Dread Pirate Biff had to revisit his mooring tackle didn’t he? Turns out that the 400lbs + that we put on the bottom to hold the boat proved to be insufficient. The mooring dragged and took us way too close to two other boats.
Acknowleging that the tackle was insufficient was one thing. What to do about it is entirely another. The problem was broken down into two decisions – do we add to the current build, or do we create a 2nd tackle and attempt to attach it to the first.
The design of the existing tackle lent itself well to simply adding to it rather than trying to drop a second weight and attach it to the 1st somehow.
If you remember, the existing tackle consists of 3 parts: 1/2 a garbage can filled with cement as the foundation stone, an old tire filled with cement as the 2nd tier, and a 5 gallon pail filled with cement as the cap stone. A chain runs from a tang embedded in the garbage can through the centre of the tire and the pail and then up to the buoy.
What I decided to do was to add one massive weight to the current system. So I used an entire garbage can into which I put 3 chevy big block cylinder heads and then filled the empty space with cement. I put a 3″ PVC tube in the middle for the chain to run through.
The reason I went with one heavy unit was that with each additional piece of weight on the chain, the chain is effectivly shortened by the depth of the additional pieces. The water under the boat is between 30′ & 40′ depending on tide. I have 55′ of chain. The first set of weights take about 4′ and the second additional weight will take about 3′ for a total of 7′ leaving 48′ of chain. Which isn’t a lot given the depth.
Instead of assembling the new weight on shore and then trying to man-handle it out to the mooring field, we took the various and sundry bits & peices to Little Bear and assembled them on the deck. Once the cement was hard and the chain run through the middle we tossed the works over the side without too much strain.
We did have a couple of ‘gotcha’s’. I tied a dock line to the mooring penant and then tied the dock line off to the windlass and samson posts. It was a good thing I did, because the chain didn’t run through the middle of the weight quickly enough and took the chain, buoy, and pennant down with it. The buoy was about 4′ below the surface when the weight hit the bottom. I had also forgotten that the chain is actually two peices of chain connected with a shackle. I suspect that when the weight hit the shackle it hung up stopping the chain and then hitting the bottom.
The really fun bit is that I captured all the shenanigans on my GoPro. I have a GoPro Hero 4 Silver. I got it for Christmas so it’s only about 5 months old. However, it is tempermental and freezes (hangs) when it’s in the mood to do so. I’ve missed a couple of ‘one-time’ events because of this. So my mood was rather dark and piratey when I realized that I’d missed capturing the really fun part of this project. On the up side, I contacted GoPro support and they are in the process of sending me a new camera. Hopefully, the new one doesn’t freeze. So I apologize for not getting the ‘launch’ on cam.
Oh, so you’re wondering what I did about the submerged buoy? Well with my new happy-cranky motor I just fired up the ‘Suzie’ let her warm up a tad, then put it in gear and let `er rip. Once the chain was tensioned, we could hear the weight sliding down the chain. When the sound stopped, we stopped and lo & behold the buoy was right back where it should be. I removed the dock-line extension and tied the mooring pennant off on the cleat.
I’ve checked every day since dropping the new weight and Little Bear has not moved an inch. She might as well be nailed into position. We’ve had a couple of good high-high tides and some low tides with a bit of wind thrown in. But Little Bear remains in place.
I still have 2 bags of cement and an extra cylinder head so I may add that to the mass but I’ll do that one a bit differently.
Now for those of you who’d rather watch than read: