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Old 04-28-2004, 07:37 AM   #1
BBS
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Question Mooring Question

We have a 19' sailboat that displaces about 2000 lbs. This year it will be slipped in Gilford but I'd like to put it on a mooring in our Association's mooring field. The field is near Elacoya State Park so there's a long fetch with a NW wind .

I have a mooring set up like the .jpg attached with a 50 lb. mushroom anchor that was used for a smaller 15' daysailer in a lake with a mud bottom.

I assume that the 50 lb. mushroom isn't nearly adequate for the new boat in an area with a sand bottom.

What type of mooring block holds well in sand and does anyone have a formula for determining how much the anchor should weigh to keep my boat off the lee shore?
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:02 AM   #2
KevinPlante
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Default

This Thread may answer your questions.
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:45 PM   #3
jrc
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Default Prepare for some serious wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBS
The field is near Elacoya State Park so there's a long fetch with a NW wind .
I'm around the corner from you at the Samoset Condos. From the surface our moorings look like 2' x 2' x 4' granite blocks on a sand/mud bottom. We use all chain and a different mooring ball. The chain feeds up through the mooring ball. When we moor, our lines connect directly to a shackle on the chain. Seems stronger than your design. Our max boat size is 27' but mostly open power boats. Sailboats might have a higher wind load per foot of length.
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:55 PM   #4
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Default Be careful BBS

Be careful BBS with the mooring hookup you show in your diagram. I would not suggest you hook your mooring line to the upper eyelet of the mooring ball. What ends up happening often is the rod that runs from the upper eyelet, through the ball, to the lower eyelet can corrode (and eventually break) without you knowing it because it is hidden inside the ball. My suggestion is to hook up your mooring line and the line going down to your anchor together and also to the lower eyelet. In this way the eyelet rod is not taking any of the strain of the lines. You are simply using the mooring ball as a "pickup" for the mooring line.

Also in your diagram you show a chain then a line (rope) running up to the mooring ball. I would also suggest you use only chain underwater to your ball. You will still need a swivel, just hook it to the anchor end. You can run rope from your ball to your boat but use only a mooring rope that has the metal-trimmed eyelets.

Just a couple of suggested from 15 years experience of corroded metal and worn out lines and adrift boats.
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:34 PM   #5
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Default Will Manhole covers work?

We are about to replace the weight for our mooring as well. It turns that we may have access to an old manhole cover or two and I was wondering if anyone had experience using them as a mooring weight. My guess is that because they are so flat and heavy they would kind of suck themselves to the sandy/muddy bottom and provide a pretty secure weight. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:50 PM   #6
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Default You Need a Stronger Mooring!

BBS,

I think you will need a much heavier duty mooring setup than the one shown in your diagram. We are located near Minge Cove in the West Alton area, and we're exposed to the northwest wind/waves too. We keep a 22' fixed keel sailboat weighing about 2,600 pounds on our mooring. That mooring has failed three times during the past ten years. Each time it's been repaired, I have had it made beefier. Our present setup seems to work well, which I'll describe below.

First, I would recommend that you use a granite or concrete block for your mooring rather than a mushroom anchor such as the one pictured in your drawing. Also, Steveo has given you several pieces of good advice which we also utilize. I agree with him that it would be better to use chain between the swivel and the mooring ball as well as between the block and the swivel. I also agree with him that you should not attach the nylon line that goes between the ball and your boat to the ring at the top of the ball. It is far more secure to attach that line to the ring at the bottom of the ball that the chain is shackled to, or directly to the chain shackle itself. Be sure to secure all the shackle pins with either stainless steel wire or, as some divers recommend, nylon cable ties. In all three cases when our mooring system failed, the shackle pins had worked their way out of the shackles, even though they were initially secured. Just the constant motion of wakes and waves eventually worked the pins out. Shackles and their pins can also rust out, so we now use stainless shackles and pins.

An additional suggestion is that if your boat has two bow cleats, or one large cleat with two bow chocks, I'd suggest you run two nylon lines from the bottom of the mooring ball up to the boat instead of just one. That splits the load between the two lines, and also gives you some added insurance in the event one of the lines frays and breaks. Again, as Steveo suggests, make sure you use thimbles in the eyes of the nylon lines. Several marinas and dive shops around the lake can make up the nylon lines with thimbles and eyes for you, or if you have access to a boating book such as Chapman Piloting, you can learn to make them up yourself. With a little practice, it's really not hard.

My last suggestion is, after you install a mooring don't forget to maintain it. We have ours examined by a diver each spring to check for rusted chain links, loosened shackle pins, and general wear and tear.

You would be amazed at the tremendous stress that a good squall can put on a mooring system. For the relatively small additional cost, it's prudent to make your mooring system as strong as possible. It may seem like overkill at first, but in the long run you won't regret it.

Note: You'll need to apply for and be granted a mooring permit by the NH Division of Safety Services before you can install your mooring, unless your mooring will be covered by your Association's permit.

Last edited by DRH; 04-29-2004 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:56 PM   #7
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Question Helix System...

Anyone try an Helix Mooring System at the lake?



Good link for Mooring Products.
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:01 PM   #8
Winnipesaukee Divers
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Default What's the best mooring in the lake?

Well, I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but I do service over 50 per year and have been doing so for the past 17 years. I can tell you what works and what doesnít.

Every spring I do the seasonal ritual of inspecting every mooring in my care. I check over every link of the chain, the hardware and then length of rode. Usually everything looks okay then a couple of months later when I do the second check itís usually a whole new scene. Moorings that are 3 years old now look like a bunch of lifesaver candy strung together and have to be replaced.

Here's what happens: The high acid levels concentrated on the bottom of the lake take it's toll on the iron during the winter months, when the chain is put back into service, particles of iron flake off leaving the good metal left. After a few years itís just amazing how bad it kooks.

We at WCYC have grown tired of this game and have started using all stainless steel components last year. Now our moorings are permanent. What works for us are: granite blocks (1-4 thousand pounds depending on the size of the boat) 12' of 3/8" chain looped through the 2 holes in the block, a swivel the appropriate length of nylon rode (3/4" with S/S thimbles, 1 1/2 times the depth), appropriate lengths of 5/8" nylon bridle to reach the deck cleats with the proper sized eye splice. We tether the mooring ball with a 6' 3/8" line to the rode so we can bring it on board to prevent any damage to the hull. Stainless steel components that I have put in the water 10 years ago still look shinny new today.

Yes, this is a very expensive way to do it, but so are the boats that are attached to them. We want to feel confident they will be there when we return. As in anything else, there is no compromise in a job well done.

BTW: the mushrooms simply won't work on the lake they just roll around on the bottom and never sink in as they do in the ocean mud. They're okay in a protected cove, but then just about anything works there.
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:46 PM   #9
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebizboy
We are about to replace the weight for our mooring as well. It turns that we may have access to an old manhole cover or two and I was wondering if anyone had experience using them as a mooring weight. My guess is that because they are so flat and heavy they would kind of suck themselves to the sandy/muddy bottom and provide a pretty secure weight. Any thoughts?
You've got an interesting challenge there. If yours is a muddy/sandy bottom, free manhole covers could pay off. Here's what I'd do with "free weight":

Today's manhole covers are made of a really bad mixture of various steels -- including scrap stainless steel, and can be difficult to drill. They may have some existing holes you can use, otherwise, you'll need to "torch" a few holes. If they're older, they could be cast iron -- easy to drill.

First, I'd torch two holes in both -- one in the center -- one offset. I'd run three feet of stainless steel chain through the center hole, and shackle a large stainless steel "stop" of some kind to the "bottom" end.

Check scrap metal yards -- they can't economically recycle/melt stainless steel, so they just wait for someone to buy it. Some big city yards will have stainless chain too. I bought 70' of heavy stainless steel chain at a discount, as it was the "end" of a large reel.

Torch four or more aligned holes for bolts. I'd bolt (with stainless steel bolts) the two covers together, at the shoreline. Add the chain and backup plate.

You could roll the covers to where you want the mooring and, using garden hoses connected together, pump water through the offset hole and the edges, and sink the covers into the mud/sand as far as you can. With some selective pressing of the covers, you may be able to sink them 6" or more. (That goes for mushroom anchors too -- sink them). If you can't sink the manhole covers under your bottom surface, I wouldn't use them as a primary mooring.

Depending on your boat size, wind direction and fetch, they could work out OK. If they get pulled out of the bottom, even a little, I'd abandon the idea. However, the reason I suggested the stainless steel chain is that if you "outgrow" this mooring, you could still chain the manhole covers to a later replacement block -- as a backup.

Alternatively, you could cut the manhole covers into smaller squares, and add them to a concrete-cast mooring block. Adding scrap steel or iron is better than adding rocks to your concrete mix. To start, sink a heavy coarse wire mesh all around the periphery of your block -- supported about 1" from the walls of the mold -- to reinforce the concrete.

You can't have too much weight in a mooring.


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Old 05-07-2004, 07:06 AM   #10
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Default Thanks!!

Thank you all for your suggestions - that's why we love this forum. Considering the mooring location and the boat's displacement we've decided to have the mooring installed by a professional. With that and yearly maintenance we'll at least minimize the risk of losing the boat in a blow.
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Old 05-07-2004, 06:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBS
"...Considering the mooring location and the boat's displacement we've decided to have the mooring installed by a professional. With that and yearly maintenance we'll at least minimize the risk of losing the boat in a blow.
We're having a blow right now on the lake, and it made me think that a float could drag its mooring on a too-short chain, and tangle with your boat's mooring -- and drag both away.



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