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Old 24-04-2014, 10:15   #1
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Moorings for Trimarans

Someone who owns another trimaran asked me about my mooring bridle setup, so I documented it for him in an email, and I'm reposting it here in case anyone wants to borrow or adapt any of these ideas for your own situation. Mine is a 12m tri with 28 foot beam, and strong U-bolt attachments for the bridle legs at the forward outer ends of each cross-beam.

Here's what I do:
I use a bridle plate like the Taylor Made Bridle-Plate-Mooring-System for Multihulls w/Safety-Shackle. I bought mine from Colligo Marine but I don't see it on their web site anymore.

I use a 3/4" US-made galvanized shackle to attach the plate to the top of the mooring chain which runs through the center of the mooring ball. Do NOT use a type of mooring ball that has a steel rod running through the center -- the rod rusts out within a few years and the rust is hidden inside -- and becomes the weak link. The mooring ball should have a pipe that allows the chain top run through, with a bolt at the top that you put through the chain to secure it.

The other 3 shackles (for each leg) are 5/8". I recommend you avoid Chinese shackles on any anchor or mooring tackle -- they're sold on price and I view this as a critical application not worth saving a few $ for the increased risk.

My center bridle leg is backup only. It's a 15-20 foot long 1-inch diameter Mooring Pendant (Yale Maxi-Moor II or equivalent). I recommend the 20-foot length because it gives you room to wrap your cleat and adjust length to slightly slack with the side legs taking the load.

Each side leg is 20-feet of 5/8" 3-strand nylon with a thimble spliced at the bridle plate end, where it's shackled and pin is seized. At the outer end of each crossbeam splice in a Wichard #2317 snap hook. I've been using these since 2001 and have never had a problem nor have they shown any deformation.

Each leg of the bridle should have flotation so that the rope can't sink beneath the mooring ball (when the wind goes slack) and wrap beneath the chain. I use inexpensive closed-cell foam pipe insulation from Home Depot to float the mooring bridle lines. You can buy slit (split) insulation that's easy to apply, and it also keeps the growth off the lines. I use 3M electrical tape every foot or two to secure it, and use a different color for each leg so it's easy to sort them out if they cross each other. I use a pick-up stick with float attached to the loop on the end of the center pendent.

Also, your mooring ball should be sized so that the center of the ball is slightly below the waterline -- so the rope will go over (not under) when the slack line is pulled again. There are cylindrical shaped mooring floats now and I like those better than balls, because they float more vertical and keep the shackles and mooring plate away from the hull. The cylindrical floats also allow you to coil the pendent so if you leave for an extended period they don't accumulate growth. (You can do that for the center pendant but there's no room for two or three, so I remove the side legs and just leave the center one if we plan to go for more a week or more.)
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Old 25-04-2014, 11:29   #2
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Re: Moorings for trimarans

To add to this:

A friend and I were talking on the phone this morning, and he adds shock cord to his equation as follows:

1) A length of shock cord with a snap hook that goes from the tip of his sprit to the top of the mooring ball, to keep the ball from rubbing on the hull if the current causes the boat to drift over the ball in slack wind, and to keep the boat from over-running the lines and trapping the ball between the hulls. He attaches it from the dinghy when he leaves the boat. Detaches it when he returns. I might try that.
2) A length of shock cord from the tip of one ama to the tip of the other (over the bow). The purpose is to keep the slack bridle lines out of the water and minimize growth (the bridle lines are run above them). I'd do without that extra step - because I think it might interfere with picking up a mooring stick. I use the foam insulation on the bridle so that gets the growth, and I toss that foam at the end of each season followed up by power washing the lines. It's a regular zoo between the insulation jacket and the rope (sand worms, tiny plankton shrimps, etc.).
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Old 26-04-2014, 10:00   #3
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Re: Moorings for trimarans

Could you post some pics to be more illustrative? Thanks

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Old 26-04-2014, 12:54   #4
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Re: Moorings for trimarans

I was hoping this thread had some info about preventing public mooring balls from rubbing against the hulls when the tide is slack.
Not much joy, especially since I don't have a bow sprit. Maybe I can jury rig a temporary set up to do the job occasionally.
We shall see.
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Old 27-04-2014, 08:35   #5
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Re: Moorings for trimarans

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
I was hoping this thread had some info about preventing public mooring balls from rubbing against the hulls when the tide is slack.
Not much joy, especially since I don't have a bow sprit. Maybe I can jury rig a temporary set up to do the job occasionally.
We shall see.
You may have answered your own question.

However there are some challenging situations such as when you can have strong wind and strong current opposing each other and that can cause the boat to overrun the mooring float with quite a bit of force. Using a sprit with shock cord can help in milder situations however.
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Old 28-04-2014, 22:02   #6
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Re: Moorings for trimarans

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Originally Posted by ricorrea2002 View Post
Could you post some pics to be more illustrative? Thanks

Sent from my GT-I9190 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Here's an old image from my prior boat. I don't spiral-wrap the insulation anymore (too difficult to remove after they accumulate a lot of growth). And now I use a different color tape on each leg, wrapped about every two feet to make it easier to sort them out when they cross each other.

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