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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > How to tie up to a mooring
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Thread: How to tie up to a mooring Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-05-2003 01:43 PM
gstraub
How to tie up to a mooring

Now I think I understand the question. Well, I''m not sure how much chain should be on the mooring. I''m sure someone on here knows better than me. The pull being straight down isn''t a problem, it just means your boat isn''t putting any strain on the mooring system. The mooring mushroom or whatever depends on its weight and being buried in the mud for its holding power. It is not like a typical anchor, such as a Danforth, where you need a shallow angle pull to keep it dug in. Even if it were an anchor, the fact that the chain is dropping straight down means there is no strain on the system so there would be no danger of breaking out. I don''t know if I''ve even come close to addressing your questions!

I''ll let someone else jump in here with opinions on how much chain there should be.

Gerhard
06-05-2003 10:22 AM
Crispi
How to tie up to a mooring

Gerhard,

Right. I forgot to mention that I have a mooring ball which supports the chain and painter. In my situation, a six foot tide and 4 feet of water at mean low tide, the chain ends up sitting on the bottom. Even during fairly wavey times the chain doesn''t lift off the bottom all the way to the mushroom, so the pull is just about straight down.
06-04-2003 10:28 AM
gstraub
How to tie up to a mooring

I''m a little confused by the description. Normally, the chain is supported by a float of some sort. The float usually has a ring to which one can tie a line or lines from the bow of the boat. In this way, the mooring float supports the weight of the chain and the boat is tied to the float.

Gerhard
06-04-2003 08:55 AM
Crispi
How to tie up to a mooring


I have a 20 foot sailboat(1800lb/disp.) moored in 10'' at high tide/4'' at low tide that pulls straight down on the bow when there are waves. I''ve got 45'' of 3/8" chain to a 200lb mooring. Is it possible to have too much or too heavy a chain? Does this set up sound odd to anyone?

Thanks,
Bob
11-20-2002 05:23 AM
pirateofcapeann
How to tie up to a mooring

All right, Iíll get in on this one too. First of all NEVER hook yourself to an eye on top of a mooring buoy. Iíve often wondered why more law suites werenít filed against the manufacturers of those balls anyway. The steel 3/8 inch thick rod used in those buoys was never intended to hold the strain of a cruising sailboat! Fortunately, Iím seeing more of the type where the chain is passing up through the center of the buoy through a PVC tube, and the smarter ones are placing their swivels there, on top of the buoy where they can be seen. If all that is available is the eye on the top of the buoy and you donít want to get your hands dirty fishing for the bull ring, then move to another mooring, by gar!

When I find the appropriate mooring that Iím going to lay to over night, I put a bight in the middle of my 40-foot dock line and fish that through the mooringís bull ring. Then I lead the bitter ends under the bight and haul it up to make a ďcow hitchĒ on the ring. This can be done on an eye in the mooring pennants as well but it may be better here to take a round turn around the eye too.

Now, I have a bowsprit complete with a bob stay and whiskers, but even if I didnít, Iíd still lay both ends of my mooring line over the same rail and through the same chalk. This is going to cut down on the alternating strains and chafe on the pennant at the bull ring. It also means that the boat is going to lie slightly cocked to the wind and dance around a bit less. And yes, if Iím expecting a blow, Iíll lash on another pennant or better still, if possible, lie to my own anchor.

In the morning, itís usually easy enough to work the cow hitch with the end of the boat hook and pull it free to cast off. This system has worked well for me except when picking up one of those CG moorings like the ones at Seguin Island, the converted ďnunĒ sea buoys. These things start rocking on their own and take tension on the pennants which, in turn pulls the boat into the buoy! The only way to get any sleep up there is to make the shackle of the storm rode to the patent thing and pay out about 50Ė75 feet or so!

Oh, yea, PS. The best knot to lash to that eye would be a sheet or beckett bend. It might behoove you to make a double turn around it and finish it with a hitch on the standing part.
11-19-2002 03:54 PM
SloopSailor
How to tie up to a mooring

If you are leaving your boat on a mooring, please use 2 lines. one main and a backup if it fails. Even with my little 1700lb boat I use 2 mooring lines. One is 1'' longer than the other. I know the boat isn''t going anywhere.
08-25-2002 09:27 AM
windship
How to tie up to a mooring

It''s a pain in the neck but when I tie up to a mooring I have a dedicated line with a spliced-in SS thimble that I use just for moorings. I attach it to the mooring with a shackle and seize the shackle with a zip tie.No chafe, no dammaged lines and no boat adrift in the middle of the night.Guaranteed.
I''d much rather anchor!

Dennis
08-12-2002 04:42 PM
MikeMoss
How to tie up to a mooring

I am not sure what you describe? Since it''s a line it could have a rope loop or a thimble. As mentioned chafe must be condsidered. This is by far the main cause of boats breaking off their moorings. I have seen four of them so far and helped rescue three of them.

If the thimble is steel then you should use a steel shakle to attach to it. If it''s smooth plastic then just rope on a temporary basis would work overnight.

I saw a "expert" who was a boat broker send a line thru a steel mooring eye in Stage Harbor, Chatam, MA. The boat was a huge 56'' Winnebago type and we got hit with a 50 knot storm. The line sawed thru, he started the engine and tangled one of the screws in the mooring chain of a OI 41 and layed backwards to the wind alongside of it. I called the CG and they came out but by that time the wind was down.

Chafe very bad.
07-18-2002 10:54 AM
DuaneIsing
How to tie up to a mooring

Thanks, Starlite.

I guess being only a charterer and not yet an owner, I forgot that people have dedicated moorings they use all year/season. In that case, it makes sense to set up the way you described.

Fair winds.

Duane
07-18-2002 08:51 AM
Starlite
How to tie up to a mooring

Those large bouys can be problematic. Typically, you''ll find them in transient municipal mooring areas. Anytime you pick up a mooring, it takes a little faith that the equipment is sound, and that you''re not going to drift free.

I was thinking more of the seasonal bouy one finds in your typical marina, of the round, ball style. Many of these have a mechanism inside that allows the top ring to rotate. Over time, this can fail -- sawing itself in half. Even if it''s a solid connection (one that doesn''t rotate), the strongest connection is made directly to the chain (or the shackle holding the chain to the bouy). Picking this type of bouy up isn''t too difficult (most of the effort is lifting the chain).

On my mooring, I''ve attached a small fender to the pendant. This makes it easier for me to grab the pendant with my boat hook, and I only have to lift the bouy twice a season -- to attach the pendant, and to remove it at the end of the season.
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