I was on our own mooring system for almost 15 years. I think I made every possible mistake in its design/maintenance.
Most of the successful private mooring systems in our little bay were made up of a rope instead of chain. My final version was made up of large rope with floats to keep it off the bottom with the last six feet attached to chain on a swivel that ran up through one of those hard styrofoam buoys with a big clevis on top. The float just needs to be big enough to float the rope and chain along with the 20 lbs of marine growth that will eventually grow on it. I think we had an 18 incher.
The chain could easily be lifted and inspected and the rope seemed like it would last forever as long as it didn't get caught on the mooring weight and chafe, and it gave it a little shock absorbing qualities.
The mooring balls they typically sell at worst marine warn you not to attach your pennant to the top ring because eventually it WILL rust through and the ring and rod will drop off the float. Avoid using stainless cotter pins or wire on your galvanized clevis pins.
Anyhoo, with this last boat purchase, the boat was a big enough capitol investment that I could no longer sleep at night with her on a mooring buoy, so we're p*ssing our money away on dock rental each month. Arrgh.
1983 Fraser 41
La Conner, WA
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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.