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  #1  
Old 11-18-2010
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Helix Mooring Maintenance

We have a 1979 34' sabre sloop. We are fortunate enough to have our own mooring permit and ground tackle, we own the ground tackle. The ground tackle is a helix mooring. Currently, we have a marina do the maintenance on the mooring. The marina sub-contracts the maintenance to a local diver.

This weekend I am learning how to dive for several reasons but one reason is to take over the maintenance of the mooring in about a year perhaps two. This should give me enough time diving to be comfortable doing work below the surface and trying to figure out what needs to be done to maintain the helix mooring. Currently the average cost is around $300 in the spring and again in the fall using the marina's subcontractor. The cost increases if we need a new 5/8" chain. The penant and ball I could maintain now so I am all set with the easy stuff. Although diving is expensive for all the necessary equipment, my brother-in-law is bascially giving me all his equipment, which is essentially brand new, so the cost of the diving equipment is not an issue.

Some of my questions are:

Does a helix mooring ever need to be replaced?

Other than dropping a good chain on the bottom in the fall and putting on a winter chain and stick then switching the process as the seasons turn, what else is necessary to maintain a helix mooring?

Any input would be helpful.

Last edited by ambianceack; 11-18-2010 at 05:24 PM. Reason: spelling error, add about dive equipment
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Old 11-18-2010
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It is mostly looking at the components to make sure nothing is wearing out or loose. as you said you would be swapping the chain out for a winter stick it would be easy to check that, only thing left is the eye on the anchor it self.

find out who the diver is and volunteer to help him with a few dives for free to learn the ropes.
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Old 11-18-2010
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You may find DIY is a bit of a sticky wicket in this case. The diver may have a contract with the marina, or the marina may want inspections done by a "certified and insured" party, so you may have to use him anyway.

Then there's the diving. In many places you'll pay $10 for an air fill, and $30-50 for the annual "VIP" tank inspection, and another $40-50 for a hydro inspection every fifth year. And, you have to take your tank in and (most often) leave it to be be filled, then make a second trip to pick it up. Depending on your local shop and how local and reasonable they may be, that can be a real PITA. And, the regulator should be inspected and adjusted annually, figure $50-100 at the shop. You can skip this for a while but then sooner or later, there are rubber parts in there that need replacement too.
Of course if you are doing your own bottom cleaning and all, there's more incentive for the investment, and diving itself can be a LOT of fun. "Some assembly required" often applies though.
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Old 11-20-2010
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Thanks for the input and good point about the certified and insured. That is also on my list of questions for the harbormaster.
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Old 11-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
find out who the diver is and volunteer to help him with a few dives for free to learn the ropes.
Speaking for myself and no offense to the OP, but if I'm the diver, the very last thing I'm going to be interested in doing is holding some noobie recreational diver's hand while showing him how to do my job. Besides the fact that (as already mentioned) the marina is highly unlikely to let somebody who has zero qualifications or experience maintain a mooring.

Last edited by Fstbttms; 11-20-2010 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 11-20-2010
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Let's get back to the OP's question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
You may find DIY is a bit of a sticky wicket in this case. The diver may have a contract with the marina, or the marina may want inspections done by a "certified and insured" party, so you may have to use him anyway.

Then there's the diving. In many places you'll pay $10 for an air fill, and $30-50 for the annual "VIP" tank inspection, and another $40-50 for a hydro inspection every fifth year. And, you have to take your tank in and (most often) leave it to be be filled, then make a second trip to pick it up. Depending on your local shop and how local and reasonable they may be, that can be a real PITA. And, the regulator should be inspected and adjusted annually, figure $50-100 at the shop. You can skip this for a while but then sooner or later, there are rubber parts in there that need replacement too.
Of course if you are doing your own bottom cleaning and all, there's more incentive for the investment, and diving itself can be a LOT of fun. "Some assembly required" often applies though.
All excellent points.

However, let's assume that none of that matters: Let's assume you do the diving with a hookah rig (that you already have anyway), so that's not costing you anything. Let's also assume that insurance etc is no issue since it is your own mooring and you are the only one responsible for it.

Then, what is required as 'maintenance'? I understand that you may want to replace the buoy by a winter stick to avoid that it drifts away with the ice. And I suppose you should check every couple years for corrosion on shackles and chain.

Anything else?
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Old 11-21-2010
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Even if you own the mooring, inspecting it properly is an insurance issue, unless your boat is not insured.
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Old 11-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Nieburó

Even if you own the mooring, inspecting it properly is an insurance issue, unless your boat is not insured.
Yes, good point, though not for me. I am self-insured.
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Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Helix Mooring Maintenance

I know this is an old post but wanted to contribute. Suppose this is your personal mooring, you are already a diver with said gear, then what is the maintenance on a Helix? My guess is "nothing". As long as it is still screwed into the bottom, you are done. Now the ground tackle is another story.
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Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Helix Mooring Maintenance

I would expect there's only one way to inspect a helix. You'd have to REMOVE IT for at least a visual inspection, then reinstall it. Otherwise there's no way to tell if it has corroded, or to what extent, is there?

At which point it might be simpler to buy another screw, one that is heavily galvanized and suitable for the job, and simply install the second screw as a backup after a couple of years. Depends on how you feel about the phrase "belt and suspenders".
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