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Old 17-06-2024, 07:13   #1
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Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

Does anyone have any ideas how to secure a private mooring ball? We placed a mooring ball for private use, and even with the label and signage, people are still helping themselves to it. Can anyone suggest how to prevent others from using it? Thanks so much for any advice!!
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Old 17-06-2024, 07:38   #2
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

Have you contacted law enforcement? What did they say?
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Old 17-06-2024, 07:42   #3
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

Disguise it as a crab pot.
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Old 17-06-2024, 07:49   #4
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

Not sure about your local laws, but in some areas an empty mooring is considered free game for anyone that comes along. A strategy is to label it something like: "Danger Wreck!"
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Old 17-06-2024, 09:11   #5
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

Put up a sign: 30$ a night
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Old 17-06-2024, 09:29   #6
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

Two disks, one with an oval hole in the center for an eye bolt that you can put a padlock on. And the other with the eye bolt held with lock nuts. Thus blocking the eye on the ball.
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Old 17-06-2024, 09:38   #7
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Not sure about your local laws, but in some areas an empty mooring is considered free game for anyone that comes along. A strategy is to label it something like: "Danger Wreck!"
I am curious, what areas are those?

It would be very handy to have a supply or private moorings I could take possession of for free when the owner goes out for the day.
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Old 17-06-2024, 10:14   #8
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

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Put up a sign: 30$ a night
That won’t work too good at certain places in New England where they are asking over $100 a night!
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Old 17-06-2024, 10:16   #9
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

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I am curious, what areas are those?

It would be very handy to have a supply or private moorings I could take possession of for free when the owner goes out for the day.
I own a private mooring in a designated federal harbor of refuge in the United States. By law if I’m not on it, anyone is free to pick it up. I think that has to do with the fact that the cove is dredged with government funds.

They are supposed to move when I return. It’s only been a slight problem once in 25 years.
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Old 17-06-2024, 10:28   #10
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

How do you get to your mooring from shore? Usually people leave a mooring alone if there's a dinghy on it.

Or is it a "destination" mooring? I'm not a fan of allowing people to claim some choice anchoring location for their own occasional use, barring all others from using this resource which is supposed to belong to the public. In that case I'd say let 'em use it when you're not around.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I've found that not having a pennant line really deters most casual mooring interlopers from using it. Too inconvenient to thread a line through the eye and back to their own boat. Most don't have the skill or in some cases, the line, to be able to do that. You could even place the connection point (eye, shackle, whatever) at the bottom of the ball, so all anyone sees up top is a round, featureless surface with nothing to tie to.
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Old 17-06-2024, 10:38   #11
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

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How do you get to your mooring from shore? Usually people leave a mooring alone if there's a dinghy on it.

Or is it a "destination" mooring? I'm not a fan of allowing people to claim some choice anchoring location for their own occasional use, barring all others from using this resource which is supposed to belong to the public. In that case I'd say let 'em use it when you're not around.
I agree with both your solution, and your sentiment Tom. If a private mooring is constantly being used by others, then I would guess it has been places in a location, and in such a way, that removes or reduces other options, such as anchoring. If you’re going to place a private mooring down, then please put it out of the way so that others can still use the area.

In Canada, there is a requirement to label the mooring as PRIV, using a specific kind of ball. And you are supposed to have your name and phone number displayed on it. With this, one could just add a sign saying “Call me if you want to use it.” That way you can say “yeah” or “nay” depending on your own needs to use it.
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Old 17-06-2024, 10:50   #12
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

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Originally Posted by NorthCoastJoe View Post
Two disks, one with an oval hole in the center for an eye bolt that you can put a padlock on. And the other with the eye bolt held with lock nuts. Thus blocking the eye on the ball.
If it was me wanting to use that mooring anyway (not that I would) I'd put a lasso loop in the end of a nylon line (so it sinks) and lasso the whole thing such that my loop tightens up around the buoy's rode. With a light retrieval line to the eye of the lasso, it can just be pulled loose when you want to leave.

Not that I would ever use somebody else's private mooring - unless they put it right in the middle of a small, scarce anchorage and no boat has been on it for over a year!
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Old 17-06-2024, 17:53   #13
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

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If it was me wanting to use that mooring anyway (not that I would) I'd put a lasso loop in the end of a nylon line (so it sinks) and lasso the whole thing such that my loop tightens up around the buoy's rode...
I've done this. It's a massive pain in the butt. If there were any better options I'd try those, first. Sort of like why I have a crappy-looking cowling on my dinghy motor; it's the least tempting theft target on the dinghy dock. Maybe the OP would likewise be able to make their mooring the least tempting to tie up to. But I remain opposed to destination moorings.
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Old 18-06-2024, 08:26   #14
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

Quote:
Two disks, one with an oval hole in the center for an eye bolt that you can put a padlock on. And the other with the eye bolt held with lock nuts. Thus blocking the eye on the ball.
And how are you going to pick up your own mooring when the wind is blowing? I think private destination moorings should be illegal, and they are in many places. Sometimes harbormasters will look the other way for locals putting down moorings they don't regularly use, but they are just an unfriendly way to prevent others from anchoring and enjoying the location.
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Old 18-06-2024, 08:37   #15
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Re: Is there a locking mechanism for a mooring ball?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I agree with both your solution, and your sentiment Tom. If a private mooring is constantly being used by others, then I would guess it has been places in a location, and in such a way, that removes or reduces other options, such as anchoring. If you’re going to place a private mooring down, then please put it out of the way so that others can still use the area.

In Canada, there is a requirement to label the mooring as PRIV, using a specific kind of ball. And you are supposed to have your name and phone number displayed on it. With this, one could just add a sign saying “Call me if you want to use it.” That way you can say “yeah” or “nay” depending on your own needs to use it.

In this part of the world, the etiquette of private moorings is that they are fair game when they're not being used, but on the strict condition that guests stay on the boat and leave immediately in case the owner of the mooring comes back and needs it. I've spent hundreds of nights on other people's moorings, mostly in UK waters, and never had any issue with anyone. The harbor regulations of many UK harbors specifically regulate this.



The OP owns the mooring ball and chain, but does he own the seabed? Putting down a mooring which occupies part of a prime anchorage, not using it yourself, and preventing others from using it, seems unethical to me.
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