Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's gusting to 50 - Do you Know How strong Your Mooring Is?

Where my mooring is located there is, to the southwest, about a six mile fetch. If a strong westerly comes, or a bad rotating storm, I may see 4 to 6 foot seas at the mooring, I believe. So I can sleep at night, I have a beefy mooring system.

The mooring anchor is a 200 pound mushroom. The chain is commensurately heavy - half inch at the bottom half, 3/8 further up. The pennant is 3/4 double braid, and there is heavy rubber hose chafing gear, sewn on with stitches that pass through the pennant, so the chafing gear can't get displaced, as happens. (The yellow line is the dinghy painter.)

The chafing gear is long enough to give some protection even if the pennant gets fouled on the bow roller. I hang the anchor on the pulpit, because once I came out to the boat to find evidence that the pennant had fouled on the anchor. The cleat is big, and through bolted with a large aluminum backing plate. The deck in this location is cored with marine plywood.

I pay attention to the chock, too. It is oversized bronze, smooth and well made, and secured with two 5/16 inch bronze bolts. The chock takes a lot of strain as the boat surges, and if the chock gives way the pennant might chafe or tear up the pulpit.

Every fall the mooring company removes the buoy, attaches a cable to the chain, and drops the chain into the mud, where it slumbers the winter away in nice non-corrosive anaerobic conditions, with no constant motion to wear it out. In the spring they put the buoy back on, and every couple of years they send me a bill for replacement of a shackle or chain or whatever. It's the cost of doing business, and of sleeping well during a blow.

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