How many of you all-chain guys use a bridle?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Stee6043, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I ordered up the parts to make an anchor bridle today. A Mantus chain hook and a two 5/8" pendants.

    Once or twice this past summer, after switching to an all chain rode, I was able to pull hard enough when setting the anchor that the windlass would make a god awful noise and slipped a bit. Not good. With 5/8" rope rode I don't recall ever having it grab that hard. I assume the rope would slip a bit on the gypsy vs the gypsy actually moving?

    Either way, this will allow me to really dig that anchor in without worrying about the windlass. Just curious if I'm the only nimrod that waited a bit to add the bridle after going to chain :)
    Captain Spike and nealtrombley like this.
  2. nealtrombley

    nealtrombley Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 7, 2016
    Sw Fl Ft myers
    1988 Sea Ray Laguna Sold!
    2002 Sea Ray 410 Dancer
    2002 Yamaha 250OX66
    twin Cats 350hp
    Im going all chain soon
    Not sure of bridle or easy rolling hitch with single line
    Captain Spike likes this.
  3. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    If I was overnite anchoring regularly I would have a bridal.... for one or two nights and day anchoring I wouldn't bother
    Captain Spike and Chris-380 like this.
  4. swaterhouse

    swaterhouse Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 7, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2008 58 DB
    MAN CRM 900
    When you tug on a rope rode it stretches under load so its easier on the windlass gypsy.

    When the chain is tugged on there is zero stretch and 100% of the load goes to the windlass instantly.

    Anchoring for a couple of hours in good conditions is fine with out some rope, but unless there is ZERO chance of thunderstorms and no planned high winds its always best to use something that will take the strain off the windlass.

    A simple rolling hitch on the chain will work fine, the bridle is even better.
    Captain Spike likes this.
  5. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    I have a chain stopper so zero load on windlass...we use that day or night anchoring... Might be something to consider if you dont have one and dont want to go thru the small hassle of a bridle
    Captain Spike and Shaps like this.
  6. Third Edition

    Third Edition Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    This is what we use. Cannot remember how long is the 3-strand we use We have two 3-strand lines, one for each cleat on either side of the capstan at the bow. The hook is stainless and ours has a small plastic 'keeper' so the chain stays in.

    We like that it keeps the chain noise to a minimum, takes the strain better than a deck-mounted chain stopper, and lowers the angle of pull. With the two 3-strand lines, we can lengthen or shorten one to get the correct angle to the wind/tide.

  7. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    This is similar to what I'll end up with. It's tough on my vintage 400 as there is no centered cleat for the anchor line. I've only got the two forward cleats at the gunnel and those buggers are 3-4' away...

    Captain Spike likes this.
  8. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    Back Cove 37
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600
    Using some type of bridle or snubber is pretty essential when using all-chain. A windlass is intended only to raise the weight of the tackle, not to pull the boat or handle the load at anchor. A line can be cleated off but that's not possible with all chain. A chain stop takes the load off the windlass but there's still no elasticity and shock loads are transmitted directly to a fairly small bit of hardware.

    The best practice is to connect one end of a line to the chain, the other side to a cleat, and let out chain so it's loose. Several options can work:
    • The simplest solution attach the line to the chain with a rolling hitch. Easy and cheap, but tying and removing the knot can be troublesome.
    • The "long term, anchor out all the time" solution is a bridle. This is a Y-shape arrangement of lines, where 2 attach to cleats on the boat and 2 connects to the chain via some type of chain hook. This balances the load and provides the most secure method. It's the most expensive equipment option.
    • The middle of the road option is a snubber. This is a single line with a chain hook on one end, and the other ties to a cleat at the bow. It provides a single connection point the relieves strain and absorbs shock. The chain hook makes attaching and removing the snubber easy.
    I started with a line with a rolling hitch, and then made myself a snubber. I used a Suncor anchor chain hook spliced into a 20 ft dock line. It worked nicely.

    This is what I made.
  9. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    2006 Sea Ray 48
    Naught On Call
    Cummins QSC-540s with V-Drives
    11 KW Onan Genset
    I have a chain stopper as well, so when day anchoring I don't use the bridle. Now, I also put out a ton of scope. When anchoring out over night, I use the bridle I made with the Mantus hook.

  10. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    Back Cove 37
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600
    A bridle would be perfect for this setup. You can use the bow cleats and keep the boat centered on the anchor.
    M Prod and Stee6043 like this.
  11. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Anacortes Washington
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 Charts Timezero radar Furuno
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    This works fine for us and is very simple to use.
    nealtrombley likes this.
  12. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    In 2021 I think I'll be using the bridle 100% of the time in Lake Michigan (where we do most of our anchoring). I still have nightmares about seeing my boat 10' away from the beach, drifting toward shore, after my anchor splice let loose in 2020 :)

    I plan to set the anchor at about 2,000RPM's in reverse...repeatedly :):)
  13. Keith Zibilich

    Keith Zibilich Active Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    New Orleans
    2008 Sea Ray 47 Sedan Bridge, Raymarine Axiom, FLIR M232
    Highfield Classic 310, 20hp Mercury
    Cummins QSC 8.3 600s
    I would estimate we are on a hook overnight 30-40 nights per year and always use a bridal. I've posted this in the past and it's held up pretty well over the past few years. All in cost about $100. I will upgrade it in the future with two separate pendants with stainless thimble.

    Attached Files:

  14. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I’ve been using rolling hitch on a 30’ 3/4” three strand line, for years. My boat has a center anchor cleat that I tie to it. Knot can get pulled pretty tight (proof that rolling hitch works) in all night rough conditions. But haven’t yet had one I couldn’t quickly untie.
    nealtrombley likes this.
  15. spikedaddy99

    spikedaddy99 Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Prentice, Wi
    2005 500 DB
    I do. I didn't know I had a chain stopper when I bought it. I only use the bridle overnight, but probably don't really need it. M
  16. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
    I also use a snubber when overnighting for the reasons mentioned... keep pressure off of the windlass and cut down on the noise. I made mine... it's a 5/8" line about 10 feet long with a SS chain hook on one end and a cleat loop on the other. I use the cleat in the anchor locker so it goes over the anchor roller... no gel coat chafing.
  17. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Western NY (Lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Generator, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA M-3
    We anchor out a lot. Post 8 above I think reflects my thoughts mostly on this, so no point in saying it all over. Careful how much you pull on your anchor when you set it, I set with one shaft in reverse at an idle (you may need a touch more because of gassers but not 2000 rpm :) ) 1 shaft at idle amount of pull will pull my chain up tight so that it is practically straight as an arrow. Even a strong wind and a raging tidal current has never pulled my chain straight. For your bow, the bridle is perfect for what you need because you have no cleat or chain stop. Do not pull to set or allow your boat to hang from the windlass in rough or overnight conditions. There are a lot of posts here on wet decks from windlass' leaking when the seal to the deck works loose.

    Bridle: I use it for almost all overnights and longer.

    Snubber: I use it it for nights when I know for sure I am protected and there's no chance of wind or for days at the beach.


    If you are new to all chain rodes, A word of caution on trip lines. On a very calm night, the boat will not pull on the anchor at all. The weight of the chain will hold the boat. We woke one morning to the situation shown below. The boat was lightly pulling on the ground tackle when we went to bed. During the night, the wind dropped to about nothing and turned 180 degrees. In the picture you can see where the chain scrolled around in the sand on the bottom. You can see the chain lying on the bottom and the running gear of the boat ended up directly above the anchor. This is why I never use a trip line. YMMV.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that if you want to use a rolling hitch rather than a chain hook, whip your snubber about 2 feet from the end that you will tie to the chain and then separate the 3 strands of line back to that whip. Re-braid them the same way that a girl braids her hair. That softens and flattens the line so that it is easy to work with, unties easily and gives it extra gripping power on the chain.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
    nealtrombley, Tripsdad and Tacoma290 like this.
  18. juggernaut1

    juggernaut1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2015
    Perth, Western Australia
    Boatless - sold Searay 38 Sundancer
    I use a bridle most of the time unless there is no wind, tide or swell (rare).

    Comprises of 8 plait rope, Ultra chain grabber and for good measure, a pair of Forsheda mooring compensators placed a couple of feet back from the chain grabber.

    Totally eliminates all snatch when the boat swings and takes the load off the windless and side loads off the anchor chute which had previously caused a few of the anchor chute machine screws to shear.
  19. Third Edition

    Third Edition Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    I have only 1 cleat centered at the bow, The cleats I use are the two bow cleats on either side of the boat. One such is visible in the lower right of your photo above.
  20. Tripsdad

    Tripsdad Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 27, 2019
    Long Island, NY
    2006 360 Sundancer
    T 8.1L Horizons
    We use a snubber made with a Mantus chain hook and 5/8” 3 strand line.
    nealtrombley likes this.

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