Join Date: Apr 2007
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Kept my boat on a mooring buoy for years - best place, no springs and fenders or tricky docking maneuvers. I used chain, shackled and moused to the buoy, with a plastic covered loop in the other end made with a shackle. My second line was 3 strand nylon with a thimble, shackled to the buoy. Lots of anti-chafe. I prefer a plain end, cleated in the normal way as it can be released under load. The chain should be led over the bow roller with the pin inserted to stop it jumping out. I believe the last picture in halekai36's post shows the pendant far too long: she must sail around all over the place in a blow. Depending on how the buoy is attached to the bottom and the depth of water, there is likely to be enough play in the system to obviate the need for shock absorption.
A couple of tips: scrub the buoy regularly as,at times, it will lie hard alongside and you don't want barnacles etc. scratching your gelcoat. Also, if it is the type with a ring on the top, get an old fender, cut it in half and cut a hole in the end. Thread the pendant through the hole and use the fender to cover the ring - can save a lot of damage.
If you are not used to a mooring buoy, remember one of the easiest ways to pick it up (can be accomplished by granny or from the cockpit) is to lasso it with a loop of (non floating) line, haul yourself in and make fast at your leisure. Also, by walking the buoy alongside, you can leave under sail in almost any direction. Who needs a slip?