I have read that when mooring in Alderney it is recommended that you moor up to the buoys using chain and warp. Can someone explain to me how you configure the chain and warp. If you chain up to the buoy do you attach it with a shackle ?
The worst I've had in Alderney is a 6. The first time I unshackled the anchor and shackled the chain to the bouy. You need the warp to take the strain while you attach/detach the chain. The problem was that the boat snatched at each wave and it was very uncomfortable.
The next time I used a heavy warp with a round turn and 2 HH to minimise chafe and a dishcloth on the fairlead, and that gave more spring - and an easier night - again I had a second rope for control and as a backup.
In 4's or less I've just used two warps looped twice through the hoop.
I'd use a combination of 1 and 2 for a really strong blow - the warp as the primary to give some spring, and the chain just in case.
It's years since I had the pleasure of mooring in Alderney as I now sail out of NI rather than Portsmouth. However should you or anyone else have reason to take one of the laid moorings at Hugh Town in the IofS be certain to use a chain to attach to the mooring. The moorings have chains about 2 ft long which dangle in the water when not in use and thus barnacles and such-like grow on them. These can seriously and very quickly destroy a mooring rope during the night. You only need keep a 2 foot length of chain on board to be held in a loop with a large shackle, through which you can bend your mooring warp. That will do the trick and keep you safely tethered.
It's a good principle never to attach any kind of warp to the buoy, enabling it to be let go in a hurry.
Wear of rope warp against the eye of the buoy is the reason for suggesting that chain be used. A fairly famous boat, Iskra, was lost on Gigha a few years ago for this very reason.
Some people carry a short length of chain, say 1 metre, for this purpose. Rope can be attached to each end of the chain to attach to the boat. This gives some spring to the arrangement, reducing snatch.
My own preference is to have the whole warp of chain for maximum strength, but to make fast to the boat with two additional lengths of nylon rope, knotted or clipped to the chain near the buoy. Old climbing rope is particularly good for this. The strech of nylon rope reduces snatch considerably. There are special hooks for this purpose, designed to slide between two links of the chain. As soon as the tension on the rope is released the hook falls off the chain. Very handy on occasions.
This is a good idea and can be more valuable when at anchor in bays suceptible to swell. However Alderney is not ideal for this practice because the moorings are laid very close together and you are often asked to double up in the high season
We used to keep two lengths of 3strand 22mm nylon with eye splices in each end as mooring strops. Each of these had a length of toilet outlet hose on it which was heat treated to stay in a "U" shape and therefore stay on the ring. Although these sleeves marked badly they didn't chafe as much as bare rope and also provided a good deal of spring.
I use a similar rig. I have a spring hook that I can shackle to the end of my anchor cable. I then rig an old nylon from the port fwd fairlead to starboard, using a bit of hose to protect it through the buoy ring. To slip, I have found that one can normally disengage the hook with dexterous use of a boathook and broom, leaving the nylon as a slip rope.