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What is Mooring

7/13/2012 12:50:07 PM | by Anonymous


Probably originating from the Dutch verb meren (to moor), mooring is an ancient word that has been used in English since early 16th century. Today it can be related to a variety of uses or acts. It has different meanings when used as a verb or a noun. When it is used as a noun, the word refers to as permanent structures that a marine vessel can be attached to, to refrain movement. Some examples of these permanent structures can be a quay, jetty or a pier. There are also anchor moorings that are submerged underwater to which a vessel can be secured without the need of making any contact to the shore. On the other hand, when used as a verb, mooring refers to the act of securing the vessel to a mooring; be it submerged underwater or located on shore.


Mooring Line

As the name would suggest, a mooring line is a rope or cable that is used to secure a vessel or watercraft to a jetty, pier, buoy or other forms of moorings. In regular applications, more than one mooring line is used to secure the watercraft in place and to distribute the stress experienced by the line more evenly. Using multiple mooring lines can also ensure that the watercraft would not be released if a line snaps. There are several types of mooring line available in the industry today that are made out of different materials. The line can even be customized to meet the customer’s requirements. For smaller vessels, the mooring lines are not that bulky and can easily be thrown over to the shore when securing the vessel is intended. However, in cases of large vessels that usually have several mooring lines which are extremely bulky, a different approach has to be used to get the line over to the shore. These bulky lines usually have an attachment called a heaving line, which is lightweight and can easily be thrown over to the shore. Once the heaving line is on the shore, people on the shore can use it to pull the mooring line over and secure the vessel. However this process may require more than one person to pull the line over, unlike a lightweight mooring line that can easily be pulled over by one person.


Previously, mooring lines were made out of natural fibers such as hemp that could be braided for extra thickness and strength, however today synthetic materials are commonly used in the construction of these lines. Using synthetic materials allows manufacturers to build these lines to certain required strengths and make them customized to suit the customer’s requirements. One disadvantage of using mooring lines is the fact that if they are subjected to high tensions and pressure, they can snap, causing the vessel to break free from its fixed position and drift away from the shore. Also if a line was to snap, it could recoil and strike someone who is onboard the vessel, which may result in serious injuries or even death. Therefore sailors need to carefully select the right type of mooring line and ensure proper care is taken on it. Damages to the line should be addressed promptly.


Offshore Mooring

As mentioned earlier, moorings can be located on shore or be submerged in the water offshore. Securing a vessel to moorings located offshore is called offshore mooring. These anchor points are usually located away from the shore for various reasons. One of such reason can be the fact that rough waters can cause secured boats to smash against a dock several times during a heavy storm causing damage to the vessel. To overcome this problem, the boat can be tied to an offshore mooring that does not have any obstructions around allowing free movement of the boat both up and down and side to side. Also when a boat is tied to an onshore dock, it normally faces towards the dock, which might cause the back of the boat to get swamped with water during a heavy storm and cause it to sink. As for offshore mooring, the boat can be tied facing the shoreline and if strong waves were to approach the boat, it would simply ride over them.


One very important factor in offshore mooring is that the mooring rope or chain used should be long enough to allow the boat to move freely. If the rope is too short, it might cause the vessel to sink incase there are huge waves. Storms may not always be the reason why a captain might chose offshore mooring. Other reasons such as docking at an area that is heavily infested with pests may be a reason why a captain might choose to dock offshore; to prevent the pests from coming onboard the vessel.

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