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Old 11-07-2008, 13:34   #1
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Question about mooring cans

I just bought a 28' boat and will be sailing down from Wisconsin to the Chicago harbors in the next week or so. I have a mooring can downtown, but am not sure how you connect to the can.

I am guessing that it is a fairly straight forward process, but want to make sure that I have the necessary lines before departing. Is it just a simple hook on top of the bouy that you connect to? Do people usually use a quick clip, or simply tie a rope to it? Is that what a mooring pennant is?

Sorry for the newbie questions, but hopefully everyone here can help out.

Thanks!

Chris
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Old 11-07-2008, 13:53   #2
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Hi, Chris.

I know nothing about Chicago's mooring cans, but every public mooring ball that I've seen requires the user to attach his own line from the boat. The mooring might have a pennant attached, with an eye spliced in it, or it may simple be a ball or can with a metal ring on top. In either case, slip your line through it and double it back to the same cleat on your boat. That way it won't "saw" back and forth when the boat shifts in the wind, as it would if you bring it back to the cleat on the opposite side. I always use two lines led like that, one to each side of the bow.
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Old 11-07-2008, 14:53   #3
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Hud,

Thanks for the reply. So if there is a penant attached to the can, then you just do the same thing, but through the eye of the penant I assume?

In that case, what is the purpose of the penant? Why would you want that as opposed to just running lines straight to the bouy? Is it simply more convenient?

Chris
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Old 11-07-2008, 14:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
. I always use two lines led like that, one to each side of the bow.
Can you clarify that please?

One line through the mooring and then back to the boat on the same cleat, where do the two lines come into play with this method?

We always went from one side to the other, bridle I guess you would call it, and swung all over the place is the reason for my question.

@ CCantagallo- I think the pendent is eaiser to grab (with a boat hook) and then you don't need to reach way down to the water etc.
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Old 11-07-2008, 15:08   #5
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Marty,

That is what I figured. As for the two lines, I think what Hud meant was that you wrap one line down to the bouy and back to the same cleat on the starboard side, and then a second line to the bouy and back on the port side. Going from the starboard cleat to the bouy and back to the port cleat wouldn't keep the boat from swinging, but when it swung, the rope might move through the eyelet and wear on the rope.

Here's another question, what about just using one or two of these?

West Marine: Grab-N-GO Mooring Hook Product Display

Is it just not worth the cost for the minor convenience? Or are there questions about the security of them?

Chris
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Old 11-07-2008, 15:10   #6
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Chris, I can't imagine trying to attach a dock line from my bow sitting 6 feet off the water to a ring on a mooring ball sitting in the water. we have never seen a mooring that did not have a line attached. If it has an eye or loop at the end, put your line through and attach to the boat. If it is a straight line with no eye, then attach that line to your cleat.
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Old 11-07-2008, 15:18   #7
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Desired equipment to have on board:

2 dock lines
1 boat hook.

What I usually do is tie a dock line to one of the cleat with a bowline - tied forward of the cleat, so there is still plenty of cleat left to tie the dockline back to. Then feed the dock line through the chock at the bow if you have one and feed out outside the lifeline, bring it up and leave it hanging in loops over the lifeline.

Approach the moorings slowly from direclty down wind trying to stall the boat just at the mooring, then grab the penant line with the boat hook and feed feed the end of the dock line through the splice (loop) and begin to pull the dockline through. If you are able put a second wrap through the penant splice loop at this time. If not, don't worry about it, just feed the end of the dockline back on board and cleat it off. Make sure you go under the lifelines or pulpit! You are now temporarily secure at the mooring.

As mentioned in a previous post ,If you are spending time there, double feeding your dock line through the slice prevents chafing to the dockline. Obviously using a second dock line from the other side is a safety back up that also reducing boat sway. Depending on your boat and the nature of the mooring, you can attach the second line buy just pulling up on the first, motoring up a bit, or using your dingy. If the penant line looks at all suspect, I may tie my second dock line direclty to the mooring.

Some people who chooose to use only one dock line would use both bow cleats for one dock line, which again, may help prevent the boat from sailing arond as much, but again as mentioned above, can increase the risk of the eye sawing through your dock line. If you keep your anchor stored on the anchor roller, note weatheror not the docklines may pull the anchor as the boat moves around of if you have more windage.
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Old 11-07-2008, 15:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
Chris, I can't imagine trying to attach a dock line from my bow sitting 6 feet off the water to a ring on a mooring ball sitting in the water. we have never seen a mooring that did not have a line attached.
Chuck,

I think it's bad practice, but I have seen some mooring buoys with no pennant, just the stainless steel eye right on top of the ball. Not one of the 30 lb balls, mind you, a smaller one. You have to pick the darn thing up by the eye with your boat hook and slip your line through it. Not fun if the wind is up.
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Old 11-07-2008, 15:33   #9
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Marty,

CCantagallo is right about what I was suggesting. If you pass a line from, say, the starboard cleat through the eye in the mooring pennant, and the back to the port cleat on your bow, the line will saw back and forth as the boat moves. A friend of mine had his mooring line part when he did that. He went adrift in the middle of the night. He awoke to, "bump, bump", as his boat encountered the boat that was anchored downwind.
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Old 11-07-2008, 16:54   #10
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Good advice all. Some more...

Make sure your lines are sufficient size. When using bowlines over cleats, make sure you can close the throat of the bowline so it can't jump off.

Our mooring (5/8" line) has an eye that we stick over our cleat. We then use a smaller line (3/8") wrapped around the throat of the eye to pinch it off and ensure it cannot jump the cleat. In doing this we also take a turn through the eye of the mooring and secure this line to the opposite cleat. In the extremely unlikely event that the cleat fails (we have lot's of wake activity here) the turn and second cleat gives us a second chance.

If your cleat is mounted in the center of the deck (like our J24s) we us the strategy described in previous posts and leave the mooring tackle in the water and run a separate loop (1/2" for our Js) from the cleat to the mooring. This is primarily because the mooring eye is slimy and leaves a bunch of crud on the deck.
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Old 11-07-2008, 18:55   #11
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Thanks to everyone for the help. I spoke with the marina and they said you could buy a penant from them (for way too much $$ of course). They said however, that they will come out and measure what the correct length should be.

My question is whether or not there is a way to figure out the length needed before getting to the harbor. I was going to order one in advance if possible.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 11-07-2008, 20:19   #12
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Thanks for the lesson, the "school" I used apparently did not have this one right. I'm guessing sawing through a line in the BVI on overnight mornings is not too much of an issue, I still appreciate learning how to do things the right way and the 2x line makes sense.
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Old 11-07-2008, 21:41   #13
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Where are you at Chris

If you're near Milwaukee, I'd be happy to show you how to make a pendant. I made a pair for my boat last winter and they are working out great.
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