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Mooring lines to permanent buoy setup

Dec 1, 2020
92
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
Hello all,

I plan on storing my Cal 27 during the Spring-Fall period each year on a helical screw mooring buoy I'm having put into the beach behind my home on Puget Sound. During the winter I have access to a slip at a local marina. The smallest helical screw setup offered by the installer is good for a 36' boat, so my 7000# CAL will be fine so long as the lines / cables (?) from the boat to the buoy are sound.

We live in a fairly protected area of Puget Sound but during the summer we may see 20 knots and possibly 18-24" wave heights from memory. Here is some info I found online about wind and surge loads, and that scaled to my boat seems like my worst case might only be #1500 pounds of load, likely less given our more protected area and wind speeds.
1608498793796.png


This shows my sailing area and approximate mooring location.

1608498710007.png


Chafe seems like might biggest concern and using two 3-strand nylon mooring lines with loops spliced in attached to both sides of the bow seem like it should be sufficient Not sure if I need leather chafe protection unless I use a chocks and a new cleat in the center of deck. Maybe something like 3/4" to 1" in size. But maybe I'm being dumb and a more robust system should be planned.

Here are some photos of the boat bow area.

Basic thoughts include:

-- Add or enhance the backing plates for the bow cleats assuming I can access that location in the chain locker.
-- Replace the cleats with SS versions that have a more "open center" to allow the loop to be pulled through and then over the "ears".

If there is not access to the cleats, then maybe a different attachment point should be considered. This might be forged SS eyes or loops placed into the deck with serious backing plates from underneath.

Or should I consider mounting the fitting through the stem below the headstay plate (sort of like a trailer boat would have) and use a 7x19 cable from here to the buoy alone or in addition to the lines from the cleats above?

If anyone has personal experience with this type of arrangement, please share.

Thanks for reading my post.
 

Attachments

Jan 11, 2014
7,824
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
In a relatively protected area, your cleats should be fine. Chafe is always a concern, so chafe protection would be a good idea. A bridle will distribute the load to both cleats.

Rather than make your own bridle, consider buying one. They are relatively inexpensive. Here's the page at Hamilton Marine. They are in Maine and deal with lots of moorings.

 
  • Like
Likes: Tom J
Oct 22, 2014
16,080
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Boy that bow looks familiar...

1608500550775.jpeg


I crawled into the anchor locker and was able to add backing material to the bow cleats.

I would attach a bow bridle to the float. Use 2 lines of equal length. Attach each one. It will give your boat 2 attachments to the anchored float so if one breaks the other will hold for awhile, perhaps enough for you to observe the need of replacement lines.
 

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
4,306
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
I do not know the area, but it appears that wind against the tide may cause concern.
We use used fire hose from the fire department as chafe gear on all dock lines, anchor snub or mooring lines. Works very well, and it is free. For hurricanes we use carpet remnants.
 
Jul 19, 2013
317
Pearson 31-2 Boston
You are fortunate that chafe does not likely to be a problem.

But skip the nylon line and use a pair of Yale mooring pennants, max size that fits your cleats

Also do not leave the anchor in the roller while on the mooring..

Read in detail to see why the advice above
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,990
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Your bow cleats should be fine. CAL is a good boat. The bow cleats on my Catalina have held up in a 88 mph blow, with no modifications.
 

ebsail

.
Nov 28, 2010
241
O day 25 Nyack. New York
Had a boat on a mooring for 10 years. Used 60 feet of chain and 2 lines of 20' of nylon line with breaking stregth of 6000 lbs for a 5000 lb boat. Use chafe guards and make one of the mooring lines longer by a few inches than the other. When line #1 breaks or chafes thru the second line will be brand new to take over. Make sure line #2 has no usual load unless line 1 breaks
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Hunter216
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
I have moored boats for a few years now and haven’t lost one yet:) so I would offer a little food for thought.

If you are going to moor a boat in a “potentially” exposed location you should consider that there will be times that you won’t be around to deal with unexpected weather. It’s important to consider worst case and design accordingly.

This is an example of our C&C 24 that I wasn’t able to move to safety,

40-50mph winds from the worst possible direction!

520B4BBC-1A15-4A8F-81C1-F31D4DBB033B.jpeg


If you want some detail about what I had in place to survive this let me know :)
 
Dec 1, 2020
92
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
Went to the boat and really looked in the chain locker, there are backing plates which are thick enough but do they cover enough area?

Looks like I need to add some backing to the stanchion bases where the 3 longer machine screws come through...
IMG_2368.jpg
 
Oct 10, 2019
110
Signet 20 107 Ithaca
Looking at your map, it's hard to believe you only ever get 2' waves. On the southern end of Cayuga Lake we see bigger waves than that pretty regularly, weekly sometimes this summer, and we've got nowhere near the fetch you're looking at. And zero tidal forces...

Do all your calculating for the worst storm ever, not the worst storm you've ever seen, thousand year weather events are coming every 10 years in some places these days.
 
Oct 10, 2019
110
Signet 20 107 Ithaca
I have moored boats for a few years now and haven’t lost one yet:) so I would offer a little food for thought.

If you are going to moor a boat in a “potentially” exposed location you should consider that there will be times that you won’t be around to deal with unexpected weather. It’s important to consider worst case and desig40-50mph winds from the worst possible direction!

View attachment 188385

If you want some detail about what I had in place to survive this let me know :)
Please, details on that one! I kept my Cal 2-29 on a 20# plow in Sandy Hook NJ for a couple weeks when I was in MA, deep dread one day watching a band of dark red weather bear down on her, no idea the actual conditions she survived, probably NOT like your photo, but that was about how my imagination pegged it...
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,824
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Went to the boat and really looked in the chain locker, there are backing plates which are thick enough but do they cover enough area?

Looks like I need to add some backing to the stanchion bases where the 3 longer machine screws come through...View attachment 188387
The backing plates are certainly large enough, unless perhaps you are planning to lift the boat out of the water by one of the cleats.

Double thick fender washers would provide ample protection for the pulpit.

 
Dec 25, 2000
5,045
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
I plan on storing my Cal 27 during the Spring-Fall period each year on a helical screw mooring buoy I'm having put into the beach behind my home on Puget Sound.
Unrelated, but have you obtained approval to place this mooring from the State of Washington? It is my understanding the State requires a license to place it, plus an annual license fee. This I learned from a fellow boater who did the same thing a few years ago and it took a year of hearings with assorted interests before the State approved his request. That is unless your mooring will be installed on your property and not in the water.
 
Dec 1, 2020
92
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
Hunter 216 - that photo of your C&C 24 are impressive. I would like to know more about the anchoring setup you had.

The Illahee beach area of East Bremerton is protected by a 200-250' high hill behind most of the houses along the beach. The strongest storms are from the SW and the wind is forced over the hill, creating a calm area where our home/beach is. The west side of Bainbridge Island (Crystal Springs) is being slammed though by those winds. North and South winds are a risk still, but the fetch from Port Orchard to our home is 2.6 miles and northerly wind waves are limited by Battle Point (Bainbridge) and our house is "slightly west" of University Point. for true storm winds from the North. All that said, anything is possible which is why learning about your first-hand experience will be helpful.

We have lived here for 25+ years. We have poured concrete "anchors" and put out swim platforms, mooring balls, etc. and never had any issues but we have not had heavy boats on those moorings which is why having a helical screw installed is being considered. Here is a typical summer view of those platforms.

1608519943855.png


Please share your knowledge and thoughts on how to setup a mooring system to hold a boat in a "real storm".
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Hunter216

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,990
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
One thing to consider when installing a mooring in salt water is corrosion on the chain. I owned a mooring in Boston Harbor for a few years, and followed the advice of fellow yacht club members and used an extra long chain from the mooring to the buoy. The top two or three feet of the chain would corrode quickly, and could be eliminated from the mooring at the beginning of each season.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
EDIT: An essential part of a permanent mooring is a plan of where you can move your boat to if/when you need to. :)

I was fortunate enough to move in next door to a “salty” neighbour who had his boat moored for years, knew what worst case could be and was willing to share his knowledge. :) I modelled my setup after his BUT went quite a bit beyond.

I took a position of looking at the total system to determine where the ”weakest” point would be and scaling all the other pieces to exceed that section. For me the weak point was from the top of the anchor chain to the attachment point on the boat.

I have a heavy anchor that is pinned to the limestone lake bottom connected to the heaviest anchor chain the mooring buoy will float.
The anchor chain has a Kellet attached.
At the top of the chain is a swivel, then a large shackle .
The shackle attaches to two 3/4” braided lines and the mooring buoy.
The braided lines have snubbers on them, anti chafe “sleeves“ at any potential point of rubbing and in the case of the boat in the photo to a single LARGE mooring cleat in the middle of the foredeck.

One of the mooring lines acts as the primary and takes the load.The kellet, snubber and braided line create a fair amount of “spring” so the boat can surge with the conditions. Of course if things get crazy enough everything gets bar tight and you hope that nothing snaps.
The “backup” mooring line is slightly longer and it’s primary role is to take over if the main fails but also to fend the boat off from the mooring buoy to help prevent the lines from wrapping the chain. I threaded the mooring line through a piece of plastic water pipe and taped foam flotation around that so that it all floats on the surface. The pipe has enough rigidity to keep the bow away from the buoy on dead calm days when the boat tends to “wander” :)

I chose to cleat the lines on the boat rather than have a loop but either would work. The 3/4” lines I sourced came with a bitter end that I didn’t want to try to splice a loop into :)

I also used two pickup buoys, one for each line. The buoys clipped to the ends of the lines so to depart I would just drop them in the water. To return I would sail up to the “sticks” bobbing vertically, targeting the one I had color coded as the primary, grab it and secure to the cleat on the boat, If I missed the primary I could sometimes grab the backup and then sort things out later.

Some photos to help clarify

D2DEBB6F-8227-4F7D-88E8-8F3890E07072.jpeg
CB8F3BA5-336F-4D86-BC6C-3A50FE1606FC.jpeg
4F10D104-AE9E-4A99-98DD-C7F5B2889487.jpeg

Hope this helps :)
 
Last edited:
Dec 1, 2020
92
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
...

I have a heavy anchor that is pinned to the limestone lake bottom connected to the heaviest anchor chain the mooring buoy will float.
...
Hunter, thank for your details. Adding a snubber sounds like a great idea and plus your pickup floats beats fooling around with a boat hook when I'm hopefully "sailing" to the pickup.

Here is the description of the mooring install we are considering which basically matches a Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources pamphlet about installing buoys by waterfront homeowners. It clearing states using the helical screw is preferred. Since we have glacial coble all over most of the beaches and bottoms in Puget Sound the screw sort of matches your pin into rock.

Our mooring systems are rated for year-round moorings in any weather the Pacific NW can throw at us. On the east coast our systems are coined, ‘hurricane resistant’.​
The system includes a Helix square shaft anchor (matched to vessel size and conditions) installed; the nylon pennant with a midline float to reach the surface at extreme high water, 6’ of ½” long link chain (at the top of the nylon, running through the 18” hard shell buoy) connected to the nylon with a ¾” Sampson Nylite Assembly, a ¾” swivel and a ¾” shackle. A 5/8” forged retrieval pear ring at the very top attached with a ½” shackle. All metal parts are American steel. The system is custom fitted to the conditions of bottom slope, clearance, and tidal exchange.​
Thanks to all the other posters for sharing their thoughts.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Hunter 216 - that photo of your C&C 24 are impressive. I would like to know more about the anchoring setup you had.

The Illahee beach area of East Bremerton is protected by a 200-250' high hill behind most of the houses along the beach. The strongest storms are from the SW and the wind is forced over the hill, creating a calm area where our home/beach is. The west side of Bainbridge Island (Crystal Springs) is being slammed though by those winds. North and South winds are a risk still, but the fetch from Port Orchard to our home is 2.6 miles and northerly wind waves are limited by Battle Point (Bainbridge) and our house is "slightly west" of University Point. for true storm winds from the North. All that said, anything is possible which is why learning about your first-hand experience will be helpful.

We have lived here for 25+ years. We have poured concrete "anchors" and put out swim platforms, mooring balls, etc. and never had any issues but we have not had heavy boats on those moorings which is why having a helical screw installed is being considered. Here is a typical summer view of those platforms.

View attachment 188391

Please share your knowledge and thoughts on how to setup a mooring system to hold a boat in a "real storm".
Beautiful location :)

After 25 yrs I think it’s safe to assume you know what the conditions are like ;)

I don’t have any experience with helical screw but are you considering having several of them installed and then having them connected in some way that adds redundancy? The pieces near or above the surface are easy to regularly inspect, the components on the bottom not so much ;)