Mooring installation: hints, tips, pointers

yodave

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Hi,

I'm due to install my mooring over the next few days. It's a 32ft bilge keel boat with a weight of around 6 tonnes, on a fixed mooring, in a 60ft x 40ft box.

The berth is a drying one, with lots of silt maybe two or three feet on top of each of the four sinkers which are at each corner of the box.

My club and supplier have already done the math, so this thread isn't about the spec of the chain, shackles, etc.

As I've never done this before, I just wondered whether anyone has any snippets of advice that will make the actual installation easier ...or save me from making stupid mistakes that I subsequently have to go and unpick?

Thanks in advance!
 

yodave

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Hi Philip,

I've had a quick look ...thanks.

As the spec is all done and dusted, it's more installation tips / hints that I'm looking for. There may not be any particular knack to it ...but if there is I'm hoping forum members might be able to give me some pointers so that I can avoid learning the hard way.

Thanks again for your response.
 

ghostlymoron

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When I laid mine, I borrowed the club's flat bottomed boat about 16' long which was needed to carry the considerable weight of anchors, chains etc. We took the stuff out at high(ish) water and dropped it in the approx position of the new mooring. We were able to return at low water and dig the anchors in, connect the chains, swivels, links and buoys. The mooring was then ready to receive the boat when required. Mine was in firm sand, I note that yours is in silt which might make walking around much more difficult. You may be better to lay it all and connect it from a dinghy as walking around in 3' of silt will be almost impossible.
Good luck. It was hard physical work and we had to wait around for several hours for the tide to drop.
 

VicS

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As I've never done this before, I just wondered whether anyone has any snippets of advice
Get someone who has to do it!

Or at the very least to help you.

The boat yard does mine. I would not even begin to think of doing it myself, and it only has one concrete sinker.

The yard has purpose built "barge" with a winch for lifting the sinkers off the slipway transporting them to the mooring site and lowering then into position.
Its still hard graft.
 

ghostlymoron

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Can you imagine my 1ton of granite weight hanging from a 16ft boat, without the weight of the ground chain. :confused::confused:

I get the local mooring contractor to service my swinging mooring every year as it is an all-tide mooring.
Yes - there is no way you can handle weights of that size without a HIAB equipped boat. I used 4 40kg Bruce type anchors and heavy chain and that was quite enough! One of the OP's problems is the 2-3' of silt.
 

philip_stevens

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One of the OP's problems is the 2-3' of silt.

Then he definitely needs a mooring contractor to lay the moorings for the first time. Not a DIY job with that depth of silt to work on.

Anyway, if you get a mooring contractor to do it, he should give you a form that will be accepted by your insurance company, giving weight and chain dimensions, and GPS position/location of the weight, and any remedial work carried out on the mooring.
 

rob2

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The logistics of DIY laying of such a mooring are quite daunting. If the silt is as deep as you say, then you will be unable to walk around at low tide. How are you going to get the sinkers into position?

Before pressure from insurers drove us to the mooring contractors route, we used a converted catamaran with a tripod and chain hoist to take sinkers out to site. The ground chains were welded onto the sinkers before they went out. Again, with so much silt, you will not be able to dig the sinkers in but with four in a box they should suffice. Unless you have water to float, you will need quite a a tide each to lay four sinkers - I would be inclined to buoy the ground chains so as to be able to gather them together for attaching the riser assembly at low tide (you'll need to find them in the silt). It may be difficult to drag the ground chains to the centre - a dinghy is unlikely to have sufficient grunt to drag them about - perhaps you could put a tackle between opposite chains to pull them together? Don't forget that you will never want to open and refasten any joints, shackles must be really tight and the ends of the pins hammered over to deform the thread and prevent them opening and mouse them as well! When they need replacing you will use new ones.

We always took the top tackle out by dinghy and waited for LW to attach to the ground chain. It is a long wait after your ten minutes work to get enough water to get ashore again. But its very satisfying to have done it and you will know what you are moored to. Don't forget to sit out the occasional low tide on your mooring and haul up as much of the riser as you can to check its condition and do any repairs.

Rob.
 

yodave

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Thanks for all of the contributions so far; I'm considering/digesting your advice.

I should point out that having spotted fellow club members actually out at their moorings, my earlier estimate of 2-3 feet of silt was well over the top ...it's more like a foot, maybe a foot and a half at most.

I received my kit today. The two 10 metre 12mm rear chains are just about manageable, but the main 20 metres of 18mm chain is really pretty heavy. Gonna have to consider positioning the chain in advance by boat as suggested above [thanks]. Otherwise I really don't know how I'm going to get it out there - reckon a wheel barrow would quickly become swamped.

Oh ...just to reiterate, the four sinkers are already in place, so it's a matter of attaching the chain to the sinkers, rather than positioning the sinkers from scratch.

Thanks for your help; please feel free to keep any other thoughts coming.
 

William_H

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Lifting heavy mooring gear

Just to give you some ideas. I recently got some car tires filled with concrete about 40kg. I found I could tow them out to the mooring on a bridle of rope from each quarter of the Ali dinghy. Just let one rope go when you are in place.
With a standard sort of small yacht you can carry a large weight dangled under the keel on a bridle of rope from each jib sheet winch. You do need deep water to have enough room under the keel.
No tides here so it is a case of dump it in place then down you go to do the connecting with a tank on back.
good luck olewill
 

davidpbo

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To everyone

HE HAS THE SINKERS ALREADY IN PLACE

Does anyone ever read the posts on threads?

YoDave in your position I would ask the other people with moorings around you what they do, is it not just a matter of connecting the riser chain maybe via a swivel to the chains from the sinkers? Monel wire is usually recommended to seize any shackles.
 
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yodave

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Thanks!!

A big thanks to everyone who replied to this post.

The mooring is now in place. I had to do it over two days, as progress was slow on the first day [it was like wading through mud ...actually it was wading through mud].

I floated all three chains out in our dinghy, walking alongside with waders. This was a big advantage over trying to drag 20 metres of 18mm chain through the silt. Thanks to forum members for this advice.

For anyone with this task ahead, one thing I would suggest is consider using heavy duty cable ties rather than stainless steel wire for 'mousing' unless you're really slick with the wire. I used wire, and I'd be happier if I had used cable ties. This is because the reality for me was that I was 'mousing' the shackle with my butt pointing skywards, my face at crustacean-level, and my hands at full stretch down into an opaque abyss. It's really hard to feel confident about doing a good job under these circumstances, whereas I'd have a better feeling right now if I had used cable ties.

Any-which-way it's done now, and the next step for us is to bring our boat back to its new home on the Forth.

Many thanks once again!
 

Seajet

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yodave,

I've done a fair bit of playing with moorings, and to be honest was fairly horrified to read of what you had to deal with; maybe I didn't get a clear idea.

Either way, well done, I'm impressed ! :)
 

yodave

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@Seajet...

Thanks. It was pretty hard going for a soft-skinned, desk-jockey like me. I feel like I've been rolled down a hill in a barrel, with little aches on top of bigger aches in muscles that I didn't even know I had. Sore, but somehow good : )

I called a halt to day one when it was pointed out that I was exhausted, and I subsequently realised that in reality I was no longer being effective. Most of this exhaustion was down to trying to free myself from the mud when I became stuck ...as floating the chain into place on the dinghy took most of the hard work out of that.

Day two started well as I managed to find the last sinker within half-an-hour of starting, which I just couldn't locate the day before. If there had been no mud, then installing the mooring was no more than one or two hours work. I must have been in the mud for about eight or nine hours over the two days. I dare say a professional would have cracked it much quicker, but as I've already over-spent my purchase budget, I'm in DIY mode where feasible/practical.

Packing today, and off to the Netherlands to prep the boat tomorrow.

I wonder what I've forgotten to do, and whether I remember before we actually set sail?
 
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