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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I have run across a group making a very interesting product: artificial reef balls. Reef Ball Foundation: Getting Grants For Your Project
These reef balls are made of concrete, each one weighing from 6000 to 200 pounds, depending on size (from 6 to 2 feet in diameter). These balls are very effective as artificial reef and this group completed many very successful installations.
I was wondering if you could make moorings with these reef balls, combining what is good for aquatic life with what the boaters need. And what size would be needed to make a safe mooring under most conditions.
Your feedback would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are always these guys. That, quite seriously, is my plan for a final mooring.
It is the same group. I do like the idea. Everything is recycled in the Universe. :)

I know that concrete is not the best mooring media, but in a lot of places concrete slabs are used for moorings. Slabs are probably cheaper and more practical from the boating point of view, but they provide zero benefit to aquatic life. It would be nice if we could have some sort of win-win compromise.
 

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I would think concrete balls would roll easier especially with tugging.Concrete in a square with a big indentation would suck into mud but I'm not sure about sand.What makes the best mooring material ?
 

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I would think concrete balls would roll easier especially with tugging.Concrete in a square with a big indentation would suck into mud but I'm not sure about sand.What makes the best mooring material ?
What you want is density, so cast iron is likely the most practical. Though I have known some pretty dense folks, but I doubt they would make a good mooring but might let them go down with it. One of my local mooring fields will only allow metal mushroom shaped moorings, and require 100 pounds per foot of boat length, but it is on a river, so protected.
 

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What you want is density, so cast iron is likely the most practical. Though I have known some pretty dense folks, but I doubt they would make a good mooring but might let them go down with it. One of my local mooring fields will only allow metal mushroom shaped moorings, and require 100 pounds per foot of boat length, but it is on a river, so protected.
I guess at those figures a crane would be needed for a good sized boat.Do you have legal rights to a spot once you put a mooring in ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would think concrete balls would roll easier especially with tugging.Concrete in a square with a big indentation would suck into mud but I'm not sure about sand.What makes the best mooring material ?
I was thinking of chaining together 3 smaller balls to reduce the possibility to roll.
In NC a lot of folks used scrap steel engine blocks pounded into the bottom as a mooring anchor. Practical, but without any benefit for aquatic life.

I would think that especially in deeper waters such reef ball moorings could be a practical alternative. Definitely more expensive to install, but really good for the critters.
 

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I guess at those figures a crane would be needed for a good sized boat.Do you have legal rights to a spot once you put a mooring in ?
This particular club has been appointed by the city to manage the "harbor" so you don't have any rights to the mooring spot, you provide the hardware, they have a work boat with a crane (well not really a crane more like a pontoon boat with a hole cut in the middle) that they drop them with. The fee is quite reasonable, but they have NO services other than a dingy dock, a pot luck once a month and a composting toilet, with no running water. They only get free parking after 5 PM and weekends, otherwise you have to pay for parking by the hour/day/week/month. All moorings are pulled in the fall. I think they let you store them on site for the winter, well there is at least a pile of them, not sure if they are supposed to be there or not. But I think it costs somewhere between $100 and $250 a season, I forgot. The season cost is basically a donation to the Sloop Club, certainly not a money maker. I think they have perhaps 20 boats. Most of the boats are small but they have a couple that are in the low 30 foot range.
 

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Concrete loses about 30% of it's effective weight underwater, so your 6k is effectively 4. Shape of a mooring is a good 50% of it's effectiveness; I have seen Hobie cats drag a 55 gallon drum filled with concrete on hard sand, when they put the eye in the side rather than the end.
I'd be partial to a couple (or more?) engine blocks chained together, depending on the size of the boat, if I didn't want to spring for a mushroom. Easier to move individually, but plenty of weight when combined.
 
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