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post #1 of 13 Old 05-29-2012 Thread Starter
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Mooring - attaching pendant

We've recently had a bit of dust up over some moorings. The mooring operator attached the mooring balls to the anchor chains with clevises BUT improperly seized the pins so that the seizing was lost and the clevis pins worked loose. This resulted in much discussion since most of us had attached our main pendants to the bottom ring on the buoy and our safety lines to the top ring of the buoy.

One of us said he attached his pendants to lower links on the anchor chain and avoided the top and bottom buoy rings entirely. This is an attractive idea to me since my two pendants attached to the top and bottom buoy rings invariably get twisted together.

One thing I'm wondering about is the following. A clevis pin run through the last link of a chain rides against the curve of the link where it has contact over a half diameter of the pin. While a pin run through a lower link rides against the link above it at essentially a point contact. Off hand I'd guess this would result in more wear on the link and the pin. Is this something to worry about?

Of course in the future, I'll pay more attention to the condition of the mooring b4 attaching my pendants.

ALTHOUGH THE ANSWERS ARE INTERESTING, NONE OF THEM ADDRESS THE QUESTION I ASKED.

Namely is it an ok practice to attached hardware to other than the top link of the top chain of the mooring?

In my case I rent the mooring so I can't modify it. I'm simply supposed to connect my pendants to the in place mooring.

Last edited by mikenmid; 05-30-2012 at 09:58 AM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-29-2012
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

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Originally Posted by mikenmid View Post
We've recently had a bit of dust up over some moorings. The mooring operator attached the mooring balls to the anchor chains with clevises BUT improperly seized the pins so that the seizing was lost and the clevis pins worked loose. This resulted in much discussion since most of us had attached our main pendants to the bottom ring on the buoy and our safety lines to the top ring of the buoy.

One of us said he attached his pendants to lower links on the anchor chain and avoided the top and bottom buoy rings entirely. This is an attractive idea to me since my two pendants attached to the top and bottom buoy rings invariably get twisted together.

One thing I'm wondering about is the following. A clevis pin run through the last link of a chain rides against the curve of the link where it has contact over a half diameter of the pin. While a pin run through a lower link rides against the link above it at essentially a point contact. Off hand I'd guess this would result in more wear on the link and the pin. Is this something to worry about?

Of course in the future, I'll pay more attention to the condition of the mooring b4 attaching my pendants.

Normally a "top swivel" is employed to prevent chain & pendant twist. The top chain for the mooring connects to the bottom of the swivel and the pendants and ball connect to the top eye of the swivel. If using swivels it is a VERY good idea to over size them. On our 36' boat I use a 1" swivel and 3/4" top chain..

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-29-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-29-2012
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

I wonder if someone could explain the purpose of splitting the mooring chain into two halves, one big, heavy and not galvanized, and the other smaller, lighter, and galvanized.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-29-2012
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

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I wonder if someone could explain the purpose of splitting the mooring chain into two halves, one big, heavy and not galvanized, and the other smaller, lighter, and galvanized.
Heavy chain provides the needed caternary to prevent shock loading in storms. I use surplus USCG chain. The calculations for our boat show that we'd need about 90 knots + to straighten the chain. For storms that bad I add longer storm pendants that have sufficient elastic properties..



A good heavy bottom chain sits in the mud 98% of the time so link wear is very, very minimal.. The muddy bottom and depth limit the amount of oxygen in the water thus negating the need for galvanized chain. The top chain needs to be supported by the ball at high tides and if using HUGE chain all the way to the surface you'd also need a HUGE ball.

Personally I think galvanized chain on a mooring is a waste of money but I prefer the Acco long link mooring chain, for top chain, and it currently only comes galvanized. The wear occurs where the links meet and it only takes a few weeks to wear through the galvanizing thus making it a pretty useless investment for a permanent mooring....

The theory is that in the top layer of the water there is more oxygen thus more rust thus you "need" galvanized chain. My friends who do moorings for a living tell me that a 4 year old galvy chain is indistinguishable from a 4 year old self colored chain in wear and as replacement cycles go.....

BTW the USCG chain on our storm mooring was installed in 1998 and is still going strong (this is the stuff with the center bar across the link not the stuff I have on my "everyday" mooring that is show above) The top chain, 3/4" has been replaced every 4 years..... I think I paid $450.00 for 45' of that chain at the time. Pretty good investment considering it is going on 14 years.......

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-29-2012
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

Thank you. That's a somewhat larger chain than in the diagram.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-30-2012
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

When I do mooring inspections or replacements i use Bailing Wire to mouse the shackles. I usually take about 2 ft of wire, bend in the middle, spin with a Whirly Bird,feed through the shackle and clevis, then Whirly Bird it together to ensure it wont come undone.
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

The only reason I dont use zipties is because well, they are plastic. I trust wire more so than plastic.
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

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When I do mooring inspections or replacements i use Bailing Wire to mouse the shackles. I usually take about 2 ft of wire, bend in the middle, spin with a Whirly Bird,feed through the shackle and clevis, then Whirly Bird it together to ensure it wont come undone.
What is a "whirly Bird"? I'm guessing some thing that twists the two pieces of wire. So you actually put a double wire through the shackle pin and then twist that?
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

I twist them with the pliers and loop around the shackle and through clevis then twist both ends together. Thats just my technique. Below are the tools and a simple mousing procedure. Everytime I do a mooring job I ask myself, would I trust my boat on this in a storm. I trust wire over plastic anyday, especially if it will be exposed to UV rays.

[ATTACH]Mooring - attaching pendant-344b.jpg[/ATTACH]
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-30-2012
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Re: Mooring - attaching pendant

+1 on mousing the shackles. I bought a roll of s.s. seizing wire that will last me forever and tape up the ends of anything that needs to be handled regularly with rigging tape. Sharp wire ends can do a real number on your hands (don't ask me how I know:-).

It is wise to inspect any rented mooring you're going to trust your boat to. The equipment is expensive for boatyards and they often do not maintain them well. Some will reuse parts that should've been canned long ago. You can't very effectively see the anchor but you can pull the ball and swivels up to check their condition and the condition of the chain. I would much rather be on my own anchor in some places rather than trust their rental moorings. I keep heavy swivels and shackles on board and have, on occasion, changed out equipment that looks questionable if I'm going to be on the mooring for any length of time. If your boat breaks loose, you're likely to take the blame anyway, insurance-wise, so better to NOT break loose.

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Last edited by smurphny; 05-30-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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