Tuesday, October 23, 2012

By hook or by crook

Here’ a picture of us coming out of Pigeon’s lock on the South Oxford, a lovely spot.  Kath is doing her stuff with the windlass this time. See the boat down the canal? I couldn’t see if it was pulling out, so I sent Kath down to find out.

IMG_1906 (1024x669)

No-one was aboard. It had broken from its moorings and blocking the canal so now we see Kath trying to pull it back to the bank.

IMG_1908 (1024x683)

The mooring stakes had pulled out, no doubt by the boat being passed at too great a speed by someone.  But it seems odd that the boat should have been tied to stakes in the first place as there is a lovely Armco barrier edge to tie to.  Anyway Kath tied her up by dropping the stakes through the Armco steel piling and tying the ropes round top and bottom of the stakes.  The bank was clearly too soft to hold stakes well.  When we came back a few days later we noticed that the owner had used a belt and braces technique of pins in the ground and in the Armco.

When we first got our boat, we soon cottoned on to the fact that securing onto Armco (if there is any) was the thing to do and we went out and bought some of those safety pin /trombone slide type clips.  They don’t cost any more than a mooring stake and you don’t need a hammer to bash them in and white plastic bags to wrap around the top to warn walkers and joggers of the trip hazard.  (Rick made us some nice tennis balls that fitted over stake tops, but they keep getting stolen by dogs.) Then we discovered that the clips can fall out if the rope gets slack or the boat slides about as others pass.  So we bought some mooring chains.  You know, the short chains with a ring at each end.  Also cheap, these can’t come off the Armco or the ropes.  They’re really good, but I get my knees all muddy kneeling down to drop the chain through the piling and reaching underneath to pull the end back up.

Then this year, cruising with Adam on Briar Rose, he introduced us to the other sort of Armco fixing.

armco hook

Adam swears by them.  They’re obviously quicker to use than chains, and probably don’t require kneeling on wet grass, but I can’t quite see why they don’t wriggle themselves out if the rope gets slack, but apparently they don’t.  I think I might get a pair.  Has anyone ever had them drop out?


Leo No2 said...

Neil - are those the ones that make the awful noise when you go past a boat moored with them I wonder. Just a thought.


Adam said...

They are not the ones that make a noise. The ones that make a noise are the ones that look like a paper clip; they're long enough to move up and down when the rope is slack -- and that's why they come adrift. On the ones we use, the bit that goes behind the Armco is the right length, so they won't move up and down and they can't fall out. That's why I swear by them!

Halfie said...

Neil, I have used both types and far prefer the "paper clip" type. I've never had them come out, but the other sort, those Adam likes, never seem to stay in position. I don't recall if I've had one actually come out, but I've had to be careful about precisely which bit of Armco I've poked it in. On at least one occasion I have returned to the boat to find the hook hanging on by the very end.