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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On several occasions I've arrived at a guest mooring only to find the pennant heavily encrusted with marine growth and sometimes with an eyesplice too small for my bow cleat or line too heavy for my bow chocks (or both). The marine growth makes a mess of the deck and the other issues make for what is sometimes a less than optimal mooring.

Here's my idea... why not use an 'extension' of sorts using a length of triple braid with a proper sized eyesplice and chafing gear at each end and additional chafing gear in the center. The 'extension' could be attached to the fouled/wrong-sized pennant using a cow hitch (larks head) and be protected by the anti-chafe in the center of the line. Not a long-term solution, of course, but how about for the occasional overnight?

I know I'm not the only one who has encountered this... A recent weekend at a prestigious YC on LIS left me with a single pennant using 1.5" line (too big for my chocks and bow cleat), a too small eyesplice and a reef-load of marine growth which looked really nice all over my deck.

Flame away... :)
 

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Don Radcliffe
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Just run a dock line from the bow, through the eye in the mooring, and back to the bow--It shouldn't be any problem overnight unless gales have been forecast.
 

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Telstar 28
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I'd second Don's suggestion, and point out that you can run it from the port side chock, through the eye in the pennant, and then back through the starboard side bow chocks, and put a bit of tubular webbing over the line to protect it from chafe. If the webbing is lashed in place, casting off is very easy—just uncleat one side, and let it go....pull the line through the pennant's eye on the other side and you're free. Using a lark's head is much more of a PITA to deal with, and provides very little additional benefit.
 

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Belliure 41'
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I keep a large carabineer onboard for just such an occasion. It is a large D style with a lock on it. I clip to the mooring pennant then to two dock line eyes creating a bridal to my boat. The carabineer is stainless and naturally very smooth plus is allows me change a single mooring line into a double. (Something important to a 42’ sailboat)
 

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I keep a large carabineer onboard for just such an occasion. It is a large D style with a lock on it. I clip to the mooring pennant then to two dock line eyes creating a bridal to my boat. The carabineer is stainless and naturally very smooth plus is allows me change a single mooring line into a double. (Something important to a 42’ sailboat)

I was just about to suggest the same thing before reading your post.

The company I used to own did alot of tower climbing (installation of 2 way microwave communications gear on towers) and we always used very large aluminum carabiners to clip around the angle iron struts and tower legs. After years of abuse and climbing in every weather condition possible from sun rain to sleet to snow to ice, they never rusted. Even though they were proactivly replaced after 3 years along with all climbing and saftey gear, I still felt they were safe to use.

Aluminum Carabiner, 2-1/4inch Twist - Miller Fall Protection - Mfg# 18D-2

these should work great for a mooring line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd second Don's suggestion, and point out that you can run it from the port side chock, through the eye in the pennant, and then back through the starboard side bow chocks, and put a bit of tubular webbing over the line to protect it from chafe. If the webbing is lashed in place, casting off is very easy—just uncleat one side, and let it go....pull the line through the pennant's eye on the other side and you're free. Using a lark's head is much more of a PITA to deal with, and provides very little additional benefit.
My only thought on using a lark's head was to prevent (or greatly reduce) the two lines sawing against each other, but I'm all for simplifying :) Even with a lark's head, I wanted to incorporate some tubular webbing as an anti-chafe measure, but simpler is (often, but not always...) better.

Thanks.
 

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My understanding was that you never took a mooring pennant...

on deck. Instead you used your own dock line, cleat off one end, run the other through both pennant eyes, taking a round turn to prevent chaff, and secured your dock line back inboard. This system can be slipped easily and prevents chafe on the mooring pennants. You can use two docklines, one on each pennant if necessary. The extra length (pennant + dockline) should not increase your swing room by more that 2 or 3 ft.

QED
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I was just about to suggest the same thing before reading your post.

The company I used to own did alot of tower climbing (installation of 2 way microwave communications gear on towers) and we always used very large aluminum carabiners to clip around the angle iron struts and tower legs. After years of abuse and climbing in every weather condition possible from sun rain to sleet to snow to ice, they never rusted. Even though they were proactivly replaced after 3 years along with all climbing and saftey gear, I still felt they were safe to use.

Aluminum Carabiner, 2-1/4inch Twist - Miller Fall Protection - Mfg# 18D-2

these should work great for a mooring line.
Carabiner is a great idea, DropTop and JT1019. I will confess to my admittedly irrational paranoia which makes me a little nervous knowing that I might not be able to see metal fatigue in a biner as readily as I can see fatigue or wear in a nylon pennant. Climbing and professional/industrial "Fall Protection" gear is obviously constructed against rigorous standards. Great idea -- thanks!
 

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Why can't sailors KISS more often.....

Aluminum Carabiner, 2-1/4inch Twist - Miller Fall Protection - Mfg# 18D-2

Has as 400 lbs. (181.4kg) maximum capacity. Even assuming that its breaking strength is 5 times that, why would you want to introduce such a weak link into any mooring system. 1/2 inch anchor line has a breaking strenght of 7,500 lbs, 3/4 inch anchor line has a breaking strenght of 16,700 lbs.

Even a stainless steel carabiner will make slipping more complex in heavy winds.

Obviously you experts can do what you wish ( I can heartily recommend the WM new "Mooring ball harpoon":rolleyes:), but for any newbie trolling for advice;

Keep it simple stupid. Follow the advice of "donradclife", sailingdog and my humble self. The second turn through the eye will reduce chaff unless you are staying for a month, in which case it will hardly be a guest mooring.
 

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I'm with those who always assumed that the pennant is just for easy access to the buoy, and you're always supposed to tie off to the buoy itself.

Besides, you guys should count your lucky stars: in the San Juans at least, I've never seen a mooring buoy with a pennant.
 

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Park buoys in BC have a large steel ring attached to a length of chain that free-slides within a central sleeve in the buoy. No pennant, when you approach the buoy you hook/grab the large ring, pull it through and up to deck level, thread your own line through and let the ring drop back onto the buoy. The ring is always clean, it's never in the water.

They are serviced regularly, and we've never noticed excess growth on the submerged part of chain either. It's a pretty good setup.
 

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Faster, that's what I've seen in the San Juans as well, except there is often excess growth on them. I know because my anchor line fouled in that excess growth on a submerged mooring buoy's mooring line a couple of weeks ago and I got to stick my hands into the excess growth to determine what was going on! It was mostly squishy and slimy?
 

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going with the carabiner idea, rock climbing ones have a typical rating of 24kN or about 5300lbs of force, enough to pull most full size trucks.
 

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rock climbing ones have a typical rating of 24kN or about 5300lbs of force, enough to pull most full size trucks.
Agreed that's enough strength, but it's not about the strength rating. it's about the size (of the gate opening)...

the gate on most rock climbing beeners is too small to fit around many mooring lines (3/4" line isn't that uncommon)... that's why I suggested the large commercial tower climbing one, that gate is 4-5 times larger then most rock climbing ones which are normally only designed to accept 3/8" line vs the commercial one designed to clip around steel beams and have a gate opening of 2-3 inches or larger. Easily enough to reach around any mooring line you're going to find floating coverd in barnicles.
 

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Aluminum Carabiner, 2-1/4inch Twist - Miller Fall Protection - Mfg# 18D-2

Has as 400 lbs. (181.4kg) maximum capacity. Even assuming that its breaking strength is 5 times that, why would you want to introduce such a weak link into any mooring system. 1/2 inch anchor line has a breaking strenght of 7,500 lbs, 3/4 inch anchor line has a breaking strenght of 16,700 lbs.
not sure where you get 400lbs rating from. I can't find anything listed to support your statement.

I know that our certified climbing safety and rescue instructor picked those up (I think it's the same model, that link came from google) because they met OSHA requirements for rescue conditions, which require a 10,000lb anchor point and all related equipment must be rated for 10,000lbs as well (5,000lb anchor point, line and per person is required by OSHA for fall protection, so in a rescue situation you have 2 people on the line, and gear = 10,000lbs rating requirement)

I can also say that they have no problem towing a fully loaded police cruisr (Crown Vic) up and out of a ditch on the side of the interstate.. A state cop slid off the road when trying to stop to help a morotist who also slid off the road one icy winter evening coming back from a tower site, we hooked up the 5/8" 11,000lb rated safety line via a few straps to the tow points under his car, used those same beeners to attach everything together, and dragged him back up onto to the pavement. This was in below freezing conditions...

EDIT:
called my old safety guy, and did some digging... those ones are rated to 5,175lbs each, and for the rescue climbs, we were required by OSHA to double up when using the aluminum carabiners (I forgot this earlier, I haven't taken a continueing ed refresher on my climbing certificate in 4 years...)

If you are that worried, you can go steel rated @ over 10,000lbs...
2" Steel Carabiner with Auto Lock - GEMPLER'S
 

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S/V Loon
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Yeah right :)

... No pennant, when you approach the buoy you hook/grab the large ring, pull it through and up to deck level, thread your own line through and let the ring drop back onto the buoy.
I know that's the way its supposed to work, but for me, it seems to work differently. I approach the bouy dead slow, loose sight of it under the bow, have to run up because my deck crew forget to point at it. Then we hook it and try and pull it up, but I send the smallest mate back to pop it in reverse because we overshot and there is too much tension to get it to deck level... Neutral - that's enough reverse... then the rubber grip pulls off of the end of the boat hook which can't be released because of the tension and the whole thing goes over the side.... And when I finally do end up getting the line on the buoy I have to row in and put $10 in the envelope, and then I get to listen to the buoy scraping against the bow during the night when wind and tide end up opposed.

I agree, its a great system, but now that I trust my anchor, I'm staying away from the buoys. :)

We should get a thread going to discuss stern tie technique too, that's another curious British Columbian custom, and a requirement in many small deep coves, but it is a prime opportunity to make mistakes and to show how much the skipper can yell at the kids.

Am I complaining? Nope. Whether you get anchored, buoyed or stern tied - they are all priceless with the G&T's come out.
 
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