Last summer someone decided he/she needed my mooring
ball more than I did. Actually, the person took the pennant and the upper length of chain as well as the ball from my mooring
. Needless to say I was pretty miffed; I couldn't go for a sail until I had something to keep the chain up. I guess I shouldn't complain too much as he/she was decent enough to re-attach my boat to the upper swivel. Being a cheap
bastard I was reluctant to buy a new ball as they are around $125 plus tax and, evidently, can disappear a wee bit too easily.
Now, when it comes to mooring balls here in Maryland
, the requirements specified by the local authorities are fairly liberal. As long as the top is white and it has a blue stripe at the waterline it is acceptable. I've seen people use beer
kegs and someone else admitted to using a propane
tank (presumably empty). I didn't like either of those solutions as they aren't friendly to hulls.
I came up with an alternative short term solution. I found a 14" tire on an aluminum
rim, spray painted it white with some sort of plasticote to protect it from the sun's rays and to create a better airtight seal, and mounted two stainless eye bolts on the rim to receive the chain and a new pennant. Total cost: about $10.00.
It worked so well that, with no better replacement come last November, I tied a few airtight jugs to the rim for an added bit of insurance
over the winter. It's March now and, with a pair of binocs, I can see from shore the whole thing is doing fine. But I worry someone's prop might slice the tire or, over time, it will deflate.
Right now I'm thinking of filling a plastic storage
container with blue or pink hardware
store foam and leading a secured length of chain through the middle. The bottom end can be shackled to the upper mooring chain and the top end can be shackled to a pennant. But I'm not sure how long that kind of foam will hold together and remain bouyant. I'd like to hear if anyone has dealt with this issue and come up with a better solution.