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rosskowh 01-26-2010 01:25 AM

3 anchors as a mooring
has anyone installed a mooring using 3 anchors? i understand the general idea but cant find any specific info, weight requirements, distance to set the anchors apart, etc..... anyone have some hands on experience with this???

sailingdog 01-26-2010 09:22 AM

It depends a lot on where you're putting the mooring, as some places will have regulations on the type and size of mooring you can install. Also, it will depend on what kind of boat is going to be hanging off the mooring. A 14' daysailer might be fine with three 16 lb. danforths for a mooring, but a 30' 7000 lb. boat would not.

When asking a question like this, the more specific information with regards to type of boat, location, etc you give, the better the answers you will get.

rosskowh 01-26-2010 11:23 AM

more specific
well the idea is 3 40lb danforths all with 30ft of 3/8 g4 bridled to a swivel with another 20ft leading to a nylon pendant of 20 ft in about 15 ft. of water in a creek with a muddy bottom. originally i was going to use a helix but the installer flaked out on me and i also like the idea of semipermanent in case it needs to be moved.... i just havent found many people who actually done this...

RobertKWFL 01-26-2010 12:10 PM

The whole system is only as strong as the weakest leg. Each anchor/rode combo must be robust enough by itself to hold the boat in the worst conditions you are expecting. One undersized and/or poorly set anchor can let go in severe conditions, foul the others, and leave you with a tangled, dragging mess. This I learned the hard way.

rosskowh 01-26-2010 12:32 PM

3 anchor mooring
tell me more, what kind of setup did you have????

RobertKWFL 01-26-2010 05:20 PM

My experience is mostly in the negative, but when I was doing it I was trying to save money by using the gear I had instead of getting stuff appropriate for the job. Bad decision. Repairs are expensive!

The best description I've seen of the right way to do it is here:, but I haven't actually tried this yet. Maybe someone with more experience can comment.

sailingdog 01-26-2010 06:25 PM

Again, what size boat are you trying to moor???

BTW, that PDF that robert linked to is for a temporary storm surge mooring...and not really appropriate for a semi-permanent mooring of any sort.

wind_magic 01-26-2010 11:07 PM

I've been interested in this kind of mooring too. It sure seems like it would be strong, with the anchors spread out and the right length of chain, each anchor can have a scope of nearly infinite-to-1 with the chains essentially laying on the bottom back to a central point. You'd be hard pressed to pull something like that free if the anchors are set well. Seems like you could set each anchor separately then dive on the mooring and connect the three anchor rodes at the point that gave you the best scope, then run your chain from the center. Also seems like this would be a place where the more anchors you have, the merrier, how about six instead of three ?

tager 01-26-2010 11:21 PM

It would probably be cheaper to get a big mushroom than to do this business with three danforths.

sassafrass 01-28-2010 10:18 AM

I have done several. yes, you can pick them up from the bottom and that makes them maintainable from the surface, but you really need trip lines for that. the trip lines will make a close circle with you proposed distances.

i have found it is far easier, and just as good with large anchors, heavy chain and two, instead of three points. much easier to lay, easier to get up, etc. i don't think the join point get far off the bottom under normal use.

37' sailboat. I used 1/2 inch chain, 60lb plow anchors, and trip lines. set it at low low tide, or you can pull on the trip lines (away from the other anchor) to get the widest set. with a wider set, the scope the anchor sees is very large. this is in soft mud. i have had no issues of anchor movement, even in 70mph winds and 3' close set waves. this is the worst this anchorage gets in the winter.

i think a concrete block is cheaper if you can do it yourself. helix must be large and deep for soft mud.


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