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  #1  
Old 07-27-2007
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How to make a decent mooring.

Ok, i know this has been beat to death, but ive got to ask this. Ive got about 500# of lead that i can melt down for a mooring. How well does lead hold up in salt water.

Also what would be the best shape for this? I was thinking a pyramid shape would work.

I was also thinking maybe i could just make a big cement block with all those little lead bricks into it.
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Old 07-27-2007
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If the lead can be wedged into the cinder blocks with wood wedges that will resist rot, but will swell tightly, then that would likely work well. Depends on the ingot size. You could run a chain entirely around the lead/cement thing, or leave a centered area free to run a chain to a cross-piece of something capable of holding the weight. The idea, of course, is that you can replace the chain with a snorkel dive without actually moving the mooring, which will likely partially bury itself fairly quickly depending on the bottom.
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Old 07-27-2007
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Well ive got a couple of ways to attach the chain. One is a buddy of mine has some SS navy mooring chain, the links are about 4'' around and have a diameter of 1''. He has made moorings by molding this chain into the mooring itself and then attaching a small chain to the giant chain. My other idea is to take a butter container and mold that in with a bar to attach a chain.

Ive got some good ideas on this, but i was just wondering if the lead would be affected by salt water.
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Old 07-27-2007
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I've made a couple of concrete mooring anchors that have worked very well. I'm currently using a 4000lb steel Danforth style anchor that was given to me- hasn't moved that I can tell:-)). Here in the NW the "standard" is about a 2000lb block(an old backhoe rear tire works well as a form), some go as much as 4000 for a very large boat. There is a commercial guy that makes them and he makes them out of concrete in a flat, round shape about 18" thick and app. 4' diameter. He uses a stainless ring (about 3/4" diameter) that sticks half out of the top and has rebar embedded in the concrete running through the bottom half. He then uses 1" nylon line and then a length of chain about 10' long to go through the mooring ball. Standard ring at the top. Can't tell you about how lead holds up in salt water, but I'd sell it and just use cheap concrete.
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Old 07-27-2007
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Concrete and cinderblock are generally poor moorings. You need a huge amount of concrete to compensate for the fact that it really isn't dense--there's a lot of water in it already--and in a blow, it may just drag.

The problem with lead is that it is soft, if the chain doesn't rot out, it may rub out. Then too, you may have an EPA problem--they may not allow you to dump lead, even as a mooring block!

Can you just sell the lead and buy a more conventional mooring? i.e. many are made from one railroad wheel and half an axle, they make a surprisingly good mushroom once they get a chance to sink into a sand/mud bottom.

Of course what you use for a mooring, needs to account for your bottom type, and how much boat you're putting on it. You didn't mention those.
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Our bottom is pretty much pluff mud. The boat is a 1972 Pearson 36. I thought about selling the lead and buying a mushroom anchor, but i kinda like the DIY stuff.

My idea with the cement was to make a large block with the lead encased in it. I thought about doing the block with lead inside and a large, thick steel pipe going through it for the chain.

Ive got a few ideas on how to do this, but not sure what is going work.
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Old 07-28-2007
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I'd sell the lead and buy a mushroom anchor instead. The anchor will set far better than the homemade lead anchor, and be legal. If you're really needing to cast the lead...the idea of making a concrete/cement shell for it is a good one, since it will give it some shape, and then using a galvanized u-shaped pipe, with an ID of 3" or so will give you a solid attachment system for the chain. However, lead does corroded when exposed to saltwater for long periods of time, and you'd probably want to seal the lead off by closing off the cement/concrete shell.

Be aware that the EPA and local marine officials may frown upon you doing this... and that steep fines and jail time could possibly result...which is not the case with a mushroom anchor IIRC.
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Well does anyone know the current price of lead? If i can sell this stuff for enough to pay the local mooring guy to just drop a whole mooring in place for me, i would do it. It would save me alot of work on making it and setting it.

We set a mooring made from a large brake drum from an 18-wheeler for a buddy of mine and that was a pain in the arse doing it from my skiff.
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$1.38 per pound according to
http://www.metalprices.com/
as of today. Dunno if that's the buying or selling price, and of course you need a local scrapyard willing to PAY it, unless you're going to ship it.< g >

Bloomberg.com says:
"Lead Posts Largest Weekly Drop Since 1988; Nickel, Copper Fall

By Chanyaporn Chanjaroen and Brett Foley

July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Lead capped its biggest weekly drop since at least 1988 after traders judged that last week's record high no longer reflected the outlook for supply. Nickel and copper also declined. "
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Old 07-30-2007
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Sell the lead and if you can find one, get an old caterpiller track and fix the mooring chains to it at 3 points, When it settles into the mud, it will last for ever - far better than concrete

Cheers

Alan
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