[Posted on June 4th, 2013 by Bill Stewart]
For someone who’s not familiar with the work involved, it’s fairly easy to assume placing a set of single point moorings is just a matter of picking a point close to a dock where the water location won’t impede with entry and exit. For those who actually have to do the work, mooring analysis often involves quite a bit more thinking.
For the uninitiated, single point moorings generally involve offshore, floating buoy-style tieups for vessels large and small. Access to the boat, of course, then depends on smaller skiffs back and forth. The benefit of the single point mooring is that it keeps the boat at anchor without clogging up the traffic in the harbor, especially if the boat is large and will be in same location for a while. This sort of system is often applied in locations with heavy tanker traffic, such as petroleum loading and unloading facilities, for example. In fact, designed in a certain way, a single point mooring could literally do away with the need for dock facilities, especially if the product being loaded or unloaded is liquid-based. All one then needs to do is run sufficient plumbing out to the mooring point for the vessel to connect to.
The design of single point moorings is where things get a bit complicated. In concept, the mooring has a heavy anchor point that sits on the water floor. A chain runs up to one buoy for slack and then to the connecting point station where the boat is actually tied up. There usually needs to be enough distance between the various chain points to account for current shifts and water movement but still keep the boat generally in place. The equipment and design also needs to be tested for strength, torque limits and elemental exposure. All of these factors can easily contribute to the failure of a poorly-designed mooring, which of course means the risk of a suddenly free-floating vessel that is out of control.
It’s important to have the right seakeeping analysis done behind the placement of single point moorings, especially in areas of heavy shipping traffic. With a good mooring analysis, a client can pinpoint the ideal water locations for setup that complements the existing water lanes rather than causes new conflicts. This kind of analysis can also include relationships with other sea structures in the location as well such as towers, submerged buoys, turrets and more.
With the right technology, modeling and expertise applied to the task, a client have a quality analysis performed, highlighting the risk areas and best single point moorings possible for his location and waterway. This kind of analysis work can also tremendously help a client stay in compliance with national water laws and regulations, steering clear of liabilities for potential water lane accidents and related issues.
So if your facility or harbor needs a new approach to mooring design and spec development, consider Stewart USA for the job. The skill and knowledge brought into the project will pay dividends down the road.