Bobstay and anchor chain

My anchor chain often rubs against my bobstay, particularly when I raise the anchor. How do other boats protect the bobstay? I am guessing that I should remove the bobstay to install a clear plastic hose over it. Is this wise?


Hey Craig, absolutely - I think I’ve seen people use a PVC pipe, which allows for rolling. I guess as long as it’s got room to breathe and doesn’t trap moisture, anything would be fine. Alternatively, people often rig a block at the end of the bowsprit to keep the rode/snubber out further away from the bobstay.

I indeed have a block on the end of my bowsprit for the snubber. It does help when the boat is at anchor. However, most of the chafe occurs as I raise the chain, a time when the snubber is not in use.


I have a heavy duty block attached to the bottom tang of my cranse iron at the end of the sprit. I run a 1/2", triple braid snubber through the block and attach one end the snubber to the chain with a rolling hitch and the other to the opposite samson post when at anchor. I leave about a foot or 18" beyond the block when attached. You want to leave some droop in your rode to allow for surge or increased breeze. I store each end of the snubber on my samson posts when not in use.

Works great. The boat rides well and there is no chafe or, worse yet, noise from the rode clanging on the bob stay.


I installed a heavy duty garden hose on the bobstay wire. When hauling in the chain as it rubs on the bobstay the hose rotates and eliminates all chaffing on the wire. I wash out the inside by simply directing the fresh water down the inside of the hose. The hose was installed at the time I was replacing the rigging using Norseman fittings so I was able to slide the hose on the wire without cutting it lengthwise. It has worked well for years.

Ron Thompson
Ho’okahiko 97

Hello All - I used white PVC pipe. It’s given me good service for 15 years and we anchor a lot! I’ve heard folks suggest hydraulic hose. Either way - this is something you have to do when assembling the stay - i.e. you’ll need to remove a terminal in order to get something between the terminals…

Regards, Jeremy

We followed Jeremy’s use of PVC pipe on the bobstay. Instead of removing the bobstay I split the 3/4" diameter pipe with my table top saw then forced the pipe over the bobstay. I wire clamped the pipe in five places with a Clamp Tight tool. This is not necessary based on the effort required to place the pipe over the bobstay. Odin would have to command Thor to hammer the pipe off the bobstay. Of course, the Goddess Iduna would be present with her basket of golden apples.

To split a PVC pipe, screw each end of the pipe to a straight board then run the board against the saw fence to split the pipe.



Bobstay & PVC Pipe 1.jpg

Bobstay & PVC Pipe 2.jpg

Bobstay & PVC Pipe 3.jpg

We used a length of split bamboo, dried and varnished with turks heads to bind it back together around the bobstay. Looked great for many years but eventually gave up the ghost.

After that we left the wire bare and tried to avoid dragging the chain against it when raising the anchor.
We didn’t always succeed of course but after a lot of years the wire shows no signs of being hurt by the expereience.