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  1. #1
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    Default Mooring Questions

    So, I've never had a boat on a mooring before, but I'm about to put this boat on one:

    Mango.jpg

    18' 6" long, 2' 7" draft, maybe 2,000 lbs?

    The mooring is prepared already--a 50 gallon drum filled with concrete for an anchor, with a steel cable connected to a beefy shackle (with swivel) on the bottom of the buoy. There's also a beefy shackle on the top of the buoy.

    So, how do I go about connecting the boat to the mooring? Do I rig a separate mooring pennant to the top shackle? Or to the bottom shackle?
    I do have a spar buoy that I assume is meant to hold the mooring pennant for easier pick-up.

    What kind and size of line is best? Braided, 3-strand, nylon, etc?

    How many lines do I rig? Is it standard to run a line from a bow cleat, through the pennant, and then back to cleat on the boat? Or is it better to rig two separate lines from boat to mooring? (That would be my guess). And is garden hose a good chafe guard to use for the mooring lines?

    Like I said, I've never had a mooring and don't want to make any mistakes that will put my boat on the rocks. The mooring buoy is about 50m from shore, in adequate depth, on a relatively sheltered side of the island. It does get some wave action but nothing drastic except in a rare W wind. I will be sailing on and off the mooring--not a crowded field so that shouldn't be much of a problem. I will most likely be solo a lot of the time.

    Any advice on how to get this right would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    Oh, one more question: In a region where 20-25 knot tradewinds are common for much of the year, would a boat cover like this one work?

    boat cover.jpg

    I will have a Drainman bilge pump, but it'd be nice to limit water aboard. And this kind of cover goes over the sail so would provide UV protection as well. I do worry about how it would hold up in wind.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Edit to add: the boat also came with a line rigged with a Forsheda 2 rubber shock load limiter:

    https://jimmygreen.com/mooring-compe...g-compensators

    Good idea to use this?

    Also, assuming the mooring buoy itself is anchored with adequate scope, how closely should the boat be attached to the mooring? How long should the pennant be?

    Thanks!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Makeshift anchors are a bit iffy. Years ago, my home harbor had no regulations on moorings. Anchors such as yours, old engine blocks, etc, where used. Along comes Hurricane Gloria in 1985 and half the boats in the harbor ended up on the rocks or the beach.
    My mooring was 150lb. mushroom anchor. The boat didn't drag, but did capsize (centerboat boat). I used the same anchor for my 4500 lb. 20' pilot sloop (keel boat). It survived undamaged through Hurricane Bob.
    There were a couple of shackles along the length of the chain to keep the thing from knotting up as the boat swung around the buoy. I had two pennents running from the bottom of the mooring to the mooring bit on deck.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    What size line, with chafing gear, will your chocks take. Go max. Not a heavy boats so 1/2" should do, but I'd like 5/8 or more, and braid. Two pennants with thimbles from mooring to bow cleat or even the mast. No experience here with the spar, but if it is for pick up it should connect to at least one pennant.
    As to your cover, I'd think it would do fine but needs to have a secure and stretched connection to the bow cleat or forestay fitting.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    The mooring anchor will be fine with a bit of scope. A full 55 gl drum weighs about 400lb. or more.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Thanks for the replies. I inherited the mooring, so none of it was set up by me. There appears to be good scope--I snorkeled the mooring today.

    So, use a line with a thimble for each mooring pennant, and have two separate pennants.

    Then, do you typically just lead a line from a cleat on the bow, through the thimble on the pennant, and back to another cleat on the boat to tie off?

    And do you run the pennants from the shackle at the bottom of the mooring buoy, or from the shackle at the top of the buoy, or one each?

    Using 2 pennants--do you try to keep equal tension on both, or give one more slack to make it more of a back-up line?

    Thanks again for your comments--I appreciate the help figuring this out.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    At my marina I use a 3/4 three strand nylon, 6 feet long, swivel shackeled to the bottom of the mooring ball, the other end with a swivel shackled heavy duty snap to the bow eye. One line only. Inspect at least annually, replace if there is any appreciable wear. The pickup buoy is affixed by a lighter line to the pennant near snap swivel for easy pickup. At our place I have never seen more than one pennant on boats of greater size than yours. I can imagine all kinds of tangles with more than one. I fix the pickup to the heavy line with a snap so it can be easily removed if you plan to be at the mooring for an extended period. BTW, I love your boat, and Ian is right (of course) the color is perfect.
    Ps, make sure the bow eye is of the two bolt variety.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    Thanks, that's helpful (but man, West Marine is WAY more expensive than Defender)--do people feel like a pennant with a steel clip that attaches directly to the bow eye is the way to go? Or a spliced eye to take to a cleat at the bow? The bow eye options is what I'd lean toward unless persuaded otherwise.

    A single mooring line is adequate? I will be checking the boat at least 2-3 times per week. There will be the occasional time when I'm away for a week or two, but I would have friends check on it for me in those cases.

    How long should the combined pennant and mooring line be? How close to the buoy do you want the boat?

    This is all a lot more complicated (and expensive) than a trailer-sailed sail & oar boat!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    My experience is in Marblehead where the regulations are pretty stringent, based on the harbors experience with storms. Pennants run from the top of the mooring buoy with spliced eyes to cleat, cleats or sampson post. Two pennants required, equal length. For your boat the minimum block weight would be 1200#, pennants 5/8 at least 10' long with the two lines lashed together along their lower length near the buoy.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Thanks, that's helpful (but man, West Marine is WAY more expensive than Defender)--do people feel like a pennant with a steel clip that attaches directly to the bow eye is the way to go? Or a spliced eye to take to a cleat at the bow? The bow eye options is what I'd lean toward unless persuaded otherwise.

    A single mooring line is adequate? I will be checking the boat at least 2-3 times per week. There will be the occasional time when I'm away for a week or two, but I would have friends check on it for me in those cases.

    How long should the combined pennant and mooring line be? How close to the buoy do you want the boat?

    This is all a lot more complicated (and expensive) than a trailer-sailed sail & oar boat!

    Tom


    There's less chance for chafe on a bow eye than s deck cleat. Boat may also ride easier. The price is the ease of hooking up unhooking. There are special boat hooks with an attachment specifically designed to reach and snap/ unsnap a snap.

    I think one pennant is fine.

    Not knowing the bottom or sea conditions, I cant comment on the anchor, except that I tend to agree with Rich in this regard.

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Mine is 3 train wheels chained together, block and chain mooring.
    Attached to that with a swivel at the wheels is what we call long wall chain - big, big, heavy chain. About 6m of it.
    Then enough riser rope (40mm) to get straight up to the surface at high tide, with a soft eye at the top and swivel at the bottom.
    A double pennant (1") with large soft eyes - of which i secure one, moused, to a bow cleat, center, and the other as safety back up to another cleat.

    My mooring is exposed to the ocean swell to the south and, on average, about twice a year it gets hit by significant southerly swell when there's a big low off the east coast.
    The heavy chain absorbs the shock from the swell - feels like a spring.
    The big chain does leave a desert like circle around the mooring as it drags around. So no seaweed or grass around my mooring. But my mooring is deep so it's not a heavily vegetated area.

    This type of mooring is no longer allowed to be installed on Jervis Bay - but you can maintain any existing ones.
    All new ones have to have all tackle off the seafloor. These don't work all that well in the southerlies as they depend on a floating buoy to absorb the shock when they are submerged, as the tackle tensions between the bow and the anchor/weight. Then it tends to slingshot the boat forward into the main mooring bouy when it releases. http://www.boatmoorings.com/eco-mooring.php
    They do seem to be quite good if its only wind you have to deal with.

    So a consideration is - the likely worst case scenario, wind and waves. Different strategies may be necessary.

    Lots of people use plastic as chafe guard. I've got wraps of canvas at the pinch point on the bow roller. UV deteriorates the plastic and can make it hard and crack with sharp edges, and it can, in its turn, become the chafe problem. But swap it out once a year and you're good.
    Philip K. Dick 'Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away'.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    This is how we do it in Maine:

    https://www.offcenterharbor.com/hm-h...moorings-1804/



    edited to change change link to full version..
    Last edited by StevenBauer; 02-10-2019 at 09:58 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    I would purchase a 5/8" mooring line that already has an eye splice at one end and attach the eye splice to the bow eye using a ring knot. It should be long enough that it extends back to the cockpit where it can be cleated off when not in use.

    When mooring just pull up to the float and attach it to a shackle on a swivel on top of the float. This is assuming that you have that type of float. That would be most easily done with a snap of some sort in the end of the penant.

    I like the swivel on top because it can easily be greased with spray grease from time to time. I also like the penant not to be left in the water where it will get covered in slime while not in use, which it will never be with this set up.

    If you want to double it up go with 2 of 1/2" of the same length or of different lengths such that one can have that shock absorber in it and the other doesn't come into play until the shock cord is nearly fully extended.

    Picture doing this with the eye splice at the bow eye.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    I would purchase a 5/8" mooring line that already has an eye splice at one end and attach the eye splice to the bow eye using a ring knot. It should be long enough that it extends back to the cockpit where it can be cleated off when not in use.
    I like this idea a lot. I would call that knot a cow hitch or lark's head.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I like this idea a lot. I would call that knot a cow hitch or lark's head

    Tom
    It would be if it was tied with a loose end. I couldn't find a pic of it done with an eye splice so looked it up in Ashley where it's number 1699, a running eye. I've always called it a ring knot. Pass the eye thru the bow eye, pass the bitter end thru the eye and pull the whole length of the line thru. It's more secure than the cow hitch, unless the cow hitch's tail is seized.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Thanks so much for the input, everyone. I really appreciate hearing from people who know what they're doing.

    In an ideal world, the mooring anchor would get upgraded. I do know that it has held this boat for years without a failure yet, so I will at least start out with what's already down there.

    All the suggestions about how to rig it have been great. Thanks again. With luck the boat should be going in the water as soon as I have my lines ready to go and arrange a lift in--I'm hoping for sometime this month, but things do tend to move a little slowly out here. We'll see.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    I was cleaning out the garage the other day and found the mooring pennant system that we used to use to moor our Farrier trimaran. It starts with a big honking galvanized swivel shackle that attached to the buoy. A big galvanized thimble and eye splice then connected around five feet of 3/4" nylon 3-strand line to the shackle, wrapping around one of those rubber shock absorber gizmos in its middle. Another eye splice and thimble at the end of the line attached a Mendota boat hook, which seems to be something local which just about everybody here uses. It's like a big, steel spring-loaded, carabiner-like gizmo and you clip it to the mooring eye on the bow. There is also a second line (1/2" nylon 3-strand) attached to the shackle with a thimble and eye splice. This one was the safety line which would be cleated to a deck cleat on the bow.Shackle pins all get tightened and then additionally wired for safety in use. Our last mooring was at the end of about a clear five mile stretch of open water coming across the lake and we never had any sort of problems staying moored.

    If you want it and are willing to pay the shipping (it must weigh ten pounds or so) it is yours as we have no use for it. It comes pre-slimed and isn't pretty, but we only used it for about three seasons, so it is still quite serviceable.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Just a note on failures. Last summer, after 7 years of service, our mooring failed. The weak point was the swivel at the snap hook. Looking at the illustration in post #18 you can see the nub that holds the shackle to the eye. After spinning and rotating for 7 years it got worn enough to slip through the hole and separate. FESTIVUS, our houseboat was free to wander. In a crowded mooring area, next to a marina with expensive yachts, she found her way five miles north on a one night journey. Her outdrive secured her from further travel in shallow water near a river delta. There was no mark or blemish on the hull, and she was returned to her mooring the next morning and secured with a new pennent/pondant. It can happen. Two days later my heart rate returned to normal.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    On Cape Cod, this boat would require a 150# approved shape mushroom anchor. Homemade moorings are another problem. For a friend I engineered a mooring that met the Yarmouth Harbormaster's requirements. We could not use just plain concrete for fear it would break. We made a form in the sand to create a 1' high disc. I don't recall (it was forty years ago) the diameter. Anyway we put a lot of ReBar in, much of it passing through links in the bottom chain that would be embedded in the concrete.

    Your mooring must weight about 1000# on land - 50Gal at 20#/gal. But in the water the displaced water reduces the effective weight by 430". Still by weight heavy enough. I'd be concerned about the shape unless the bulk of the shape is buried. I'd also be very concerned if you make it with no ReBar.

    Cable would not be allowed here as it's too vulnerable to damage. Here a mooring must have a total amount of chain between 3 and 4 times the maximum depth at higher high tide. The heavier bottom chain is a third the total. For a Typhoon, the bottom chain should be 1/2" and the top chain 3/8". The pennant is typically three or four times the freeboard at the bow. I like longer. Some places require shorter due to close moor placement. Anyway, the Typhoon should have a 5/8" pennant.

    The mooring buoy holds the end of the top chain at or near the surface. Traditionally a short length of chain hung from the buoy to the top chain/pennant join. This kept the pennant from rubbing on all the barnacles the grow on the buoy. It can lead to tangles as is being replace by rigs such as in the below the pic of Meg's pennant. The chain comes up through a tube in the buoy and attaches in the air.

    I like a bridle rather than a single pennant as that allows one side or the other to be taking the strain around the bow rather than on the chock. But a Typhoon is light enough that a single pennant line is adequate. You do not want two full length cleat to top chain pennants as they will tangle and also in storm conditions can chafe against each other. Splice the second leg into the primary pennant making the splice comfortably close ends so the V of the bridle happily embraces the bow.

    I put a "pool noodle" - a foam tube - over the pennant below the join of the two legs. This keeps the pennant lying flat on the surface so it cannot hang down and then tangle with the top chain with current shifts.

    I don't use a pick-up buoy, much preferring a boat hook on a larger boat. On the Typhoon, a pick up buoy with a 3' whip should do.

    G'luck


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    I guess you know, but don't forget to mouse your shackles well. I like stainless wire up at the top end. Down at the bottom where there is little UV exposure i think you can get away with heavy nylon cable ties, though you might want to ask that around...they make it easier when you are diving to replace and reinstall stuff down there.

    Because of the differences in density, concrete is much, much less effective than steel per pound. It displaces much more water per pound than steel, essentially 'floats' a little bit. Your boat doesn't look too massive so in normal conditions you'll probably be ok with the drum.

    I've never heard of anyone using steel cable..? The interface of the concrete to the mooring system is a big deal, I like the idea of super heavy chain with a bunch of rebar threaded through it, or solid steel bar even. Chain will wear unevenly over the years at the spots where it 'feels' the wave action most frequently. Do you dive? I sleep a lot better when I go down and have a look at stuff from time to time.

    Use lots of chafe gear and keep an eye on it, watch where things wear...I used to keep lots of old firehose around for that, slit lengthwise and secured on the lines with seine twine constrictor hitched..

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    IMG_20190211_144303_6.jpg

    Just rescued a boat that had broken free from this mooring chain... Something to think about.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Reason for a swivel. This is a little complex because the bottom chain does have a swivel but with the top chain coming up through the buoy the twist is all in the pennant.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    The more swivels the better, but a greasable one on top helps a lot. No need for a grease fitting if one just sprays the grease in from time to time.

    The one(s) below the surface could be frozen due to corrosion or growth.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Mooring Questions

    Drake has been on a mooring for 15 years, but not in winter obviously (Lake Huron).

    On the bottom is a large slab of reinforced concrete with embedded heavy chain. Lighter chain up to a buoy.

    I use floating rope to hold the ketch. 3/4" polypro. It breaks down in sunlight, but I get more than 2 years use out of one. So I replace one each year and end-for-end the other. I use 2 of them, one on each side of the bow, through bow-eyes. Using two helps me sleep at home at night!

    Here's the foredeck arrangement, although not at a mooring -- at anchor.


    Each bow-eye can be closed, so that the line can't jump out.

    The big advantage of floating line is when single-handing. All I have to do is get the boat somewhere near the buoy and I can get the line up to the deck using a boathook. A 35 ft target is huge!

    I put an eye-spice into each end of the line when new. On the top ring of the buoy I make each line fast using a cow-hitch.

    No boat has ever run over or damaged the floating lines while I have been away. I do try to thread sections of pool-noodle on the lines to increase their visibility to boaters. But there are 8 boats moored in my small patch of water, and the other boaters tend to stay away.
    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 02-11-2019 at 04:23 PM.

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