Bow eye question

To the editor: I have a 46-foot sloop that has a bow eye approximately one-foot above the waterline, making it a favorable position for an anchor snubber. In his recent article on using a bow eye (Benefits of a bow eye, issue #197, October 2011), John Kettlewell states that he attaches the snubber with an eye splice. I assume this means the snubber is “permanently” attached, as opposed to passing the splice through the bow eye and back through on itself, correct?

—Andrew Sonis sails his Sabre 456 out of Manchester harbor in Massachusetts.

John Kettlewell responds: You could splice it directly to the bow eye, but I just pass the snubber eye through and then run the long part of the snubber through the eye — in other words, I can remove the snubber, though it takes a trip in the dinghy to do it. This method makes the line doubled at the bow eye, spreading the load out over more parts of the rope and eye, and I suspect increasing durability and ultimate strength. I’ve never snapped a 3/8-inch snubber hooked up this way, and I have been through several hurricanes with it on there on a 32-footer and a 38-footer. The same snubber lasts just about forever. I tend to retire them every five or 10 years, just to compensate for UV degradation, but they exhibit very little chafe. That’s one of the beauties of the system — it almost totally eliminates the problem of chafe on the skinny snubber line.

By Ocean Navigator