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Last October, we installed a 5/8 stainless bow eye (a U-Bolt, really, but we’ll keep saying eye) in Bright Water’s bow to give us a water-line-level point to anchor the anchor rode.

Now for the follow-up. We used a 1/2″ x 25′ nylon dock line as our anchor snubber line, attached to the bow eye simply by looping itself through the spliced eye.

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Despite our best intentions, this attachment method caused the rope to constrict so tightly around the eye that it didn’t swivel and it eventually cut itself.

This is our second line after two-three month’s use.
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We cut the line off before it failed, but it was on it’s way out. You can see where the nylon inside the loop has actually melted and re-hardened, probably more from pressure than from heat (since it was essentially seized to the bow eye), but possibly from heat from internal friction as the line continued to tighten.

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In the latest configuration, we tied a loop in the end of the line (over a nylon split thimble) with a simple back-threaded overhand knot, with the tail worked down as tight as possible against the thimble. Then we lashed all the loose bits. Using a figure 8 knot in the same place would make the knot less likely to cut the line, but … I didn’t. This knot will just continue to tighten and will need to be cut off to be removed. Fine by me.

We used this line for three weeks now in up to 40 kts wind and it swivels nicely under load, and even the cheap nylon thimble we used looks like it’s holding up fine. We’ve seen another boat with a stainless thimble and stainless shackle doing the same thing. That would have two benefits: You can remove the line easily for passages and storage, and it looks boss. However, you would have a stainless/stainless, highly loaded, and un-lubricated bearing that would rattle and squeak, and I just won’t do it. Unless this stuff fails early.

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Here’s the overhead overview.

Follow-up technical data:

Here is the Practical Sailor article that shows why you should never, ever use less than 6:1 or 7:1 scope.

And Here is the web page where some guy with a lot of time on his hands proves that all-chain or all-rope rodes are not anywhere near as good as a mixed rode, especially the way we’re doing it. He also shows that Kellets and heavy chain don’t help in extreme holding, but Kellet and Heavy Chain People don’t listen to reason anyway. They’re helpless romantics, living in a dream world.

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