Maintaining Your Mooring


People have some good questions about mooring maintenance. In this post, we describe what goes into maintaining your mooring every other year, as required by law.

Your mooring pendants and buoy are the most obvious parts of your mooring, the easiest for you to see and handle. The city requires us to paint your mooring number in contrasting color on top of the mooring; we also put fresh bottom paint on the lower part to retard marine growth.


Your mooring pendants and shackles which connect them to your mooring buoy often need replacement, so we usually splice up a new set of lines and replace shackles. We also seize the shackle pins with monel wire to discourage them from working loose.


The rest of your mooring tackle spends most of its existence underwater, so it’s harder for you to see. When we come pay a visit with one of our service barges, we drop the spuds down and hoist your gear entirely out of the water, ballast and all. We blast your gear free of dirt and growth so we can weigh and inspect your ballast and chain for wear and galvanic action. If your chain is still serviceable, we record the weight of your ballast and lower your gear back into place with one of our temporary mooring buoys, so we can take yours back to our shop for painting.

Mooring Chain

Factors that affect the service life of mooring chain include not only physical wear, but also galvanic or electrolytic corrosion. We have seen an increase in electrolytic action in the east half of the lower bay since dredging was completed. We do not have specific ideas about what causes this, but we are seeing chain come up more frequently with wear problems than we did decades ago.

Your Mooring Buoy


There are still a number of older rod–through style mooring buoys in service. We call them Mystery Rod buoys; the cutaway image shows you why! We recommend change to the chain–through style instead. It is not possible to inspect the portion of the rod–through fixture that passes through the buoy itself. When these

Chain-through mooring design

Chain–through moorings can be easily inspected and certified

occasionally fail, inspection reveals that corrosion of the rod had been taking place inside the buoy’s foam exterior. The chain–through style of buoy allows us to see what’s going on. We highly recommend this investment in the safety of your boat!

We can easily refit your mooring with chain–through buoys; you don’t have to wait until your every–other–year mooring service. Just give us a call.

2 responses to “Maintaining Your Mooring

  1. How can I learn how to correctly retool and re “line” my shore mooring?

    To be clear I will be replacing everything, starting from the post in the sand, all the way to the eye on the top of the buoy. I’d like to find thorough instructions that could teach my 3rd grader how to do it.


  2. Mooring work must be performed by a city–authorized mooring contractor. Tackle and ballast need to meet city criteria. Condition is reported by contractor to city after service. These things are part of what we do every day. We would be very pleased to service your mooring for you. Please contact us!

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