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Old 02-02-2002
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This is my first sailboat. It is a ''72 C&C 30 MK1, fin keel, draft 5 feet (I was told), displacement weight 8000 lbs.

I am ASS U ME ing that I should have at least 6 feet of water under my boat at Low Low tide. Is this correct?

In swells or rough weather, at low tide, will my keel hit bottom? I was told that hitting bottom with a swept back fin keel could cause damage as the aft end of the keel acts like a lever against the hull (I hope I am explaining this correctly).

Most marinas have told me that a 250lb mooring is enough to hold my boat. Is this correct?

I have a dock for my tender but a low train bridge and shallow water stops me from getting my sailboat there. I would like to put out my own mooring but am unsure how to go about it. I can put out a mooring in 7 feet of water, but it is sort of an "unmarked channel" (no markers, everyone just knows where it is) used by powerboats for as long as I can remember to get in and out of my cove. I don''t want to piss anybody off by blocking this channel. To make things more confusing, the harbor master says they don''t really patrol my area.

At the Providence boat show I saw "Mushroom Moorings" made from scrap train wheels. They are 550 or 1000 lbs. The price was right! Is this a good alternative to a standard mushroom mooring if I am to put out my own mooring in semi protected water (Little Naragansett bay).

Any advice would be helpful.

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Old 02-08-2002
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First, find out exactly how deep your boat is. That info should be available online somewhere. Do a search on your boat and see what turns up. In a pinch, get out a tape measure and measure it.

Second, one foot of clearance is probably not enough. This depends on the tidal range in your area which is about 3.5 feet, and the exposure of the location to waves. With a particularly low tide and 1 foot waves you could be hitting bottom.

Third, your explanation of hitting bottom is accurate and to be avoided.

Fourth, the weight of the mushroom anchor is only one factor of the entire mooring setup and the weight and type of anchor depends entirely on the type of bottom and the exposure of the area. If it''s very exposed and you have to use fairly short scope I''d consider a Helix anchor (very expensive, but less than replacing your boat). If the bottom is muddy use the heaviest mushroom you can afford, and provide enough chain scope to survive storms. If something really bad comes along you can move the boat to a safer location up the river or elsewhere (figure out where before you have to move). Ask other mooring holders in the immediate area what they are using, and what type of boat is anchored. DO NOT install the mooring in a channel or into the only deep path up a creek. You will irritate other boaters and you''ll have no peace as people pass very close by to stay in deep water. The train wheel mushroom would probably be ok except that it really is not shaped right - so you''ll need to depend on the extra weight.

Good luck.

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Old 02-08-2002
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Get to know the area your going to moore in as best as you can , its not easy to change it later . I have two moorings , the first one has 4-24" cast iron storm grates that have gone down into the bottom very well , the other is a 66'' Pontiac LeMans . both will hold great in a storm but the storm greats give me more piece of mind cause the have sunk into the mud . I moore just inside the breakwall on the east end of lake Ontario in Oswego , some times the waves are 9''with 5'' between them and crash over the wall like it was not even there , but I feel safer than at a dock .
Happy Sailing
S/V Dreamer
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Old 03-01-2002
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Rob -
The responses above are quite good. I just wanted to add that you have to consider the full moon low tides which can be much lower than normal. Also don''t forget that the depth of the water is usually not consistant. On one side of your mooring, it might be 6''. The other side might be 5''. There also may be rocks on the bottom in the vacinity that you could hit on your way in or out, or as your boat swings.

If there is no swell, and the bottom is all mud, your boat will survive touching the bottom by an inch or two at really low tides, but...this is definately not optimum.

Optimum would be to find a deeper spot, at least 8 feet at dead low. If you must use this spot, go snorkeling at low tide and look for hills, valleys and rocks in the vacinity and know how to avoid the hills and rocks. If there are rocks taller than a foot, you could actually move them (often does not work because the rocks are bigger than they look. Good luck, and go snorkeling.
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Old 03-02-2002
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Thanks to all that responded!

I think I will rent a mooring for this season. It will give me all summer to use this good advise and find the perfect spot for next year.
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