Snubber for steel wire rode

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Veteran Member
Dec 21, 2011
Any of you experts got any ideas how to employ a snubber on a *wire rode?
check the construction/crane world for answers....there's got to be something like a slip ascender that will slide in one direction and grip in the other with a mouse like a snatch block.* I would think wire rope clamps would deform the line and be a PIA to get on/off
I've got a large hydraulic winch on the deck and would like some way to absorb some of the shock load as cable doesn't stretch much. I've had good luck employing light nylon line hooked into an all chain rode before, and would like to rig something similar for an all wire rode. I like the cam lock ascender idea, I shall look into it. Thanks.
During my towing days, we had an emergency clamp that would attach to the towline (wire rope).* The assembly had several wedges that tightened against the pull of the wire.* Lines were shackled to welded eyes on either side of the clamp and made fast.

Although we called this a Carpenter's Clamp, it could have other names in different settings.

The problem with*"squeezing the wedges around the wire*concept", is that there is tremendous force on the steel assembly.* I've seen one of these let-go under tension, and the schrapnel was impressive.* No one was hurt, but we were not inclined to want to use the new replacement clamp.

If your purpose is to provide additional snubbing capability on your rode, you may have to simply consider additional catenary by putting out additional rode or equipping your rode with more chain between the anchor and*cable.* Or both.*

You could also consider placing a set length of nylon line somewhere in the rode not usually vulnerable to chaffing based on where you normally anchor.* Obviously, there are a number of limitations on this idea.

If your concern is holding the rode by*the winch, drum winches are almost always equipped with a rugged pawl or other locking mechanism that is generally engineered to hold up to the breaking strength of the cable.* This also assumes the winch is strongly mounted.

The only problem I have encountered with my SS cable/winch drum system, is the tendency to bury in the drum if there are high forces.* It is important to keep good tension on the wire as it is retrieved in order to minimize future burying.* Basic anchor system housekeeping.

During my 14 years with this winch, I continue to be impressed with its ease of anchoring handling.* Cruised 120 days last year, anchored 108 days.
I am not sure it can ever be done with high loads and not damaging the wire.

I would get a heavy rode rider (say 50 lbs of lead) that could be hand recovered and deploy it to reduce the shock loading of cable.

With an extra small sailboat winch 500lbs could be recovered with ease on the windy days.
Yes i can see a potential problem with the cable left on the winch once the load is taken off. Cable won't behave left like that. My winch has a brake. I think my best bet is to set the drag on the brake to absorb any heavy shock and monitor how much cable goes out, and take some up as needed to stay on station.
The simplest, safest and best way to accomplish your goal is to abandon your cable and go with an all chain rode. Your cable is likely shot anyway if it has been in salt water for more than*a few brief*years. I know commercial fishing guys (the successful ones) who throw their cable away frequently because they anchor in very bad conditions.

The cable strands are continually working and wearing against each other, thus necessatating regular change out.*I spent a lifetime around shovel, deep shaft hoisting and lifting cables. The seemingly visually good slings and lengths we pitched was astounding after X Ray or non destructive testing. And this was not in a salt water environment.

If there is an advantage to cable over chain, it is cheaper (maybe not in the long run though) and more feet can be rolled onto the topside drum.
The boat is new to me, so I have no experience anchoring with cable. The system is very heavy duty and the boat has actually only anchored in salt water once since new. I notice many of the commercial boats around here use cable rodes, I wonder how the get any catenary action for the anchor and what happens on the drum when the cable goes slack.Also, the attention and time with a pry-bar I would need to get the cable to lay neatly back on the drum. I'm imagining a deep water retrieval , short handed, and the rats nest of cable .I have extensive chain/nylon anchoring experience, and would go that way but I don't think I can get all the chain I would like on the drum I have. I've thought of using as much chain as I can and then spectra or dynema for the rest.... Still doing my homework, Thanks for all the suggestions.
Don't know anything about cable snubbers but have to say that your boat looks very interesting. Can you tell us more about it?
She's a J.P. Hartog design called a Sail Assisted Fishing Vessel, designed and built to chase Albecore to Midway and back. I'm readying her for fishing next summer. *She's steel, 64' LOA 15.5 Beam 8' draft.

If you havn't done it, look at the all chain drums Nomadwilly posted on the chain to rope splice thread. Would this setup*work for you?
sunchaser wrote:

If you havn't done it, look at the all chain drums Nomadwilly posted on the chain to rope splice thread. Would this setup*work for you?
*I think this is the way to go. I wouldn't use 3 different sizes .2 will be fine. I would prefer an all chain rode and I would like to attach a wildcat (gypsy) to my drum. and a capstan on the outside to accomodate line when I need it. Like for a lighter set up as a lunch hook.or for towing/kedging. Then make a hospipe(sp?) into my forward locker. I could easily store 500 ft of chain down there.*
Top Bottom