Several weeks ago, we had a boat break loose in the outer basin when the bottom shackle failed. Fortunately, the water taxi guys were very observant and saved the boat from any significant damage. But this incident caused the Committee to reflect on its processes and information. As a result we decided that we needed to complete a major inspection of all the moorings in the outer basin.
Mooring inspection was a massive undertaking.
To do this task we needed a lot of extra help and planning. We have three divers so that allowed us to get a lot of coverage done quickly. The water is a bit warmer than normal but after more than 30 minutes, the diver has to be pulled out. We also needed a better work platform as Storm King is not very maneuverable in a basin filled with boats, and she leaves “calling cards” with her metal hull! And we were going to go from one mooring to the next, row by row. With the help of Samantha Glass, we were provided with access to the Sailing School’s brigs. They are very maneuverable and don’t present any issues when held against the boats at each mooring.
Over a couple of weeks a total of eight dives were completed, one for each row. At every mooring, the entire configuration was inspected and recorded. We checked the bottom shackles and the anchors. We used a new gauge to measure chain wear, providing a consistent measure of past wear. We checked the tire and the shackles on the surface. And all this data was then recorded.
Condition of mooring very good.
Overall, the condition of the mooring was very good. As we expected, we did find some chain and shackle wear situations that we are addressing, nothing that would compromise the attached boat. We found some very old chains still on the bottom that were getting wrapped up with the active chains. We didn’t find any great treasures!
Our greatest surprise was condition of some of the owner’s pennants and their attachments to the mooring tackle. Too many of the lines were very tightly wrapped on each other. And this wrapping continues below the surface so that the wear on the chain is accelerated. We found one mooring that had used a Quick Link to connect the pennant to the mooring. But the link was wide open! Only shackles with pins that can be wired in place should be used on the moorings. And these wired pins need to be inspected regularly.
Several owners who have boats on a mooring have remarked that they are now closer to their neighbours than before. The water levels are at a very low level and this makes this more evident. Make certain that all pennants are no longer than that defined by the NYC Mooring/Docking Guide. And to even shorten these pennants up for the rest of the year won’t be such a bad idea.
Thank you volunteers!
And a special thank you to the guys who did all the work to complete this very important task! Some of it was in the pouring rain! We will continue to work on the moorings through haul-out and beyond. If you have any concerns about a specific mooring, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Chair, Mooring Committee