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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 02-21-2013
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Mooring Maintenance

Anyone keep their boats at mooring ? I dropped my 150lb mooring in June 2011. I used a little bit heavier chain, swivel, shackles etc. for what I researched as necessary for my 20' 2270lb displacement boat (I'm on Long Island, she weathered Hurricane Irene and Sandy both safe and sound). So by now I've had the boat on that mooring for 2 seasons: 2011 June-October and 2012 May-November. I'm thinking its about time I check up on it from anchor to buoy. Think I need to replace everything ? I know people who've used their mooring for years without replacing anything, but that's not quite my style. That being said, I have really no idea how long is a reasonable amount of time to leave a mooring in the water before replacing everything.
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Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

Hire a diver who's qualified by Harbormasters in your area to inspect moorings and have him (her) have a look.

The gear on the bottom should last longer than the gear at the top. Most likely spots for wear are the upper portion of the top chain, the swivel under the ball, shackles at the top, etc. Gear at the bottom doesn't wear as quickly because there's less O2 in the water the further down you go.

It's a good idea to disconnect the ball at the end of the season and drop the top chain into the mud -- use a length of line and a small bouy to mark the spot and allow you to retreive the top chain in the spring. You can take the ball, swivel, etc ashore every winter and replace them as needed.

Probably the best source of guidance on this topic will be the harbormasters in your area. Most towns have regulations regarding the frequency of mooring inspections.
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Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

Make sure its a diver whos commercially certified and has insurance and has experience in moorings. Ive seen a few people pass my price and hire the local scuba club to give it a go. Not something you want to bet your investment on.
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Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

If you need a diver in your area just shoot me a PM. I know several reputable guys in your area.
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

Thanks for the replies. I'm curious...do you really think I need a diver ? The water depth is between 4'-8' depending on tide. At low tide I can pull most of the chain on deck nearly to the lowest swivel, the problem is it's covered in barnacles and sealife etc. so its hard to see the condition of the chain through all that stuff. But in the end, I feel like hiring a diver would be more expensive than simply replacing everything, though I admit I've never hired a diver before. I believe I paid around $100 for everything from bottom chain and shackles, up past the swivel and top chain.
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

If you paid $100 for all the gear two years ago, it might cost $150 to replace it now. You can't inspect it until you clean it, so depending on what $150 means to you, it might be simpler to just replace it all.

How often you need to inspect dependson how good the materials are, how warm the ater is, how much strain is on it...hard to guess sight unseen. So simpler and safer to inspect annually and replace before you have nagging doubts about it, unless it is pristine when you inspect it.

If you can hold your breath, or unshackle it at the bottom and raise it all to inspect it, no need for a diver. But if you can't inspect it slowly and carefully, then you are back to a diver, or replacing it.
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

Good logic. I'm going to hold my breath, and unshackle it underwater so I can clean and inspect it carefully. It's shallow water, and I can hold my breath for a long time. Now the question is, what am I looking for once I clean and have a good look at the chain ? Thin points, cracks ?
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

"Now the question is, what am I looking for"

ANY sign of mechanical wear or failure. If that isn't specific enough...maybe replacing is safer.
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

Indeed. Perhaps I will simply replace, unless I feel very confident by what I find there
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: Mooring Maintenance

You could replace everything, then either sell the old chain, or inspect and reinstall in a few years.
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