fine and don't get much single or issue free.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:38 PM   #6
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Can't imagine anyone who anchors regularly not using a bridle, at least a single line bridle. The shock loads on a chain stopper without a bridle would damage it over time.

Suggest you use a bridle as opposed to a single line. Once in perhaps 50 times you will find a bridle line goes loose from the cleat, the double line saves the day, whereas with a single line you can loose the line and hook and damage the windlass.
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Old 04-26-2016, 02:00 PM   #7
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No pole needed if you hook and unhook the bridle at the pulpit and let the windlass do the work of letting out or pulling in
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Old 04-26-2016, 02:02 PM   #8
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I agree with "both." I use a bridle and a chain stopper. As mentioned, the bridle is attached to the chain just after it goes over the roller - I can reach there from my bowsprit. Then the chain is lowered until the bridle takes the strain.

This past weekend I anchored in the Napa River. It's muddy and narrow and I was concerned about swinging into the mud. I this case I used neither a snubber nor a chain stopper. There was no surge in the river and very little strain on the windlass. However, I did want to be able to make adjustments quickly if needed without having to bother unhooking everything. It turned out to be useful - about 1am I ended up shortening scope to pull the boat off the mud. All from the pilothouse in my pyjamas!

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Old 04-27-2016, 06:47 AM   #9
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Both is the answer as the bridal will need to be thin stuff 3/8 or 7/16 in order to stretch and give the smoothest ride in modest winds.

A sail boat snap shakle is simple attachment method.
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:18 AM   #10
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Yes both. I use a single 20 foot 1/2" 3 strand nylon bridle with a grab hook. The chain stopper pawl on the windlass is the back up (although pretty wimpy) and the secondary back up is the windlass itself.
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:47 AM   #11
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Sunchaser advised...

Nothing fancy is needed to do what you want. Attach a standard galvanized chain grabber on a 50 foot or so line (1/2") to your chain before it goes past the roller/wheel. Lower it another few feet, say 10 and affix it to a secure post or cleat in the chain's line of travel. Then let out another few feet of chain to make a loop as the snubber takes the weight.

You don't necessarily need a fancy bridle arrangement. One line is OK. Just a nice simple arrangement to get the forces off the windlass. Some windlasses are hell for stout and don't need snubber line protection.


Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Agree....
But I am a fair weather anchoring guy so far....a bridle might be prefered in other circumstances...but in up to 25 knots....single 20 foot, 1/2 nylon or snubber tied on with rolling hitch works fine and don't get much single or issue free.
I third the above, seeing psn seconded it...I don't have a built in chain stopper, but if my snubber broke or came loose, my back-up is another short line & hook that I also use as a way of making sure the anchor can't get loose if someone hit the 'down' button by mistake underway or at the dock.
Keep it simple in case you end up needing to adjust quickly like in Brittania's post. Relevant part being...

"This past weekend I anchored in the Napa River. It's muddy and narrow and I was concerned about swinging into the mud. I this case I used neither a snubber nor a chain stopper. There was no surge in the river and very little strain on the windlass. However, I did want to be able to make adjustments quickly if needed without having to bother unhooking everything. It turned out to be useful - about 1am I ended up shortening scope to pull the boat off the mud. All from the pilothouse in my pyjamas!"
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:27 AM   #12
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A bridle provides comfort at anchor due to elasticity. A chain lock or other locking mechanism protects the windlass.

For what it's worth, in January, our bridle snapped when anchored in the Exumas in worse-than-predicted 40 knot winds. I'm glad we had the second mechanism forward of the windlass or else the windlass would probably be in the sea floor now.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:49 AM   #13
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We use a double bridle attached to our bow cleats. Had the same set up on our last boat. Unfortunately, we sold that one with the boat.

So we had HOPCAR make us a new one!! Can't wait to try it out!!
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:07 AM   #14
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Getting back to the OP, it would be helpful to see a picture of the boat so we can evaluate the access issue he references. I'm not sure his particular situation has been addressed yet. Is it one of those set ups where the anchor chain goes down a long hawse pipe and the anchor stows up against the side of the boat well below the gunnel?
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:16 AM   #15
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A reason for two lines is to keep the boat bow to the wind and reduce strain on cleats.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Getting back to the OP, it would be helpful to see a picture of the boat so we can evaluate the access issue he references. I'm not sure his particular situation has been addressed yet. Is it one of those set ups where the anchor chain goes down a long hawse pipe and the anchor stows up against the side of the boat well below the gunnel?
His vessel is an HC. Seems that many relevant suggestions have sprung forth for his setup.

Now we're just raising personal stories, that is OK. My question pertaining to Jeff's point (that windlass will never pull out of a DeFever Jeff ), isn't a bridle that is designed for lighter wind stretch - designed for heavier wind breakage? Especially as the snubber ages or gets sun rotted.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:15 AM   #17
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FWIW.... On my sailboat which is about 22,000 lbs diplacement, I used a single line snubber with a chain hook. The line was 1/2" three strand and only about 12' long. Adequate for the boat and for the type of conditions that I would encounter. However, I don't think it is adequate for the new boat which will be about 36,000 lbs or more fully loaded I am guessing.

I was thinking about a bridle and looked at some of the premade fancy kit from Mantus but finally decided to go the cheap route. Last night I ordered two 1/2" x 30' 3 strand dock lines and a cheap 1/2' double braid pendant with a SS eye. My plan is to keep it simple. I will splice another loop on the opposite ends of the dock lines and cut off the splice loop on the pendant opposite the SS eye.

The dock lines will run out of the bow hawseholes and converge at the SS eye of the pendant. I will likely just use one of my dynema soft shackles to connect them at that point. The pendant will simply be tied to the anchor chain with a hitch. This should give me a reasonably strong, redundant, and stretchy bridal that is stupid simple to use, can come loose from the chain, no hard sharp bits to chip my gelcoat, and should be extremely fast and easy to deploy and recover. That is the plan anyway. We will see how it works in practice.

Did I mention it was cheap?
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
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A reason for two lines is to keep the boat bow to the wind and reduce strain on cleats.
Except that most boats still sail on a bridle and thus the load is transferred to one cleat or the other.

Some boaters take in one side to make the bridle asymmetrical to reduce sailing....but that definitely loads one cleat at a time.

Some boats like mine use a single Sampson post and don't have cleats.

I do think bridles are good in heavy weather because you
have shared chafe and if one goes you have time to rerig...of course you can double up a single point snubber so no huge gain.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:39 PM   #19
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If they do you can either add windage aft or spring the rode easily using one of the two parts of the bridle.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:44 PM   #20
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If they do you can either add windage aft or spring the rode easily using one of the two parts of the bridle.
Exactly what I said and if you add windage aft, a single will work fine too.
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