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Old 20-04-2013, 09:57   #1
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Floating Mooring Line

hello. my new mooring is on a narrow creek with a swift flowing current, so boats are moored fore and aft on a trot line. the usual arrangement is for two pennants shackled to the mooring buoys, and then one to the bow and one to the stern. when the boat leaves the mooring the two pennants are attached to a piece of poly floating line 5 to 10 ft longer than the boat. the pick up buoy is attached to the center of this line.

i have recently seen floating poly lines that are supposedly soft on the hands and have the equivalent tensile strength to nylon. i have therefore thought to simplify the system by eliminating the middle line and attaching the two pennants to the pick up buoy when i leave.

any thought from someone who must moor in these conditions? my fear, of course, is snagging the lines in the prop
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Old 20-04-2013, 12:01   #2
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Re: floating mooring line

The following link to the Catalina Island web site shows the fore and aft mooring system:

Mooring Information - Boating | Visit Catalina Island

The spreader line is weighted every 5 feet or so and lies on the bottom so that there is less risk of prop fouling.

David
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Old 20-04-2013, 13:12   #3
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Re: floating mooring line

Quote:
Originally Posted by earless View Post
i have therefore thought to simplify the system by eliminating the middle line and attaching the two pennants to the pick up buoy when i leave.
Am not sure what "Pennant" means in US speak , but if it is a reference to the bow / stern line(s) aka the Hawser in the diagram below then there is a good reason for having the middle (spreader) line.........



............not only does it give you "wiggle room" for getting the boat in position by allowing you to more easily pick up the bouy from anywhere on the boat and then walk it to the correct position but also means that when you put the bow line on first then you can then walk the stern line back to the stern safe in the knowledge that if it slips from wet fingers that is still attached to the boat! so can simply walk back to the bow and start again .

Over here the arrangement is usually a variation on the above diagram (often no mooring cans) and on tidal moorings, so sometimes plenty of tide and not always running fore and aft!

...your mention of wanting to get a softer to handle rope plus having a floating line suggests that your pickup techniques (plan A and B!) could do with some refinement.....With a bit of practice don't need a floating line as a bigger target in addition to the bouy - just make sure the bouy is easy to pick up when in range / get onboard (adding a bit of lead as a sinker to the "middle" line is the usual MO here - not only to stop self accidently running over the line but also others!)...........And unless on Plan B!, should be no need for a softer to handle rope being an issue as not pulling on it with any great effort / grip - for Plan B having a bit of length to the Spreader (Middle / Link) line means can hook that onto a cleat instead of the mooring line, have a breather! and still walk the other line back to a cleat before returning to Plan A!.........for Plan C having a carbine hook in the line means can unhook and walk (carefully! if only in hand or with another rope attached) the mooring lines to the intended cleat.

Long story short, if you find yourself hanging onto the link line for grim death and therefore a softer line is important then time to let go and get the helm to try again! (or at least use a bit of motor).
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Old 25-04-2013, 19:21   #4
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Re: Floating Mooring Line

You may want to discuss your idea with the Harbormaster. He probably will let you know why he might approve it, or not. The extra connecting line between the two pennants may be there to allow for the rise and fall of the tide, or to allow for different length boats. If each anchor has two equal-length pennants on it (which is determined by the rise & fall of the tide) they put the anchors down based on the length of the boat(s). The connecting line varies according to the length of the boat, and is cheap and easy to adjust for different situations each season. If there was a single line going between two anchors, they'd have to resplice new ones each time a different boat got a mooring permit, and to keep the whole string in order, and spaced properly, when they hauled or reset the anchors. Sounds like that may be why they have the setup they've got.

To avoid snagging the line in the prop, use the current and rudder to angle your stern away from the line when you're casting off. For pickup, you can approach at right angles to the string. Once you've retrieved the pick up buoy line, cleat it at the bow and shut down the engine. Then pull the boat around parallel to the string with the pick-up line. You'll have to consider the current when you do this, and try to secure the bow at the up-current end of the string. Think it through beforehand, and it should be feasible . The current in Guilford can be appreciable, (I've launched a dinghy there, near where I think your string is) so also think about how to cut & run & try again if you have to.
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Old 25-04-2013, 19:42   #5
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Re: Floating Mooring Line

Quote:
Originally Posted by earless View Post

i have recently seen floating poly lines that are supposedly soft on the hands and have the equivalent tensile strength to nylon. i have therefore thought to simplify the system by eliminating the middle line and attaching the two pennants to the pick up buoy when i leave.
In my experience polypropylene line chafes like crazy when used a pennant on a mooring ball. Use nylon line and attach a float.
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