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Buy The Book: The Gentleman’s Guide to Passages South: The Thornless Path to Windward

Tie a Rolling Hitch:

Here we go, another episode of “On The Hook!” In this episode, we teach you how to properly use and execute a swell bridle. Thanks to Bruce Van Sant’s book, “The Gentleman’s Guide To Passages South,” we learned how to utilize the swell bridle for rolly anchorages.

As we made our way from the Exumas to Turks and Caicos, we found that many of the anchorages we went to were open bay anchorages. This meant we were exposed to the Atlantic Ocean and the swell coming in was no joke. It was darn near impossible to do the simplest of tasks, even just brushing your teeth! Nick quickly referred to Bruce’s book and bam there was the answer, the swell bridle to the rescue!

It took us a couple of tries to master it but now we have it down pat. This makes life so much better at a rolly anchorage. We hope you enjoy our video and send us a comment with any questions!

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Video Transcript

hi welcome to another episode of on the
fucker today we are going to talk about
swell bridles what’s a swell bridle well
let me explain
we are going from zuman’s down turks and
caicos so on the way there’s a lot of
open bay Anchorage’s that are exposed to
the ocean so you get that swell which
makes for a really rolling Anchorage so
you set up a swell bridle and basically
what that does is it pulls the bow
instead of facing the wind it’s gonna
pull the boat into the swell so you’re
taking them head-on
as opposed to sideways so you know it
stops you doing this it makes life a lot
easier or comfortable a lot easier I
would say I would say that is if you can
successfully turn your boat into the
swell it’ll reduce the movement I’m
gonna say like 80% yeah yeah it’s new to
us I’ve never had to do it or even
thought about it
luckily I have this book passages south
if you’re traveling through the
Caribbean this is like the Bible right
so Bruce Van Zandt mentions setting up a
swell bridle once you get to rum key and
that’s when we first experienced this
swell and it was awful we were trying to
cook and it was literally like you know
it was crazy yeah here near crooked
island it was really bad when we showed
up and it was a rough passage and so
once we set that up it made it so much
better not even just bearable actually
comfortable invaluable tool for these
types of Anchorage’s and these how far
out islands so we’re going to show you
how to set one up let’s go
here you see satori with her anchor set
normally as you would expect she was
facing into the wind the first thing you
need to do is determine the direction of
the swell
you’re then going to need a length of
line about 20 feet longer than your boat
for Satori we use about 60 feet step one
is to tie one end of your line to the
anchor chain some people use a chain
hook we prefer a rolling hitch
then run the line out the bowsprit and
back to the stern cleat on the side of
the boat you want facing the wind it
should be noted that you need at least 5
to 10 knots of wind this may not work on
very calm days also take caution and
high winds
you probably shouldn’t use this setup in
anything over 25 knots slowly let out
some chain the wind will start to push
your bow over stop once you are facing
directly into this swell
attach your snubber and you’re done
avoid using a swell bridle in a crowded
Anchorage without ample room to swing
however you’ll find that the Rolly
Anchorage’s are rarely the crowded ones
master this technique and you’ll often
have the anchors to yourself as you
watch other boats come and quickly pull
up anchor so that’s how you do a swell
bridle it’s super simple guys takes
probably you know 15 20 minutes probably
for your first time less if you’re good
at it and the benefits I think highly
outweigh the effort yeah if you ever
find yourself in an anchorage I’m super
Rolly with as well we definitely
recommend this well yeah the swell
bridle as well as a bunch of other tips
are in this book we’ll put a link in the
description you guys can get it on
Amazon if you’re interested even if
you’re not sailing yet this is just a
great read and a lot of good information
thanks guys for watching if you enjoyed
this episode hit like below and
definitely leave us a comment on what
you want to see in our next on hook
episode see you next time thanks guys
things won’t be the same
I could take a walk on stairs