Be wary of strange moorings - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 07-23-2007 Thread Starter
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Be wary of strange moorings

We've been on the mooring wait-list for six years at one of our favorite local island get-aways, but have been informed by the Harbormaster that we should finally be granted a certificate very shortly.

Until then, whenever we decided to do an overnighter in this cove, we either anchored in the outer cove, or have used a good friend's mooring. We occasionally even raft-up with his boat and trust the mooring knowing the gear is professionally serviced each season.

While walking the barrier beach this past weekend, which borders this island's inner cove, we came across a beached mooring ball and chain. Don't know if a boat was on it at the time, but it was apparently washed ashore during a recent storm.

The ground tackle was clearly long overdue for replacement, with some links rusted to dangerously thin diameters. The swivel shackle was the weakest link, obviously snapped off from the mushroom anchor.

This was a reminder to never trust a strange mooring to hold our 9 ton boat . . . just may not be very reliable.





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post #2 of 32 Old 07-23-2007
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I love how the mooring ball say "Reliable" on it.... that's classic. We're trying to figure out what the best mooring system for us will be. Looking at the Helix system. We've got a pier that she's docked at but hurricane season is here and i want the option of a nice strong mooring for storms.

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post #3 of 32 Old 07-23-2007
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In most storm situations..

In most storm situations it's the pendants, shackles or chain wear that cause the problems. I have only once ,in the last ten years, seen a boat actually drag a mooring in our home anchorage which has 1300+ sail boats. The reason it dragged was because it had no swivels and chain twist lifted it out of the mud before the storm came. Eight out of ten times, in our anchorage, it's pendant chafe! The main cause of the chafe? Sailors leaving the anchor on the bow roller! Once the seas build up the anchor saws through the pendant like a knife through butter.. My Rocna stay's in the anchor locker while she's on the mooring. I'm actually working on getting the harbor master to propose an ordinance banning storage of anchors on rollers that could chafe a pendant.. I took the picture below to illustrate how an anchor could cut a pendant! It's calm in this picture but now add 5 foot waves and 45 knots of wind....... I urge all sailors to NOT store anchors on bow rollers if they can impinge on the pendant...


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post #4 of 32 Old 07-23-2007
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Long ago I was harbor watching and an old timer picked up a mooring and then backed down on it hard. I have been doing the same thing since.

I have seen three boats drift off from moorings when the pennant let go from wear. Each time I chased the boat down and twice it was quite a problem.
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post #5 of 32 Old 07-23-2007 Thread Starter
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halekai,
Very good observation regarding the potential for the anchor chafing the mooring penant line. This tip is especially important for all the boat owners who permanently tie their boats to a mooring, instead of in a marina slip.

Since we stay docked at a marina and rarely spend more than a week at a mooring, this isn't really a problem. However, the friend's mooring we normally use has twin leads - which we run through chocks on the port/starboard bow. The angle of the lines falls well enough below our anchor and stays clear of the bobstay as well.

This photo was taken yesterday and since it was just for one night, I didn't bother attching the port side line. But, it does illustrate the advantage of a double line - a design we will use when installing our own.


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post #6 of 32 Old 07-23-2007
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The only problem with stowing the anchor is that if your pennant or mooring shackles/chaindoes fail, where's your Plan B?

I can see stowing it nearby, but if I start to move unexpectedly, I want the option to drop the anchor (I would be at the bow to check the state of the pendant anyway) and not just to fire up the engine, as engines sometimes fail to fire. Anchors never fail to drop when cleanly chucked into the water (They might fail to hold, but that is another issue!)
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post #7 of 32 Old 07-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue View Post
halekai,
Very good observation regarding the potential for the anchor chafing the mooring penant line. This tip is especially important for all the boat owners who permanently tie their boats to a mooring, instead of in a marina slip.

Since we stay docked at a marina and rarely spend more than a week at a mooring, this isn't really a problem. However, the friend's mooring we normally use has twin leads - which we run through chocks on the port/starboard bow. The angle of the lines falls well enough below our anchor and stays clear of the bobstay as well.

This photo was taken yesterday and since it was just for one night, I didn't bother attching the port side line. But, it does illustrate the advantage of a double line - a design we will use when installing our own.

Is that the port chain hanging off the pennant I see?
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post #8 of 32 Old 07-23-2007 Thread Starter
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Valiente,
Yes it is. Here's the same mooring while rafting up with friends - showing the double line in use:


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post #9 of 32 Old 07-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
In most storm situations it's the pendants, shackles or chain wear that cause the problems. ....... I urge all sailors to NOT store anchors on bow rollers if they can impinge on the pendant...
Hal,
Absolutely a mounted anchor is a non-starter on a mooring.

I don't know if the pic is on your mooring setup...FWIW you will find that the CS toerail eye produces severe chafe during rough weather, nevermind any anchor. I assume you actually have two pendants and chafe gear on each, as opposed to the pic setup...a year ago my CS cut through heavy leather covers and into the pennants in a three day Notheaster. This year for the first time I'm running one pennant (with chafe gear)through the starboard anchor roller as the potential for chafing SEEMS less, but we haven't yet had a good test which will tell. I'm also trying out gear from http://www.chafe-pro.us/ this year. I suggest not having eye splices in your pennant ends, make them a little longer and cleat them, so the chafe point changes..Additionally I have a a a spare longer all-chain pendant that I plan to attach with a nylon bridle to the primaries should we face a hurricane, as I would not expect the nylon pennants to last a serious blow. Of course a hurricane tidal surge could make the best in-the-water precautions of only limited value.

None of the five-six boats I've seen on the beach in the past five years had an achor on the bow, just un-protected pennants. Two pendants, well postioned chafe gear, and god help us, no anchor, and your boat will be there after neighbors are on the beach.

Last edited by sailingfool; 07-23-2007 at 12:03 PM.
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post #10 of 32 Old 07-23-2007
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Two Seperate pennants

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue View Post
Valiente,
Yes it is. Here's the same mooring while rafting up with friends - showing the double line in use:
TB,
For a permanent mooring setup I'd recommend that you use two seperate pennants.

In the picture of the split single, it sure looks like a six foot chop, or the tacking motion of the boat in heavy wind (assuimg she sails on a mooring or anchor in a breeze) would cause the bobstay to chafe the lines. My boat has been on a mooring for the last seven years and its pretty gut wrenching to see the frantic up-down, back-forth motion boats develop when you get 50 knots for a day or so... looks sort like one of those mechanical bucking broncos set on fast...
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