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Old 05-06-2020, 06:04 PM   #1
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Mooring Balls

Are there legal and illegal mooring balls?
Are mooring balls free to first come first served?
Are mooring balls usually privately own?
Are they rentable by the hour, day, days, week, etc.?
Are there mooring balls designed for vessels of various sizes, types of vessels, and by location governing the types of vessels that they can accommodate?
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:43 PM   #2
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Here are some answers in bold:

Quote:
Originally Posted by john-o View Post
Are there legal and illegal mooring balls?
Everywhere. Maine is full of illegals
Are mooring balls free to first come first served?
Not often but in Manhasset, NY there are free ones, also inside the Connecticut River
Are mooring balls usually privately owned
Usually they are owned by a marina, yacht club or some organization that rents them- daily or seasonally. But I have seen a few privately owned mooring balls. Realize that the state almost always owns the underlying land and grants a license to private individuals or organizations to install mooring balls.
Are they rentable by the hour, day, days, week, etc.?
Rarely by the hour, usually by the day or seasonally
Are there mooring balls designed for vessels of various sizes, types of vessels, and by location governing the types of vessels that they can accommodate?
Usually a mooring field will have a range: up to 35' up to 45' Annapolis has two areas: inside the bridge is 35' and outside is 45'. I haven't seen restrictions on the type of vessel that may moor.
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:45 PM   #3
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1-Are there legal and illegal mooring balls?
2-Are mooring balls free to first come first served?
3-Are mooring balls usually privately own?
4-Are they rentable by the hour, day, days, week, etc.?
5-Are there mooring balls designed for vessels of various sizes, types of vessels, and by location governing the types of vessels that they can accommodate?


1 Yes of course. Both

2 Depends who owns them. They are all put in place by someone.

3 Maybe in the NE. In Florida, Municipalities and yacht clubs install them.

4 Have seen by day, week and month.

5 Yes most are designed to withstand certain loads and swing radius to not interfere with neighbors although some mooring fields are better spaced than others. For example, Sunset Bay mooring field in Stuart FL in light variable winds, boats WILL contact each other if not all facing the same direction. Better put out big fenders if leaving the boat for tide change.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:30 PM   #4
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Taking all moorings in the USA into account: Yes to all.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:52 PM   #5
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Answers based upon our area in LI sound....

Are there legal and illegal mooring balls?
Yes - some areas are regulated and illegal moorings pop up.

Are mooring balls free to first come first served?
Some but rarely

Are mooring balls usually privately own?
About half and half in our area

Are they rentable by the hour, day, days, week, etc.?
Rarely by the hour typically by the day but yuo can always call and ask

Are there mooring balls designed for vessels of various sizes, types of vessels, and by location governing the types of vessels that they can accommodate?
Absolutely - by the size and weight of the boat(s) to be moored
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:07 PM   #6
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I'll echo what George said: yes.
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Old 05-07-2020, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john-o View Post

Are there legal and illegal mooring balls?
Probably but its pretty closely controlled here in Mass.

Are mooring balls free to first come first served?
Not in Mass. In this area, a mooring is either owned by the town, a marina, a yacht club or a private individual (with a town permit). There are some rare instances where a Yacht Club owns them and allows daytime use if no one from that yacht club wants it.

Are mooring balls usually privately own? See above.

Are they rentable by the hour, day, days, week, etc.? Yes. From marinas, sometimes towns.

Are there mooring balls designed for vessels of various sizes, types of vessels, and by location governing the types of vessels that they can accommodate? Definitely.
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:06 PM   #8
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If the ball is in front of a marina chances are that the marina owns it or them. A lone ball out of the way is probably privately owned. Maybe forgotten about by the owner. If you are going to stay on your boat overnight I guess You could tie up but be prepared to move if an owner comes along.

A ball out in the middle of nowhere may not have an active owner. The problem is that it may not have been maintained or even checked for a long time. Tie up your boat and a blow comes along rusted shackles or an old rope anchor line might part.

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Old 05-08-2020, 11:20 AM   #9
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One thing is certain. A mooring ball is equipment owned by SOMEONE. Whether that mooring is legal, illegal, private, or public (rental). There are very, very few Free Public mooring balls.

You have no idea what the size of a mooring is or the condition it's in. It could be a mooring sized for a small center console. People rarely take kindly to arriving to find an interloper tied to their mooring.
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:33 AM   #10
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One thing is certain. A mooring ball is equipment owned by SOMEONE. Whether that mooring is legal, illegal, private, or public (rental). There are very, very few Free Public mooring balls.

You have no idea what the size of a mooring is or the condition it's in. It could be a mooring sized for a small center console. People rarely take kindly to arriving to find an interloper tied to their mooring.
Agreed- at times we have owned 3 or more mooring balls independently and/or with a cruising club we were in. All permitted and legal but not for public usage.
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:29 PM   #11
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I own all of the mooring balls. Email me your routing number and account number and I will send you a mooring card to use with any of my mooring balls.

Just kidding, but watch out who you ask.

I own all the condos too. Would you like a condo to use while your boat is moored at one of my mooring balls?
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:06 PM   #12
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This is a wide-open set of questions, but the short version is: It varies by state and even by county and municipality.

On Maryland waters of Chesapeake Bay, private land ownership stops at the high-water mark. Thus, you can put a mooring anywhere that doesn't interfere with navigation. At least, this is the way it was some years ago when I put a mooring in Valentine Creek off the Severn River. You own your mooring ball and anchoring gear, so nobody else is free to use or take it.

The city of Annapolis owns moorings which it rents. The U.S. Naval Academy owns moorings in a couple of creeks off the Severn which are technically off limits but it appears that nobody will stop you from tying up there overnight unless the Navy needs them. If you find a vacant private mooring and want to tie up to it, you'll probably get away with it for an overnight stay but if the owner returns, he's probably free to cut you loose.

I know that Florida has different laws and every other state varies, too. I discovered that the Coast Guard won't advise you, and your state DNR or whoever registers boats probably won't either. Try the county or local government.

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Old 05-22-2020, 01:09 PM   #13
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You need be more specific... where?
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:27 AM   #14
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Personally, even if I could overnight on someone's mooring with no problems, I would not trust it. Unless you are directed to a mooring by a club or marina, you don't know if it's sufficient size for you boat or what condition the ground tackle is in. I'd rather trust my anchor because at least I know what is under the water.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:38 AM   #15
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Personally, even if I could overnight on someone's mooring with no problems, I would not trust it. Unless you are directed to a mooring by a club or marina, you don't know if it's sufficient size for you boat or what condition the ground tackle is in. I'd rather trust my anchor because at least I know what is under the water.
This is spot on. I'd add, even when directed to a mooring for a boat your size, use as many of your own lines as possible. I've told the story here many times of the loop at the end of the painter breaking off while I was about to put it over my bow cleat at Vero Beach Muni.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:05 AM   #16
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Never a fan of Marine Park bouys, my scepticism has never diminished after seeing one of the Park bouys, complete with chain and three concrete anchors, each the size and shape of the 1/2 barrel the concrete was poured in, all up on the beach. How it got there?

I have my own, anchored by a highway block, 5'x2.5'x2.5', 5/8"chain and a 2 stack tires filled with foam. I had a diver inspect it this month, so I am confident it has the capacity for my boat.

My neighbour has a commercial float, unknown chain, unknown anchor. The biggest load I have seen on that bouy is a Catalina 22, so I wouldn't trust it being designed for anything heavier.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:10 PM   #17
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Here in BC there does not seem to be any rules (or at least a total lack of enforcement if there are any) regarding the installation of private mooring buoys. The number of them placed in what used to be good anchorages is growing at an incredible rate, and most of them are empty (most of the time). I know of a boater (whose practise in this regard I have no respect for) who has several of them placed in various of his favourite places. Very selfish in my opinion. This growth in the number of buoys has at times made anchoring very difficult. Even though by law, you are technically allowed to use someone else's private buoy, like as has been stated, I would not trust one, knowing nothing about it's construction or maintenance. My anchor, I know.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:14 PM   #18
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The ball does not determine the size of boat that can be on it. It's what's on the other end of the rode. Usually a mushroom. Whatever size that and the lines are determines how big a vessel can safely be moored on it.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:58 PM   #19
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The ball does not determine the size of boat that can be on it. It's what's on the other end of the rode. Usually a mushroom. Whatever size that and the lines are determines how big a vessel can safely be moored on it.
Exactly right. That's why you need to know capacity from some sort of trusted source. Typically a harbormaster or the agency who installed it. It is also important to know the configuration, and protocol, because there are all sorts of them.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:48 PM   #20
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Usually a mushroom anchor?

I would say usually not in many places.....

You just never know.....
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