Mailport September 2013 Issue

Mailport: September 2013

Snubber Specs

The homemade snubber setup described in the June 2013 issue seems to make sense. But I am curious, how exactly does this arrangement look? Where are the bow-mounted turning blocks located? How are they mounted?

Christian Hoepfner,
Via www.practical-sailor.com

Here are the specifics of the “homemade” setup often used on one of our test boats, a 6-ton Lightwave 38 catamaran named Josephine. PS Technical Editor Ralph Naranjo is not a fan of this arrangement as it adds complexity, introduces chafe, and, in his view, makes it more difficult to pay out additional scope in a blow. We are sharing it here for discussion. Perhaps some other multihull owners have come up with different solutions.

Starting with the chain hook that is hung under the bowsprit (photo 1), the snubber leads outside the bobstays to a turning block on the bow (photo 2), and runs aft to a horn cleat. Note that the image (photo 1) shows a previous setup with the snubbers (then a 12-millimeter braided nylon) inside the bobstay wires; they now run outside the wires as it gives a better angle and allows the snubber more stretch.

The snubbers, made of 11-millimeter rock-climbing rope, are then run inside the stanchions (photo 3). The turning block is simply “strapped” to the padeye with Dyneema, which is more kind than a shackle. We had a previous setup with the block strapped to the pulpit base, but we did not think the base was strong enough to hold up for the long haul. 

If the test boat were a monohull, we might have a block on a long, soft shackle to bring the snubber from the sidedeck so that it ran straight through a fairlead or over a bow roller. Note that hollow, braided Dyneema is used as a chafe guard (photo 2). It is whipped and sewn at one end and whipped only at the other; this allows the snubber to move in the braid.

The bow padeyes are held by two M6 bolts, lower, and one M8 bolt. The backing plates are contoured stainless-steel plates, bedded in marine sealant. Working in those bows is only for the lithe, and installation might be expensive, if you used a shipwright.

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