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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 while at anchor on an all-chain rode.

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 Three-Strand or Anchorplait for single strops or Anchorplait for V-bridles.

Single-line strops can be used over the bow roller or, as a temporary solution, offset via the forward mooring fairlead. Twin strop lines (V-shaped bridles) are ideal for leading through handed deck fairleads and mooring cleats.


Once the desired length of chain has been paid out, secure the end of the snubbing line or bridle on deck 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. 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 Three-Strand and Anchorplait construction. The aim is for the rope to take the strain.

The chain should be secured to a cleat or post if practicable or in a Chain Stopper just in case the snubbing line or the snubbing bridle fails. The windlass should only be the strongpoint of last resort.

Choose a rope diameter comparable to your bower anchor warp size.

Remember that an oversized nylon line 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 internal connection.

Chain hooks and grabs are 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 replaced if required

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

Single-Line Chain Snubbing Strop

Single snubbing lines address the issue of snatch loading associated with all chain anchor rode systems in the shape of a single stretchy nylon line, taking the strain to moderate any sudden surges in the load. 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, e.g. Anti-Chafe Tubular Webbing or PVC hose.

Single Line Snubbing, Facts and Features:

V-Shaped Bridles for Anchor Chain Snubbing

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.

Jimmy Green V-Shaped Twin Tail Snubbing, Facts and Features:

Selecting the Correct Rope Construction for Anchor Snubbing:

Select Three-strand Nylon or Anchorplait Nylon for Single Line Snubbing, according to your budget and handling preference

Anchorplait Nylon (Octoplait Eight-Strand Construction) is the only rope option to consider for making a V-Bridle:

Jimmy Green Anchorplait Splicing Important Plus Factors for V-Bridles:

LIROS Three-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 and is less expensive, but the twisted lay shrinks when drying out after immersion 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 is not usually recommended for frequently adjusted and stowed mooring warps due to the stiffening of the line over its lifetime. 

Anchorplait® is a UK-registered Trademark

LIROS Anchorplait® White Nylon Article 01058JG is manufactured EXCLUSIVELY by LIROS Ropes with Easy Splice Markers for Jimmy Green Marine.

The eight-strand construction, two pairs left hand, two pairs right hand, delivers a balanced performance and no undesirable twist under tension.

Anchorplait is the rope that won't cockle.

In fact, it falls and flakes like a chain.

Anchorplait makes an ideal snubbing line because it will stay supple for the duration of its working life.

LIROS Anchorplait White Nylon Article 01058JG Facts, Features and Plus Factors:

LIROS specify their manufacturer minimum break loads in Deka newtons = DaN

1 Deka newton DaN = 1.01971621297793kg (approximately 1.02kg)

LIROS Anchorplait?Octoplait Nylon Break Loads in DaN and Kg
10mm 12mm 14mm 16mm 18mm 20mm 24mm
2400daN 3300daN 4400daN 5600daN 7000daN 8140 daN 11800daN

2652kg 3468kg 4590kg 6018kg 7344kg 8364kg 12036kg

LIROS Break Load converted to Kg from DaN at 1:1.02 

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

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