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Old 15-12-2006, 18:29   #1
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mooring

I am new to sailing and am thinking of buying a boat. I live in a city and have been looking around for ways of getting a mooring but have been left high and dry by the all mighty interweb (the net). Can someone tell me what the deal is with getting a permanent mooring in a major american city? Do I have to sink my own? Do I rent one from someone? Is it a competitive market? What is the deal when cruising, do you have to advance a visitor's mooring or can you just pick up whatever is free in the harbour and stay there? Why is there a lack of resources on this sort of thing?
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Old 15-12-2006, 18:43   #2
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It depends on what town,city, state you are in. Generally there are marinas nearby that set moorings to the specific requirements of the local harbor commission.
I have a small mooring business in Old Saybrook, CT and when I rent or set a mooring system for my clients it has to be inspected by the dock master who is in charge of overseeing the placement of the mooring.

Try to find out the harbor master, dock master or harbor commissioner from the town or city hall that has jurisdication over the waterway.

There are also fees for permits to the town, when placing moorings into their waterways.

Feel free to ask me for more info if you need it.
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Old 15-12-2006, 19:01   #3
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Well Okay, thanks for the fast reply! I live in Boston. Do areas run out of moorings. I know for example that there is a 5 year waiting list in Schituate Harbour.
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Old 15-12-2006, 19:35   #4
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You will find this in most popular locations. Waiting lists are often shorter for moorings than for slips. There are still a few places you can set a mooring for no charge, but they are a dying breed.
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Old 15-12-2006, 21:36   #5
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This link will give you a little more info........................................._/)

City of Boston
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Old 15-12-2006, 21:53   #6
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Duh

Wow, I guess I could have looked there. Where'd you say you were from? Puget Sound?

Thanks!
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Old 16-12-2006, 00:25   #7
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Where I'm from and where I've been are completely different subjects
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Old 16-12-2006, 04:54   #8
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One of my favorite subject... who owns the bottom?

What seems to happen, at least in LIS and there abouts... is that some local government decides to control the harbor use for anchoring and mooring.

The purpose is ostensibly safety and order, but what happens is that much of the bottom is given to commercial interests who then turn the harbor real estate into a business.

Usually first dibs is given to local residents.. a perk for living in a town with a decent harbor. Yacht clubs and marinas seem to got control of large sections of the harbor as well.

Moored vessels need facilities often and refuse disposal is often a contentious issue as boaters need somewhere to dispose of their rubbish. I have seen towns which offer public trash bins with holes large enough for a coffee cup and no facility for typical trash bags or a provision for recycling.

The jurisdiction may accept applications to either install a mooring (to their standards) or rent one on a time limited basis up to a season, usually for a fairly large sum which far exceeds the cost of the mooring and or its maintenance. This becomes a revenue stream for the jurisdiction, no different that paid public parking.

Since boaters often live distant from places with harbors... there is an imbalance in supply and demand for mooring locations and this ends up being handled by a set of rules which determine who is eligible to even rent a mooring in the harbor.

Some jurisdictions will set aside some moorings for transient use at market rates.. always going up in cost, but these days in the $25 per night range. Use of a mooring with authorization results in a summons like illegal parking.. don't know the cost of the violation.

For those harbors which do make moorings available to out of towners (most of the moored boats have owners from out of town)... there is a waiting list set up and knowing someone always helps to move up the list. I don't know that the lists are ever published so you can see your self advancing up. It all appears rather mysterious.

Some harbors are so popular that there are only moorings and anchoring on a hook is proscribed. Many harbors allow boats to anchor outside their mooring grid for no fee. That will change too as these people lust for more cash.

While it may be a problem for a yachtsmen to set and maintain a permanent mooring, moorings have definitely become a real estate type business and not a service for setting and maintaining the mooring.

If you paid for the cost of the gear it will cost a lot less than the typical annual fee and last several years. It does typically have to be removed (at least the rode - chain, float, pick up, etc.) inspected, stored, repaired, and reattached each year. The actual rode removal and reattachment takes perhaps 1 hr per year.

And finally there is the issue of the dinghy dock and parking because moored boats need to accessed from the shore. Towns often provide a dinghy docks and clubs the same or a launch service available at reasonable hours. But there is usually no security at these docks and they often are too small to accommodate a dink from all the moorings they rent. Further these docks often serve small visiting boaters and anchored boats. They get real crowded real fast. Look at Block Island Salt Pond to see what I mean.

Salt Pond has way more dinks because it is a destination said to and not many boaters moor there for the season... more transients. But other harbors need to accommodate the vehicles of the boaters who rent moorings and if the don't have a convenient parking lot boaters then must use street parking which has no over night parking restriction or a specific time each day with no parking for things like street cleaning. Parking is not an issue for locals, but not for out of towners who typically drive to their boat and carry provisions and gear each weekend.

The New England area is home to 40 million people and lots of boat owners. There is limited dock space, and mooring and anchoring real estate. The market has turned this into yet another "opportunity" for making a buck. Regions such a Florida are probably even worse.

And many jurisdictions prohibit live aboards on their moorings so the idea of using your boat as a summer residence is fast becoming impossible.

Many locals who have rights to a mooring or two put one in and hire some local to run it as a business. You can find this practice in Newport Harbor, for example.

While anchoring may be free. or so it seems it should be, moorings come at a price because of the "security" of the moor. Most people would not leave an anchored boat unattended for more than a few hours and certainly not for days and weeks. If their anchor held, their boat may be visited by mischief makers who target it as an easy "hit".

Interesting eh?

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Old 16-12-2006, 12:03   #9
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Very interesting, thanks Jeff.
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Old 24-12-2006, 19:04   #10
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There is another thread in here similar to this.

Many people anchor their boats for long periods with great success, and in fact we will set up an anchoring system similar to this for the 50 footer when she goes in.

It can be argued that it is not a mooring, therefore not subject to mooring rules and reg's, but will offer mooring like security.

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File Type: bmp mooring.bmp (92.7 KB, 133 views)
File Type: bmp mooring 1.bmp (92.7 KB, 125 views)
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