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How to Attach Double Mooring Pennants (Bridle)

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Use a Swivel for Double Pennants
Mooring Pennants Shackle

Photo © Tom Lochhaas

On many sailboat moorings, double pennants - also called a mooring bridle - are becoming more popular because of the added strength and security of the mooring attachment. Two pennants of equal size and type are affixed by shackles to a single shackle attached to the mooring chain. Double pennants can also be purchased already affixed to a single circular or triangular steel loop, as shown in this photo. The pennants are then brought up to boat cleats on both sides of the bow. Be sure also to use to use anti-chafing tape or hose where the pennants pass through the chocks.

The one problem that can occur with double pennants is that they may wrap around each other near the mooring chain attachment point. This can happen when the pennants are brought up to the boat after it has been away from the mooring, but even if you are careful to prevent wrap at that time, if the boat drifts or is blown in circles around the mooring ball, they can wrap.

If the pennants wrap, chafe may occur between the metal thimble of one (inside the “eye” of the pennant) and the line material of the other. I have observed a case of the line chafing all the way through during a long stormy period when the boat’s movement caused a constant rubbing of one line against the thimble. When this happens, there’s risk of the boat breaking free.

To prevent wrapping of the pennants, install a mooring swivel between the bridle attachment and the mooring chain, as shown in this photo. (Note that the pin of every shackle should also be seized with a loop of wire through the hole in the pin and around the shackle, to prevent the pin working its way out - not yet present in this photo.)

This photo also shows flotation provided to the pennants by splitting a swimming pool “noodle” toy and affixing it around the lower section of the pennants.

Go to the next pages to see examples of chafing that can occur if a swivel is not used and the pennants wrap.

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