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Old 11-20-2022, 10:30 AM   #1
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Chain Hooks

Did the archive search for chain hook threads, but came up empty. So I am soliciting some collective input.

Plan A- Chain Hook to make life easier for the deck crew (the navigator that
always tell me where to go)

Plan B- Teach deck crew to tie/use an anchor bend (more risky to my
happiness and long term health)

I am refitting ground tackle, using 3/8" G43 chain. Also making new 3/4" nylon triple strand bridle and solo snubber. Seems the variety of available chain hooks is about the same as the number of "tiki drink" recipes at a beach bar. Definitely a performance over cost type of boater, but there are some manufacturers that are darn proud.

Thoughts, comments and crude remarks welcomed
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Old 11-20-2022, 10:55 AM   #2
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I can't really tell if you are serious. I have never heard of such a thing as hooks on the end of dock lines. Are you referring strictly to anchor rhodes and lines?

I'll wait a bit before I offer a stream of advice and criticism about hooks on dock lines for a little clarification.

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Old 11-20-2022, 11:02 AM   #3
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Try searching "bridle" or "snubber" and you'll find many threads that discuss all aspects of snubbers with emphasis on chain hooks. Like yourself, seems a large number of boaters have an aversion to tying a hitch for whatever reason (disinterested crew being a sound reason).

If anyone wants to try an old fashioned hitch using a dockline they already have aboard, the Camel Hitch is almost as easy as a Rolling Hitch and is significantly more secure and holds in all directions of pull making it a useful knot for your repertoire (tying fenders to railings; gripping a line to de-tension it, etc.)..

https://youtu.be/FFzxIbNzpKg

Peter
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Old 11-20-2022, 11:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
I can't really tell if you are serious. I have never heard of such a thing as hooks on the end of dock lines. Are you referring strictly to anchor rhodes and lines?

I'll wait a bit before I offer a stream of advice and criticism about hooks on dock lines for a little clarification.

pete
Pete - I read the OP as making a dedicated snubber, not an adjunct to a dockline.

Peter
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Old 11-20-2022, 11:04 AM   #5
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On our anchor rode snubber, we us a flat SS plate that has a groove in the middle that the chain fits in. It has a hole on each side of the groove that we have connected by shackles to the snubber lines. This plate only works with two snubber lines which we run to two cleats on opposite sides of the bow.

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Old 11-20-2022, 11:16 AM   #6
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A 316SS chain hook for 3/8 is available from industrial suppliers for $40. I don't know why you'd use anything else. However fast you are at tying an anchor bend or rolling hitch, the chain hook is 10x faster both tying and untying. If used properly it won't come off the chain in use.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:06 PM   #7
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Save yourself a lot of trouble and forget the chain hook and get a soft shackle. Much easier to use, cheaper, doesn't fall off the chain, and comes over the bow roller so you can connect/disconnect on deck rather than handing over the side of the boat.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:26 PM   #8
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I've used two different types. First was the style that truckers use, and the second was an Ultra plate style. Ultra style easier to use when bending over trying to attach it, and not have it detach when playing it out.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Save yourself a lot of trouble and forget the chain hook and get a soft shackle. Much easier to use, cheaper, doesn't fall off the chain, and comes over the bow roller so you can connect/disconnect on deck rather than handing over the side of the boat.
This.
I was introduced to the soft shackle approach when we bought DOMINO as that is what the PO had used for over 850 anchoring episodes during a ten-year span. Previously I had used chain plate or chain hooks.
We really like the soft shackle approach for both security and convenience.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:54 PM   #10
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Save yourself a lot of trouble and forget the chain hook and get a soft shackle. Much easier to use, cheaper, doesn't fall off the chain, and comes over the bow roller so you can connect/disconnect on deck rather than handing over the side of the boat.
Make your own soft shackle long enough to use it to form a pusik hitch. No need to thread anything through the chain links. I used dyneema.
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Old 11-20-2022, 04:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Save yourself a lot of trouble and forget the chain hook and get a soft shackle. Much easier to use, cheaper, doesn't fall off the chain, and comes over the bow roller so you can connect/disconnect on deck rather than handing over the side of the boat.
If a soft shackle is loaded heavily, it isn't that easy to undo, and a little fiddly to put through a link to start with. Literally one second on or off with a hook. My chain hook goes over the bow roller just fine and I do all the handling on deck, I guess it might not with an undersized roller. If the hook falls off the chain, you aren't using it right. I have anchored many hundreds of times with the chain hook, hasn't come off even once. Both methods work, but I find the chain hook much quicker.
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Old 11-20-2022, 05:31 PM   #12
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Yes, there are countless choices. My suggestion is you use a chain hook with a rating close to your chain's strength rating, and get one with a latching mechanism like this (see pic attached).
I bought 2 bcs I assume the latch is the weak link and will eventually rust and fail before the hook. Having the latch makes sure the hook doesn't fall off while lowering the chain to place the load on the bridle, or due to motion or swinging, which happened to us.
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Old 11-20-2022, 08:24 PM   #13
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If a soft shackle is loaded heavily, it isn't that easy to undo, and a little fiddly to put through a link to start with.
Granted it takes a second or two to insert the loop thru the chain. If the soft shackle is long enough, you will have no problem undoing it. Dyneema is so slippery that it doesn't bind. Additionally, if you use the largest diameter Dyneema that will easily fit (doubled) thru your chain link, it will be much stronger than the chain itself, silent & dependable. You can make your own soft shackle for about $6 of materials, or buy a commercial version for 5x that.
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Old 11-20-2022, 09:58 PM   #14
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Granted it takes a second or two to insert the loop thru the chain. If the soft shackle is long enough, you will have no problem undoing it. Dyneema is so slippery that it doesn't bind.
It doesn't go through the chain, it wraps around - someone above suggested a Prusik Hitch. Takes less than 10-seconds to tie. Dyneema grips chain fine. There is a risk of chafe where snubber attaches to the Dyneema loop - a halyard shackle will minimize chafe.

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Old 11-21-2022, 12:57 AM   #15
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I prefer a stainless steel chain hook. Suncor makes a very nice one that can be found at Defender.com. I feel more comfortable with that versus a Dyneema lood, to each their own. I've got probably 120 anchorings this year with the hook and maybe 400 in the last seven years without the hook ever falling off (touch wood). If the hook is falling off, your technique is faulty.

Couple of points on technique:
The hook needs to stay probably 5' off the bottom.

The chain loop from the hook to the bow roller needs to hang down quite a bit. While I don't want it touching the bottom, it's common for it to be hanging down 10' before coming back up. The weight of the chain hanging down and neither the chain nor the hook touching the bottom, eliminates all but one way for the hook to come off the chain.

Finally, you can't allow the chain coming off the bow roller to rub the snubber, the hook or the anchor chain. To prevent this, I pull the chain back to a bow hawse pipe with a line.

Anchor chain pulled back to the hawse pipe.
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Nothing rubbing on the anchor chain, hook, or snubber.

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The hook with the chain hanging straight down.

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My storm snubber is a plate with a slot in it. For the depth I usually anchor in, the plate would be dragging on the bottom with substantially longer snubber lines. To keep the plate off the chain, it's held in place with a zip tie. Under tension it's not coming off. When it slacks and bounces on the bottom, the lack of tension may allow it to fall off.

Ted
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Old 11-21-2022, 07:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post

It doesn't go through the chain, it wraps around - someone above suggested a Prusik Hitch. Takes less than 10-seconds to tie. Dyneema grips chain fine. There is a risk of chafe where snubber attaches to the Dyneema loop - a halyard shackle will minimize chafe.

Peter

Attachment 133864

Attachment 133865



It looks like you are using the Prusik Hitch to grip the chain, then a hard shackle to link the hitch loop to a spliced loop on the end of your snubber. Is that right?


I use a single soft shackle to replace both. The soft shackle threads through a chain link, through the snubber loop end, then attaches to itself to link the snubber and chain together. If the soft shackle material is sized right, it threads through the chain link with no issues, and is still stronger than the chain.
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Old 11-21-2022, 07:18 AM   #17
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Where I have found chain hooks fall off is not while anchored, but while anchoring. Once you hook to the chain, you need to maintain tension on the snubber line until it's taking the weight of the chain. Otherwise the hook falls off the chain. I have used two different chain hooks that were recommended, and both required the same technique to deploy them. I thought it was nothing short of a PITA. But maybe I was doing it wrong? One of the hooks (sorry, I don't remember the brand of either) locked on the chain better, but was still prone to falling off.
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Old 11-21-2022, 08:12 AM   #18
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It looks like you are using the Prusik Hitch to grip the chain, then a hard shackle to link the hitch loop to a spliced loop on the end of your snubber. Is that right?


I use a single soft shackle to replace both. The soft shackle threads through a chain link, through the snubber loop end, then attaches to itself to link the snubber and chain together. If the soft shackle material is sized right, it threads through the chain link with no issues, and is still stronger than the chain.
For a boat your size with large chain, threading through the link may be the right answer. For a smaller boat such as mine, threading a loop end of a soft shackle isn't quite so easy.

But as mentioned above, I'm still a bit old school. I use a dockline and Camel Hitch. It's something I already have aboard, and is sized appropriately. I don't know many knots, and I'm not particularly fast, but find knowing a few knots/hitches/bends to be pretty handy and helps keep me organized despite my normal condition of slight chaos.

It's been many years since I have used a chain hook, before newer designs (or at least before I knew of them). I found them awkward to use and not always handy to find aboard.

Yet another topic that comes down to personal preference.

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Old 11-21-2022, 09:02 AM   #19
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I always used just a plain galvanized grab hook and used a shackle to attach it to the thimble of my snubber line. When the hook got too rusty looking, I would replace it.
Anchored hundreds of times that way. Never had a problem with the hook falling off once I developed a method.
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Old 11-21-2022, 11:21 AM   #20
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Save yourself a lot of trouble and forget the chain hook and get a soft shackle. Much easier to use, cheaper, doesn't fall off the chain, and comes over the bow roller so you can connect/disconnect on deck rather than handing over the side of the boat.

Two questions:

1. What type/size of soft shackle for a 7/16" chain? Any commercially recommended ones to try one out before committing.

2. Do you run your soft shackle through the chain instead of using to attach to a Prusik knot, and soft shackling that to your bridle? With 7/16" chain, is that a 6mm to fit?

I'd try one out. It would be nice to have it come through the roller.
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