The last blog post I mentioned I was allocated my permanent mooring but it might not be there, well if it was I couldn’t find it. I had an inkling it wasnt, I heard the person that was given it last year didn’t go on it and used a loan mooring as he couldn’t afford, didn’t want to or didn’t have the time to put a new one in. Not that I’m complaining! I wasn’t expecting to find a pile of rope on the bank but I had to look.
You can only get to the other side of the pill at high water, you can’t walk across as the mud is so soft and when I say soft I mean really soft, sticky, slimy mud that gets everywhere. I started by finding the mooring lines next to mine, then the mooring the other side and started searching between the two, then further back, closer in. Nothing not a hint of shore lines, well there was one stake/post that could have been but it was flush with the ground, if the lines were there they were buried and the amount of rope there should have been it didn’t look like it was under there.
As the tide ebbed I wanted to check the stern lines that should be attached to the chain that runs along the center of the pill. On this chain there is a barrel that is shackled to it, these lift the chain as the tide rises and the stern lines are either shackle a few links either side or cow hitched around the chain. I had also promised another club member I would check his shackle and lines as he doesn’t like playing in the mud and I can’t be there when the masts get taken down and put back up so I do his dirty work and he does mine.
My shackles were fine and the stern lines were there but they wasn’t in great condition. They looked about 12-14mm line, tied through a chain link with a bowline and chafed where the links have been moving. Yes these will have to go as well. The pic to the left was the top barrel shackle from Ian’s mooring, not great but not as bad as the barrel next to it (that I thought was Ian’s). Luckily the boats aren’t fixed to the barrel, the barrels are just there to lift the chain and stop the weight of the chain on the boats cleats.
As the mooring didn’t want to come to the party I’ll just have to invite my own. The lines are 16mm leaded 3 strand which I can get from the clubs Bosun, nice and easy. The “land anchors” that the bow lines are attatched to are usually scaffold poles sometimes doubled up, or have a backup pole a few meters further back. The “better” way is to use angle iron, not the light 6mm but the heavier 10mm thick stuff. A quick lunchtime trip to the local metal merchants by work and I had returned with two 2.5m long 100x65x10 section angle.
These I cut a point at one end and drilled a 20mm hole at the other to attatch a shackle that the bow lines will be fitted to. I’ll paint them in red oxide primer however I don’t really believe this will fend off the rust or buy me an extra year or two but it’s not going to hurt so I’ll do it.
These will be driven into the soft bank either side of the mooring at about 45° to port and starboard of the center line to hold the boat on station and stop her sliding back in the mudonce the tide is out. The bow lines are joined to the stern lines by a thin “nelson” where a pickup buoy or two are fastened on. Now the fun is swinging the sledge and putting it all together!