How many times have you leant awkwardly over the bow of your craft to reach down to a mooring buoy with a boat hook to catch an eye? More often than not the ‘eye’ is a shackle which is resting on its side. The bow is moving up and down to wash and wind waves. Just as you think you’ve got it the boat falls back as the helm reduces power or doesn’t, or can’t see the brute!
On Whimbrel we have honed this manoeuvre to near perfection, mostly … for there have been moments. As often as not I bring the bow onto the buoy so that it is a little forward of the shrouds, this means I can often run the mooring line whilst my good wife holds onto the hook line.
In the 2016/17 RNSA Journal, I spotted something that is set to revolutionise mooring grabbing. A new type of mooring has been developed and is being trialled down in Portsmouth Harbour. From the upper face of a standard cylindrical mooring buoy is a rigid post with an upturned truncated cone top-piece from which the line hangs.
New type of mooring buoy with pillar… (Picture courtesy of RNSA 2016-17 Journal.)
The buoy is known as a Mara Buoy manufactured by Mara Engineering for the Sea. Go to www.maraefs.com and is available through an agent in Aberdeen… The manufacturer is in the USA.
The bse unit looks to be softer than those we all normally experience. With a clinker planked vessel the hard buoys do a lot of damage. Whilst looking this buoy up I came across a company which stated, ‘…a buoy doesn’t need to be hard…’ Yes, well!
Wonder when mooring managers will spot this unit and say to themselves, ‘time for a change…’