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Old 08-29-2010
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Winterizing a mooring

I am about a month or so away from pulling my boat out for the year and I need to start thinking about how to properly winterize the mooring.

I am going to remove the top hardware (buoy, swivel, shackle, pennant) so I am down to just a chain. I have been told to "short rope the chain" and install a 4x4 with an eye bolt in the middle of it- but not sure I want to use a 4x4.

How exactly do you short rope the chain? I know the goal is to drop the chain to the mud to eliminate movement/wear on the links when there is no boat attached, but how do you do this?

I planned on getting some 3/8" chain that is equal to my depth at high tide (25') and hooking a winter stick to it- this way the mooring chain should see no movement and wear. My concern is that if any ice develops around the winter stick that the bottom chain is going to get a workout anyway- so whats the point?

So, should I go out at low tide, and take up as much chain as I can until there is no slack left, then shackle the 10' or 15' (tide range) of 3/8" chain to it and then attach the winter spar? This will still work the lower 15' of bottom chain on the mooring though.

My other concern is that I do not plan to use the mooring next season, so should I just get the entire mooring pulled out? I do not want to lose my spot in the mooring field though and the risk of someone dropping their mooring my my spot is a risk.

This was my first year on the mooring so all this is still new to me, thanks everyone.
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Old 08-29-2010
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I would go with a winter stick. I have been doing that for years her in Long Island Sound and has worked out fine. A length of light chain equal to the depth at high tide is what I use. If you make your own, don't use pressure treated wood (too heavy and doesn't float well) and paint it with anti-fouling. I wouldn't leave it next summer without at least pulling it to dry out and repainting it.
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