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tenuki 03-26-2007 04:23 PM

Making a mooring..
My wife's family has a cabin on the water about 20 nm from our home port. It overlooks a bay that I think would maybe be a perfect spot for a permanent mooring (70' mostly flat bottom per the chart). Couple of questions..

1) Can you just drop a mooring? Are there usually local laws, licensing, permits etc? There are currently no other moorings in this bay that I know of.
2) What ground tackle would you use? I'm thinking 3 mushroom anchors, bottom part chain rode, double line up from that (ease of replacement mostly). But I have no idea. Source of info?
3) Would it just be easier to hire some local to put it there, maybe a block of concrete or something?

sailingdog 03-26-2007 09:55 PM

1) It depends... you don't say where this cabin is located... and the laws vary from locality to locality.

2) It depends on the bottom. If the bottom is mud, then mushroom anchors are probably a good choice. If it is sand or gravel, I'd go with a helix anchor. If it is rock, I'd go with a big lead or steel block.

3) It depends. Size of the anchor depends on what kind of anchor you'll be using for the mooring as well as what size boat it is.

Craig Smith 03-26-2007 11:19 PM


Originally Posted by tenuki
1) Can you just drop a mooring? Are there usually local laws, licensing, permits etc? There are currently no other moorings in this bay that I know of.

Certainly you will have to check with local authorities. Unlikely that you will be able to do it carte blanche.


Originally Posted by tenuki
2) What ground tackle would you use? I'm thinking 3 mushroom anchors, bottom part chain rode, double line up from that (ease of replacement mostly). But I have no idea. Source of info?

As sailingdog indicates it will depend on the bottom. It can be simpler than you imagine for a small boat - an old engine block allowed to sink into the mud, for example. Mushrooms are fine but will need to be large. A screw anchor in hard ground is a good idea, although will need installation by a diver so could be expensive.

I think that John Harries and Phyllis Nickel of Morgan's Cloud are using 2 x Rocna 110s as a permanent mooring for their 55'er. You might like to contact them for some general advice / pointers.

tenuki 03-26-2007 11:53 PM

Thanks, that should get me started. I'll post here as I know more / find / contact the local authorities.

Size of Boat: Mine is currently a 24' sail, but would want to be able to moor up to 32' as some of my friends boat's are that size (besides, I'll eventually get a larger boat)

Location: Puget Sound, Oak Bay - 48' 00.57' x 122' 42.90' more or less to be exact. ;)

Bottom: Listed on the chart as mud.

sailaway21 03-27-2007 12:07 AM

I used 4 five gallon buckets filled with concrete and the chain imbedded in each. You will have to dive though for that set-up.

sailingdog 03-27-2007 08:34 AM

Steel or iron is far better than concrete as an mooring weight material, as it is far denser than concrete, so the same weight of material will be smaller and also more effective as an anchor.

erps 03-27-2007 10:06 AM

If there are currently no other moorings, my guess is that it's regulated in your area. I agree with Sailing dog that steel is better than concrete. That said, steel that big is hard to come by. I've installed several concrete systems and here is one that would probably work for you.

Get a big used truck tire from a tire store. Buy some electrical conduit tube fittings so you can make a "U" shaped radius and some rebar. Pour your concrete, reinforced with some rebar and have your U shaped conduit embedded in the middle with the openings facing up. Your conduit should be large enough diameter to pass your mooring line or chain through.

Now you have a heavy weight that can be rolled out to your truck. The conduit allows you to replace your chain/line at intervals. The large diameter foot print seems to stick to the bottom pretty well and after a while it will bury itself in. I've seen several mooring systems of this design that are still being used thirty years later.

On my first mooring I embedded my chain in the concrete. After three years, the chain got a little on the skinny side and I couldn't do anything to fix it except start over again.

sailingdog 03-27-2007 11:08 AM

I'd embed a couple of large U-bolts rather than use the conduit... but that's personal preference more than anything else.

sailaway21 03-27-2007 01:13 PM

Good idea, erps.
The only advantage to my five gallon buckets is that they are "light" enough to handle. Engine blocks, if cast iron, are nice once they are on the bottom. In fact, there are lots of things that will work nicely once on the bottom. The fun part comes about when you trying to get your weight from your vehicle to a boat, then over the side of the boat, and right where you want it. Two five gallon buckets of cement are about all you are going to want in the stern of your basic row boat. The only good way I can practically envision getting something heavier out there is to laod it onto a raft, off a really well built dock. Then all you have to do is roll it over the side when in position. Do not underestimate the effort to lift a good weight engine block over the gunwale of a decent size boat. If you load the engine block in the row boat I would recommend one of two things: 1. Video tape the part where you lift it over the side of the rowboat out on the water.<g> 2. Row out into position in your friend's row boat and sink the boat with the engine block in it. He hardly used that boat anyway, you are now an artificial reef and not a mooring, and you are only tied up to it for recreational diving purposes. Seems to cover all the bases. Of course you will need to display the proper dive flag while moored.

Boasun 03-27-2007 01:44 PM

When I was working on research vessels, the scientists would sometimes use Railroad tires. Those steel tires that you see the box cars rolling on. You need to find out where a railcar salvage or refit yard is at and see if you can get one or two. They make great mushroom anchors. These are used by the scientists as throw away anchors. The Science package is connected with a timed or sonar activated release and over the side it goes. We come back later and pick up the sci package sans the railroad tire.
But they do make great anchors and in the mud would hold a 32 ft'r with no problem.
But the state of Washington is antsy about what is put in their waters.

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