I did some research
last year when I anchored out all summer in Holland
, MI. I called the coast guard and asked about getting a mooring permit
, how would I go about it? They didn't know and didn't want to have anything to do with permitting or approval of moorings. I called the DNR and they hemmed and hawed and finally after talking to about a dozen people I was referred to the Army Corps of Engineers. When I studied the Army Corps site, my impression was that the Corps is only interested in permitting permanent moorings, and they are mostly interested in regulating or restricting moorings near commercial shipping
I was willing to buy a big mushroom anchor
and put a permanent mooring down if I could get a permit
. But since none of the permitting agencies seemed to want to approve or enforce "moorings" I decided that nobody would be trying to stop me if I just put a mooring in.
However, Michigan ice is pretty tough on a bouy, so I thought about it for a while and decided to just put a very good oversize anchor
rig out with a mooring ball and haul it at the end of the season. If it is not a permanent anchoring
system, then it is not a mooring by the Army Corps definitions, it is an anchor.
I got a dusk to dawn switch for my anchor light, and a 30W solar
panel to power the anchor light. My friend at the Coast Guard said that as long as you keep an anchor light on at night, you are legally anchored.
My anchor rig for a 28' boat was a 15lb Danforth attached to 50 foot of 1/4" chain attached to a 35 lb CQR
attached to 100 foot of chain to a swivel and bouy, then two 3/4" pennants to my bow cleat. This was in excellent holding bottom, muddy clay.
I also got a season pass at the boat launch just down the way a bit. Whenever I wanted to go to my boat I trailered my dinghy
to the boat launch and rowed it over to the big boat.
I liked this system a lot, although my wife would have preferred something a little easier. If I were doing it again this year I would get a 14' aluminum fishing
boat and use that as my dinghy
, and then move my anchorage out a little further away in a nice bay across the lake.
I bought a condo dock
just a few blocks from my house and I will be at a slip this season. But if you are looking for cheap
accomodation for your boat, I would recommend this method. Just oversize your anchor system and make sure you are not in the way of a lot of boat traffic.