Monday, December 04, 2006

Mooring chains

Over the weekend I was running a course in the Solent, Saturday was fine but over night the winds picked up to 55knots. Fortunately by the time we left the Hamble on Sunday the winds had dropped off to a more reasonable level.

Once we had cleared the harbour we noticed a yacht towing its mooring buoy and making about 2 knots across Southampton Water.

We were able to tow the yacht in to the Hamble and left it secured to the main visitors pontoon. Whilst we were waiting for the harbour master to check the boat over I inspected the mooring system of the yacht.

The mooring lines were of a good size, in good conditon and looked reasonably new, however the chain used for the riser was completely corroded through. The original chain must have been about 1/2inch but in places the ends of the links were down to about 1/8inch. Obviously in the storm the night before one of these links had failed and the yacht went adrift.

It made me wonder how often some people check their moorings. From the direction of travel and the tide, I think this vessel came from eitherthe Calshot or Powerstation Creeks where the moorings are privately laid.

Ideally the mooring should be lifted every year and inspected for corrosion damage, if you, your club or boat yard do not do this, do not be surprised if your boat is not where you left it after the next big storm!

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