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Old 27-10-2020, 19:07   #1
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DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

Here is the basic info....My boat is a 32 foot sailboat, a lot of windage. 13,000LBS. I keep in in Florida and use it seasonally in the winter. The marina wants $650 for a slip or $500 for a mooring. $50 for dingy dock. There is an endless amount of space to anchor, the close spots are a bit exposed but still plenty of room, good holding, as a safer alternative about 1/2 mile out is a very protected bay with good holding a bit of a ride though in the dingy. I do not live aboard so the boat is usually unattended. Crime is not a real issue. I am not a rich guy, keeping it at the dock would be my preference but 6 months is going to be almost 4k which is a struggle financially for me. I have been thinking I should just anchor out but I am fearful of leaving the boat at anchor unattended during unforeseen weather events. Which leads me to the question. What is best option for securing her at anchor? I have thought about just buying some immense anchor. Something like a 100LB danforth or whatever very large anchor and gear would make sense. I have thought about buying a 500LB pyramid anchor, the logistics of that escape me at the moment. Also making my own concrete 55 gallon drum mooring. Technically, I can't put a mooring out, but doubtful I will get called on it unless someone sees a barge out there setting a helix screw. I like the idea of just buying a big anchor or maybe 3 anchors. Something I might be able to retrieve at the end of the season. If I make a homemade mooring and leave it after 6 months who knows if when I come back it isn't being used or lost in the mud. Like to hear peoples thoughts.
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Old 27-10-2020, 19:23   #2
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

Make sure it is legal and free where you intend to place it.


I helped build a permanent mooring and it seemed difficult but later turned out very simple.


Go for it, I would say.



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Old 27-10-2020, 19:53   #3
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

... And with absolutely no one watching it, it might actually still be there in the winter. Roll the dice.
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Old 27-10-2020, 21:30   #4
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

It is not legal to put in a permanent mooring. This would be done quietly. There is not a lot of law enforcement around, doubtful I would be bothered as you can anchor as long as you like and as long as no one sees me placing some type of permanent mooring I very much doubt anyone will question. Just a matter of whether that is the way to go vs. some type of retrievable anchoring system.
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Old 27-10-2020, 22:04   #5
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

Where in Florida is a non liveaboard mooring $500/ mo?

You need more than 500 lbs for a Westsail 32. Or maybe 3 or 4 barrels chained together.
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Old 28-10-2020, 07:36   #6
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Where in Florida is a non liveaboard mooring $500/ mo?
I'd prefer not to say where, but here is the mooring rates per the web site:


Mooring Field
$ 25.00 Per day
$150.00 Per week
$495.00 Per month
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Old 28-10-2020, 10:37   #7
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

Not sure what kind of trouble you could get into. How deep is it. Would you have a private bouy at the surface with your name on it? If it isn't too deep (60 feet or less) I'd set a few 55 gal drums with cement and a short chain and shackle that I could dive to when the need arrives to attach to your boat. You could find the exact location of your drums via GPS and they would be yours alone so long as someone doesn't moor next to it or accidentally snag it with their anchor (oops)
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Old 28-10-2020, 10:47   #8
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

A good use of money would be to pay someone local to keep an eye on her while you're gone. Usually pretty easy to find a trustworthy sailor who is willing to help out. Get references.
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Old 28-10-2020, 11:42   #9
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

In the past I laid 3 heavy commercial anchors connected by heavy chain to a large ring with a riser from that.
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Old 28-10-2020, 12:13   #10
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

Without knowing the areas or your finances, here's a little thinking outside the box and something I've looked at a bit on the Chesapeake.

Could you instead buy a property that has mooring rights with access to the ocean? I'm not talking about a developed property, I'm talking about something that maybe just got subdivided and lots are now being sold for homes? And something that's a little out of the way so it's not expensive yet.

If you buy the property, you could use it yearly for your purpose. And you have an appreciating asset that when you sell could net a gain. You might like the area and eventually build a house. Or rent the property to someone that doesn't want a boat. And if you don't use the mooring year round, you could also have an income stream while you are crusiing the Caribbean.

Just an idea.
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Old 28-10-2020, 13:53   #11
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

I would think it all depends on the seabed bottom. If it’s mucky mud type, then a mushroom mooring could be used. These are the prevalent mooring anchors in most Northeastern mooring fields. Also, they are considered “temporary”, but they’ll hold in a hurricane. Your vessels security will be dependent upon the type and method of tackle used to attach the mooring to the boat. If it’s a hard, rocky bottom, then either the largest Mantus anchor you can afford or the cement filled drums. Alternatively, automobile engine blocks ( from a junkyard and preferably from an old clunker truck) will also suffice. No matter what you use, just choose your tackle wisely and secure it properly. One last word - use two mooring lines from the mooring ball to your bow cleats.
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Old 28-10-2020, 13:55   #12
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

I think the chance of being discovered is higher than you might imagine. Just thinking about what you leave to mark it when you are out, how the mooring field operator might feel about you getting a free ride, etc. How much are the fines if you do get caught? At the very least, you would have to pay to have the mooring removed.
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Old 28-10-2020, 17:36   #13
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

Went through the same thought process in N Florida. Situation changed and didn't end up doing this but my plan was to buy one big honking anchor and tie to it. If it's an anchor, it's an anchor and not a mooring so you aren't skating the edge of the rules.

I would look for an old 100 lb plow or yachtsman or something like that. Watch Craigslist and things like that pop up occasionally.

Might cost $400-$500 but will pay for itself in a month.

Or you could buy an new 85lb Mantus for about $1100. With all chain that would hold you through anything but a major hurricane.

This all of course assumes you are correct in saying there's good holding.
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Old 28-10-2020, 18:36   #14
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

People do this in north Mallorca. Every so often a boat comes adrift & comes ashore. Every so often there is a bad storm & lots come ashore :
https://www.majorcadailybulletin.com...-mallorca.html

What does your insurance company think about the idea?
Are there no cheaper legal mooring options elsewhere that would suit your purpose?
An unattended boat out on its own & not moving for 6 to 8 months will certainly attract interest.
This is during your hurricane season isnt it? How will you feel in Vermont when a hurricane hits Florida?
When you leave the mooring to go sailing, the mooring buoy you will need to leave behind for your return will tell anyone who is interested that you have a mooring there.
I would expect you would have to use a mooring of some kind as it would be very difficult to raise any anchor guaranteed big enough to keep the boat secure while you are thousands of miles away.
If you do this, I would make sure your mooring pennant is absolutely chafe proof - probably chain - & build in some kind of shock absorber & make sure your cleats are bulletproof & back them up to other cleats or winches anyway.
Good luck.
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Old 28-10-2020, 18:52   #15
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Re: DIY mooring vs. Anchoring

I like ShinyHappy’s idea of buying a property with water rights then you can do whatever the he’ll put want. As others said, there’s just a lot of practical issues with setting up a mooring (especially with a floating buoy) or using an oversized anchor (can’t weigh easily/routinely). If I were you I would find a condo or something with mooring or docking rights. Please let us know what you decide and good luck.
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