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Pendant Length - Longer = Better
14-MAY-2009

Pendant Length - Longer = Better

The vessel in the foreground has pendants that could potentially fail earlier due to high frictional heat build up and increases in chafe potential from the sharp angle over the chock. The sharp bend these pendants are forced to endure, while riding over a bow chock, creates a hard loaded spot for heat to develop with little chance for relaxed moments or slight cooling periods. Heat can kill pendants, as well as chafe can. Respected institutions such as MIT have studied and written extensively about this.



MIT has studied this at a rather in-depth level and found that pendants often fail from internal heat build up and may show little signs of chafe. Bending the pendant over a sharp radius can increase heat build up. Polyester is considerably less prone to chafe failure than nylon but both can fail if heated to melting.


Yale Cordage, the makers of Yale Polydyne mooring pendants, are and were designed, with mooring specifically in mind. They feature a polyester jacket, built in woven chafe gear to allow cooling in high storm conditions, and a nylon core is used to allow for shock absorbency and to reduce shock loading to deck gear. They are the longest lasting mooring pendants I have ever used and each one has a serial number. While not immune to chafe or heat issues these pendants are well designed and built to take the abuse.


The bottom line of the MIT study is that straight nylon pendants can fail earlier than polyester. Ask your mooring installer for a polyester/nylon double braided pendant or what options are available. Alternatively you can make yourself a polyester or Spectra bridle that you attach to your nylon pendants in a storm.

The longer length of the pendants on the boat in the distance puts less stress on the pendant over the chocks, during pitching moments, and creates less potential for heat and chafe. Any chance you have to reduce sharp bends in pendants the better off they will be over the long haul. On my own vessels I have had both long and shorter lengths and the shorter ones always encountered significantly more wear and had to be retired earlier than the longer ones.

Nikon D200
1/180s f/7.1 at 85.0mm iso200 full exif

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