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Anchor Chain Snubbing Guide

Chain Snubbers are essential for taking the strain off your windlass and providing additional shock load absorption.

There are multiple options for snubbing solutions - stainless steel chain hooks, grippers and grabs with or without a nylon tail or twin tails (V bridle) – select 3 Strand for single strops or Anchorplait for bridles.

Single line strops can be used over the bow roller, twin strop lines (V shaped bridles) are ideal for use with handed deck fairleads and mooring cleats.


Once the desired length of chain has been paid out, secure the end of the strop to a cleat and attach the hook/gripper/grab to the chain with slack in the line.

Ease off enough chain so that the strop is taking the load and remember to allow for the rope to stretch.

Rope Fibre Selection:

LIROS Nylon will stretch approximately 20% at the breaking point. There is no material difference in elasticity between 3 strand and Anchorplait construction. The aim is for the strop to take the strain.

The chain should be secured to a cleat or post if practicable or by means of a stopper, safety rope just in case the strop fails. The windlass should only be the strongpoint of last resort.

Choose a strop diameter roughly equal to your bower anchor warp size.

Bear in mind that an oversize nylon strop will not stretch as much as the correct size.

A slightly undersized nylon line will provide more shock absorption but may ultimately prove sacrificial.

Factor in:

Selecting your Chain Snubbing attachment: Hook, Grab or Gripper (Shackle)

Chain Hooks and Grabs are designed to achieve a simple but strong means of securing a line to a length of chain under load.

The internal dimensions of each link in a modern calibrated anchor chain are not large enough to facilitate a strong through-connection.

Chain hooks and grabs are therefore designed to fit over a link in one plane and rest on the next link which will naturally be at right angles.

The link on which the hook or grab rests therefore takes the load.

Hooks and Grabs can be divided into two broad categories:

There are other options for securing the snubbing line to the chain:

Bear in mind that the attachment and detachment of the snubbing line to the chain by whatever means you select may mean stooping or kneeling and leaning out over the bow roller

Jimmy Green Advisory

Attaching the hook or grab with a shackle may seem a little clunky, but it does mean that the hook can be removed for a mooring application and/or replaced if required

Choosing between a Single Strop and a Twin Tail V Bridle:

Chain Snubbing Strop

Single line snubbing strops address the issue of snatch loading associated with all chain anchor rode systems in the shape of a single stretchy nylon line which takes the strain of the rode. The snubbing line can be led offset through a port or starboard fairlead but for longer term anchoring it should pass over the bow roller, through the stem head fitting and attach to the most suitably positioned strongpoint. This will require a careful, precautionary appraisal of any potential wear points and preventive action where necessary: Anti-Chafe Options

Single Line Snubbing, important features and information:

V shaped Anchor Chain Snubbing Bridles

Twin tail snubbing bridles provide an excellent shock absorbing solution where the forward deck layout or the stem head and bow roller design/dimensions are not conducive to the successful arrangement of a single snubbing line

V Shaped Twin Tail Snubbing, important features and information:

Selecting the correct Rope Construction for anchor snubbing:

Select 3 strand Nylon or Anchorplait Nylon for Single line Strops

Anchorplait Nylon (Octoplait 8 strand construction) is the only rope option to consider for making a V shape Bridle:

Jimmy Green V Shaped Anchorplait Bridle Splicing Plus Factors:

LIROS 3 Strand and Anchorplait Nylon - Rope Construction and Properties Comparison:

LIROS 3 Strand Nylon Article 00110

LIROS 3 Strand Nylon has the same strength and stretch properties as the octoplait version, is less expensive but the twisted lay shrinks when immersed in water causing it to go stiff, especially in the larger diameters.

Overall, a very strong and stretchy mooring warp that represents exceptionally good value when used for semi-permanent mooring but not usually recommended for frequently adjusted and stowed mooring warps due to the stiffening of the line over its lifetime. 

LIROS Anchorplait White Nylon Article 01058JG

100% Nylon (Polyamide) manufactured exclusively by LIROS Ropes for Jimmy Green Marine with the Jimmy Green designed Easy Splice Markers - this also includes LIROS Octoplait Nylon Article 01058 (plain white)

Read our article Anchor Snubbing - A Guide to taking the shock Load off your Windlass and Chain

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