Simple, clever, convenient, but not cheap, this little device can take the load off your rode.


Among the more worrisome situations for any boat owner is lying at anchor in roily conditions. It usually calls for an anchor watch, especially at night, particularly if the bottom conditions are unknown. 


In these situations, the boat’s deadly rhythmic dance can jerk fearsomely on the anchor rode. Chafe and drag become far more than the scary words you encountered in some book on anchoring.

Fear not. There are lots of ways to ease the relentless shock on the rode. And because it’s an important subject, PS never passes on an opportunity to present ideas for dealing with that shock.

In our December 2003 issue, in a report on anchors, we included a sidebar about kellets (a.k.a. anchor sentinels); it sparked some reader interest. And in the March 2004 Double Issue (see Chandlery, pg. 34), PS presented a clever new product called a Shockle.

Here’s another. This one is devilishly clever, simple, convenient, though not inexpensive. It’s called a Bungy—a one-piece molding of very dense, strong, rubber that just snaps on or off the anchor rode anywhere—that’s just as easy to slide up and down the rode singly or in combinations of 2, 3, 4, or 5 to give excellent shock absorbing in most any condition. Each Bungy gives up to three inches of firm snubbing and, being made of tough, heavy rubber, avoids the “rubber-banding” sometimes experienced with softer shock absorbers.

Even better, it can be used on anchor rodes up to three-quarter-inch (which should cover most boats) and doesn’t give a fig whether the line is laid, braid, plait, or you made it yourself out of horsehair—like the line made by the famous St. Kildean mountain climbers, the best the world has ever known. (The history of St. Kilda—an island 40-odd miles off the coast of Scotland—is fascinating, especially to sailors, but we digress.)

Bungys seem ideal as anchor line snubbers because they can be ganged for differing loads. (In its long series of anchor tests, PS has used a carefully calculated and tested figure of 400 pounds on the anchor rode for a 32-foot displacement boat in 42 knots of air and flat water.) 


The Bungy is made in Sweden by Aronowitsch & Lyth AB and is being imported now to the U.S. by Scandvik, Inc., of Vero Beach FL. Scanvik’s CEO, Per Stalquist, recently spotted the Bungys on a trip home. “They looked great,” he said, “so I grabbed a handful, which is what ought to be on all boats. A half dozen of these could save your boat.”

In addition to giving the anchor rode some help, the Bungys could also serve on preventers, soft boom vangs, and mooring lines. A couple of Bungys could also tame that hard jerking that often seems to occur, in certain conditions, when towing a dinghy.

Unlike some shock absorbers that require knots or involve metal-to-rope friction, Bungys should be virtually chafe-free and, because of their construction, are not breakable. Continuous exposure to the sun for a couple of years might do them in, of course; the sun eats everything.

Putting it plainly, PS greatly admires the mind that came up with this idea. For their ingeniousness, the inventors deserve the $29.90-a-pair price, which otherwise seems like a lot for a couple of small rubber moldings.

Stalquist told us that when the discount catalogs and marine stores begin to stock them, the price of the Bungy should come down—maybe 40 percent—to about $18. If you can’t wait, call Per.

Contact – Scandvik, Inc.: 800/535-6009, www.scandvik.com

Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. Darrell is booking speaking engagements in Colorado, Idaho, California, the Pacific Northwest, and British Colombia this summer. You can reach him by email at practicalsailor@belvoir.com.