15 March, 2010

Annual Mooring Maintenance

It time for the annual mooring maintenance not that last year much maintenance was undertaken because the previous year I had replaced the shackles and the mooring line to the buoy. A year ago the only thing that was needed was to replace the stainless steel mouse wire through the nuts of the shackle.
Again this year Stephen took me out in his boat Tegwen towing his tinny from which I could access the mooring. This year the water was much warmer at 23.5 C however I decided to wear a bottom half of a wet suit before donning the scuba and slowly sinking down into the murky waters of the low tide. To my horror as a reached the end of the mooring line I discovered the thimble was missing and two of the three strands in the eye splice had worn through. The whole mooring was hanging by 10 thin strands of the line. I proceeded down the chain to the shackle at the concrete block to find this to be buried in sand. I tried to undo the nut on the shackle with two large shifting spanners but was not able to get any movement from it. The next time that is removed will be with a grinder or oxi torch.
I attempted to undo the top nut from the bolt through the swivel shackle. That was not going to budge either. Not even when I was standing in the tinny and using the full force of the two large spanners. Unfortunately the swivel end has seen some corrosion and that will have to be replaced in a year or so.
Having attached another mooring line to the top chain Stephen and I winched the line up from the bottom just to the surface to work on the swivel. I also had to clear the weed from the line. Not difficult but great care has to be taken not to cut your hands.
Now to undo the nut from the bolt on the swivel. Not even with a hard surface to work from would the nut budge. Another grinder job.
I cut the old mooring line from the swivel and attached the new line below the swivel because the shackle was not large enough. That will do for a few months but will have to be seen to if used.

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