How long should a Mushroom mooring anchor last?

Jun 1, 2007
257
O'Day 322 Mt.Sinai
I moved to a mooring 5 years ago when I bought a larger boat (O'Day 322 in Mt Sinai Harbor, NY). I bought a used 400 pound anchor from a local marina with everything else new. This marina drops and picks up my anchor annually, which is a town requirement. A few weeks ago I got an estimated bill of about $800 to replace the anchor, and some chain, etc. The anchor cost was about $650, presumably another used one. I called to question, and they seemed surprised at my question. They claimed that mushroom mooring anchors in Mt Sinai (salt water, off Long Island Sound), last 6-9 years new, and obviously less if used. They said I had a good run of 5 years!

So, what do you'all think? I expected to never have to buy another anchor, not to budget for one every 4-6 years or so.

I'm assuming the anchor I bought was a Chinese type, and wondering if I should bite the bullet and spend 1K+ or so for a new US Steel model.

It doesn't help that friends of mine with mushroom anchors never have to replace them!
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,189
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
I'm watching this thread with great interest.... at the very least I'd ask to have your old anchor back or at the least take a look at it.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,972
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
First, you bought a used anchor. Do you know how long the anchor had been used?

What part of the anchor has failed? Can it be repaired? Long ago when I had a mooring the research I did suggested the abrasive nature of the bottom was a major cause of mooring failures. As the chain dragged through the mud and sand on the bottom the metal wore away leading to a failure.
 
Jun 1, 2007
257
O'Day 322 Mt.Sinai
First, you bought a used anchor. Do you know how long the anchor had been used?

What part of the anchor has failed? Can it be repaired? Long ago when I had a mooring the research I did suggested the abrasive nature of the bottom was a major cause of mooring failures. As the chain dragged through the mud and sand on the bottom the metal wore away leading to a failure.
I haven't seen the anchor recently. When I got the estimate, there was too much snow on the ground to get to it. Now that most has melted, I'll be inspecting the anchor myself shortly.
 
May 29, 2018
318
Canel 25 foot Shiogama, japan
I'll be inspecting the anchor myself shortly.
Please post photographs.
Pay attention to where the chain connects to the anchor.
In Australia (I know not really relevant) the mooring is inspected by a government certified surveyor.
 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
850
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
Lots of factors go into determining when to replace mushrooms. Anchors in our harbor (in CT across LIS from you) get pulled every few years for inspection and replacement as needed. You should go look at yours to see its condition. The stock on mushroom anchors can rust thin, along with the eye at its end, where your chain's shackle chafes 24 hours a day for most days of the week. Not things you'd want to have let go. The part that's stuck in the mud can get corroded too, from whatever might happen to collect on the harbor floor. Even at $125/year it's cheap insurance.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,454
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Unless you were sold a really, really poor mushroom, or used light weight bottom chain, this is most likely just BS.

Also, mushroom moorings are not meant to be removed/re-installed yearly. Inspected via diving yes, but pulled from the bottom is absurd for a mushroom. It can take an entire season for a mushroom to set properly. A properly set mushroom will have the bell buried as deep or deeper than the shank length and standing near vertically in the substrate..

I know my 600 pounder in Falmouth is typically buried so deep it has a funnel cone in the mud and my diver has to reach down in and feel/inspect, by hand, how my eye and shackle are doing. With proper bottom chain & proper set a mushroom can easily last 20+ years. I've never worn one out but they remain 100% buried which drastically limits any rusting.. My storm mooring is not a mushroom, it's a massive granite block, because the substrate is not soft enough for a "proper" mushroom set. Don't worry, a lot of town waterfront committees have no idea what they are actually doing when they write mooring ordinances so you're not alone..

This is the bottom chain on my Falmouth mooring. This mooring was installed back in 2003. It was pulled back in the fall of 2019, so it had all winter to re-set, because it buried too deeply for my diver to reach the eye/shackle for inspection. There is only surface rust and the eye was still at better than 95%. With the right "bottom chain", as shown, the mushroom eye see's almost no wear at all. When the mooring is properly set, deep into the near oxygen free mud bottom, the mushroom does not rust more than just a light surface layer.

 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
850
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
Checked with our club manager this afternoon. He says the mushrooms each get pulled every 3 years for inspection.(The helixes too, but they're different. They need a hydraulic arm to untwist them from the bottom.) When the eyes on the mushrooms are too worn or rusted they're cut off and a new eye is welded on. This shortens the shaft a bit, so after a while - he suggests perhaps 60 years for the bigger 500+ pounders - they get too short to use any more. Our mushrooms have no trouble setting - or re-setting - in the soft muck here. They have to set well, because the boats are all moored in strings, bow to stern in tight formation.
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Jun 1, 2007
257
O'Day 322 Mt.Sinai
Checked with our club manager this afternoon. He says the mushrooms each get pulled every 3 years for inspection.(The helixes too, but they're different. They need a hydraulic arm to untwist them from the bottom.) When the eyes on the mushrooms are too worn or rusted they're cut off and a new eye is welded on. This shortens the shaft a bit, so after a while - he suggests perhaps 60 years for the bigger 500+ pounders - they get too short to use any more. Our mushrooms have no trouble setting - or re-setting - in the soft muck here. They have to set well, because the boats are all moored in strings, bow to stern in tight formation. View attachment 191127
Thanks! Good information.
 

CarlN

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Jan 4, 2009
578
Ketch 55 Bristol, RI
I wonder how many times you can sell the same mushroom anchor for $650? Seems a great way to increase revenue. My town (Bourne, MA) requires a 400lb mushroom for a 30-35ft boat. Those cost $450 new at Defender Marine. But it's always risky to pick a fight with the only guy who does moorings in town. They have many ways to get even.
 
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NYSail

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Jan 6, 2006
2,746
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
I moved to a mooring 5 years ago when I bought a larger boat (O'Day 322 in Mt Sinai Harbor, NY). I bought a used 400 pound anchor from a local marina with everything else new. This marina drops and picks up my anchor annually, which is a town requirement. A few weeks ago I got an estimated bill of about $800 to replace the anchor, and some chain, etc. The anchor cost was about $650, presumably another used one. I called to question, and they seemed surprised at my question. They claimed that mushroom mooring anchors in Mt Sinai (salt water, off Long Island Sound), last 6-9 years new, and obviously less if used. They said I had a good run of 5 years!

So, what do you'all think? I expected to never have to buy another anchor, not to budget for one every 4-6 years or so.

I'm assuming the anchor I bought was a Chinese type, and wondering if I should bite the bullet and spend 1K+ or so for a new US Steel model.

It doesn't help that friends of mine with mushroom anchors never have to replace them!
Who drops your mooring? I go through old mans...... my last mooring (500) lasted 9 years then I gave it to a friend when I upgraded to an 800lb (new boat).It is still going strong after another 5 years. Old mans had welded a new eye on the mooring but besides that it still functions after 14 years. Buy one new...... about a dollar a lb. but I would go and check out what they are talking about with your old one.

Greg
Souleil
 
Jun 1, 2007
257
O'Day 322 Mt.Sinai
Who drops your mooring? I go through old mans...... my last mooring (500) lasted 9 years then I gave it to a friend when I upgraded to an 800lb (new boat).It is still going strong after another 5 years. Old mans had welded a new eye on the mooring but besides that it still functions after 14 years. Buy one new...... about a dollar a lb. but I would go and check out what they are talking about with your old one.

Greg
Souleil
Thanks Greg. It's Ralph's. I'm going to go look at the anchor tomorrow and discuss options with them. If the eye is the issue I'm going to ask about a cut and weld repair. They quoted me about $600 for another used 400 pounder. I've been looking around for some but without much luck yet. I don't think I should be buying a new one every 5 years or so, and question why they feel that's "normal"!
 

NYSail

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Jan 6, 2006
2,746
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
A brand new mooring from defender is $500.... then you have shipping. I got mine through Old Mans supplier so no shipping. $600 for a used mooring is steep to say the least. Call Old Mans to get a quote......
 
May 25, 2012
3,877
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
up in sturgeon bay we all get used railroad wheels at a train scrapyard in green bay. 460lbs. $200.00. get a 1" stock bar bent to a 'U' shape. have welded on. trade free welding for aeolus sailboat ride. lever onto family swim raft. float over desired spot, and shove it in. in fresh water it'll last longer than i will.

over here in the rust belt we're wheeler dealers.

was free for a long time, then the city started a mooring tax. what can you do. parks and rec collect it. oh well.
 
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BarryL

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May 21, 2004
839
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409 Mt. Sinai, NY
Hi Guys,

I'm also in Mt. Sinai. Like NYSAIL I also use OldMans. I've had the same mooring anchor since 2006. I just received a bill for new chain and pendants. That happens every few years but I've never had to replace the anchor.

FYI to anyone who is interested, the Town of Brookhaven sells and manages the mooring permits. The town regulations require that the moorings be pulled each year. They also list the requirements for a mooring (based on the size of the boat) and who can drop and haul the moorings.

Mickstr - are you an MSSA member? If not, you should join! Let me know if you want more information. We do lots of cruises, races, sunset sails, and other fun sailing things.

Barry