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OUR MOORING SYSTEM: WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
have developed a new and improved mooring that will,
instead of destroying habitat, materially enhance the habitat for
sea life around your mooring installation. The basic mooring
is two railroad wheels spaced six to eight inches
apart vertically, providing several cubic feet of shaded hidey-hole for
fish, octopusses, etc., Our new mooring is called a "MICRO-HABITAT MOORING SYSTEM."
Our mooring system minimizes a number of big problems associated with more traditional mooring systems: 1) chain corrosion; 2) sea-life growth on the mooring components; 3) wave and wind shock loads on your boat's deck cleat and other equipment; 4) loss of effective weight of the mooring anchor due to the inherent buoyancy of all materials when immersed in water; 5) "footprint" on the sea bed; and 6) scouring of the seabed by the constantly moving mooring line. In addition, it minimizes habitat damage and actually materially enhances that habitat.
CHAIN CORROSION Using
a nylon mooring line almost completely removes corrosion from the
mooring equation, most importantly in the near-surface oxidizing
environment where most chain systems eventually fail. We use
galvanized shackles and swivels at the float and anchor end as there is
no other good option for those points for now. We use 3-feet of
1/2 inch galavanized proof chain to run through the mooring float and
this is sufficiently oversized that this chain and the other very
oversized components have approximately zero chance of failure due to
wear or corrosion in between each year's inspection. Metal
components below the oxidizing layer of ocean water and
especially on the bottom, do not "oxidize" because they are typically
in a "reducing environment."
SEA LIFE GROWTH ON COMPONENTS
Large pesky sea life like mussels seem to shun the nylon, possibly due
to its constant small stretching/relaxing motions which may make it
difficult for them to get a foothold. The jury is still out on
this and time will tell if this is truly the case.
WAVE AND WIND SHOCK LOADS ON YOUR BOAT'S GEAR
Nylon provides a superior stress-relieving elastic property that
greatly reduces the jerks and snaps transmitted from the mooring to
your boat's mooring cleat. The big-boat (tug boats, freighters
etc) operators have recognized this for years and have utilized the
inherent elasticity (and corrosion resistance) of fabrics like nylon to
more evenly distribute shock loads while towing etc.
Chain has essentially no inherent elastic property. Our one-inch
30,000-pound breaking limit nylon has over 40% stretch before it even
comes close to its breaking point.
LOSS OF EFFECTIVE ANCHOR WEIGHT As
you may recall from your high school physics, all materials immersed in
a fluid (in this case sea water) lose weight due to the inherent
buoying property of the water acting on the immersed body (remember
Archimedes and the gold in the king's crown? and Archimedes
thinking about how the water rose and overflowed when he took a
bath?? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buoyancy) Anyway, the
closer the density of the object being immersed to the density of the
fluid, the more that object is buoyed up by the fluid. Now,
by buoying we do not mean "floating"; we mean loss of effective
weight. For example, we all know that a rock (about 2.5 times the
density of water) sinks "like a rock" (sorry, could not avoid the
pun). Ice, however, being frozen water, is just slightly less
dense than water and thus it floats, but just barely: most of an
iceberg is under the water where you cannot see it.
Many of other mooring systems use concrete as the mooring anchor. We use steel.
Concrete buoyancy Typical concrete, without any other material inside like steel, loses around 40 percent of its air-weight
when immersed in fresh water. When immersed in the slightly more
dense sea water, it loses slightly more. So, if you now have a
2,000 pound (air weight) chunk of concrete on the bottom as your
anchor, you really only have about 1200 pounds holding your boat.
Sail and Power uses steam-cleaned steel railroad wheels covered with a non-toxic rust-resistant rubber coating for our
anchors. The much denser steel loses only about 10
percent of its air weight. These 38-inch steel wheels weigh
750 pounds each in the air. In sea water they still weigh
around 675 pounds each. We weld two wheels
together for the typical mooring, which then has an immersed weight of
approximately 1350 pounds.
FOOTPRINT ON THE SEA BOTTOM Our steel "Micro-habitat" mooring anchor,
due to the higher density of steel compared with e.g. concrete,
occupies a far smaller footprint for the
same effective holding power compared to the large concrete ecology
blocks used by others. Additionally, the three-feet long lower
stem extension penetrates the seabed, creating even greater holding
SCOURING OF THE SEA BED The nylon mooring line is completely buoyed off the bottom,. even at low tide, eliminating destructive scour of the sea bed.
PICTURES OF A "MICRO-HABITAT MOORING SYSTEM