What is Mooring?
Mooring is the fastening of your watercraft to a fixed object on the lake bed or to a floating object such as an anchor buoy.
Mooring by permanent anchor is the attachment of the watercraft to a float or buoy on the surface, which is itself attached to a permanent anchor at the bottom of the waterway by a rode (a line, cable, or chain).
Permanent Anchor Moorings
There are four basic types of permanent anchor moorings; dead weight, mushroom, screw in, and multiple anchor. These moorings are used instead of temporary anchors because they have considerably more holding power, cause less damage to the marine environment, and are convenient.
Permanent anchor moorings are also commonly used to hold dock floats in place.
- Dead weight moorings are the simplest kind of mooring. They are typically made as a large concrete block with an attached rode (line, cable, or chain from the anchor to the mooring buoy); they resist movement with their sheer weight. Dead weight moorings are simple and cheap, and are better suited for rocky bottoms where other mooring systems do not hold well. They are, however, bulky, heavy, and awkward.
- Mushroom moorings are the most conventional moorings for sand, mud and silt substrate. They look like an upside down mushroom which can bury itself in a soft lakebed quite readily. Mushroom moorings can have up to ten times the holding power to weight ratio of dead weight moorings, but they’re more expensive and don’t hold well on rocky bottoms.
- Screw in moorings are shafts with wide blades spiraling around it so that it can be screwed into the substrate. They have a high holding power to weight ratio. Screw in moorings are so small that they are relatively cheap, but they normally require a diver to install, inspect, and keep up.
- Multiple anchor mooring systems use two or more light weight temporary anchors set up in an equilateral arrangement and all chained to a common center from which a conventional rode is attached to a mooring buoy. Multiple anchor mooring systems have minimal mass, are easy to deploy, have a high holding power to weight ratio, and are readily available.
A rode system is a line, cable, or chain several times longer than the depth of the water running from the anchor to the The longer the rode is the shallower the angle of force on the anchor (it has more scope). A shallower scope means more of the force is pulling horizontally, so that the anchor plowing into the substrate adds holding power. It also increases the swinging circle of each mooring, and so lowers the density of the mooring field. By adding weight to the bottom of the rode, such as using a length of heavy chain, the angle of force can be decreased further. Unfortunately, this scrapes up the substrate in a circular area around the anchor. A buoy can be added to the lower section of rode to hold it off the bottom and avoid this issue.
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- The Dock Manual by Max Burns (a Book Review)
- Mooring Your Boat on the Lake- About Moorings