How does a boat break free of its moorings?… - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-02-2016 Thread Starter
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How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

I came here looking for advice on whether to go with a boat lift, or not, and saw the thread on "Damaged Catalina 25". Our condo is rebuilding our dock and now is the time for me to choose wisely regarding dock options as follows…

4 pilings - $1,630

New 10,000# lift - $4,800

Walkway - $820 (option)

Stern Platform - $650 (option)

Not sure if the stern platform even works with my boat and what its use would be to me.

I'm getting advice that goes both ways. Don't do the lift. Do the lift. What would you do, and why? Why not is equally good.

The current lift pilings are about 10' apart. My "new" boat ('81 C-25 sk) maxes out our current association rule that states boats cannot exceed 25' as determined by boat registration.

If I go no lift, is it worth $1,630 to widen the distance between pilings and give the option to my kids on my death to put a lift on those pilings at a later date? If the extra width doesn't help me in the here and now I'm inclined to stick with the current pilings at 10'. I'm unlikely to ever have a boat with a beam greater than 9'. I'm likely not going to get me a different boat period.

The other side of this coin is putting in a lift to avoid ever having boat break it's moorings. I'll be away from my boat for perhaps as long as 5.5 months continuously. Would my setup be safer for both me and my slip neighbor with the lift. What about convenience and boarding. We are getting discounted lift rates if we opt to do the work of our dock rebuild. Basically any day now.

The dock level is getting raised by 12".

How many pilings are vital to getting this right? Should I keep some or all of my old pilings?

I'm a serious newbie to boating so assume I know next to nothing about things.

What is best for boarding. I will occasionally host folks more elderly than myself.

What is best if I have no crew? Do they make remote controls for boat lifts these days?

Would you at least spend $1,300 on the new pilings now to help future proof matters for myself and my kids?

Are 8 pilings too much? When I leave for the season I wouldn't think so. Slip location experiences SW Florida tidal activities and wakes.

TIA

Last edited by michael.anda; 03-02-2016 at 03:33 AM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-02-2016
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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

I would never leave my boat in the water, unattended, for 5.5 months. I'm even asking myself, if I would trust the lift in a storm.


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post #3 of 14 Old 03-02-2016
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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

I'm no expert on SW Florida, but I did just spend some time there on a power boat. There sure are a lot of boat lifts down there. I also noticed that on sections of the intercostal where the speed limit goes up, there are sure plenty of boat wakes. At least where I was, very little tidal depth differences, but some tidal flow depending on where you are. Warm water and a sitting boat unattended would build some bottom growth, even with good bottom paint in that warm water. All these reasons are mostly likely driving the prevalence of boat lifts down there.

A hurricane, all bets are off. There sure are a lot of slightly above sea level properties, and boat lift or not, it would be good to get your boat on hard someplace else.

Maybe someone from the neighborhood has better advice....but the boat lift sounds like a good option.

Last edited by capecodda; 03-02-2016 at 08:36 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-02-2016
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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

In SW Florida I would seriously consider a lift for a boat the size of yours. Especially if you are not sailing it on a very regular schedule. Otherwise you are going to need anti-fouling paint on the bottom, and you are going to have to get the bottom cleaned on a regular basis.

As to the number of pilings, I don't really see any need for more than four--two in front, two in back. Tied up properly that will hold the boat fine in anything short of a hurricane.

In a hurricane? All bets are off. Honestly, with a boat like that, with a hurricane coming, I would pull it out, put it on a trailer, and haul it out of the way of the storm.
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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

Have to agree that nearly 6 months unattended and unused points to using a lift - as long as that lift is sound, and appropriate for the shape of the boat. If it's a CB C25 you shouldn't need a 'keel boat' cradle on the lift, which should simplify things. (a regular speedboat lift ought to do it)

Here's another thought... is there a ramp and a storage yard nearby? I'd be sorely tempted (to avoid the lift cost and complexity) to haul the boat for your absence. Far fewer worries the whole time you're away. A trailer ought to cost a lot less than a lift. Keep her in the water while you're there (quicker access to sailing) put her away when you're not.

As to your title question, chafing mooring lines that eventually part, large surges and wash from storms and passing traffic.. in some cases boats did not break away but instead chewed themselves to bits on the dock when improperly sprung in their berths, some of which sank on the spot..

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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

You'll make your money back on the lift in the long run by not having to do bottom paint and cleaning. Plus, I am sure the lift adds value to your condo unit. I'd shell out the extra few grand for the lift. My folks keep a powerboat on a lift and it's a really easy, convenient and secure way to use and store a boat.

I do question whether you need a 10,000# lift. If you are limited to a 25' boat by association rules, I can't imagine any 25' boat coming anywhere close to that weight. You may be able to save a few bucks by sizing down by a few thousand pounds.
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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

Thanks all. Liking the trailer idea. Not sure how practical it is for me, though. I couldn't justify owning a vehicle for that purpose. I know two people with trucks, but… Will they still love me, tomorrow, as they say. :J Also, my slip rent is $25/mo. My vibe is boaters there would like to see me use a lift out of whatever concerns they may have. Boats breaking free of moorings perhaps?

A marine guy down that way tells me insurance companies have lift love. Does this sweeten the pot for the lift any? Sounds like my decision needs to come by Friday to take advantage of while we're there pricing. My current 4,500# lift could be reused, but has a few limitations. No accessory walk boards, pushing weight limit of boat, etc., etc.

How about boarding access? What are the pros and cons with each?

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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

First, and most important, you really should log onto the Catalina 25 National Association, where you can tap into the knowledge and hands-on experience of hundreds of sailors who have sailed and repaired C25s for as much as 35 years. It's a tremendous resource for you. Here's the link. Association Forum

You need the four pilings of course. Also, you need a way to board the boat, and that's probably the "walkway." That term isn't used in my area, but I assume it's a finger pier that extends from the dock to each of the pilings.

When you leave the boat unattended for 5 months, you really should hoist it out of the water and store it onshore. In a hurricane, storm surge can raise the water level 5-6 feet, or more, and this photo shows what can happen to a C25, or any other boat. The water level must have been raised 7-8 feet to leave the boat on top of those pilings. A boat lift won't help that.


A boat lift will make your antifouling paint last longer, and keep your bottom cleaner, but if you haul the boat once a year, that will give you an opportunity to roll on a single coat of ablative antifouling paint. For your boat, it should only be a 2-3 hour job. (30 minutes to wash the dirt off the bottom, 30 minutes to apply masking tape to the waterline stripe, and 1-1/2 hour to roll on the paint.) One coat of paint will easily protect your boat for the 6 months that it is in the water. A boat lift is nice in some ways, but I really don't see enough value to you to justify it's cost, not to mention the fact that it's something else to maintain and repair.
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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

As far as a boat breaking loose there are only a handful of things that really cause that, not being properly tied would be the number one culprit, then there are old rotten lines that get weak and break. I have always been in the practice of doubling up all lines for this reason unless my stay at the dock is going to be really short.

The other thing you have to worry about is the condition of the dock you are tied to, if the wood is rotten the cleat can pull right out of the dock in a hard blow, I've seen that happen more than once. I have also seen some pretty sketchy repairs to fix docks when that has happened leading to further issues.

As far as a lift goes, great for keeping your bottom clean, but consider this, it is now another piece of equipment in a marine environment you are going to have to maintain. And consider this, what if your lift breaks in the up position with your boat sitting on it, I could see that getting expensive fast.

As well in a hurricane the storm surge generally speaking will be more than high enough to lift your boat out of the sling and park it somewhere else.

If I was going to leave my boat out of the water, id just store it at a boat yard where it can be wrapped up and it is covered by insurance.

I figure by the time you spend the 10 grand on that boat lift, well you could have paid for a lot of time having your boat sit in a yard somewhere and the upside is while it is on the hard you can work on it before it goes back in the water.

Working on a boat suspended on a lift is not my idea of fun.
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Re: How does a boat break free of its moorings?…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
A boat lift will make your antifouling paint last longer, and keep your bottom cleaner,
Why would you use any bottom paint if you have a lift? Most people with a lift are daysailing/boating with the odd weekend or weeklong excursion.
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