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What not to do when making a bridle for a catamaran

By January 30, 2018Working on the boat
Bridle on a catamaran

A bridle on a catamaran is a line that goes from a secure spot on each bow to a single point in front of the boat and attached to either a mooring ball or anchor chain. The purpose is to have the pivot point ahead of the boat and to act as a snubber (or shock absorber). 

I have one for the anchor and one for mooring balls. The mooring ball one is a 35′ prespliced dock line that I wrapped around one cleat and tied to another. In the middle I tied a double figure eight knot around a thimble and have my clip attached there. The anchor one is two different lines with small eyes spliced at each end. One of these goes around an attachment point at the bow and the other end to a shackle which has my chain hook attached also. Well the anchor one finally chafed through due to where it sits and I needed to replace it.

I went and bought two lines to give to a splicer ($10-$25 per splice) and did a few things wrong, which made the bridle to short to use on the anchor.

  1. I was trying to buy nylon rope, but the store sold me polyester instead. Make sure you are getting nylon before they cut it, because nylon will stretch giving you more shock absorbtion.
  2. I got the lines two feet longer than the old bridle thinking this is how much extra the splice will be. I was wrong each splice can be up to three feet long to give it the same strenght as the line itself. Therefore, I should have gotten the lines six feet longer.

SO, what did I do? I simply switched the bridles and made the new one for mooring balls. Yes it will not have the same streach as it should, but I will be attaching to lines going from the mooring ball to the sea floor and that should give me enough shock absorbing power.

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