Mailport: February 2014
In response to your blog post, “Boat Mooring Upgrade Primer”: I devised a time-tested system to moor our 12,000-pound Ranger 33. An 1,100-pound concrete block with 6 feet of anchor chain was shackled to a 350-pound bounce block with 6 more feet of large anchor chain; one half-inch, three-strand nylon line led from the end of this chain to the boat. Two feet from the chain bottom, I threaded a large, fender-like float to lift about 3 to 6 feet of the rope and chain off the bottom. About 10 feet under water from the boat end, I placed 10 lead ring sinkers and flattened them enough so that they would not slide down the rope. This prevented the slack line from fouling the keel, rudder, or prop at low tides in calm conditions.
I allowed the nylon to collect a large growth of kelp and algae, which attracted fish and acted as a perfect, very squishy sea anchor. I threaded a small conical float—like those used on crab pots—about 5 inches wide by 12 inches long, to the mooring pennant and to each bridle leg, and placed a 3/8-inch stainless swivel (with a Nylox nut) at the bridle mooring-line junction.
In blows, the boat would pull against the two bridles alternately, reducing chafe. Firehose over the line at the bow worked for chafe protection. The floats acted as excellent rollers against the bow and kept the swivel and lines away from the gelcoat. When we left on trips, I snapped a regular mooring ball to the looped ends of the bridle for better visibility.
If I were to redo the system today, I would use a screw anchor and no chain at all.
Rushwind, Ranger 33
South Puget Sound, Wash.
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